The 7 Best Glucosamine For Dogs’ Joint Pain: Dosage Information

dog sore lying down glucosamine pain arthritis
(Last Updated On: April 20, 2020)

Dogs age like humans do, eventually slowing down naturally due to old age. Suddenly, you might notice that your pooch is unable to run like they used to. Or it has trouble climbing the stairs.

While this is normal, it’s not easy to see your dog get older. Your dog’s unwillingness to perform certain tasks may not solely be due to age. Joint pain may hinder your dog’s desire to move around, which can lead to even more stiffness in the long run.

This is why glucosamine is so important.

Glucosamine is a natural substance your dog normally produces in their cartilage to repair tissue. As your dog gets older, they produce less and less. With the greater joint damage and less glucosamine that comes with age, your dog may experience painful arthritis. Many people are turning to supplements to offset this process with the rebuilding of normal cartilage.

Best dog vitamins

Top 10 Best Glucosamine for Dogs

ActivPhy Patented Joint Support Regular Soft Chews

ActivPhy is a patented joint support supplement that can only be obtained from the veterinarians in the past. There is glucosamine, MSM, creatine, turmeric, omega 3 and blue-green algae extract in the supplement.
Blue-green algae are clinically proven to be effective in treating the discomfort in daily activities. It also has antioxidants.
A past study shows that 80% of the dogs in the sample showed better mobility and improvement in playfulness in 30 days.
ActivPhy is also known as an affordable remedy for your dogs because they only need one soft chew a day to get all the benefits as mentioned above. The chews are in beef liver flavor that your furry friends will love. This product is made in the USA, and no harmful ingredient is used.

Finest For Pets Advanced Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs

This brand contains nine natural ingredients that are effective for joint repairing. It includes glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, MSM, yucca schidigera, omega 3 (EPA and DHA), organic turmeric and vitamin D.
These ingredients are helpful in reducing swelling and rebuilding cartilage. Hence, reducing the pain of hip dysplasia and arthritis.
When comparing to painkillers, painkillers tend to cause more damage to the joint; while this product effectively reverses the problem.
Dogs of all ages will enjoy these quality chicken-flavored chews. The chews offer a risk-free guarantee, and it promised remarkable results in 30 days. Breeds with a higher risk of inheriting joint problems are recommended to use this supplement. This U.S made product is recommended by veterinarians, and is tested by a third-party for safety.

Genuine Naturals Glucosamine Chondroitin Organic Turmeric Soft Chews

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In one bite, your dogs can take in a blend of organic turmeric, glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and yucca. These soft chews are effective in reducing hip and joint pain, arthritis, hip dysplasia. Besides, it can increase your dogs’ flexibility and mobility.

This tasty, cube-sized supplement is safe for your dog because it is made with natural ingredients only. All raw materials for this product are sourced from the USA, and it is manufactured in a USDA facility. Also, a bottle of this supplement is good for dogs of all sizes. It is a one month supply for a large breed, and it can last for four months for a small breed.

iDash Pets Glucosamine for Dogs

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These are soft chews supplement for your dog’s hip and joint health. The formula of this supplement includes glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, hyaluronic acid, organic turmeric, vitamin C and vitamin A. It works well to relieve your dog’s pain and discomfort by cushioning and lubricating joints. It improves mobility and flexibility of your dog, and it is also able to repair its cartilages.

The organic turmeric in the supplement is a natural pain reliever that can reduce the risk of blood clots. There are also other benefits brought by this key ingredient. They include relieving allergies, detoxifying livers and improving digestive health. Your dog will enjoy these healthy delicious chews in natural duck flavor.

NaturVet Glucosamine DS Plus Level 2 Moderate Joint Cares

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This product is a veterinarian formulated supplement that provides joint support for older dogs. Particularly for large breeds and overweight dogs. These tasty soft chews contain glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin for supporting joints and relieving discomfort from daily activities.

Also, the chews are a source of antioxidants for the joints and connective tissues. This supplement is made in the USA and manufactured in an FDA registered and cGMP compliant plant, produced under the highest industry standards. This supplement is manufactured by a well-trusted brand that is a NASC audited member.

