Glucosamine for Dogs
What is glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a major component of joint cartilage, the tough, spongy, protective layer that protects the bones in your dog’s joints from rubbing against one other. A naturally occurring amino-sugar produced in your dog’s body, glucosamine helps keep cartilage in good condition and helps to protect and maintain healthy joints.
Glucosamine and age
Just like you and I, as your dog ages, its body produces less and less glucosamine which results in greatly reduced protection for its hard-working joints. Together with normal wear and tear from a lifetime of running around this can result in degenerative joint diseases such as osteoarthritis which causes pain and inflammation as the unprotected joints rub against one another.
If makes perfect sense that you should supplement your aging dog’s glucosamine. By protecting your dog’s joints you are helping give it a longer, more active and pain-free life. You are also saving yourself considerable expense in terms of increasingly costly – and in this case completely unnecessary – vet bills.
But here’s the rub, if you’ll excuse the pun. The glucosamine in most commercial supplements is obtained by extracting the polysaccharide chitin from the exoskeletons of dead crustaceans. In other words, its a by-product of seafood waste, seafood waste which is increasingly being found to contain lead, mercury and other contaminants as a result of marine polution.
And there are other problems with commercial supplements too. Most of the world’s chitin is processed in the likes of China, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia. Few facilities exist elsewhere in the world. And China of course does not exactly have the best record when it comes to introducing contaminated materials into Western markets!
A further wrinkle is that such products, aside from being expensive, can contain precious little glucosamine and far too many chemicals such as silicon dioxide and stearic acid. But there’s a natural supplement which is more readily available and which has a great many distinct advantages quite aside from the fact that it’s the closest possible supplement to your dog’s own glucosamine. It’s called Bone Broth, it’s 100% natural, it contains no additives, it has zero side-effects, dogs love it and it works!
The advantages of natural glucosamine supplementation
Supplementing your dog’s diminishing glucosamine resources with natural glucosamine means your dog can’t overdose on it. Give it more than it needs and its body will simply dispose of the surplus via its natural processes. Not only that, your dog’s body is used to producing it so it knows exactly how to process it and where to store it. It’s a healing discipline known as ‘using like to heal like’.
The other big advantage of natural glucosamine is that it comes with its own ready supply of chondroitin, another structural component of cartilage. This has to be supplemented in commercial glucosamine products by processing shark cartilage because in order for glucosamine to be effective for your dog, it needs to be combined with chondroitin as it’s in your dog’s naturally-produced cartilage.
When to start glucosamine supplementation
Since prevention is better than cure, you should consider providing your dog glucosamine supplementation from the age of about 7. Earlier, perhaps even from the age of 3 or 4 for a larger breed dog. In the case of our own dogs, we supplement whatever the age because, apart from anything else, they like the taste of it and we know it’s good for them on so many levels. We give it to our youngest (pictured above) who is 3 and our eldest who is 7. It’s also ideal for fussy eaters and dogs who don’t drink enough water. Oh, and it’s become rather trendy with humans right now too!
|Packed full of vitamins and minerals such as glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid and collagen, bone broth is good for joints, tendons and ligaments, supports the immune system, helps detoxify the liver and even promotes a healthy digestive system. It’s particularly beneficial for the older dog to help protect against the effects of arthritis!|
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