Glucosamine can be a wonder drug for dog arthritis – there are many fantastic stories of safe and effective improvements in mobility and quality of life. Yet whilst there are many happy stories there are also some disappointments – and many of these disappointments can be traced back to using low doses of low quality glucosamine products. You want to get glucosamine for dogs right the first time – good quality drugs at the correct dose! There are a few tricks to getting the glucosamine dose right which I will explain below.
Are You Giving the Right Type of Glucosamine?
There are in fact 5 forms of glucosamine, the main difference being Glucosamine Sulfate versus Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCl) and also differences in the origin of the Glucosamine HCl (vegetable versus shellfish). Glucosamine hydrochloride (glucosamine HCl) seems to work best and whilst there are some arguments to say the vegetable form of Glucosamine HCl works better than the shellfish form, this has yet to be proven. It does appear that Glucosamine HCl works even better if combined with low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate so I think this is a more important point.
Are You Giving the Right Dose of Glucosamine HCl?
These drugs are safe so it is hard to give too high a dose. Yet despite their safety many dogs receive very low doses that really won’t be effective. Why? Price. Whichever way you look at it these drugs can be expensive, especially if you have a big dog. So think of it this way… if you give a low dose you will likely hit one of these situations:
- The glucosamine has not worked because the dose was too low
- The glucosamine has not worked because it simply doesn’t work in every dog.
So how do you pick these two apart? You need to try all over again on a higher dose, all the while feeling a little sheepish at your false economy. My advice is to try good products at a good dose and back down from there. Drugs like Dasuquin and Cosequin are the gold standard – if they do not work, nothing will. Try them first and if they help then flip over to a maintenance dose after 4-6 weeks. The price becomes much more tolerable as you give these products every 2nd day. The ingredients of Dasuquin have been tabled below – they should give you a guide as to how much of each ingredient to give. [table id=2 /]
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