The Use of Glucosamines

Often people whose pets suffer from arthritis will start to inquire about Glucosamine added to their pet’s diet.

The best thing to use is a food called G/D.  It is ultra expensive but it works.  It has the equivalent of 27 glucosamine capsules in every meal.  But the price makes it almost a non-option. You can inquire at your nearest veterinary clinic if you have any interest.

The dose for glucosamine is variable in the literature.  Most of the products have a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin in them.  A typical product would have 500 mg glucosamine and 400 mg chondroitin sulfate – if you find a product similar to this, use 1 capsule per 25 lbs of body weight.

If you find a product with just glucosamine, then dose it at 20mg per lb of body weight.

This is a supplement so if you overdose, there is no harm.  It would be safe to give double the recommended dose, but try to get close to these recommendations.  Contact me if you need help with the dosing.

Keep this very frustrating fact in mind:  I recently learned that human products are highly variable in the quality and quantity of glucosamine/chondroitin that is in each capsule and a study showed that human products don’t work well in animals. I used to recommend that people just get a human product from the nearest naturopathic store, but I have come to realize that it never worked that well. Once I started recommending the more expensive veterinary products, it was clear that there were better responses. Its more expensive but again, I’ve simply seen it work better.

If it is early and there is no clinical arthritis…. its reasonable to look for the least expensive option for the time being.  Maybe switch to the expensive brands when arthritis develops, if it ever does.

My favorite veterinary brand is ‘Flexadin’ (which has both a chemical source and natural source of glucosamine/chondroitin).  ‘Sasha’s blend flexi bites’ is a good natural source product and ‘UBAvet’ is a good chemical source product as well.

If you have any questions about glucosamine please contact the team at West Hill Animal Clinic!


by Dr. Clayton Greenway, B.Sc.