Top 7 Best Glucosamine for Dogs

Latest Update November 26, 2016

  • Dasuquin
    with MSM
  • Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM comes in an easy to take chewable tablet that can help with your pet’s joint issues. It contains Chondroitin Sulfate, ASU (derived from avocados and soybeans) and MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), which helps to reduce stiffness in your pet’s joints.

  • TerraMax Pro
    Hip & Joint
  • The TerraMax Pro Hip and Joint Supplement can help improve the overall health of your pet as well as take care of your dog’s joint pain and stiffness. Since it’s a liquid glucosamine it’s pretty easy to give to your dog, just add the recommended dosage to your dog’s food or water.

  • Pet Naturals
    Hip and Joint
  • Pet Naturals Hip and Joint Tablets are from the great state of Vermont in the US. Inside the bottle you can see 120 tablets and you can get either single bottles or a pack of 3 bottles. Like the others on the list it contains Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM. The tablets are chicken liver flavored so it will be easy for your dog to take.

  • Liquid Health
    Glucosamine
  • Liquid Health K9 Glucosamine is another choice for a liquid glucosamine that is pretty popular and widely available. Just like the TerraMax Pro liquid glucosamine, it can be put on your dog’s food or in the drinking water. If you have a very picky eater or a dog that doesn’t like to take tablets then liquid glucosamine can be a great choice.

  • Glyco Flex III
    Soft Chews
  • The Glyco-Flex III chews are the only treat-type chews on the list which might work better for your dog if they don’t take tablets. This makes it look like just another treat but don’t worry it still is packed with glucosamine for dogs, MSM, manganese, and DMG (which is known for its immune support properties).

  • Cosequin DS
    plus MSM
  • Cosequin DS plus MSM is made by Nutramax which also makes Dasuquin. Cosequin DS is the #1 Veterinary recommended joint health supplement that is shown to protect joint cartilage and help keep dogs mobile. Cosequin comes in a liver flavored chewable tablet and the recommended administration period is 4 to 6 weeks.

  • Extend Joint Care
  • Extend Joint Care is made by Extend Pet Health, a company that focuses on dog supplements.The Extend K9 health formula is designed to help reverse the joint damage in dogs. It includes Glucosamine, MSM, Type II Chicken Collagen, and Ascorbic Acid. It is a beef flavored powder packet.

Best Glucosamine for Dogs: Can Joint Supplements Really Help My Dog Be Active Again?

You are probably already aware that your dog’s nutritional needs can change over time, just as they do for us. As dogs age, they may also need supplements to help aid issues with bone loss, inflammation of the muscles, and most commonly, arthritis.

In fact, as veterinary medicine advances and dogs are able to live longer, arthritis has become one of the most common problems that vets see every day.

One solution to this problem that is practical and affordable to aid in the symptoms of arthritis is to supplement glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate into your dog’s diet; supplements can be extremely helpful, regardless of the stage of arthritis your dog is experiencing, since it can very easily be added to meals.

Although these joint supplements can help prevent and give relief from the inflammation with arthritis, it is important to realize they are not absolute cures.

In this buyer’s guide, we will discuss what dog arthritis is, how they can experience it, what glucosamine and chondroitin can do to help relieve those symptoms and share our top picks for the best glucosamine for dogs.

Arthritis Symptoms to Watch For in Dogs

It would be so much easier to find out when your dog isn’t feeling well if they could just talk and tell us. Since they can’t we have to watch out for some symptoms that they will try and hide since it is their natural defensive response in the wild.

Here are some of the symptoms that you can watch out for if you suspect something may be wrong with your dog; don’t view this list as a vet replacement, but can serve as warning signs that a vet visit will be needed to rule out arthritis as a factor.

Walking Difficulty – Watch how your dog walks, if you notice stiffness, trying to stay off specific limbs, or any other signs of discomfort during their favorite activities; they might be experiencing arthritis issues. This can include visits to the parks, usual play or athletic activities with a pet, or just every day activities like going up and down stairs. As with people, arthritis means pain and inflammation.

Pain at rest – Another sign of arthritis is when a dog experiences pain when at rest. If you notice that your dog is restless while lying down on a bed or on the floor, or if they have trouble finding a comfortable spot for sleep, they may be experiencing painful swelling and inflammation due to arthritis. They may also experience pain when touched in certain areas, which is why you should always keep an eye on the interactions that you personally have with your pet. This will usually show up near the pet’s hips and hind legs, but can display for the front legs as well.

Hesitation, reduction in activity levels – Even if they can’t say it, a dog knows what hurts and what doesn’t, and they usually figure out how to avoid painful actions.  If you have noticed your pet becoming more hesitant or lethargic to do normal daily activities then they could be trying to avoid arthritic pain.  This can include hesitation when around stairs, rolling, or even jogging while on a dog walk.  You can’t expect every pet’s behavior and personality to be the same but it can be easier for pet owners to know when their pet is having health issues by paying attention to their behavior.

