January 12, 2022
There are few things worse than watching your dog struggle to get up in the morning or walk around. Unfortunately, whether it's because of old age or a genetic condition, joint pain and mobility issues in dogs are all too common. Fortunately, many nutritional supplements for dogs exist to help alleviate and reduce this pain. Among those is glucosamine for dogs, a supplement scientifically shown to reduce the effects of arthritis and hip dysplasia in canines. Not only do the supplements help to reduce pain, but by stimulating the growth of new cartilage cells, they promote joint health and can help to halt and even reverse progressive joint damage.
The benefits of glucosamine make it one of the most popular supplements for canines struggling with arthritis. But not all supplements are created equal, so how do you know which glucosamine to buy for your dog? Check out our review of the best choices for glucosamine joint supplement options to determine which formula of glucosamine supplements is right for your dog based on its size, breed, eating habits, and lifestyle.
The process of finding the best glucosamine supplements for dogs involves looking at several different factors to determine how each product contributes to the well-being of your four-legged friend.
Factor #1 - Key Component Quality/Quantity: We looked to see how much of the main active ingredient was in each serving. The higher the quality of glucosamine hydrochloride or chondroitin sulfate in each serving, the better. In addition to glucosamine and chondroitin, which is another natural compound commonly found in joint supplements, some manufacturers even enhance their dog joint supplements with hyaluronic acid, MSM, and antioxidants to enhance the overall formula's effectiveness.
Factor #2 - Dog Size: The supplements were chosen based on how appropriate they are for dogs of different sizes and breeds. Large and small dogs will require different strengths, so we looked for products formulated to meet the necessary dosage amounts. Some supplements allow you to adjust the dosage based on your dog's weight, while others have a predetermined serving size for each bottle.
Factor #3 - Ingredient Quality: Some glucosamine and chondroitin products can be loaded with fillers and preservatives that negate the whole purpose of the product. Therefore, our staff looked for products formulated with quality ingredients to ensure the formula worked as intended.
Factor #4 – Effectiveness: A list of the best glucosamine supplements for dogs wouldn't be complete without considering effectiveness. A good glucosamine joint supplement should reduce discomfort while improving mobility and reducing inflammation to the best extent possible. By conducting our own extensive research and comparing our findings to quality independent glucosamine reviews, we were able to determine which joint health supplements are the most effective.
• Full body joint support (shoulders, hips, paws, back)
• Support for dogs of all sizes
• No fillers or preservatives
• Easy to digest
• Promotes connective tissue support
• Only available in one flavor
Why We Chose HonestPaws
HonestPaws is a leader in canine products, and their Green Lipped Mussel Joint Powder formula for dogs contains glucosamine and chondroitin as well as all of the other necessary ingredients for fast and effective joint support. In addition, the dog joint supplements are easy to administer and include an array of vital nutrients and compounds to support overall health in canines.
HonestPaws Green Lipped Mussel Joint Powder for dogs contains naturally sourced ingredients free from artificial fillers and preservatives. These main active ingredients include:
• Green Lipped Mussel Powder - Reduces inflammation
• Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCL) - Promotes joint health
• Chondroitin Sulfate - Promotes flexibility
• Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) - Powerful anti-inflammatory
In addition to the main active ingredients, this product also contains:
• Fish Oil - Supports heart health
• Hyaluronic Acid - Supports joint hydration
• Manganese – Increases energy and supports bone & cartilage function
• Vitamin C - Reduces inflammation and supports healthy aging
• Boswellia Serrata Powder: Promotes healthy cartilage
Dosing & Usage Instructions
HonestPaws joint powder was produced in a powder form so that it is suitable for feeding pets of all sizes. This will make it easier for you to give them their proper dose based on their body weight. Their joint powder can be mixed with food or peanut butter.
• Less than 25 lbs: 1/2 scoop per day
• 25-50 lbs: 1 scoop per day
• Over 50 lbs: 2 scoops per day
HonestPaws is the ideal choice for adult dogs whose joints aren’t working as smoothly as they once did. With quality ingredients and high levels of glucosamine, owners can rest easy knowing their pup is receiving all the nutrients needed to support healthy mobility, joint function, and pain reduction.
