Tag Archives: glucosamine

Joint supplements

I get a lot of questions about supplements from dog owners whose dogs are aging and entering ‘the senior years.’

Three of the main supplements for joint support are glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic acid, or hyaluronan, is a major component in synovial fluid and has been found to increase the viscosity of the fluid.  In older dogs, the synovial fluid becomes thinner and less able to support the joints.  Originally given in injectable form, increasingly hyaluronic acid is found in oral supplements.

Glucosamine is naturally produced in the body and is a constituent of synovial fluid and cartilage, both of which help to support and stabilise the joints. Glucosamine is made of a sugar and an amino acid and is involved with the body’s production of joint lubricants and shock absorption necessary to maintain healthy cartilage and joint function.

Glucosamine sulfate is also one of the building blocks of articular cartilage and it aids in the rebuilding of damaged cartilage.  Glucosamine sulfate is also involved in the formation of nails, skin, eyes, tendons, bone and ligaments.

Glucosamine supplementation enhances the body’s ability to manufacture collagen and proteoglycans, which are essential for rebuilding joints and supporting synovial fluid.  Glucosamine in the sulfate form seems to be absorbed best by the body.

Chondroitin, or more appropriately chondroitin sulphate, is usually found in supplements containing glucosamine.  Chondroitin sulfate may actually help the body to repair damaged cartilage and help restore joint integrity. It may also protect existing cartilage from premature breakdown as well as keep cartilage tissue hydrated and assist in cushioning impact stress.

If considering giving your dog a joint supplement, it pays to discuss dosage with your veterinarian or complementary health professional.  Some dog food brands are adding glucosamine and chondroitin to foods and so supplementation dosage has to be considered in light of this.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Beer for dogs?

I seem to be developing a theme of late…it started with my posts about dogs in the world of wine.  Closer to home, those who have joined Canine Catering on Facebook know that we are having a bit of a argument in the local media about  dogs being allowed in outdoor cafes and bars.  Yes – believe it or not – that’s the state of play here when it comes to dog-friendly establishments – so many just haven’t tapped the market for the dog owner.

And now…this post is about beer for dogs.  Dawg Grog.  It’s made in Bend Oregon by a beer lover named Daniel Keeton who is also passionate about his pooch, Lola Jane.  Since Daniel works in a brew house named the Boneyard Brewery, he wanted Lola Jane to be able to share in his work.

Dawg Grog is a brew using the Boneyard Brewery’s malted barley water, glucosamine and organic vegetable broth.  It can be served as a treat or over food.  It’s available in all 50 US states.  A six-pack is $36.
I’m really impressed by the ingredients used in this product and it’s encouraging to see dog owners continuing to find ways of caring for their dogs and involving them in their everyday work.

Here’s a good YouTube video about Daniel’s invention:

In praise of hydrotherapy

Swimming is excellent exercise for both people and dogs.  I have been taking Daisy regularly to the Dog Swim Spa in Templeton because she has arthritis in her hips.  (I already had Daisy on a glucosamine supplement and I give her regular therapeutic massage and low level laser treatment.)

Daisy went to the vet last week and her vet said she has excellent range of motion in her hips, particularly with extension.  Dogs don’t get the same level of extension in their hips through walking or running (Daisy gets walked twice per day).   So, I am sure the range of motion is the result of her massage/laser treatments combined with this regular swim exercise.

Here’s a video of Daisy at the Dog Swim Spa.  You can see that she doesn’t particularly enjoy getting wet.  I’m told that many dogs who like the water come to the Spa and jump right in.  Not my Daisy!


The Dog Swim Spa was designed and built by Chris Blackwood, who is seen in the video with Daisy.    The Spa takes referrals from many veterinarians in the Canterbury area, such referrals may include specific instructions on the dog’s condition and rehabilitation.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand