The primary structural parts of glucosamine are glucose, a sugar and an amino group. Glucosamine can be synthesized in the body of a dog and other animals and this functions reduces with age of the dog. Glucosamine is required in biosynthesis of cartilage and hence is important in maintenance of articular hyaline cartilage found in joints that are highly mobile. Glucosamine is not predominantly useful in joints alone, but is also required for synthesis of connective tissue in the mucosa of the gut. Glucosamine sulfate is also used in the body to increase the viscosity of synovial fluid which is a component of joints, this prevents friction in the joints and this prevents arthritis. Glucosamine has importance attached to it in the body of an animal especially for dogs for their need to be fast, it is however not adequate as the body does not synthesise it i bulk in old age and this necessitates use of supplements to avail it.
Naturally occurring foods like meat and bones can be fed to dogs to avail glucosamine to them. Man made forms of glucosamine known as supllements are given to dogs by intramuscular injections or orally. The dogs are made to consume large amounts of these supplements by their flavor. Three different form of glucosamine are availed as supplements judging from their side chain components as sulfur, a chloride and an acetyl group. Glucosamine sulfate is widely reseached and has consequently been used more as a supplement compared to its counter forms, it is like produced from shells of shellfish like the other form known as glucosamine hydrochloride.
Glucosamine hydrochloride is highly concentrated wit glucosamine and is also a product of shells and can be synthesised in the laboratory. N-Acetyl glucosamine is the third form and is a precursor of a component of synovial fluid found in joints known as hyaluronic acid. N-Acetyl glucosamine is also important not only for joints but also for synthesis of connective tissue in gastrointestinal mucosa of animals.
Glucosamine supplements can be given to dogs to prevent arthritis as they contain glucosamine required to reduce inflammation, to synthesise synovial fluid and to enhance formation of cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are both required for healthy joints of dogs and other animals, they can be provided to these animals as supplements. Glucosamine is safe to take as long as daily intake is limited to 1500mg to avoid adverse reactions that are caused by excessive consumption. Qualified persons should be consulted before a dose of glucosamine supplement is given to a dog to ensure only enough of the supplement is taken by the dog, little or no supplements should be given to pregnant dogs, a failure to follow such important regulation may lead to more harm than good as adverse reactions would occur and may lead to more cost. Intake of glucosamine is important in dogs for their mobility and therefore its deficiency should be addressed early.