Glucosamine for Dogs

Your dog plays and runs with wild animal spirit! How many times have you been amazed by their athletic feats? Over time, the lubrication and cushioning between their bones wear down at the joints. This is usually due to age, but it can result from trauma or disease.

 So, how can you keep your puppy bouncy like a spring? Glucosamine. Glucosamine is one of the most commonly used supplements for hip and joint support in dogs. There is deep medical research to support its association with healthier joints and reduced inflammation.

Though glucosamine’s mechanisms are not completely understood, studies associate glucosamine with the following benefits:

  • Reduce osteoarthritis-related pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints.
  • Improve function in mammals with knee or hip osteoarthritis.
  • Provide continued relief of symptoms for up to 3 months after someone stops treatment.

 One study demonstrated a significant anti-inflammatory impact when glucosamine was applied to cells involved in bone formation. Another study linked glucosamine supplements to a 28% and 24% reduction in two specific biochemical markers of inflammation: CRP and PGE.  Another study showed that glucosamine slowed the progression of arthritis. 

What is it?

  • Glucosamine is a building block of synovial fluid and cartilage.
  • The glucosamine molecule (“GAG”) is naturally produced in your dog’s body.
  • As cartilage in your dog wears down over time, so does the production of glucosamine.
  • Glucosamine supplements help maintain synovial fluid that lubricates joints and helps cushion cartilage.       

Why is glucosamine good for dogs?

 Glucosamine supports healthy joints and connective tissues.  It seems to do this by lubricating joints and stimulating the production of proteoglycans, which help maintain the health and resiliency of joints and connective tissue.  Here are some of the benefits:

  • Easing joint stiffness
  • Easing normal daily exercise and activity
  • Supporting healthy bone and joint function
  • Supporting healthy joints and connective tissue

At what age should my dog have a joint support supplement?

Joint support is beneficial at every age. Studies show that nearly 20% of all dogs older than one year and 80% older than seven years suffer from the stiff, achy joints of arthritis.  As dogs age, the cartilage and fluids protecting their bones naturally break down. Some breeds are particularly prone to arthritis and hip and joint issues such as hip dysplasia. This includes the beloved Labradors – the most popular breed of American dog.

Signs to watch for.

Do any of these things sound familiar? If they do, your dog may benefit from adding glucosamine to his or her diet right away.

  • Difficulty sitting or standing
  • Hesitation or struggle to jump into the car or climb stairs
  • Taking shorter walks, becoming an “anchor” on the leash
  • Limping
  • Favoring a leg
  • Swollen joints
  • Any audible popping

 If your dog shows any of these symptoms, please take him or her to a vet. Discomfort could be caused by a variety of things. We strongly encourage having thyroid function checked in older dogs. Healthy weight is important for dogs of all ages. Aches and pains may be a natural part of growing and aging. The American College of Veterinary Nutrition recommends talking to your vet if you’re thinking about using any supplement.

Vitanibs makes it easy.

One big advantage of giving your dog Vitanibs with glucosamine is that the nibs are chewable without a pill pocket.  You can buy glucosamine-only pills from your veterinarian, but you will need to smear them in peanut butter or buy pill pockets. Glucosamine alone does not taste that great, and you will need to convince your dog to eat it!  That’s not a problem with Vitanibs—the nibs are palatable without any pill pocket!

 Is it worth it?

Glucosamine is not inexpensive!  It is the single most expensive ingredient in Vitanibs. Shellfish provide the natural and premium source of glucosamine in Vitanibs. (You can feel good knowing that your glucosamine does not come from sharks or other vulnerable species like some other products.)

We include glucosamine because we want to help you cover the bases. It can be safely given at any age in the doses contained in Vitanibs.  Help your puppy stay bouncy and take an extra precaution against premature wearing down of your dog’s joint tissue.

Glucosamine cannot prevent all joint and hip conditions, but adding it consistently to your dog’s diet provides a known source of joint support, used by millions of people. Even though we could sell a less expensive product if we didn’t include it in our daily multivitamin, we think our dogs are worth it!