For those of you who have been following my journey with my German Shepherd, Bones, we just celebrated his 8 year-old birthday last month. So, using the dog-age to human-age formula* by AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), our Bones is 54 years-old human age.
[*formula: 1st year = 15 years, 2nd year = 9 years, every year after = 5 years].
I know – Bones is getting older just like the rest of us. Just like humans, dogs will experience degeneration of articular cartilage in their joints as they age. And, many will have arthritis or joint pain.
Are there anything we can do to help our dogs with their joint support? Yes, joint supplements such as Glucosamine is worth your consideration.
Why Glucosamine? Glucosamine is a natural substance that is a building block for cartilage in both humans and dogs. This supplement will help to relieve pain and stiffness that are generally associated with arthritis. Glucosamine is easy to acquire, simple to administer and proven effective to improve joint health.
Best Glucosamine Supplements for Dogs
There are at least 874 glucosamine supplements for dogs in the market. Here are our 7 best glucosamine Chondroitin for dogs. This is not a one-size fit all list. So, depending on the weight of your doggy, joint condition and allergy, start with one of these recommendations:
Best Overall: Cosequin Soft Chews with MSM and Omega-3s
Cosequin® glucosamine chondroitin for dogs is the #1 Veterinarian recommended joint health supplement. It is our vote for the best glucosamine for dogs with arthritis. It is suitable for small to medium size dogs. Weight Range: 10 lbs. to 60 plus lbs.
Active Ingredients and Benefits
- Each soft chew contains 600 mg of glucosamine hydrochloride, 300 mg of chondroitin, 400 mg of MSM, and 70 mg of Omega-3s.
- Glucosamine hydrochloride is helpful to build and repair cartilage.
- MSM further aids joint health and can reduce the effects of arthritis, joint pain and inflammation.
- Omega-3 fatty acids help treat canine arthritis and chronic kidney disease. It also aids brain development in young dogs and possibly reduce cognitive decline in older dogs.
This Cosequin® is one of the most effective treatments in the market for arthritis and joint support. It suitable for long-term use – thanks to the scientifically-researched ingredients. These tasty Cosequin® soft chews will also help your dog maintain a healthy skin and coat.
Cosequin® soft chews are manufactured with the highest quality standards and ingredients in the United States. The effectiveness and safety of Cosequin® has been evaluated in multiple peer-reviewed studies of joint supplements for safety and the effectiveness of the treatment of joint pain.
Runner up: Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Chewable
Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Chewables are another highly effective hip and joint supplement for Dogs. It has dosage options applicable for large dogs or small/medium dogs. Weight range is 60 lbs to 120 lbs for large dogs; 10-60 lbs. for small/medium dogs.
Active Ingredients and Benefits
- Dasuquin is a glucosamine and chondroitin bone and joint supplement for dogs. It is often recommended by veterinarians.
- Nutramax Dasuquin® comes in 2 sizes, for large dogs and medium dogs.
- Each large dog chewable contains 900 mg of Glucosamine HCl, 350 mg of Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate 800 mg of MSM, and 90 mg of ASU powder.
- A Medium dog chewable contain 600 mg of Glucosamine HCl, 250 mg of Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate 400 mg of MSM, and 45 mg of ASU powder.
- Nutramax Dasuquin® contains avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) powder. Studies show that ASU has an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and tissue-building effect on the cells found in the cartilage of healthy dogs.
Recommended dosage is 2 chewables per day for 4-6 weeks, followed by 1 tablet per day for maintenance.
You will pay more for Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM compared to Cosequin® – due to the expensive ingredient ASU. You may find it advantageous to progress from Cosequin to Nutramax Dasuquin as your dog’s joint problems become more severe. The chewable form makes Dasuquin easy to administer to your dog.
