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One of the most common health problems your dog may face is bone and joint diseases like arthritis and hip or elbow dysplasia. While painkillers can provide temporary relief, joint supplements or chondroprotective help reduce joint damage and give your dog relief from pain and discomfort.
While veterinarians do prescribe these supplements to treat injured joints, you can also start giving them early in your pet’s life as a preventive measure. With as many as 80-90% of senior dogs suffering from arthritis, it’s highly likely that your pet too will develop it as he grows old. So he will benefit by taking these supplements as a preventive measure.
How glucosamine chondroitin works
Joint supplements help control and prevent inflammation, especially in areas with fluids and mucus. So it not only helps treat joint problems but can also help ease various other health problems. It can give relief to a hacking kennel cough induced by an inflamed trachea with mucous lining. Even problems like eye inflammations and frequent urination benefits from glucosamine and chondroitin.
And as some pets may develop stomach ulcers by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, glucosamine chondroitin joint supplements are a better and safer treatment option for them. Besides, the stomach’s mucus or fluid layer of protection benefits from chondroprotective nutraceuticals like glucosamine and chondroitin and improves your dog’s health.
As joint supplements work naturally by changing body cells one at a time, it may take a few weeks to see any results. However just as they are slow to show changes, they also slowly leave the body if you stop giving your dog the supplement. So there will be some continued improvement after discontinuing the supplement for some time. There’s, however, no need to stop the supplement if your dog responds to it as these chondroprotective supplements are safe to use for extended periods, even a lifetime.
Different types of glucosamine supplements
The problem, however, lies in giving your dog the supplements as they come in various forms which your dog may dislike like tablets or liquid supplement. In fact, sometimes the struggle to get your dog to take the supplement can aggravate the condition and make it painful for your pet.
To make things worse, there is a chance of your dog thinking that the pain is because of the supplement you are trying to give, which in turn makes him even more reluctant and uncooperative to take the supplement. You can avoid all this if you give your dog his supplements using less stressful methods. Your dog’s weight is vital to assess your dog’s glucosamine needs. The standard dose is 750 mg of glucosamine for 50 pounds of your dog’s weight. It’s based on this that you have to choose if you want to give glucosamine in a pill, liquid or chewable form to your dog.
Most people find it most difficult to give a tablet to their dogs as he may not only refuse taking it but may also throw it out after swallowing it! There’s also the risk of your dog vomiting the pill if you force it down his throat, which is wasteful and creates a mess. Like some dog owners, you could consider mixing the pill with his food so that he eventually swallows it. However, there’s still the risk of your dog spitting out the pill or eating everything in the bowl, but the tablet.
In case you want to try forcing or shoving the pill down your dog’s mouth, you could hold his head down, and place the tablet deep into his mouth. Then close his mouth to prevent spitting it out. Whatever you do, make sure you check he has ingested the tablets as dogs can get tricky and stubborn if they have no intention of taking the pill!
Instead of going through all this trouble of giving pills, you could opt to provide chewable glucosamine chondroitin for dogs. It’s an easy means of ensuring your dog gets his recommended daily glucosamine. The chews are usually palatable and meaty, so there’s no need of encouraging your dog to eat it.
Treats are a better option for small statured dogs that need only one or two of them every day. This is because supplements in chewable treat form are made using calculated dosages for dogs weighing less than 50 pounds. While you can also give them to bigger dogs, they may need four to five chews everyday which can get expensive for you!
Liquid supplements usually come with a meaty taste and can be sprinkled over your dog’s food, which your dog will readily eat. There is also the gravy form that has a more meaty flavour. These options may, however, work out to be expensive if you have larger dogs and are better for dogs with a light appetite or who doesn’t empty his food.
Glucosamine powder is comparatively the cheapest option available and can be sprinkled on your dog’s food. However, there’s the chance of your dog not eating it because he can make out the change in the food’s texture or flavour. Another option is making a paste with some water and using an oral syringe to give to your dog. This again may be difficult to feed bigger dogs as its difficult holding them down to do all this.
While the different types of the supplement have their advantages and disadvantages, the chewable glucosamine chondroitin for dogs seems to be the best option available. Not only are they tastier and readily accepted by your dog, but their nutrients are also easily absorbed as your dog chews them.
Just remember that different supplements have different mixtures of glucosamine and chondroitin. So choose wisely based on your pet’s weight, size, condition and any other medical factors where he may require more of the supplement. This is why it’s better to consult with your veterinarian to ensure your dog receives the necessary amount of glucosamine chondroitin through his chews.