Do you give your dog glucosamine to help their joints?
I did too.
But now I’ve found a supplement that has all the benefits of glucosamine and many more:
That supplement is CBD, or cannabidiol.
Read on to learn about the benefits of CBD for dogs and why it’s replaced all my other pet supplements, including glucosamine.
What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a supplement made up of glutamine and glucose.
Your dog’s body actually produces glucosamine naturally and uses these molecules to build healthy cartilage in their joints.
This cartilage helps protect the joints, absorbs shock, and also keeps the different bones in the joints from grinding against each other.
Unfortunately, as dogs get older, their bodies start producing less glucosamine.
That’s where glucosamine supplements are believed to help.
There are 3 main types of glucosamine supplements:
- Glucosamine Sulfate: This is by far the most common type of glucosamine supplement out there. It is either sourced from the shell of shellfish or created synthetically in a laboratory. These supplements contain sulfur which is also believed to help rebuild cartilage in the joints.
- Glucosamine Hydrochloride: These supplements are also sourced from shellfish and are more concentrated than standard glucosamine sulfate supplements. Whether that makes them more effective, however, is debatable.
- N-Acetyl-Glucosamine (NAG): This is a form of glucosamine used to make the fluid that lubricates joints. It’s commonly used to help promote joint health as well as calm gastrointestinal problems (like gastritis, for example).
What are the Benefits of Glucosamine for Dogs?
Glucosamine is a really popular supplement, both for humans and pets.
And there’s good reason for that:
A few years ago, the health industry was swarming about the possible health benefits of these supplements.
Here are some of the benefits glucosamine may have for your dog:
Glucosamine Can Promote Joint Health
As I mentioned earlier, glucosamine plays a key role in promoting joint health.
Here’s how it’s supposed to work:
Your dog’s body naturally produces glucosamine in the joints.
It uses glucosamine to build a variety of other compounds which it then uses to create new healthy cartilage and connective tissue.
Glucosamine is also believed to help the body produce synovial fluid found in the cavities of joints.
The sulfate in glucosamine supplements is also thought to have similar effects, as the body also uses sulfate to create cartilage.
As we get older, our bodies naturally start producing less glucosamine.
As a result, it gets harder for them to produce and maintain the cartilage and synovial fluid that protect our joints.
This means they start wearing down more quickly as they’re less protected during movement.
In turn, our joints become more vulnerable to shock and friction and the different bones inside them can start grinding and rubbing against each other.
This can produce all kinds of symptoms, including stiffness, pain, and reduced mobility.
The theory behind glucosamine supplements is simple:
By increasing the amount of glucosamine in the body, it is able to continue building cartilage and other healthy tissues to help protect the joints.
These results have been replicated in a variety of clinical and laboratory studies.
However, there are also other studies that show glucosamine might not be as beneficial for joint health as was originally thought.
I’ll talk more about the effectiveness of glucosamine later on.
Glucosamine is Anti-Inflammatory
Another reason why glucosamine is so popular is that it’s believed to have anti-inflammatory effects.
This could also make it useful in helping manage the pain associated with joint issues like arthritis, for example.
When your dog’s body struggles to produce cartilage, the bones of their joints can start rubbing and grinding against each other.
Over time, the constant rubbing and grinding of these bones causes the joints to become chronically inflamed, which only deteriorates them further.
This condition is known as arthritis, and it’s very common in older dogs.
There is some research that suggests glucosamine can help reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis.
Studies on rats, for example, have shown that glucosamine can help reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis.
The same studies also showed that glucosamine can help reduce the inflammation of colitis, suggesting that it can fight inflammation all around the body.
Again, how effective glucosamine is at fighting inflammation depends a lot on what research you read.
Just like there are studies that argue that glucosamine is an effective anti-inflammatory, there are other studies that argue that it isn’t.
Again, I’ll touch on these discrepancies in more detail further down in the article.
Glucosamine Can Help Protect the Gastrointestinal System, Too
The supposed benefits of glucosamine aren’t just limited to the joints.
There’s some solid research that suggests that NAG glucosamine supplements can help reduce the symptoms of gastrointestinal problems.
This includes gastritis, colitis, IBD, and more.
A 2012 study conducted by the University of Manitoba, Canada, for example, shows that some patients with IBD turn to glucosamine for relief of their symptoms.
Another study, published in Alimentary, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics in 2000, also found that glucosamine supplements can relieve the symptoms of IBD.
Out of the 12 patients that received glucosamine treatments in the study, 8 showed clear improvements.
The patients suffered from Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis and were prescribed NAG glucosamine supplements.
How exactly glucosamine helps reduce the symptoms of IBD isn’t clear.
It’s believed that NAG helps promote gut health by helping to repair any damaged tissue in the gastrointestinal tract.
Plus, it’s anti-inflammatory properties may also help drive down the chronic inflammation caused by conditions like Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis.