Best glucosamine for dogs with sensitive stomachs: NUTRACHEWZ Grain Free Hip & Joint Supplement with Organic hemp oil and turmeric
NUTRACHEWZ Grain Free Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs is an all-natural glucosamine chondroitin product made without grains. It has additional ingredients such as Organic Hemp Oil, Turmeric, and MSM for improved mobility, arthritis relief, and pain relief. Weight range is 25 lbs. to 100 lbs.
Active Ingredients and Benefits
- All natural—no grains, no GMO’s.
- Safe on sensitive dog’s stomach.
- Easy to digest.
- Each soft chew contains 600 mg Glucosamine HCL, 275 mg Chondroitin, 200 mg MSM, 400 mg organic turmeric.
- Provides pain relief by reducing arthritis and inflammation.
- High absorption rate of nutrients provides fast relief.
- Bacon and cheese flavor – Your dog will think he/she is getting a treat with the delicious flavor.
- Hemp oil and turmeric help to strengthen the immune system and promotes digestive health.
Nutrachewz hip and joint is our top choice for glucosamine chondroitin supplement that is all natural. It contains superfood turmeric and hemp oil as additional active ingredients.
In addition to joint pain relief, Nutrachewz for dogs enhances your pets coat and skin and is designed to reduce allergies and stress on your furry family member.
Best glucosamine for dogs with hip dysplasia: K9 Nature Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM Pure Fish Oil Chews for Small or Large Dogs
The new K9 Nature Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM formula is designed to rebuild and speed up repair time of the cartilage. It provides the essential mix of Omega-3’s fish oil and glucosamine to contribute to long lasting joint health. Weight range for this supplement is 25 lbs. or less to 75 lbs.
Active Ingredients and Benefits
- K9 contains 375 mg glucosamine, 200 mg chondroitin, and 200 mg MSM and 150 mg fish oil Omega-3’s.
- It helps to boost joint health and enhance skin glow and coat shine.
- It also acts as a preventive measure in joint damage in younger dogs.
- It provides relief of pain and inflammation in older dogs.
- It helps to restore mobility and movements.
The K9 Revita is our vote for the Best glucosamine for dogs with hip dysplasia: These K9 Revita Chews are made in the USA with human-grade ingredients and recommended by veterinarians.
The K9 active ingredients provide the holistic building blocks to help restore your dog’s energy and joint health. These K9 chews are easy to administer, as they taste good like treats. You will feel comfortable giving these high-quality supplements to your furry family member for the treatment of hip, bone, and joint problems.
Best glucosamine for for older dogs with advanced joint pain: Doggie Dailies Glucosamine for Dogs Advanced Hip and Joint Supplement
Doggie Dailies Glucosamine for Advanced Hip and Joint Supplement contain more active ingredients than other leading manufacturers. These chews has six active ingredients to support bone and joint health and healthy skin and coats. Weight range for this supplement is 15 lbs. or less to 75 lbs.
Active Ingredients and Benefits
- Each soft chew contains 100 mg Glucosamine HCL, 50 mg Sodium Chondroitin, 100 mg MSM, 50 mg Yucca Schidigera, CoQ10, Yucca Schidigera, and Hyaluronic Acid.
- Additionally, your pet gets Vitamins C & E, Salmon Oil and Cod Liver Oil with Omega 3 and 6 for coat and skin health.
- Choice of Chicken or Peanut Butter flavors that your dog will love. Good taste make them easy to administer.
These Doggie Dailies contains the natural building joints ingredients glucosamine and chondroitin, like the rest of our top-rated supplements here. What set these Doggie Dailies apart from the rest?
These supplements has Hyaluronic acid which increases the joint fluid’s thickness.
It also contains CoQ10 – one of the most important nutrients for older dogs. Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant which helps in cellular energy and many health benefits. Coenzyme also supports heart and kidney health.
These Doggie Dailies contains Yucca Schidigera. Did you know that Native American use Yucca Schidigera to treat headaches and arthritis? This ingredient has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Doggie Dailies is the supplement for advance hip and joints support. Your senior dog may respond more favorable to the wide range of supplemental vitamins, minerals, essential enzymes, and nutrients.