Nootie Glucosamine Chondroitin for Dogs

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This U.S. product is an excellent supplement for protecting your dogs’ joints and preventing their joints from future damage. It contains 200mg of glucosamine, 200mg of MSM, 25mg of chondroitin, 10mg of hyaluronic acid and 50mg of organic turmeric per tablet. Each tablet is a soft, natural-flavored chew that your dog will love.

The chews are all tasty and made from shellfish source. Dogs of all sizes and breeds can take this specially designed supplement. It has a good reputation for helping dogs with hip dysplasia, arthritis, and damaged joints. Most importantly, they offer a lifetime warranty for free. You can rest assured that these chews are high-quality and effective!

Nutramax Cosequin DS Plus with MSM Chewable Tablets

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This Cosequin DS Plus MSM is a product of Nutramax, the number one veterinarian-recommended brand. It is also a brand that is well-trusted by pet-lovers for over ten years, helping many pets who have difficulty in daily activities. This high-quality product contains glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and MSM, which is a wonderful formula that supports the mobility and joints of your dog.

The nutrition provided by this product promotes the cartilage production and strengthens the existing cartilage. This popular product is safe and effective for dogs of all breeds, ages, sizes and activity levels. These chewable tablets are tasty, making it easy to administer. You can crush and mix this product with your dog’s favorite food.

PettoVita Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM and Omega 3 for Dogs

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PettoVita is a high-quality supplement formulated with lots of vitamins and minerals. These include glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, omega 3, manganese sulfate and vitamin E. S

uch precise formulation is helpful in lubricating joints, reducing inflammation and hydrating connecting tissues. It helps support the overall joint health of your dogs.

Although the chews are relatively larger, they are easy to break into smaller pieces for smaller dogs. There is a 100% satisfaction guarantee, which offers a full refund if your dogs are not satisfied. This supplement is manufactured in the USA in a facility of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

Planopaws ActivFlex


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ActivFlex is a safe, natural supplement. The 8 ingredients in the product promote mobility and flexibility. They also reduce pain for dogs that are affected by arthritis and hip dysplasia.

Dogs are found to be less reliance on prescribed painkillers when using Activflex. No heat was used during the manufacturing process, so all natural integrity in the ingredients remain unchanged. If your dogs have any allergy, ActivFlex is a safe choice.  It is not only grain free, there is no corn, wheat, and soy. For all animal lovers, it will be essential to know that with every purchase of this product, the company will donate 1lb of dog food to a shelter!

Zesty Paws Multivitamin for Do

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Zesty Paws Multivitamin are chewable tablets that contain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that support the health of your dogs. Regarding hip and joint support, there is mobility boosting ingredient called OptiMSM® in the chew. This is a distilled form of MSM, to work with glucosamine HCL and chondroitin sulfate for a better effect.

As a daily supplement with a 5-in-1 formula, this multivitamin chew is also good for skin and coat care, digestive health. Also great for heart and immune health. The product comes in different flavors for dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes, including pumpkin, chicken, and peanut butter.

Why Glucosamine Is Important

labrador in pain lie down

Glucosamine is a substance naturally occurring within a dog’s body, allowing your pet to produce glycosaminoglycan. This is a vital compound used to form and repair body tissues.

With the highest concentrations occurring in healthy cartilage, it makes sense that as a dog ages the amount of glucosamine also declines. What little remains is then used faster than it can be made. This can lead to a host of illnesses and pain, most notably arthritis.

However, glucosamine is also stored in a dog’s eyes, claws, tendons, skin, bones, ligaments, and heart valves. So it’s an important amino sugar needed for multiple bodily systems to function properly.

Glucosamine has a few other benefits for dogs too. This includes an anti-inflammatory effect to reduce pain while restoring the joints naturally and providing increased joint lubrication.

Side effects are very rare too. So when you give it to your dog, you can rest assured that they’ll be safe. They may even be so effective that you can reduce the usage of NSAIDS, which can only reduce joint pain rather than repair joints.

Look for Chondroitin and MSM in your glucosamine supplement too. They help to improve joint flexibility and reduce pain even further. Do be aware that it can take a few weeks for you to see an improvement in your dog’s joints.

Usually, you’ll give them a large dose at first before using a maintenance dose for longer periods of time. Perhaps even your dog’s entire life.

How It Works

Glucosamine is so popular that many companies are adding it to foods and treats to improve dogs’ joint health. But what is glucosamine, and how does it work?

Glucosamine is an amino sugar that occurs naturally in your dog’s body, usually in their joints. It often works with chondroitin. This is another naturally occurring molecule that works as a lubricant or shock absorber.

These supplements work with the cartilage in your dog’s body to restore the tissue that has worn down over time from constant movement. Glucosamine supplements keep your dog mobile by both creating new cartilage and repairing damaged cartilage. Chondroitin is believed to work synergistically with glucosamine.

Essentially, chondroitin helps to keep cartilage healthy by absorbing extra fluid inside the joints. Usually, this will be water. It will be absorbed into the connective tissue, providing the building blocks for the body to produce new cartilage. At the same time, glucosamine can block enzymes that break down cartilage.

Often, you’ll see glucosamine work as the energy level of your dog increases. But you might also see a couple side effects from the supplement too.

upset sad canine

Largely, these are gastrointestinal. Meaning you may see vomiting or abnormal feces production. If you reduce the dose or give it with food, you may see those side effects disappear entirely.

Since your glucosamine supplement is being used to repair your dog’s joints, be aware that it’s likely you will have to continue it for the rest of their life. Otherwise, cartilage and joint degeneration can reoccur.

Before you give your dog glucosamine, be sure that they are not allergic to shellfish. Many glucosamine supplements are made using shellfish. But you may be able to find glucosamine products that work without shellfish even if they are rarer.

When Does My Dog Need To Take It

Your dog doesn’t need to be older to begin taking glucosamine. Especially if they’re experiencing joint pain earlier in their life. They can start taking it at any time. But do remember to consult your vet so that you can give your dog the best dosage to fit their needs.

If you do give glucosamine to your pet early, you may see positive effects on their joints later in life. Glucosamine can prevent arthritis and other joint problems later in life, carrying very low risks even if your dog takes it for longer periods of time.

Most people give their dogs glucosamine when they begin to see signs of arthritis. Even if they’re already dealing with the full extent of the disease, glucosamine supplements are still valuable for your dog’s health. Just talk with your vet when you begin to see signs of joint problems and arthritis to begin glucosamine treatment as soon as possible.

black canine in pain arthritis

Symptoms To Look Out For

Look for symptoms of arthritis to signal when you might want to start your dog. Dogs tend to hide their weakness just like humans, but there are a few clues that can help you.

First off, look for signs of discomfort in your dog. This might be as simple as a decrease in activity and a sense of lethargy. Maybe your dog is more hesitant to go on walks or doesn’t like to run up and down the stairs anymore.

If you try to touch their legs and hip joints, they might appear to be a little tender. Your dog may shrink away from you. You may also notice a restlessness when your dog is lying down and sleeping. This is an indication of the pain from swelling and inflammation.

Talk to your vet when you notice these signs. Check in with your vet to see if this might be something worth adding to your dog’s diet, and how best to administer it.

Do a little research first though before visiting your vet. With so many glucosamine supplements out there, there are a number you can choose from. 


There are several benefits from glucosamine supplementation in the canine population. This is a big reason it is often added to food, treats, dental chews, and toys that you can buy.


Dogs will inevitably face some form of limited mobility as they progress into their golden years. It’s a fact of life. Recent studies prove that glucosamine supplements can help rebuild fragile worn-out cartilage. This will enhance your dog’s joint health and enable carefree playing.

Glucosamine is known to increase joint lubrication. This leads to increased mobility and the resurgence of puppy-like energy and vitality.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Increased pain is a huge component of getting older. Most of the time, the first treatment vets/doctors will try for pain is NSAIDS.

While these drugs help alleviate pain and subdue inflammation, they often have unsavory side effects. These include upset stomach, ulcers, bleeding problems, and kidney damage (with long-term use.) Plus, NSAIDS doesn’t treat the underlying condition, just the symptoms.

Glucosamine supplements help repair cartilage damage, while NSAIDS just mask the pain. Without finding a solution to your dog’s condition, the pain will just keep coming back.

Wound Healing

When your dog is injured, his body relies on special cells called fibroblasts to produce hyaluronic acid to facilitate healing. Once again, your dog needs glucosamine to form this compound. Low levels can slow down or delay wound repair. Adding a supplement can help ensure your pet has a short recovery.

How to Administer Glucosamine Supplements

Glucosamine supplements come in a wide variety of forms. These include chewable “treats”, liquid, or crumbling tablets.

Since dogs can be picky, most brands add flavorings to mask the medication taste. Or they create formulations that can be easily added to your dog’s regular food. Each dog is different, only you will know which type will work best for your situation.

In addition to the glucosamine, some companies have manufactured formulas containing extra vitamins and minerals designed to work with it. These include Omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and help maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat. They also include sulfur compounds that aid in cartilage rejuvenation and maintaining hair skin, and nails, MSM that minimizes stiffness and discomfort and manganese that strengthens bones.

Unless your dog has another health condition, you can’t go wrong with any of these formulas. (You should always consult a vet prior to starting, stopping, or adjusting any supplementation regime.)

How long does it take to see a difference?

Often, your dog will start on a “loading dose” (a higher than normal amount given at the onset. This is designed to quickly build up levels of the medicine in your system. This can last for a period of several weeks, depending on your dog’s individual health and condition.
After an acceptable level is achieved, your dog will likely be dropped to a maintenance dose. This is a lower dosage for the long-term. Often you will not see much improvement until a few weeks have passed. Most dogs on a glucosamine supplement will need to take it for the rest of their life. In instances where it has been stopped, the pain might resurface within a few weeks of stopping the dose.

Possible Side Effects

Pet owners have used Glucosamine for years and they consider it very safe. It has very few reported side effects. But they can happen. Here are a few of the most common:


Usually mild in nature, these supplements can induce vomiting and/or diarrhea and constipation. These issues associate with the amount of medication given. This is remedied by lowering dosage or switching to a specialized dog food with high amounts of glucosamine already blended in.
Note that the initial dosage is higher than normal, so many symptoms will level out when your pet moves to a maintenance dose.


Though side effects to glucosamine are rare, there are more reactions in dogs with a shellfish allergy. This is because many supplement brands source their glucosamine from shellfish.
If there is an allergy, you can try specialized formulations derived from corn or other sources. But these brands are less accessible and not as rigorously tested.

If your dog begins chewing at his/her feet or showing any other signs of an allergic reaction, it is extremely important to see a vet immediately.


Before giving supplements, make sure to double check all ingredients, as there are some that will interact and cause problems.

When taking chondroitin, you will need to be very careful of glucosamine. Taking the two together can lead to a blood-thinning effect or increased blood sugar levels.
Take note when giving glucosamine to diabetic dogs. Most formulations have sugar as their base. Only you and your vet can decide if supplementation is right for you.

Other side effects can include fatigue, insomnia, excessive thirst and urination. It is important to stop painkillers when starting glucosamine. These can potentially interact and cause adverse effects.

Again, it is imperative to note that side effects from glucosamine are rare. The benefits of starting supplementation far outweigh the negatives. But with any ingested substance, issues can occur. So always remember to monitor your dog when starting this or any other medication. If taken correctly, glucosamine has the potential to add many happy years to your dog’s life.


If you’ve taken the time to make it this far, you know the benefits and concerns associated with glucosamine supplementation. Hopefully this article has answered your questions. Or led you to research if glucosamine would solve a need for your dog. Whatever you decide, remember to talk to your vet before stopping or starting any medication. After all, your dog deserves a happy and healthy life.

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