A good quality Glucosamine joint supplement for dogs and cats can be especially required when movement and suppleness of the connective tissues and cartilage may be compromised, due to normal wear and tear that happens with age or through injury.

Glucosamine: What is it and why is it used?

Glucosamine is an amino sugar that naturally occurs in the connective and cartilage tissues and contributes to maintaining the strength, flexibility and elasticity of these tissues. However, due to injury or just normal wear and tear that happens with age, the body cannot naturally synthesize enough to keep up with the bodily needs. This is when Glucosamine for dog or cats supplementation is advisable.

Glucosamine increases the concentration of proteoglycans (large protein molecules) in cartilage and the synovial membrane which produces the fluid lubricating the joints. Also, Glucosamine may support the repair of damaged cartilage by increasing collagen deposition, providing joint care for dogs and cats.

Why do we use Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCL)?

There are two types of Glucosamine that you will find in joint supplements:

  • Glucosamine Sulphate- this is the more widely used in human health supplements, and
  • Glucosamine Hydrochloride which is more usually abbreviated to HCL, and this is the type we use in Dorwest’s Glucosamine & Chondroitin Tablets. 

We use HCL because hydrochlorides are quickly absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract within 15 – 30 minutes.  So, for dogs and cats who have a short digestive tract and thus a short transit time for nutrients to be absorbed, this is particularly important.

We also use Glucosamine Hydrochloride as it is obtained from the shells of crustaceans, usually a mixture of shrimp, oyster and crab shells, making use of something that would otherwise be discarded. Therefore, it is a sustainable ingredient that is a by-product of the food industry.

What is Chondroitin?

Cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones in a joint and provides much of its resistance to compression. Chondroitin sulphate is an important structural component of cartilage and is part of a proteoglycan (large protein molecule) that gives cartilage elasticity. By giving this joint supplement to dogs and cats, joint care is provided for pets that suffer with aches and pains.

Since Chondroitin is not a uniform substance and is naturally present in a wide variety of forms, the precise composition of different supplements will vary.  Therefore, it is so important to use a product with the highest possible quality, and that is most suitable for pets.

Where does our Chondroitin come from?

At Dorwest we only use marine sourced Chondroitin.

There have been concerns that the marine sourced Chondroitin often comes from sharks and could result in these fish being killed specially to fill the huge demand for this ingredient. Acquiring from such sources would be unethical and not something which we would condone.

Therefore, the Chondroitin we use is sourced from squid cartilage and is again a by-product of the food industry, which would otherwise be discarded. 

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Why combine Glucosamine with Chondroitin?

As explained both these compounds are important in providing the building blocks for the body to manufacture collagen and the proteoglycans in the joint cartilage, and the synovial membrane which produce the fluid that lubricates the joints.

When combined in a supplement for dog’s joints, they have a synergistic effect, meaning that they have more effect when given together than when each is given separately.

However, it is important that they are made available in the correct ratio to be most beneficial, and this means that there needs to be twice the amount of Glucosamine to Chondroitin for the best results to be obtained.

Our Glucosamine & Chondroitin Tablets each contain 400mg of Glucosamine and 200mg of Chondroitin.

Are there any situations when this supplement shouldn’t be used?

There are a few situations that you should be aware of when considering giving this supplement to your pet.

  1. Glucosamine is an amino sugar and you should check with your vet before giving this to animals suffering from diabetes.
  2. Chondroitin Sulphate should not be given in addition to any prescribed blood-thinning medication. It has a similar in structure to the blood-thinning drug heparin, and the combination has the potential therefore to cause bleeding, so always consult your vet for advice.
  3. Allergies to shellfish are uncommon but not unknown for dogs and cats. However, since Glucosamine is derived from the shells of crustaceans and allergic reactions are normally to the actual flesh of the animals, it is probably safe even for those with shellfish allergy.  There is also a lower likelihood of allergic reactions to Glucosamine Hydrochloride than to the Sulphate type, which is good to know.

If you have any further questions, please do ask us directly by emailing advice@dorwest.com. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our experienced advisors on 01308 897272 or use our contact form. Plus, get free UK delivery on orders over £50.

Please remember, you should always consult a vet if you are concerned about your pet’s health.