• BPA-free containers
• 100% money-back guarantee
• Free from palm oil
• Made using cold press extrusion (preserves ingredient integrity and potency)
• Not suitable for puppies
• High-fat content
Why We Chose Doggie Dailies
Doggie Dailies offers owners a way to enhance their dog's mobility and energy using six potent active ingredients. Results are fast, with noticeable improvement in energy and mobility seen in as little as 2-3 weeks.
Doggie Dailies is formulated with six active ingredients chosen for their potent properties in supporting overall joint function:
• Glucosamine HCL – 100 mg per chew: Builds and maintains healthy joints
• MSM - 100 mg per chew: Anti-inflammatory to improve joint flexibility
• Chondroitin – 50 mg per chew: Provides joint lubrication to ease stiffness and pain
• Yucca Schidigera – 50 mg per chew: Powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic herb
• CoQ10 – 10 mg per chew: Counteracts arthritis and increases energy levels
• Hyaluronic Acid – 10 mg per chew: Thickens joint fluid for better mobility and support
Additionally, Doggie Dailies has added salmon & cod oil, essential nutrients, enzymes, and vitamins to support healthy immune, digestive, and cardiovascular systems.
Dosing & Usage Instructions
These glucosamine and chondroitin supplements come in a one-pound container with 225 chews inside. While suitable for dogs of all sizes, the number of chews given per day varies based on weight:
• Up to 15 lbs - 1 chew per day
• 16 lbs-30 lbs - 2 chews per day
• 31 lbs-45 lbs - 3 chews per day
• 46 lbs-60 lbs - 4 chews per day
• 61 lbs-75 lbs - 5 chews per day
• Over 75 lbs - 6 chews per day
Chews can be given as a treat throughout the day, mixed into meals, or a combination of both.
Doggie Dailies is the ideal supplement for owners who need to tackle dog joint and mobility problems from multiple angles. Combining glucosamine and chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid ensures dogs get all the support they need to ease stiffness and pain while improving mobility, flexibility, and overall energy.
• Suitable for any age dog
• Scientifically researched results
• Vet recommended
• Most affordable on this list
• May cause upset stomach in some dogs
Why We Chose Nutramax Cosequin
For dog owners looking for a preventative supplement to support healthy joints, Nutramax Cosequin is a top choice. Nutramax Cosequin delivers scientifically researched results that dramatically improve and prevent mobility issues.
The concentrated levels of ingredients in these glucosamine and chondroitin joint supplements for dogs improve flexibility and mobility while combating pain and inflammation. These scientifically proven results are thanks to the active ingredients, including:
• Glucosamine Hydrochloride – 600 mg per chew: Builds and maintains healthy joints
• Chondroitin - 300 mg per chew: Provides supportive joint lubrication
• MSM – 250 mg per chew: Powerful anti-inflammatory for dogs suffering from arthritis
• Sodium Hyaluronate - 6 mg per chew: Lubricates joints and reduces pain during activity
• Manganese - 3 mg per chew: Maintains durability and function in bones, cartilage, and joints
Each batch of chewable tablets is tested to ensure the levels are effective, potent, and safe for consumption.
Dosing & Usage Instructions
Nutramax Cosequin comes in 75, 150, and 250 count containers. The larger your dog, the more daily chews they will need, so it's recommended to purchase a size based on your dog's weight:
• Up to 15 lbs - 1/2 chew every other day
• 16-30 lbs - 1 chew per day
• 31-60 lbs - 2 chews per day
• Over 60 lbs - 3 chews a day
For the first 4-6 weeks of taking the supplement, you might want to halve the number of chews given to your dog to ensure that they do not experience any gastrointestinal upset.
Ensure that your dog has everything it needs for healthy mobility throughout its life with Nutramax Cosequin. With a powerful combination of glucosamine and chondroitin, your pup won't have to deal with the aches and pains of growing joints or getting old.
• Alleviates discomfort caused by daily activities and exercise
• Suitable for large and overweight dogs
• Protects against cell-damaging free radicals
• Can be used on cats as well as dogs
• Not ideal for advanced mobility issues or joint pain
Why We Chose NaturVet
NaturVet provides both dog and cat parents the ability to promote healthy joint cartilage and increase mobility in older pets with a glucosamine joint supplement that reduces stiffness and improves energy levels. In addition, NaturVet is suitable for dogs that are overweight or have arthritis or hip dysplasia.
NaturVet uses a vet formulated blend of glucosamine and chondroitin as well as other ingredients to alleviate pain, stiffness, and other common mobility problems in dogs and cats. The main ingredients include:
• Glucosamine HCL – 500 mg: Helps repair damaged cartilage while absorbing free radicals MSM – 500 mg: Improves flexibility and range of motion
• Yucca Schidigera – 90 mg: Reduces inflammation
• Chondroitin Sulfate – 60 mg: Provides joint lubrication and protection from cell damage
• Vitamin C - 58 mg: Supports the immune system and is a powerful antioxidant
• Vitamin E - 60 IU: Reduces muscle degeneration and supports cell function
• Omega 3 – 1800 mcg: Reduces inflammation and speeds up healing from injuries
• Omega 6 – 946 mg: Supports a healthy immune system, digestive health, and skin/fur health
Each of these ingredients is proven safe for use in dogs and cats, especially those suffering from conditions related to obesity.
Dosing & Usage Instructions
Available in 120 and 240 count bottles, NaturVet's glucosamine HCL supplement’s formula can be used daily or as needed when your pet is experiencing lowered mobility, pain, or stiffness. The recommended dosage for cats and dogs is:
• Up to 10 lbs (cat or dog) - 1 soft chew daily
• 11-39 lbs - 2 soft chews daily
• 40-79 lbs - 3 soft chews daily
• Over 80 lbs - 4 soft chews daily
Soft chews are time-release, and the dosage should be doubled for the first three weeks of treatment.
NaturVet provides a quick and easy solution for owners of overweight and/or arthritic dogs and cats that need relief from pain and inflammation in their joints, hips, and paws. The supplement's advanced formula helps reduce stiffness, increase mobility, and improve your pet's range of motion.
• 100% natural
• Human-grade ingredients
• Suitable for dogs post-surgery
• Reduces need for NSAIDs
• Must be administered after the dog has eaten to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal issues
Why We Chose PointPet
PointPet offers the most powerful pain relief for dogs with an advanced formula that helps provide a quick recovery from surgery or injuries. With a blend of ingredients formulated for maximum absorption, PointPet can be used daily for pets experiencing pain related to arthritis and other mobility issues.
PointPet's formula is made up of eight active ingredients that make it a go-to choice for veterinarians and pet owners when it comes to providing pain relief, inflammation reduction, and reduced reliance on NSAIDs, including:
• Glucosamine HCL – 300 mg per chew: Helps with bone formation in the joints, metabolism of minerals, and supports healthy cartilage growth
• MSM – 150 mg per chew: Reduces inflammation and provides antioxidants to prevent cell damage
• Yucca Schidigera - 25 mg per chew: Reduces pain and supports a healthy digestive system
• Chondroitin Sulfate – 100 mg per chew: Supports healthy joint function and joint cartilage structure
By combining these active ingredients with essential vitamins and nutrients, PointPet has developed a way for owners to give their dogs the ultimate in severe pain relief using natural ingredients.
Dosing & Usage Instructions
It is highly recommended to give your pet PointPet Glucosamine and Chondroitin Hip & Joint Dog Supplements after they have already eaten to reduce any risk of gastrointestinal discomfort. These joint supplements are suitable for dogs of all ages, and dosing is based on body weight:
• Under 15 lbs - 1 soft chew every other day
• 15-25 lbs - 1 soft chew daily
• 26-75 lbs - 2 soft chews daily
• Over 75 lbs - 2-3 soft chews daily
PointPet delivers an advanced blend of natural ingredients designed to fight inflammation, reduce stiffness, and ease mobility for dog parents who want to give their pups the ultimate relief from severe pain. So whether you have a dog recovering from injury or looking to prevent the effects of aging, PointPet has an option that can provide the relief your dog needs.
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring amino sugar - a building block of body tissues for mammalian life. It is commonly found in the fluid around joints and gives cartilage its slippery, rubbery consistency. As mammals such as horses, dogs, and humans age, the production of glucosamine in their joints gradually decreases. This decrease is believed to be a direct cause of arthritic pain and degenerative joint disease.