These Doggie Dailies are made in the USA in an FDA registered facility. An independent lab is used to quality test every batch of Doggie Dailies Glucosamine chews. Cold-press extrusion is used in the manufacturing – which helps preserve the integrity and potency of the ingredients.
Your furry buddy will love the taste and benefit from the ingredients and manufacturing quality in these soft chews.
Best glucosamine for working dog breeds: Glycoflex 3 Hip & Joint Support for Dogs
Glycoflex 3 Hip & Joint Support for Dogs has been recommended by veterinarians for over 40 years. As you know, hind legs (back legs) requires strength, stability, flexibility to function.
It is clinically proven that GlycoFelx joint support increases hind leg strength in dogs by 41% in just 4 weeks!
Active Ingredients and Benefits
- This supplement contains 1000 mg Glucosamine HCL, 1000 mg MSM, 100 mg DMG and 60 mg Penna Canaliculus a signature ingredient green lipped mussels (GLM).
- DMG is an immune system enhancer not commonly found in pet supplements but widely used by human athletes.
- Did you know: Maoris living near the coast of New Zealand consume substantial quantities of green lipped mussels and they have significantly less osteoarthritis than their inland brethren?
- Green Lipped Mussels provide natural glucosamine, amino acids, and omega fatty acids.
Glycoflex 3 Hip & Joint Support for Dogs is a great source of bone and joint supplements sourced naturally from green-lipped mussels, and well balanced by natural ingredients. It has been used by veterinarians for over four decades. It is recommended for very active dogs and working breeds.
Best liquid glucosamine for dogs: Terra Max Pro Advanced Hip and Joint Liquid Glucosamine for dogs
TerraMax Pro is a concentrated liquid Glucosamine supplement for dogs. It is intended to treat advanced hip and joint issues in dogs. It contains glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid.
Because it is a liquid, research shows that it is absorbed more rapidly and efficiently than tablets or chews. Recommended for dogs of all sizes, under 10 lbs. to over 100 lbs.
Active Ingredients and Benefits
- Per fluid ounce, this liquid glucosamine contains 2600 mg of Glucosamine Sulfate and 2600 mg of Glucosamine HCL. Total of 5200 mg of Glucosamine, the largest dose of glucosamine available.
- Per fluid ounce, it also contains 1000 mg of Chondroitin Sulfate, 1000 mg of Ultra-Pure MSM and 100 mg of Hyaluronic Acid.
- Veterinarian recommended!
- Helps restore your dog’s ability to heal cartilage damage in older dogs, and prevent cartilage damage in younger dogs.
- It also support future joint damage.
- Natural anti-inflammatory ingredients help reduce pain in your pet.
Dosage guideline. This liquid glucosamine is easy to administer. Simply add the recommended dosage to your dog’s food or drinking water.
- Under 10 lbs. serve 1/2 teaspoon.
- For 10-24 lbs. serve 1 teaspoon.
- For 25-49 lbs., 1 teaspoon in the morning, 1 teaspoon in the afternoon.
- For 50-100 lbs., 2 teaspoons in AM, 1 teaspoon in PM.
- Over 100 lbs., 2 teaspoons in AM, 2 teaspoons in PM.
TerraMax Pro is Veterinarian recommended and our top choice for a fast-acting, liquid glucosamine supplement for your dog. It is most effective for those dogs with more severe joint damage and pain.
With an impressive list of active ingredients and a larger amount of glucosamine, TerraMax Pro provides maximum dosage of natural ingredients to help your dog thrive.
Being a liquid, it is more rapidly and completely absorbed in your dog’s digestive tract. Both you and your dog will appreciate TerraMax’s fast action and wide range of active ingredients.
The complete Glucosamine buyer’s guide – what, when, why, how for joint health.