It’s important to remember; there are other conditions which can cause these symptoms as well, ranging from kidney issues to painful skin diseases. Consulting your vet will be the best way to determine whether or not arthritis is the primary factor in a pet’s discomfort or reduced activity levels. The older that a dog becomes, the more likely it will be that arthritis is the culprit.

What Supplements Do I Give my Dog with Arthritis?

Primarily, love and attention. Keeping a close eye on a pet that you suspect may be suffering, or that you know has a painful condition, can be key in both recognizing when other problems arise, and giving it the proper mental support to keep your pet from making injuries worse.  Just like us, pets need a positive environment to recover, and that will prevent further harm. Rest, reduced stress in their environment, and a properly balanced diet can all go a long way toward reducing their discomfort.

Another important thing to give them is supplements in their diet. Nutritional supplements like Omega-3 fatty acids can support joint health, reduce inflammation, and encourage an overall healthier system in your pet. Special dietary formulas for older dogs tend to have this and other vitamins and minerals that aging pets need to both reduce the issues that arise with aging, and to prevent issues with kidney and liver disease, and to prevent unneeded weight gain.  Remember; a loss in activity level will also mean your dog will burn less calories too.

Listen to your vet, they might have some other alternatives for dogs that are experiencing arthritis.  While certain types of pain relief medicine may be recommended, it’s never a good idea to give any pharmaceutical products to a dog without first consulting a vet.  Even with low dosage over-the-counter pain products you still never know how your pet will be effected.

What is Glucosamine Chondroitin and How Does It Help My Dog?

Glucosamine, together with Chondroitin, is an effective supplement for arthritic dogs, very similar to the supplement that we take for joint pain as well.  Glucosamine, a naturally occurring substance in the body, helps with the body’s repair and production of cartilage.  Production of glucosamine in the body is reduced over time (as both dogs and humans age), that is why we can experience wear and tear on the joints that can eventually lead to arthritis.

Common Areas of Joint Pain in DogsAnimal health experts, along with vets, have recently found that dog glucosamine shows similar benefits as they do for us, which are:

  • Cartilage rebuilding
  • Joint function restoration
  • Activity level increase that improves cardiovascular health too
  • Joint pain reduction
  • Lower likelihood your dog will need expensive pain medicine

All of these points are important, but take a closer look at the last one; as dogs get older, they might need pain medication to treat joint pain and other symptoms.

These medications can easily become far more expensive than supplements, but can also cause possible unintended interactions with other types of medication and other supplements as time goes on.

Supplements can both be extremely practical and economical when considering it as a long term investment to better your dog’s life overall.

What Is the Proper Glucosamine Dosage for Dogs?

Remember this; not every dog will need the same dosage of glucosamine and not every supplement with be right for your dog’s health.  Speak to your vet and he/she will help you find the right type of glucosamine and whether or not your dog should have anything with sulfate, and any other factors that may come up.

A vet can also tell you how many fluid ounces of supplement a dog should have, but understand that each type of glucosamine supplement has different dosage levels as well.  As an example, HCL and 2KCL glucosamine might not have the same doses for a 30 lbs. dog.

Here’s another factor to consider, there are different periods in which dosage levels can change. As an example, some vets may recommend a double dosage for a set amount of weeks to determine whether or not improvements can be made with glucosamine, and then a reduced dosage level after that trial period. Because it’s possible to overdose on glucosamine, it’s recommended to get professional advice and assistance for safety purposes.

Glucosamine Side Effects to Watch For in Dogs

Glucosamine side effects are pretty rare, that’s the reason it’s commonly recommended for dogs with arthritis. Here are a few possible side effects to watch for:

Allergic reaction, which is typically caused by shellfish allergy. If you know that your dog has an allergy to shellfish, there are plant-derived glucosamine supplements available, although they are less common.

Gas, vomiting, diarrhea are a few gastrointestinal symptoms that may occur. These can be reduced by changing the dog food or reducing the glucosamine levels. It’s a good practice to give supplements in combination with food to help lessen these symptoms.

Blood sugar interaction may occur if your dog is currently taking medicine to regulate an existing condition. Glucosamine might not be recommended if your dog is taking a blood thinning medication or your vet might recommend a smaller dosage.

Our Top Picks for the 7 Best Glucosamine Supplements

Below, we’ll list the six best supplements on the market. You will find that there are options for supplements with tablets, supplements that come in fluid form, and soft chews. All are formulated to interact well with dogs of different ages and activity levels, and include information on mg per serving.

1. Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM

Dasuquin with MSM 150 count

Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM comes in an easy to take chewable tablet that can help with your pet’s joint issues. It contains Chondroitin Sulfate, ASU (derived from avocados and soybeans) and MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), which helps to reduce stiffness in your pet’s joints.

It also has been formulated from more than 10 years of clinical use and research. It’s recommended to start with 2 tablets per day for the first 4-6 week period, after that you can move down to 1 per day. So you can see that this can be used over a long period of time to help relieve symptoms of hip dysplasia or other joint problems.  Dasuquin comes in bottles for both dogs over 60 lbs. (which is pictured to the left), and also for dogs under 60 lbs which you can get here.