Scientific studies have shown that the effects of glucosamine for dogs include relieving symptoms related to:
• decreased energy levels
• lack of appetite
• hip dysplasia
• ligament tears
• muscle deterioration
And while there are many exercises and dietary changes that humans can do to help combat arthritis, glucosamine for dogs is the only type of dietary supplement that can still help arthritic canines after losing cartilage due to old age or injury.
Because dogs age faster than humans, the chances are that your dog will be showing signs of glucosamine deficiencies by the time they are seven years old. Additionally, large dogs are at higher risk of developing mobility limiting conditions such as hip dysplasia regardless of their age, with some benefiting from supplements as young as four months old.
No matter the age, joint health supplements may be recommended if your pup shows one or more of the following signs:
• marked limp
• increased time needed to rise from lying down
• visible joint pain, stiffness, or inflammation
• cautiousness when jumping up on furniture or into the car
• lowered activity or energy levels
• lack of appetite caused by arthritis pain interfering with chewing and swallowing
• decreased outdoor activity due to arthritis
• favoring a paw when walking or running
• sudden weight gain from inactivity
• circling when standing up
• backing up slowly instead of turning around quickly
• lifting one leg while sitting, sleeping, or standing.
• inability to walk on a limb
• lying down more frequently
• spending more time in a dog bed and less time running and playing
Additionally, other external factors such as surgery, injury, or weight changes can cause glucosamine deficiencies to develop. Any of these symptoms or reasons may be reasons to start your dog on joint supplements to help increase energy levels, mobility, and provide pain relief.
Supplements for a dog’s joint health vary from formula to formula. This variation is not only an indicator of potency and effectiveness but also an indicator of the best dosage for your dog. Choosing the best glucosamine joint supplements for your dog includes considering the following for dosage indicators.
Your dog's weight
Weight will be one of the most significant determining factors in choosing the best supplement for your pup. While a bottle of supplements may be suitable for a dog of any age, many supplements will require larger doses for bigger dogs.
As a general rule of thumb, dogs under 15 pounds will require one soft chew glucosamine tablet once a day or once every other day for pain management and prevention. This dose increases the heavier the dog, with some joint supplement formulas requiring between 4-6 soft chews per day for dogs over 60 lbs.
Your dog's age
Not all supplements are formulated for dogs that aren't considered adults. If you are looking for a supplement to work preventatively for your puppy, you'll need to choose a formula with smaller doses of glucosamine to not overwhelm the dog's growing body. Alternatively, older dogs may require a joint supplement with a higher dose to provide effective pain relief and boost energy levels.
Some dogs are prone to glucosamine deficiencies that cause hip dysplasia as young as four months. Typically, a condition in larger dogs, you'll need to find a supplement that is effective for pain management while still being safe for use in young dogs that are only a few months old.
Your dog’s level of pain
The level of pain your dog is experiencing will also dictate which glucosamine dosage is best for relieving their pain and enhancing mobility. Larger doses of glucosamine per soft chew are necessary for older dogs experiencing advanced forms of arthritis or mobility issues.
Additionally, you may consider upping the glucosamine dosage for your dog if they have had a severe injury or recently had surgery. This temporarily higher dosage will promote mobility and reduce pain while your dog is recovering.
Every dog responds differently to glucosamine joint supplements based on their age, weight, and level of pain. While some dogs may start to feel relief in just a few weeks of taking supplements, it's not uncommon for the full effects to take up to six weeks before seeing any significant changes in your dog's mobility or pain levels.
Furthermore, joint health supplements for dogs usually require a doubling of the dose for the first 4-6 weeks to jumpstart the body's glucosamine production. After this initial period, you can start giving your dog what is referred to as a “maintenance dose”, which is usually half of the dose given for the first 4-6 weeks.
It should be noted that the more severe the pain condition is, the longer it may take to see improvements in your dog's mobility and mood. Also, remember that a glucosamine supplement isn't a cure for arthritis, only a tool for managing and easing pain. If your dog shows no improvement within 3-4 weeks of taking glucosamine for dogs, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian to discuss other treatments for arthritis.
Thanks to the variety of formulas on the market today, getting glucosamine and chondroitin as well as other natural compounds beneficial for joint health into your dog's diet is pretty easy.
