If you have been noticing that your dog has lost his get up and go – it takes him a while to get moving after he has been resting or after exercising; he seems have developed a strange gait; he has pain and tenderness when you touch his joints – your dog may be suffering from arthritis.
Arthritis in dogs is not uncommon. Just like in humans, this condition causes swelling in the joints, pain, stiffness, and tenderness. Because of the side effects of arthritis, your dog may be experiencing significant pain, which will likely impact his agility.
If you suspect that your dog has developed arthritis, your first step in treating the condition is a visit to the vet. Your dog’s doctor will be able to properly diagnose his condition and offer you treatment options. One of the most effective and commonly used treatments for arthritis in dogs is glucosamine.
What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is an element that naturally occurs in the joints. It is a combination of glucose and the amino acid glutamine. It produces glycosaminoglycan and helps to keep them moving without pain. It is also a nutritional supplement, which has been used, with great success, to treat the symptoms of arthritis in humans – and in dogs.
Glucosamine Dog Food
Because glucosamine is so effective at treating joint pain in dogs, it is often prescribed as a treatment option for arthritis. In order to provide pets with the comfort that this supplement offers, many pet food producers have taken to adding it to their formulas. The manufacturers that create pet food with glucosamine claim that their food has the proper balance of the supplement. In many cases, this is true. There are actually several pet foods on the market that do offer an excellent amount of glucosamine to their formulas, and are effective for treating the symptoms of arthritis.
The best places to purchase glucosamine-infused pet food are the following four locations:
- Big box stores
- Wholesale clubs
- Specialty pet shops
- Your vet’s office
Does it Work?
Research indicates that in order for your pet to reap the benefits of glucosamine, he needs to receive 20mg per pound of body weight each day. For example, a 50 pound dog would need to take approximately 1000mg of glucosamine each day.
Most glucosamine-rich dog kibble contains a minimum of 300mg/kg. That works out to be about 300mg per kilogram of food. If you take into account that four cups of food equals about one pound, your 50 pounds dog would need to eat 29 cups of kibble in order for him to get the 1000mg of glucosamine that he needs each day. That’s a lot of food!
While your pet may be able to reap some benefits from eating kibble alone, in order to really see an improvement, he is going to need to take glucosamine supplements, in addition to his food, each day.
To learn more about the benefits of glucosamine and how your dog can benefit from it the most, speak with your vet.