Are Glucosamine and Chondroitin Good Supplements For Dogs?

Glucosamine and Chondroitin For Dogs Can Be A Source of GI Distress and Other Health Issues

Is Glucosamine and Chondroitin for dogs a necessary supplement? We get asked very frequently about whether Glucosamine and Chondroitin are good for dogs and safe to take with Origins 5in1 Supplement.

It’s actually a much more complicated question than it may appear. We have researched to see if there is any interaction between Origins Canine 5in1 Supplement and Glucosamine and Chondroitin that would make combining them unsafe. Our studies show that no, there is not any concern we are aware of in combining these supplements together.

It’s so frequently asked, that we just assumed that pretty much all sport dog owners must be using these joint supplements.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Can Be a Source of GI Distress in Dogs

Until very recently, we never even considered that so many of these dogs are having GI distress issues and that GLUCOSAMINE AND CHONDROITIN supplements could be the cause of the GI distress. We also learned that Origins 5in1 Supplement is helping many of these dogs that are having distress.

Once we sat down and began talking through this it became harder to not address this potentially problematic supplement that has been adopted without much consideration as not only a treatment, but a preventative, and that many owners are choosing to introduce very early on to their puppies as a lifelong preventative. 

Related: What Is The Best Joint Supplement For Dogs?

How Many Sources of Glucosamine & Chondroitin Are You Giving Your Dog?

To compound this problem even more, we are finding these ingredients added to other products that you may be giving your pet without consideration for the total combined dosages. Did you know Glucosamine and Chondroitin are being added to chews, treats, and even dog food, as marketing gimmicks to advertise it is good for joints?

Glucosamine and Chondroitin dog supplements are stabilized when manufactured with SALT. We strongly recommend you start paying attention to where and how many salts you are actually giving your pet.

Too Much Salt Has Negative Health Benefits

“The sulfate salt is often stabilized with sodium chloride (NaCl) or potassium chloride (KCl), which may be undesirable in aging canines with potential co-morbid medical conditions such as heart failure, hypertension, or renal decline. Although this is a theoretical concern, human clinical trials have not demonstrated increases in blood pressure with NaCl content of crystallized glucosamine sulfate (Herrero-Beaumont et al., 2007; Rovati et al., 2012).” Source

“Potential adverse effects include hypersensitivity and minor gastrointestinal effects such as flatulence and stool softening (Plumb, 2015).” Source

When you review the data on any benefit, consider the potential side effects, and the completely unknown long-term benefits and unknown risks of life-long supplementation with these compounds, it starts to really make one question. What are we doing to and for the dog's health by using glucosamine and chondroitin?

Other Potential Risks

OTHER POTENTIAL risks of Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplementation include: Source
• Heartburn
• Drowsiness
• Headaches
• Allergic Reactions (especially if your dog has an allergy to shellfish)


A small 2013 study found that taking glucosamine may increase the risk of glaucoma, a condition that can threaten vision if not treated. Chondroitin may act as a blood thinner, so it comes with a warning about potential bleeding. Another concern is drug interactions, a problem that can develop with any combination of medications; check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking glucosamine and/or chondroitin. Many doctors warn patients that the FDA does not regulate supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin, so they may not contain the amounts stated on the label or there could be contaminants in them. Source.

Looking at the proven, long-term benefits for those wanting to use them as preventatives for joint issues the risks start to outweigh the benefits pretty quickly.

Surrogate Endpoint/In Vitro Studies

"In vitro studies investigating surrogate outcomes related to osteoarthritis treatment in dogs suggest that the use of glucosamine and chondroitin produces chondroprotective effects (Anderson et al., 1999). Currently, good-quality evidence does not exist to suggest that in vitro studies using surrogate endpoints translate into clinically meaningful improvements in canine osteoarthritis symptoms. Table 2 provides a brief summary of surrogate endpoint/in vitro trials for reader interest.” Source.

The challenges in assessing the validity of these studies are the same as the assessing the quality of the products being sold to consumers. The exact issues that we always bring up are sourcing, quality of ingredients, availability of ingredients, etc.