Soft chew treats or tablets are the most common form of glucosamine for dogs. These usually come in tasty flavors such as chicken, peanut butter, and liver to entice your dog to take their medicine. Given as treats or mixed into food, these easy-to-chew glucosamine joint supplements won't cause additional discomfort for your dog as they chew their way through them.
Drops or Liquids
Another popular form of glucosamine for dogs is drops or liquids added to the food bowl or dropped under the tongue. Sublingual liquids tend to have a faster and higher absorption rate than other forms of supplements, but you'll need to be careful with the dosage as it will be harder to monitor.
Glucosamine powder is ideal for dogs that have trouble chewing or aren't interested in treats. With a flavorless glucosamine powder, you can add it to your dog's food and provide them with the proper dosage without any hassle.
Powder dietary supplements tend to come with a higher price tag than other forms of glucosamine. However, if your dog is picky about what they eat, this is the best way to ensure they get their daily dose of glucosamine.
Premium dog food manufacturers make glucosamine-rich dog foods with a higher concentration of glucosamine in their formula but require your dog to eat more food to get the proper dosage. This is an excellent option for dog owners looking to provide their pup with preventative joint and mobility care through their regular diet.
For several years the effects of glucosamine on treating dog ailments have been well documented. In fact, many of today's leading formulas and brands are vet formulated and approved using safe compounds such as glucosamine hydrochloride, glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate and other natural anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Before suggesting surgery or other types of medication, veterinarians often prescribe glucosamine and chondroitin dietary supplements for dogs to ease joint pain and promote flexibility. For many dogs, glucosamine is often prescribed pre and post-surgery to limit the risks of damage to the joints during recovery.
As with any supplement, however, there may be side effects to watch out for, including but not limited to:
• Excessive gas
• Nose bleeds
These side-effects are usually mild if they even occur and dissipate after a few days of continued use. If your dog shows any signs of discomfort lasting longer than a few days, discontinue use immediately and consult a vet for additional treatment.
You may find that gastrointestinal discomfort caused by supplements is dramatically reduced by giving them to your dog after they have eaten or mixing the supplements in with their regular meals. Furthermore, not all glucosamine joint supplements are all-natural or free from common allergens such as wheat, dairy, shellfish, or soy. Be sure to check the label to ensure your dog isn't allergic to any of the ingredients in the formula.
Also note that the glucosamine formulated for humans is not suitable for dogs. This is because human glucosamine supplements contain higher concentrations of ingredients that simply don't work the same way in a dog's body.
If you have any questions or concerns about whether supplements with glucosamine are right for your dog, consult your veterinarian before giving them to your pup.
1. Can I use glucosamine supplements for dogs on my cats too?
It depends on the formula. Many manufacturers of glucosamine for dogs intend for the product only to be used on canines. However, some companies, such as NaturVet, make supplements suitable for cats up to 10 pounds in addition to dogs. Consult your veterinarian to see if the glucosamine product you give your dog is also safe for your cat.
2. Are there other ingredients I should look for in glucosamine
For maximum effectiveness and increased mobility, you may consider choosing supplements that in addition to glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate (another natural building block of cartilage) also contain CoQ10, MSM, and chondroitin sulfate. These additional ingredients work to promote joint lubrication and strengthen and support your dog's cartilage and bones.
3. How long should I give my dog glucosamine?
If your dog is currently suffering from joint pain, stiffness, or mobility issues, consult with your vet regarding the appropriate dosage and length of time to continue using a glucosamine supplement. Generally, once it's recommended for a dog to take glucosamine, it is from three months up to the rest of its life.
4. What is the best way to give my dog glucosamine supplements?
Glucosamine for dogs can be given as a tasty treat after a meal or mixed into regular meals. However, be sure to stay regular with supplement dosing so that you see the best results.
5. Is it safe for humans to take dog glucosamine supplements?
Supplements designed for dogs don't use the same quantities or types of ingredients as those intended for humans. It is best to take supplements for your species and not for another.
Glucosamine supplements for dogs can help ease joint pain and increase mobility in dogs of any age and size. For optimal results, be sure to do your own research on ingredients and consult with your veterinarian before beginning supplementation. With a regular regimen of glucosamine, your dog can be back to its active, pain-free self in no time!