One out of five dogs in their adult years develops arthritis, a painful and sometimes debilitating disease that can progress over time. Dogs with arthritis often experience chronic pain and thus may have difficulty moving and performing their usual activities. As a means of treatment and prevention, some veterinarians may prescribe glucosamine chondroitin for dogs.
How does glucosamine chondroitin for dogs work?
Arthritis strikes the joints in dogs, causing damage, inflammation, and pain. The bone will try to repair itself but due to the condition, the joints do not grow smoothly and instead become abnormally shaped. This makes moving the joints difficult and painful, causing dogs to limp or favor the other leg.
The efficacy of glucosamine chondroitin is attributed to its characteristics – these molecules are exactly the same material found in joint cartilage. Glucosamine is a substance from which a molecule known as glycosaminoglycan is formed. This molecule is essential to the repair and formation of joint cartilage. Chondroitin, on the other hand, contributes to the resiliency and flexibility of the cartilage, making movements smoother and easier.
Once taken and absorbed, these molecules contribute to the natural ability of the body to heal itself. The theory is that supplements such as these can help increase the rate at which the dog’s body forms new cartilage by providing more sources of glucosamine and chondroitin with which to rebuild damaged tissues.
These supplements come in different forms, such as 2KCL, glucosamine sulfate, NAG (N-acetyl-glucosamine) and glucosamine hydrochloride. Each one has its own advantages and limitations.
G. hydrochloride is currently the most popular form because it has been used in most studies and is considered stable. G. sulfate is also a popular substitute because it is easily absorbed and utilized. NAG, on the other hand, has a different formula, although it is also considered as an alternative in the absence of other choices. A cheaper alternative is 2KCL, which is usually found on grocery shelves. It is readily available but generally offers a lower quality than other types.
A dog glucosamine supplement can be given in liquid, powder or solid forms. Liquid glucosamine for dogs is an excellent option if the pet can be fed directly. It can also be mixed with water or food and is easily digested. Chewable glucosamine usually comes in controlled doses, so it is easier to monitor how much a pet takes per day. It is not messy and usually comes in palatable flavors. Glucosamine dog treats can be a good option for dogs who are picky eaters.
Joint supplements for canines are usually given once or several times daily, depending on the recommended dose. Prices also vary depending on the brand, content, and formulation, so it is possible to find items for as low as $9 to as high as $25 or even more. Most products available are usually priced at the $15 – $16 range.
Note: be careful about the recommended daily dosage for a particular pet. Some products only require only 1-2 tablets or servings per day while others may have to be taken in 5-6 tablets/servings per day to meet the daily dose.
Before deciding to use glucosamine chondroitin for dogs, ask the veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and recommendation. Since different brands and products are formulated differently, it is also prudent to discuss the past health history of the pet in order to rule out possible sources of complications and allergies. Proper dosage is also based on the dog’s weight, so careful use of the supplement should be considered for the dog’s safety.
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