Glucosamine Has No Side Effects
One of the other main reasons glucosamine has become such a popular supplement is because it produces no negative side effects.
This is big news, seeing that some of the other drugs used to manage joint pain and inflammation can cause some serious adverse effects.
What is Glucosamine Chondroitin?
In your research about glucosamine, you likely heard about a specific supplement called glucosamine chondroitin.
Chondroitin is another compound found in healthy cartilage and is actually what makes cartilage so resistant to compression and pressure.
As the name suggests, glucosamine chondroitin supplements contain both compounds, usually together with sulfate.
Whether glucosamine chondroitin is more efficient than other glucosamine supplements isn’t clear.
However, it is one of the most studied glucosamine supplements out there, which makes it more attractive to a lot of patients.
How Effective is Glucosamine?
Efficacy is obviously an important topic for any supplement, and glucosamine is no different.
Unfortunately, whether glucosamine is actually as effective as it’s made out to be isn’t clear.
In a video for the Orthopaedic & Spine Center in Virginia, Dr Boyd Haynes talks about his personal experience using glucosamine supplements to treat joint pain.
He says it is effective in about 50% of his patients.
Based on these results and the fact that glucosamine produces no side effects, Dr Haynes says he always encourages his patients to at least try the supplement for a few months.
Other studies aren’t so promising.
In their 2012 treatment guidelines, for example, The American College of Rheumatology did not recommend glucosamine and/or chondroitin for the treatment of arthritis.
That’s because the supplements simply don’t work for everyone.
Now, you might be wondering what’s causing this huge discrepancy.
Well, it could come down to a number of factors.
The quality of a supplement, for example, could influence how effective it is at reducing symptoms.
And, according to a 2015 Cochrane review of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements, most of these supplements are of a poor quality.
If you’ve read some of my other articles on supplements for pets, this might come as no surprise to you.
I recently published an article on fish oil supplements for dogs, which have also been criticised for their quality.
Another reason for the discrepancies regarding the effectiveness of glucosamine supplements could come down to the good old “placebo effect.”
In 2016, the BBC published an article on glucosamine in which they ran an experiment on 80 patients with knee pain.
Together with Professor Phil Conaghan of the University of Leeds, they analyzed the patient’s knees and gave them 2 treatment options:
The first was a “supplement pill” and the other was an exercise plan designed by Professor Conaghan.
Of the patients that got the supplement, 55% reported a significant reduction in their pain.
What was the pill?
A placebo sugar pill.
The article concluded that glucosamine can work, but it also might just make people feel better because they are taking something.
To read the full article, click here.
The Pet Supplement That Beats Glucosamine
I first looked into glucosamine a few years ago to help my dog Rosie who was diagnosed with hip dysplasia.
Set to improve Rosie’s quality of life in her remaining years, I was looking for something that would reduce the chronic pain and inflammation in her hip.
Ideally, I was also looking for something that could help with her cancer.
Luckily, I found a supplement that could do all of this and more.
And no, it wasn’t glucosamine.
It was CBD.
CBD: A Pet Supplement Like No Other
CBD is made from cannabis and hemp plants.
Chances are you’ve already heard a bit about the health benefits of CBD.
After all, it’s gotten a lot of attention from the media over recent years.
And not just because of its use among human patients:
Hundreds of pet owners like you and me have started using CBD with their pets, too.
Ever since I discovered CBD a few years ago, it’s replaced most of the supplements I previously used with my dogs, including fish oil, glucosamine, and many others.
CBD is the Best Natural Anti-Inflammatory for Dogs
When it comes to anti-inflammatories, there’s nothing that beats CBD.
By activating your dog’s Endocannabinoid System, CBD can directly trigger anti-inflammatory responses all around their body.
That means it can offer your dog fast relief from the pain and stiffness associated with joint issues, arthritis, dysplasias, or even injuries.
Best of all, it doesn’t produce any nasty side effects, which is more than what you can say for most regular medications.
Even NSAIDs like Rimadyl, Metacam, and Novocox aren’t entirely safe for long-term use.
All of these drugs are processed by the liver and kidneys and, over time, can cause problems in these parts of the body.
NSAIDs can also cause some nasty side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach problems in some dogs.
To learn more about the inflammatory effects of CBD, check out my previous article on the best natural anti-inflammatory for dogs.
CBD is a Powerful Pain Killer
Thanks to its strong anti-inflammatory properties, CBD is also great for reducing pain.
I saw this myself with my dog, Rosie.
As she got older, Rosie was in a lot of pain.
My vet said this was due both to the chronic inflammation in her hip as well as the pain from her tumor.
The pain made her very lethargic, to the point where she would spend almost all day sleeping or laying in her bed.
This was so hard to see, especially because Rosie was always active, loved going for walks and playing in the park.
Once I started her on her CBD, however, Rosie’s condition improved almost instantly.