More Research Is Needed On The Value Of Chondroitin and Glucosamine

All of these make it hard not to question if they are worth your money to even try these products. If your dog doesn't have an issue that you can measure for improvement, then no assessment of the value is possible. Your faith in the potential long-term benefits needs to be questioned and weighed against the real, immediate potential negatives and unknown long-term risks of Glucosamine and Chondroitin.

“These results are of questionable validity due to several trial shortcomings. First is the absence of therapeutic standardization. The sources of active ingredients, manufacturers of products, formulations, combinations of active ingredients, treatment doses, regimens, and durations of therapy differed significantly between trials."

"Second, multiple potential sources of bias were present in the trials, including the lack of a standardized follow-up timeframe, unexplained loss to follow-up, flawed study protocols, and incomplete data sets. Moreover, all of the clinical trials relied on subjective outcome measures to some extent, and the absence of the standardized owner and veterinarian assessments increased the risk of bias in the reported results and diminished internal study validity.” Source

What is ROGUE’s RECOMMENDATION on using Glucosamine and Chondroitin?

We all know someone whose dog has appeared to directly benefit from giving Glucosamine and Chondroitin for dogs supplements. It might have even been our own dog benefiting from them. So we know that people will continue using these products with their dogs. We want to really start the conversation on how and when it actually makes sense to consider them for our dogs.

After reviewing the data we recommend the following:

  1. If you are going to use a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement pick one source for providing it. This is a case where, without a doubt, using the lowest amount of milligrams to see improvement is a good recommendation. The higher the mg of active ingredients the more salt and the more likely to get the undesired side effects. ALSO DO NOT mistakenly think picking food that also contains glucosamine and chondroitin or adding joint health treats and chews are going to give you more benefits. It could be a major contributing factor, based on the salt content of these supplements, in the GI distress of your pet and even contributing to potentially bigger issues for your pet’s health.
  2. We would recommend that glucosamine and chondroitin for dog supplements only be used when there is an impact on the quality of life of the animal. Meaning that your pet is lame either from injury or actual confirmed joint issues or deterioration. Using the lowest dosage amounts possible to minimize negative side effects is the recommendation. It should take no more than 30 days to see any improvements in comfort and mobility. If there is no improvement we would recommend changing the dosage or product. If improvement is seen we would recommend trying to taper down to the lowest amount possible to maintain that improvement in pain management or mobility.
  3. We would strongly suggest not using this as a lifelong preventative at this time. The benefits are not proven and the studies at this time indicate that there is no benefit from long-term use for the joint. The long-term effects of increased salt intake would appear, for now, to be a risk that many are not considering in their decision on adding this as a lifelong supplement.
  4. If your dog is injured there could be potential to use it as an alternative to NSAIDS medications but this should be discussed with your veterinarian. We believe that this may be a real potential use, but that it should not be used to hide the problem and allow the animal to continue competing before being fully healed and off the supplement just like with any pain medication.
  5. Potential consideration of lifelong use could be contributing to dogs continuing to compete on minor injuries pain-free so that they are not being detected, and ultimately leading to larger more serious injuries.

Remember, If it’s not adding, it’s subtracting. 

Further note from one of the studies for your consideration: “Although glucosamine and chondroitin have benign adverse effect profiles, the clinical benefit of using these agents remains questionable. The available evidence is difficult to interpret due to the use of different manufacturers, salt forms, compositions, sources, strengths, regimens, therapy durations, and combinations of active ingredients. Further study is required in order to clarify the uncertainty around the clinical benefit of using these agents and quantify any treatment effect that exists.” Source

Related: Best High-Fiber Foods For Your Dog

Real Food For Your Dog: Origins Canine 5in1

Here at Rogue Pet Science, our entire goal has been to fix problems such as unnecessary supplements for dogs. We can do this quickly, naturally and with little cost. We can do this because we believe in being a real solution for all dog owners by putting dog health before money to earn your trust. We invite you to try Origins Canine 5in1 supplement because we truly believe it is the best supplement for dogs on the market. Our products have the first ever 100% No Bull Sh*t Guarantee. The only risk is not seeing your dog thriving at their very best!

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