We have done extensive joint health research for Bones, our German Shepard. We think the following answers to frequently-asked-questions will help you too.
- Why do dogs experience joint health issues?
- What are the signs of arthritis or joint damage in dogs?
- What is Glucosamine Chondroitin for dogs?
- How does Glucosamine Chondroitin help my dogs?
- When should my dog start taking glucosamine?
- Can you use human Glucosamine for your dogs?
- What is a good source of glucosamine for my dog?
- What are the glucosamine dosage guidelines for dogs?
- What are the side effects of Glucosamine for dogs?
- Can diabetic dogs have glucosamine?
- What about other ingredients and fillers in the nutraceuticals?
1. Why do dogs experience joint health issues?
Normally, your dog’s body produces its own glucosamine. Glucosamine is a natural substance in the building block for cartilage in both humans and dogs. As we age, glucosamine levels fall – followed by joint damage and arthritis – which lead to joint pain and stiffness.
2. What are the signs of arthritis or joint damage in dogs?
- Visible difficulty in walking or running.
- Having troubles climbing stairs or jumping onto your vehicles.
- Visible limping or stiffness.
- Trouble sitting or lying down or standing up from a down position.
- Swelling of one or more joints.
- Excessive panting.
3. What is Glucosamine Chondroitin?
Glucosamine and Chondroitin are commonly combined in supplements intended to reduce general pain in joints and from osteoarthritis.
Glucosamine is a crystalline compound that helps build cartilage in humans and other animals. Cartilage helps cushion the joints.
Glucosamine occurs naturally in the fluid around joints as well as in the bones and marrow of humans and animals. It also occurs naturally in the shells of shellfish and in certain fungi.
For dietary supplements, Glucosamine is usually extracted from shells or manufactured in a lab.
Similar to Glucosamine, chondroitin is a naturally occurring chemical found in the cartilage around joints. Chondroitin is commonly extracted from natural sources such as shark cartilage.
4. How does Glucosamine Chondroitin help my dog?
Like humans, dogs can use glucosamine to produce an intermediate compound (glycosaminoglycan).
This compound is used by the body (yours or your dog’s) to build and repair cartilage.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin can often reduce the joint pain your dog is feeling from age or arthritis.
Did you know? A large-scale study of the use of Glucosamine and Chondroitin in humans with joint pain in the knees was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006. That study found “a 20 percent decrease in knee pain from baseline to week 24”. Notably, this treatment was most effective for those with moderate to severe pain.
Benefits of glucosamine for dogs
- It will help your dog repair and rebuild joint damage.
- It helps to improve the natural lubrication within the joint capsule, reducing pain and slowing further damage.
- It is an anti-inflammatory supplement to reduce pain and forestall subtler effects of chronic inflammation.
5. When should my dog start taking glucosamine?
Dogs can benefit from joint supplements when they entering middle age. Hips and joints issues usually start to emerge at this time. This is typically about 8 years of age for large breeds and about 4 years of age for smaller breeds.
Some dog experts suggest starting your dog on glucosamine supplements at age 2. They said it can help prevent joint issues by starting glucosamine and chondroitin before your dog shows any signs of joint damage. We suggest it is best to consult with your veterinarian.
6. Can you use human Glucosamine for your dogs?
The answer is “No”. Do not give our human pills to our pets. While the Glucosamine is chemically the same, there are some important differences between supplements for humans and for dogs.
Anatomically, a dog’s digestive tract is shorter than a human’s, so supplements given as pills may not dissolve in a dog’s shorter digestive tract.
Some ingredients commonly added to Glucosamine for humans are harmful or poisonous to dogs (for example, xylitol and chocolate).
7. What is a good source of glucosamine for dogs?
Natural sources of glucosamine include foods containing cartilage or bones and shellfish. These include foods like beef or pig knuckle bones, pigtails, oxtails, and chicken feet, as well as shellfish (without the shells, of course). Remember, any bone your pup eats should not be cooked.
