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Which glucosamine for dogs is best?

There are many signs and symptoms of aging in elderly dogs, including symptoms caused by arthritis: obvious pain, slowness, stiff joints and the lack of ability to hop up onto the couch. Supplements like glucosamine for dogs are an excellent option for keeping your dogs pain-free and as active as possible. The VetPro Complete Maximum Strength Glucosamine Soft Chews for Dogs is a first-rate glucosamine supplement for dogs.

What to know before you buy glucosamine for dogs

Learn about what glucosamine is

Glucosamine is an amino sugar, which is a natural substance found in your dog’s body. The largest concentration of glucosamine is found in healthy cartilage, which is the spongy and tough material that forms a cushion between the bones and the joints. Cartilage has to be replaced and repaired constantly because of wear and tear.

The aging process can slow down glucosamine production, which leaves cartilage damaged. This damage leads to inflammation, which creates enzymes that lead to more damage.

Understand what glucosamine does

Glucosamine supplements for dogs boost the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans, also known as GAGs, which are the building blocks that make up joint fluid and cartilage. This synthesis stimulates DNA activity, which then protects against the degradation of your dog’s joints.

Glucosamine is an anti-inflammatory supplement, which helps reduce inflammation in your dog’s sore joints, which then reduces pain and prevents additional damage to their joints. The supplement can also help decrease the need for your dog to take pain medication. 

Think about the safety of glucosamine

Glucosamine supplements can help a big percentage of dogs suffering from joint issues. Glucosamine is nontoxic, natural and available over the counter without a prescription from a veterinarian. It also leads to very few side effects.

On the flip side, there are a few dogs that are allergic to glucosamine, and some dogs have diarrhea when they take glucosamine. If it’s taken in large doses, glucosamine supplements can lead to excessive urination and thirst. And since it’s made from sugar, some vets worry about the use of glucosamine in diabetic pets. You should speak to your vet before giving glucosamine to your dog.

What to look for in quality glucosamine for dogs


There are a couple of kinds of glucosamine, including glucosamine hydrochloride (HC1) and glucosamine sulfate. There are also a few ingredients added to glucosamine supplements, including hemp, omega-3s, turmeric, methylsulfonylmethane and chondroitin sulfate.


Glucosamine is available in both powder and liquid form, and as flavored chews.


Glucosamine comes from the shells of shrimp, oysters and crabs, as well as from beef or shark cartilage.

How much you can expect to spend on glucosamine for dogs

Glucosamine for dogs usually costs about 30 cents per pill, while liquid glucosamine goes for about $1.25 per ounce and vitamins and flavored chews might cost a little more.

Glucosamine for dogs FAQ

How long will your dog have to stay on glucosamine supplements?

A. Arthritis is a chronic condition, so your dog will likely have to be treated with glucosamine and other joint supplements for the remainder of their life. Their symptoms will probably come back if you see an improvement then stop the treatment.

How do you know if glucosamine is working properly?

A. Your dog will let you know if the glucosamine is working properly. They will likely be more happy overall, since they’ll be in less pain. They will also be more playful and willing to chase balls, go on walks and climb stairs again.

It’s important to ensure that your dog doesn’t do too much at once, particularly if they’ve been sedentary for a long time. You don’t want them to end up with sore muscles or get injured.

Has the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved glucosamine?

A. Glucosamine is a product known as a nutraceutical, which is a dietary supplement with its own medicinal properties. This type of product doesn’t have to undergo the same strict approval processes and FDA reviews that other kinds of medications go through. Veterinarians in the United States and Europe have used glucosamine as a supplement since the 1990s.

What’s the best glucosamine for dogs to buy?

Top glucosamine for dogs

VetPro Complete Maximum Strength Glucosamine Soft Chews for Dogs

VetPro Complete Maximum Strength Glucosamine Soft Chews for Dogs

What you need to know: This glucosamine supplement from VetPro is created by veterinarians with multiple decades of experience in treating dogs.

What you’ll love: This VetPro glucosamine supplement prevents joint issues and inflammation even before they develop. Dog owners say that their dogs eat these glucosamine chews like a treat because of the chicken flavor.

What you should consider: Larger dogs might need two or three doses of this glucosamine supplement per day.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top glucosamine for dogs for the money

Pawstruck Natural Hip and Joint Supplement

Pawstruck Natural Hip and Joint Supplement

What you need to know: The glucosamine supplement from Pawstruck only uses natural ingredients, including turmeric and chondroitin, to assist with inflammation.

What you’ll love: This Pawstruck glucosamine formula works very well for elderly dogs that suffer from joint issues and pain. Dog owners tend to like the supplement’s natural ingredients with no wheat, soy or corn.

What you should consider: Some dog owners say that the size of each glucosamine chew differs, which can cause problems with the dosage.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Pure Paw Nutrition Premium Liquid Glucosamine

Pure Paw Nutrition Premium Liquid Glucosamine

What you need to know: This liquid glucosamine formula from Pure Paw Nutrition works better for many dogs than chewables or tablets.

What you’ll love: This Pure Paw Nutrition glucosamine supplement offers noticeable pain relief within about three days, especially when adding the supplement to your dog’s food. Even picky eaters enjoy the taste of this liquid formula.

What you should consider: The price of this glucosamine supplement is slightly higher than other chews.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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