A golden retriever puppy on a veterinarian's table.

As dogs age, they sometimes experience pain in different areas of their bodies. When it comes to pain management, some veterinarians suggest using glucosamines for dogs who experience bouts of moderate to severe pain in their joints, bones and overall body. If you notice your dog acting differently and suspect it might be pain-related, make sure to call their veterinarian to inquire about immediate care.

What is glucosamine?

Glucosamine comes in natural form and in supplemental form. According to Mayo Clinic, as a natural substance, glucosamine comes from cartilage, whereas in supplemental form, it comes from shellfish shells or is made in a lab.

Is glucosamine safe for dogs?

In some cases, glucosamine might be safe for dogs. According to a 2017 study, some veterinarians give glucosamine to dogs who do not bode well with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). You should always talk with your pet’s veterinarian for more information about potential risks of administering this supplement to them.

In dogs, glucosamine can treat:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation


For the safest dosing advice, contact your pet’s veterinarian for personalized instructions. Because glucosamine is a supplement and is therefore not FDA-approved for veterinary use, it is absolutely critical to consult your veterinarian for more information.

Side Effects

If your veterinarian suggests giving your dog glucosamine, your dog may experience side effects including but not limited to:

  • Nausea
  • Digestion issues, including diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Allergic reactions

Although 1-800-PetMeds states side effects are rare, it is still important to monitor your dog during treatment with glucosamine. If you suspect your dog is experiencing side effects, call their veterinarian immediately.

Final Thoughts

Managing your dog’s pain as he or she ages can be complicated, but it is critical to acknowledge as your dog ages, more care might be needed. Always consult your veterinarian before administering any medications or supplements, including glucosamine, to your dog and following up both during and after treatment to ensure your dog receives the best care available.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute professional medical advice, nor can it replace the advice of a licensed professional.

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