Take the Lead :: Professional Scituate pet sitting, Scituate dog walking, and Scituate pet sitters serving all of South Shore Massachusetts and surrounding areas of Cohasset, Marshfield, Norwell, Pembroke, Hanover, and Hull, MA!

Glucosamine – The WHAT, WHY and HOW You MUST Know

Just like us humans, our pets tend to slow down and become stiff as they grow older.  While many of us may want to chalk it up to old age and ignore it, this pain and stiffness could be due to the loss of one small naturally made ingredient – glucosamine.

What is glucosamine and why is it so important for the health and mobility of our pets?  We explain it all!

What is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is not just a supplement.  It is a natural occurring substance in our pets’ bodies responsible for helping to build and regrow cartilage.  Spongy and shock-absorbing, cartilage gives cushion between the joints, allowing them to move and glide over each other easily.

As our pets age, their bodies begin to use glucosamine faster than it can be replaced, causing the cartilage to become dry and begin to thin.  Less cushion between the joints leads to pain and stiffness with each step our pet takes.

Why (and when) might my dog need Glucosamine?

Many pet owners begin to look for glucosamine or other joint supplements when they notice their pet has trouble standing up or is taking the stairs a little slower.  Stiffness, pain or loss of interest in activities are all signs your pet may be suffering from joint pain and inflammation caused by loss of glucosamine.  If you have noticed these signs in your pet, talk to your vet about a glucosamine supplement for your pet.

What’s better than treating the symptoms?  PREVENTING them from beginning in the first place.

Some experts maintain that starting a glucosamine supplement at a younger age can help maintain a healthy cartilage pillow throughout the life of your pet.  Talk to your vet about beginning a glucosamine supplement for your pet as young as 2 years.

What are the best sources of Glucosamine?

The best sources of any natural-occurring substance should come from natural sources, don’t you agree?  We thought so, too!

Guess what?  Your dog can get glucosamine from his diet! 

That’s right!  Fed the right foods, your dog can get all the glucosamine he needs right from his bowl.  These following foods are loaded with glucosamine:

  • Knuckle bones – Let your dog snack on these bones raw to get his daily dose of glucosamine. Ask your local butcher or meat market for their extra beef knuckle bones
  • Chicken/turkey feet – It may seem repulsive but raw chicken or turkey feet are packed with cartilage, meaning LOTS of glucosamine!
  • Beef trachea – This is another body part not eaten by us humans that is a miracle food for our pets. Trachea, like feet, are made up of pure cartilage.  Your dog can enjoy these raw for an amazing source of glucosamine, or you can bake them for several hours to make jerky.  Baking or cooking destroys some of the nutrients so feed raw for reap the full benefits.
  • Bone broth – Need an option that’s a little less…bloody? Bone broth is an easy-to-make at home option to get your pet more glucosamine.  All you need is a few soup bones or other type of raw bone, water and a crock pot!  Cook the bones for 12-24 hours with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to help draw out the nutrients.  Strain the bones when done and freeze the extra servings for later.  Simply add some broth to each meal for your pet.

Young or old, these natural options are excellent to ways to introduce more glucosamine in to your pet’s diet.

Older dogs or dogs who are already suffering from joint pain and stiffness may need a supplement to help regain the pep in their step.

Glucosamine supplements normally contain more than just glucosamine.  These additional ingredients are commonly chondroitin and MSM.  These two are also naturally occurring in our pet’s system and are also responsible for the health and mobility of their joints.  Check that your chosen Glucosamine supplement contains both chondroitin and MSM for optimal benefits.  Visit ConsumerLab.com to double check that the ingredients listed on the bottle have been verified by a third-party, as well.