Very much like people, dogs also suffer from arthritis. It is caused by the cartilage, the natural cushioning between bones in the joints, wear thin, allowing the bones to rub against each other.
This becomes especially pronounced with age when their bodies tend to be experiencing the highest levels of cumulative wear and tear, joint trauma, effects of diseases and a reduced capacity to rejuvenate.
So, what does glucosamine has to do with arthritis? Read on for a better understanding of its importance with regards to treating and managing arthritis in your dog. Importantly, you will learn about the best sources of this crucial nutrients.
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What is Glucosamine?
Also known as chitosamine, glucosamine is an amino sugar naturally occurring in dogs with the highest concentration of the substance found in healthy cartilages.
Glucosamine in dogs aids the production of glycosaminoglycan which in turn helps to form and repair the cartilages by combining collagen. Cartilages are spongy, moist tissues that cushion the joint during movement.
How Glucosamine Benefits Your Dog
- Joint Health Enhancement: Glucosamine is vital for cartilage health. As cartilages cushion joints and retain moisture for lubrication, glucosamine significantly improves and sustains the health of your dog’s joints. Including glucosamine in your dog’s diet can alleviate symptoms of joint damage and enhance their overall mobility.
- Anti-Inflammation Properties: Research shows glucosamine has anti-inflammatory attributes. It not only restores cartilages but also alleviates joint pain.
- Joint Lubrication: Glucosamine is not just for older dogs. It plays a crucial role in maintaining joint lubrication throughout a dog’s life. Consistent glucosamine intake is vital for all age groups.
- Gut Health: A type of glucosamine, N-Acetyl-Glucosamine (NAG), is essential for creating and repairing connective tissues in the gut. It’s also pivotal for the mucous membrane that forms the primary barrier in your dog’s gastrointestinal system.
Natural vs. Synthetic Glucosamine
Advantages of Natural Glucosamine: Natural sources are preferred due to their high levels of bioavailability. Unlike some synthetic alternatives, natural glucosamine gets absorbed more efficiently by your dog’s system.
Concerns with Synthetic Glucosamine: While vets often prescribe synthetic glucosamine in flavored forms, their long-term effectiveness may diminish. Prolonged use can lead to side effects, such as insomnia, fatigue, allergies, excessive thirst, and complications for diabetic dogs. Prioritize natural glucosamine supplements for optimum health benefits.
What Makes Natural Sources Of Glucosamine The Best Sources
They have high levels of bioavailability. Biodiversity is the number of nutrients that can be absorbed into the body for circulation. Unlike the synthetic alternative that many veterinaries prescribe, natural sources of the nutrient will be absorbed by your dog’s system.
Importantly, your dog’s body will readily put the nutrients to good use as the body already has an intricate understanding of what to do with the nutrients. After all, glucosamine is natural food for the dog’s system.
Best Natural Sources for Glucosamine
To support your dog’s joint health, integrating natural glucosamine sources into their diet can be highly beneficial. Here’s a deeper look at these sources and how they contribute to your pet’s well-being:
- Bone Broth: This is not just a culinary delicacy but a health booster for dogs. When you simmer gelatinous bones for 24 hours, it releases glucosamine into the broth. This process extracts the amino sugars and other joint-supporting nutrients directly from the bones. To make it even more beneficial for joint health, you can supercharge the broth with anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric, ginger, and antioxidant-rich blueberries.
- Trachea: The trachea, especially from cattle, is packed with glucosamine because it’s essentially cartilage. Offering trachea as a chewy treat not only entertains your dog but provides a significant dose of glucosamine which can be easily absorbed due to its natural source.
- Pig Tails or Oxtails: These are rich in cartilage, making them another great natural source of glucosamine. When cooked, they not only offer the nutrient but also provide a flavorful treat for your canine.
- Poultry Feet: Chicken or turkey feet are often overlooked, but they are abundant in glucosamine. Given either as a dried treat or cooked into a broth, they can be a crunchy treat loaded with joint-enhancing benefits.
- Shellfish Shells: Specifically, the hard shells of certain shellfish, like shrimp, contain high amounts of glucosamine. While dogs don’t typically eat these shells directly, they can be boiled down into a broth, or you can find supplements made from shellfish-derived glucosamine.
- Beef Knuckle Bones: Another rich source, these bones not only provide glucosamine but also promote oral health when given as a raw treat. They contain both bone and cartilage, making them dual sources of essential minerals and glucosamine.
By incorporating these foods into your dog’s diet via dog food or individual ingredients, you can naturally boost their glucosamine levels, promoting better joint health and overall mobility.
NOTE: Always consult your vet before significantly changing your pet’s diet.