Dogs are one of the most active human companions, which is probably why we bond with them so well. Going
to the beach, daily strolls, a game of chase; these are just some of the fun activities that dogs love, and we enjoy them too!
However, just like us, staying mobile and active is largely determined by the health of cartilage that surrounds the joints. Cartliage is a protective cushioning agent that provides a spongy, liquid interface between bones and joints. Maintaining healthy cartilage is very important and this is where supplements containing glucosamine can help.
The Role of Glucosamine
Glucosamine is a type of sugar/amino acid complex that’s very similar to glucose. It is found naturally in the body of mammals and provides an essential building block for the production of cartilage and supporting healthy joints. Glucosamine is also needed to help preserve cartilage and protect it from damaging enzymes. The molecules of glucosamine have high compression resistance, which makes them great for absorbing the shock associated with joint movements. Also, glucosamine molecules are able to hold water, helping to provide essential joint lubrication.
Due to the integral role this sugar complex plays, there has been plenty of research looking at way to use glucosamine in supplements to assist with the preservation of joint functionality. Many of these studies focusing on both human and animal clinical trials have found that increasing glucosamine concentrations can reduce joint inflammation, improve mobility and decrease joint pain.
This is great news for our canine companions that may be suffering from degenerative joint diseases. Some dogs, particularly larger breeds, can experience mobility problems as they get older. Troubles moving from a sitting to standing position or difficulties walking up and down stairs are some of the common symptoms. Dog arthritis and other joint problems can be very distressing for pets that are normally so active. Not only are they restricted in movement, there is often significant pain and inflammation present.
While the progression of joint degeneration is often slow, it is very important to identify it early. Glucosamine supplementation won’t prevent cartilage breakdown, but it can help to significantly slow the process and offer some relief. There’s a growing body of scientific evidence showing that combination therapy using glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) can help to better protect the joints and help to minimize inflammation to improve mobility and decrease discomfort.
Being proactive and starting supplementation before symptoms of poor joint health appear can assist in protecting cartilage and stop dog arthirits. However, if joint degradation is already evident, supplements can still be beneficial in reducing pain and inflammation so that your dog’s quality of life is enhanced. However, if your dog has diabetes or blood clotting problems, you should consult your vet first.