Within the first few days of her treatment, Rosie started getting more active around the house.
Within roughly a week, she was coming on walks with us again.
From my research, I learned that CBD can help alleviate pain in 2 main ways:
First of all, it helps fight inflammation (as I mentioned above).
Secondly, it seems cannabinoids like CBD can directly affect pain pathways around the body.
By interacting with these receptors, CBD might be able to alter pain signals on their way to the brain.
And trust me:
I’ve read tons of testimonials online from other pet owners, and have received many messages stating how well it’s doing to help dogs who are currently in pain.
CBD Can Help With Gastrointestinal Issues
As we saw earlier, there are some studies that suggest glucosamine can help with gastrointestinal issues like IBD.
Well, so can CBD.
In fact, CBD has been shown to help promote digestive health while also benefiting the metabolism and even helping with weight loss.
Again, this has to do with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
This system is primarily made up of 2 receptors (known as CB1 and CB2) and 2 cannabinoids that the body produces naturally (known as anandamide 2-AG).
CBD interacts predominantly with CB2 receptors which have been found in high concentrations throughout the gastrointestinal tract.
By interacting with these receptors, CBD can directly relieve the symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders like IBD, gastritis, colitis, and more.
This again has to to do with the fact that many of these issues are caused by some kind of inflammation.
IBD, for example, is characterized by the chronic inflammation of the bowels.
Gastritis and colitis, on the other hand, are both caused by acute inflammation of the stomach and colon.
But CBD’s benefits don’t all have to do with inflammation.
They also have to do with the broad role of the Endocannabinoid System.
Today, we know that this system of receptors and chemicals is involved in managing all kinds of bodily functions, including pain, mood, sleep, metabolism, and much more.
For more information about how CBD can help improve gastrointestinal health in pets, click here.
CBD is 100% Safe and Effective
Just like glucosamine, CBD is 100% safe.
That means it’s non-toxic even in high doses and produces no nasty side effects.
Unlike glucosamine, however, there’s not so much controversy surrounding whether CBD actually works.
Until now, all the studies that I’ve come across in my research on CBD and its health benefits have produced positive results.
And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a huge community of people who have seen amazing results using CBD.
Better yet, many of them are using CBD to treat conditions like arthritis, dysplasias, and other joint issues in their pets, which were traditionally treated using glucosamine.
Gibson, for example, is a 14-year-old Golden Retriever.
Due to his age, Gibson started suffering from inflammation and pain in his hip and legs.
His owners heard about CBD pet treats and decided to give them a try.
Within just a few days, they noticed big improvements in his mobility and quality of life.
Ruby, on the other hand, is an 8.5-year-old, 125lb Brazilian Bull Mastiff.
Ruby suffers from a degenerative spine condition which really affected her mobility.
Her condition meant she struggled to get up from her bed, walk around the house and left her noticeably depressed.
Her vet provided her with a lifetime prescription of Rimadyl.
Luckily, her owners found out about CBD.
Using CBD capsules, they managed to improve Ruby’s quality of life and reduce her symptoms.
She’s back to playing with her owners and even back to going on long walks that used to leave her in pain for days.
Finally, Becca is another dog who’s reaped the benefits of CBD.
She is 10 years old and has started suffering from pain and stiffness in her back and hips.
Using a combination of CBD capsules and oil, her owners saw a huge improvement in her condition.
“She enjoys her evening walks much more and hurries up the back stairs again. She also sleeps more comfortably,” they write.
Discover if CBD is the Right Supplement for Your Dog
From the moment I started using CBD with my dog Rosie, I was amazed.
I simply couldn’t believe how much benefit she was getting from this natural compound, all without any side effects.
Just by sticking to a regular treatment plan, I was able to reduce the severity of her symptoms and give her a much higher quality of life.
Ever since, I’ve dedicated myself to helping other pet owners like you learn more about the power of CBD.
On my website, for example, I review all kinds of different CBD brands and products, and on my blog I publish regular articles about how to use CBD, its benefits, and more.
Right now, I recommend 2 CBD brands for dogs.
The first is HolistaPet, which produces CBD oil, capsules, and treats.
For dog’s with joint issues, I highly recommend HolistaPet’s CBD Pet Tincture.
The second CBD brand I recommend for dogs is King Kanine.
For treating joint issues, I highly recommend King Kanine’s CBD oil called King Kalm CBD 300mg.
To get started, either one of these oils is a great choice.
I personally use both of these brands regularly with my own dogs.
But perhaps you need a bit more information about CBD…
Is that’s true, then consider downloading my free checklist for pet owners who are new to CBD.
See the details below:
Free Bonus: Your Next Step:
Please download my free checklist so you can discover if using CBD with your dog will be beneficial.
The checklist will go over the 7 main benefits of CBD for dogs, and give you access to all my research which you can download and print to read later.
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