2. TerraMax Pro Hip & Joint Supplement

TerraMax Pro Hip & Joint

TerraMax Pro Hip and Joint Supplement is the first liquid glucosamine on the list. Why liquid? It is able to be absorbed into the body much faster and efficiently than tablets or chews.  This supplement can help improve the overall health of your pet as well as take care of your dog’s joint pain and stiffness.  Since it’s a liquid glucosamine it’s pretty easy to give to your dog, just add the recommended dosage to your dog’s food or water. This joint supplement for dogs contains glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and even Hyaluronic Acid. This helps to safely rebuild cartilage and joint tissue and this formula is all natural as well.

A bottle of this can last longer than other glucosamine for dogs out there. For instance, if you have a 45 lb. dog it can last over 2 months at the recommended dosage. TerraMax Pro also offers a 100% money back guarantee, so you can try it risk free.

3. Pet Naturals Hip & Joint Tablets

Pet Naturals Hip + Joint

Pet Naturals Hip and Joint Tablets are from the great state of Vermont in the US. Inside the bottle you can see 120 tablets and you can get either single bottles or a pack of 3 bottles.  Like the others on the list it contains Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM. The tablets are chicken liver flavored so it will be easy for your dog to take. It can take about two weeks before you can see results, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see a improvement right away.

Each joint tablet has 750 mg of Glucosamine and 400mg of Chondroitin. You can find the dosage amounts on the bottle determined by your dog’s weight.  The tablets can easily be either broken in half, or cut in half if needed and they are about an inch long.

4. Liquid Health K9 Glucosamine

Liquid Health K9 Glucosamine

Liquid Health K9 Glucosamine is another choice for a liquid glucosamine that is pretty popular and widely available. Just like the TerraMax Pro liquid glucosamine, it can be put on your dog’s food or in the drinking water.  If you have a very picky eater or a dog that doesn’t like to take tablets then liquid glucosamine can be a great choice.

The Liquid Health K9 Glucosamine also has glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM just like the other supplements listed here.  This product can change colors during different times of the year when it’s made. This is normal and doesn’t have any effect on the effectiveness.

5. Glyco-Flex III Soft Chews

Glyco Flex 3

The Glyco-Flex III chews are the only treat-type chews on the list which might work better for your dog if they don’t take tablets. This makes it look like just another treat but don’t worry it still is packed with glucosamine for dogs, MSM, manganese, and DMG. DMG in this chew is Vetri-Science’s patented DMG which is known for its immune support properties. These are made and distributed in Ft. Worth, Texas.

It’s important to still follow the dosage instructions based on your dog’s weight on the package even when these look like treats.  Some of the customers of this supplement only recommend these for dogs with a mild to moderate joint or arthritis issue and it’s better to go with something else if the problem is more severe.  These specific chews are available in chicken liver flavor.

6. Nutramax Cosequin DS plus MSM

Cosequin DS plus MSM bottle

Cosequin DS plus MSM is made by Nutramax which also makes Dasuquin. Cosequin DS is the #1 Veterinary recommended joint health supplement that is shown to protect joint cartilage and help keep dogs mobile. Cosequin comes in a liver flavored chewable tablet.

The recommended administration period of Cosequin DS is four to six weeks, after which you can reduce the amount to the maintenance level.  Cosequin does cost a bit more than other supplements but can be worth it for the potency of these.

7. Extend K9 Health Formula Joint Care for Dogs

Extend Joint Care

Extend Joint Care is made by Extend Pet Health, a company that focuses on dog supplements. They offer Extend, not only on Amazon but on their own website as well. It is highly recommended to buy this from Amazon and avoid the free trial offer on their website. They will send you the free trial, but if you don’t send it back within 14 days you will be charged for it as well as being put on an autoship. You can avoid the autoship by buying from Amazon to try it out and get a money back guarantee if you don’t like it. That was the biggest negative towards the product.

The Extend K9 health formula is designed to help reverse the joint damage in dogs. It includes Glucosamine, MSM, Type II Chicken Collagen, and Ascorbic Acid. It is a beef flavored powder packet. The reviews are pretty good with just a few talking bad about their website’s free trial. Plenty of the reviews claim that it really helped their dog when other stuff didn’t.

Our Top Pick for the Best Glucosamine for Dogs

Out of the top 7 listed options, our top pick is Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM. Fortified with ingredients like green tea, avocado components, and other naturally derived supplemental additives, this formula offers soft, chewable tablets that can help to support a healthier joint system overall.  The link above takes you to the bottle for dogs over 60 lbs., but don’t forget they make it for smaller dogs under 60 lbs too.

Every supplement bottle comes with 150 doses, making it a $15-$30 or less investment per month into the health of your pet. For cost and effectiveness, Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM is a great call.

Glucosamine is great, but don’t miss out on all the other popular dog supplements. Be sure to see our probiotics buyer’s guideour fish oil guide, and our coconut oil guide.