As our pets’ age, they can suffer some of the same aches and pains that people face. The most common issue is diminished mobility attributed to osteoarthritis. This degenerative joint disease, which is caused by cartilage erosion, can be seen when your pet hesitates to walk up or down the stairs, limps occasionally, or simply has trouble keeping up with you during daily walks. It can be quite painful.
According to the Osteoarthritis Research Center, up to 30% of dogs and cats can have this chronic disease. Large and giant breed dogs, as well as a small number of cat breeds, are most often at risk.
A proven way to improve joint function is to provide a glucosamine supplement to aid in joint repair. Glucosamine is an amino acid naturally found circulating around bones and joints. Derived from shellfish or other vegetable sources, this nutritional supplement enhances your pet’s own ability to grow new cartilage.
There are three primary types of glucosamine to consider as supplements:
- glucosamine hydrochloride
- glucosamine sulfate
- glucosamine sulfate 2Kcl.
Any of these glucosamine supplements can be found in pill, liquid, or injectable forms. Some formulations, derived from shellfish, use hormones or other additives during manufacturing, so most vets recommend glucosamine derived solely from vegetable sources. Be sure to read ingredients closely when determining which supplement to administer.
In addition to choosing the type of formulation and source of glucosamine, consider the cost per dose. Some brands will suggest two pills per day while others may recommend six pills per day. It is important to discuss the best approach with your vet. With the right supplement, most animals will see results in only a few weeks.
The day you notice your beloved dog slowing down can be cause for concern, but a glucosamine supplement can provide relief from chronic pain and improve your beloved pet’s quality of life.
Authored By: Sarah Curtis
Photo: Courtesy of alex_lee2001 via Flickr (CC By 2.0)
“Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements”; Paul M. Coates and et al; 2010
Osteoarthritis Resource Center