Glucosamine is a compound found naturally in the body, made from glucose and the amino acid glutamine. Glucosamine is needed to produce glycosaminoglycan, a molecule used in the formation and repair of cartilage and other body tissues. Normally the body can produce enough glucosamine to create enough new cartilage to keep joints healthy, but as the dog gets older or if joints are damaged and it cannot keep up with the needs. The glucosamine then needs to be added to the dogs diet with dog supplements. One of the relative facts concerning dogs is that these supplement are just as effective for their join health as it is for humans, although humans and dogs have very different digestive system, they metabolize glucosamine the same.
Many Clinical studies conclude dogs who are given glucosamine had a significant reduction in pain and stiffness. But since it is classified as a nutraceutical the FDA does not closely control their use as in dog foods or dog supplements thus putting the burden on the pet owner to choose the source and correct dosage for their dog.
Glucosamine used for supplements is derived from chitin which is found in high concentration in the shells of sea creatures such as crab and shrimp. There are two popular forms available – hydrochloride (HCI) and sulfate. Both are safe for your pet and have shown very few side effects. For a dog 50 lbs to 75lbs you should try to give between 1500mg to 2000mg daily. As always check with your veterinarian. You will usually find that a glucosamine dog supplement will also contain Chondroitin Sulfate, Omega Fatty Acids, and MSM. These all help in decreasing inflammation and repairing and building new joint cartilage.