Why the right amount matters
The amount of glucosamine given to an animal every day is important. Animals need a certain amount to reach levels in which the supplement becomes therapeutic (ie – properly supporting joint health). Any amount of glucosamine is better than none at all, but to truly help your dog’s joints there is a right amount to give daily. Critical evaluation of supplements is completely up to the educated consumer.
This means a company can sprinkle in some glucosamine to their treat and legally call it a glucosamine supplement. Unfortunate, but true. Critical evaluation of supplements is completely up to the educated consumer. Right now, it is up to pet owners to determine (and demand!) an adequate level of a substance to cause the intended effect.
Recommended daily dosage of oral glucosamine
Less than 30 lbs:
500 - 1000 mg
From 30 - 50 lbs:
1000 - 1500 mg
From 50 - 80 lbs:
1500 - 2000 mg
More than 80 lbs:
2000 - 2500 mg
A real life example
A 50-lb dog requires 1500mg of glucosamine a day to maintain the thickness and viscosity of joint fluid.
A leading hip & joint product contains 300mg of glucosamine per 6-oz bag. When doing the math, that 50-lb dog would need to eat FIVE, 6-oz bags a day to reach a level that would benefit his joint fluid. Simply because there is the presence of glucosamine in the product, the company can legally advertise it on the label. However, it does not actually have nearly enough glucosamine to be considered a useful joint supplement.
In contrast, a high-quality joint supplement would have the recommended 1500mg of glucosamine in the daily dose.
The two things to calculate to compare joint supplement products are the amount of product needed daily to reach a therapeutic level and the price per day.
Do the math – be an advocate for your pet!