Foods that include ligament or uncooked bones/marrow are high in glucosamine—and most dogs love them.
Additionally, wild-caught shellfish is a good source of glucosamine for your pet (and you!).
Other sources of glucosamine include supplements – which are typically derived from shell fish and bovine cartilage
Be aware of the additives in any supplements. For example, glucosamine is a form of sugar, and may supplements may include additional sugar. Added sugar is not great for your dog—especially if your dog is diabetic.
8. What is the proper Glucosamine Dosage for dogs?
One rule-of-thumb is to start off with 30 mg of glucosamine per pound of your dog’s weight and then to reduce that by half after 4 weeks for maintenance. We strongly advise you follow the dosage by the manufacturer. Here is just a general guideline by weight:
- For a 20 lb. dog, 600 mg of glucosamine daily during the first 4 weeks, 300 mg daily after 4 weeks.
- For a 40 lb. dog, 1200 mg of glucosamine daily during the first 4 weeks, 600 mg after 4 weeks.
- For a 60 lb. dog, 1800 mg of glucosamine daily, 900mg after 4 weeks.
9. What are the side effects of Glucosamine for dogs?
Fortunately, there are very few side effects in patients (humans or dogs) taking glucosamine. Here are some signs you can look for side effect:
Dogs with shellfish allergies may find negative effects from taking glucosamine.
High doses can occasionally cause excessive thirst, fatigue and insomnia.
10. Can diabetic dogs have glucosamine?
There is no evidence that glucosamine can cause diabetes in dogs or make diabetes worse in dogs already having dibetes.
There had been concerns raised that because glucosamine is composed of glucose and glutamine, it might raise blood sugar levels in your pet. However, several controlled studies have been done which consistently show that glucosamine has no negative effects on diabetic or pre-diabetic dogs. It does not cause or exacerbate diabetes in dogs. And glucosamine works as well in these dogs as in other dogs not at risk of diabetes.
11. What about other ingredients and fillers in the nutraceuticals?
The most powerful reason for selecting only name brand glucosamine and chondroitin (and similar nutraceuticals) is to avoid unknown and dangerous ingredients mixed with the active agents.
There have been reports of questionable and even dangerous ingredients found mixed with supplements for dogs produced outside of USA. We suggest you buy glucosamine made in our USA.
Recap: 7 Best Glucosamine Chondroitin for Dogs
- Best Overall: Cosequin Soft Chews with MSM and Omega-3s.
- Runner up: Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Chewable.
- Best glucosamine for dogs with sensitive stomachs: NUTRACHEWZ Grain Free Hip & Joint Supplement with Organic Hemp Oil and Turmeric
- Best glucosamine for dogs with hip dysplasia: K9 Nature Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM Pure Fish Oil Chews for Small or Large Dogs
- Best glucosamine for older dogs with advanced joint pain: Doggie Dailies Glucosamine for Dogs Advanced Hip and Joint Supplement.
- Best glucosamine for working dog breeds: Glycoflex 3 Hip & Joint Support for Dogs.
- Best liquid glucosamine for dogs: Terra Max Pro Advanced Hip and Joint Liquid Glucosamine for dogs.
The best Glucosamine supplements for your dogs are those work best to support their specific joint health needs.
Based on our experience, liquid and chews are the best way to deliver these supplements to your dog.
Look for healthy ingredients and avoid artificial additives.
Choose a flavor he or she likes, there is a less chance of rejection when the chews taste like treats.
No one brand works for all. Consider your dog’s health condition, weight, allergies when evaluating the right joint supplement for him or her.
Always consult with your veterinarian before giving any supplements to your breeding canine or pregnant dog.
It took us more half a year to research, evaluate and find the one works for our German Shepherd, Bones. So far, we have seen very positive improvements in his mobility. Bones is happier and healthier – that’s all we ever want for him.
A happy and healthy life to your doggy best friend! Woof!