Nothing lasts forever, including the health of joints in both humans and animals.
No pet owner enjoys watching their aging pup suffer from the aches, pains, and stiffness of arthritis. When it comes to caring for this health issue that inevitably comes with the price of aging, many veterinarians recommend the supplement glucosamine.
What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a brilliant combination of the amino acid, glutamine, and the sugar, glucose. Your canine's body produces glucosamine naturally which aids in the creation of the molecules that form the cartilage that makes up the joints.
As your dog ages, their bodies are less apt to produce the right amounts of glucosamine, which results in joint stiffness, pain and a lack of shock absorption in the joints. Therefore, supplementing glucosamine into an aging dog's diet can help to maintain their overall mobility.
Forms of Glucosamine Supplements
Glucosamine sulfate is the most prominent form of glucosamine that is found in supplements, mainly because of the heavy research that has been conducted on it. It is made from the shells of shellfish and created synthetically. It contains sulfur, which is responsible for the repair and rebuilding of cartilage.
Glucosamine hydrochloride is also found within shellfish but lacks the prominence of sulfate. It is also referred to as glucosamine HCL. It is a concentrated form of glucosamine, but less effective than the sulfate form.
N-Acetyl-Glucosamine, also known as NAG, is a transmitted source of glucose that precedes hyaluronic acid, a fluid that is responsible for lubricating joints.
Foods Loaded with Glucosamine
When it comes to providing your dog pain relief at home, here are a few options that naturally have glucosamine:
Beef, lamb, goat, ostrich trachea
Tracheas contain cartilage, which is naturally rich in glucosamine. While beef trachea is easier to locate, many raw food stores also have ostrich, goat, and lamb versions too. These versions make a delicious and chewy snack or can be dehydrated for something crunchier for your dog to nibble.
The feet of chickens are packed with glucosamine. They are yummy snacks and can also be a part of your canine’s meal. You can also feed them other poultry, such as guinea fowl, goose, turkey, and/or duck.
Pigtails or Oxtails
These tails have some meat on them that is surrounded with glucosamine-rich cartilage. These can be a healthy meal!
Beef knuckle bones
Not only do dogs like to gnaw on these types of bones, but they are giving themselves doses of glucosamine while they have fun chewing and entertaining themselves.
Purchase wild shrimp that have yet to have the shells removed. When you are enjoying some yummy shrimp, you can feed your dog the tails. Or, you can create a broth from the shrimp tails by letting them simmer in some water for 2-3 hours.
Make sure you really look at shrimp labels, for often they are loaded with antibiotics and pesticides. Always opt for farm raised.
These mussels are made up of high amounts of glucosamine and have been shown to reduce discomfort from arthritis in both animals and people. It is difficult to find them fresh since they are from New Zealand, but there is also a green-lipped mussel powder specifically made for canines.
Ensure that the product is cold so that the nutrients are not destroyed. Give your dog 15 mg of this powder per pound of weight.
It is quite simple to make bone broth and it’s an awesome way to give your furry pal a natural dose of glucosamine to aid their aching joints. On the plus side, there are many health benefits to consuming bone broth!
Non-Glucosamine Natural Arthritis Aids
This spice has anti-inflammatory properties to reduce joint pain. The best way to implement turmeric into your canine’s diet is to buy the Turmeric Advanced Joint Supplement Powder for dogs. If your canine is not a big fan of the powder version, try out this formula in tablet form!
Ginger is another natural remedy that aid in arthritis pain. It stops the immune system from making leukotrienes which cause inflammation.
Purchase raw ginger roots and discard the skin. Mince and add to your dog’s food. For small breeds, ¼ of a teaspoon. For medium breeds, ½ a teaspoon and for large breeds, ¾ of a teaspoon.
Blueberries are packed with a variety of powerful nutrients, with anthocyanins being one of them. It minimizes inflammation by fighting off free radicals, which are unstable and cause oxidative damage to the body that result in disease and inflammation. You can place a few fresh or frozen blueberries right into your dog’s food.
Over the Counter Arthritis Relief for Dogs
While it is highly recommended to give natural remedies for arthritis a go first, here are a few over-the-counter pain relief options:
- Vitamins: Vitamin A, C, and E support the promotion of healthy joints and provide relief from arthritis pain.
- Fatty Acids: Omega-3 and Omega-6 contain anti-inflammatory properties. Fatty acids have been proven to reduce the amount of pain and swelling that is caused by inflammation. If your pet injures a joint and is already consuming fatty acids, they are less likely to sustain less damage. They are also beneficial for the kidneys, skin, and brain health.
- Omega-3: fish oil capsules
- Omega-6: flax oil and flax seeds
- Aspirin: This is often the first drug of choice to ease pain.
- Glucosamine: There are many products out there that are loaded with glucosamine, as well as chondroitin and MSM, all which aid in the relief of arthritis and other joint issues.
There have been many studies to show that giving your canine joint supplements before arthritis and other similar issues arise can help to keep their youth for much longer than if they didn’t consume these supplements at all. Glucosamine paired with chondroitin and other properties help to protect and nourish the cartilage that makes up joints, helping to prevent your beloved pet to experience the pain and suffering that comes along with arthritis.
Wouldn’t you rather give your canine companion something that helps with pain and doesn’t damage their bodies further like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do?