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We all like to imagine our four-legged friends will always be active and playful. Unfortunately, many dogs develop joint issues that prevent them from fully enjoying the activities they once loved. Luckily, science has come to the rescue with a better understanding of how our dogs’ joints age. While there is no way to predict if your dog will struggle with joint pain, glucosamine and chondroitin for dogs can protect your dog’s joint health before problems arise.
It’s clear that glucosamine and chondroitin supplements benefit dogs with joint issues, but how do they work?
Despite the clinical nature of these substances, it’s pretty easy to understand how they help your pupper stay active and happy. Both glucosamine and chondroitin naturally occur in your dog’s body. Chondroitin is a substance found in connective joint tissue, and glucosamine is a sugar found in the fluid that surrounds joints.
There is a layer of cartilage around your dog’s joints that protects the bones and allows the joint to smoothly bend. Over time, or in the case of an injury, this cartilage breaks down, which causes friction, pain, and reduced mobility. This is where glucosamine and chondroitin can help. Chondroitin and glucosamine prevent cartilage from breaking down. They also build and repair cartilage.
Supplementing your dog’s diet with glucosamine and chondroitin boosts the body’s ability to protect the joints and provides the material to rebuild damaged areas. Additionally, glucosamine is an anti-inflammatory, which reduces swelling to ease joint pain.
Glucosamine and chondroitin don’t just appear in pill capsules. You can find glucosamine in shellfish like lobster and shrimp. And chondroitin can be found where you’d expect it--in the cartilage and connective tissue of other animals. A dog in the wild would have found these while scavenging along the riverbanks and by consuming the entirety of their prey. But modern dogs don’t frequent the oyster and shrimp buffet or find whole prey to chow down on. This is why you often see glucosamine, chondroitin, and other important nutrients added to high-quality dog foods or found in treats.
One question many dog parents have is if they should begin their dog on a preventative joint care routine. The easiest way to find an answer to this question is to ask your vet. Like doggie dental care, prevention is easier than treatment, so don’t wait too long to find out if your dog could benefit from a joint supplement.
Keep in mind that some dog breeds are more prone to joint issues and may benefit from supplements from puppyhood. These breeds benefit from glucosamine and chondroitin for dogs:
If your dog loves to run, jump, fetch, hike, and swim, then protect their playtime with glucosamine and chondroitin for dogs. Supporting your dog’s joint health is simple. All it takes is some tasty treats, a joint supplement, and a high-quality diet.