Glucosamine. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but it’s a nutrient worth remembering because it plays a huge role in supporting your dog’s long-term joint health and mobility.
Dogs produce glucosamine naturally. As they age, their bodies produce less and less of it, which increases their risk of joint problems like arthritis and hip dysplasia.
The good news? A diet rich in glucosamine can support your four-legged-friend to live a healthy and happy life, free from aches and pains.
Here’s everything you need to know about dog food with glucosamine – what it is, why it’s important, and where to find it (including a unique source only found in New Zealand!)
What is glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a combination of the amino acid ‘glutamine’ and sugar ‘glucose’. It’s a substance that helps form and repair the cartilage of your dog’s joints.
There’s a lot of scientific information out there, but all you really need to know is that glucosamine helps to keep your dog’s joints healthy, strong, and mobile through all stages of life.
You may have also heard of ‘chondroitin’, which is another natural cartilage building block - one that promotes water retention and shock absorption in joints. Together, glucosamine and chondroitin are the ultimate power couple when it comes to building and supporting healthy joints! They work alongside each other to decrease pain sensation and improve resistance to additional joint tissue breakdown.
Why is glucosamine so important for dogs?
As your dog ages, their glucosamine production levels decline. Less glucosamine means less cartilage and fluids protecting their bones, which can often lead to inflammation and pain as their bones start to rub together (ouch!).
Studies show glucosamine has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which don’t just benefit older dogs, but puppies and adults too (of every breed).
Here’s why dogs of every age should be chowing down on glucosamine-rich food:
- Puppies: Glucosamine supports joint development while puppies are growing, so it’s important for them to get enough of it when they’re young (especially those puppies predisposed to joint issues like hip dysplasia).
- Adults: Dogs love to sprint, play and jump – and while exercise is great for their health, years of running can take a toll on their joints. Glucosamine is key for preventative maintenance.
- Seniors: There’s nothing worse than seeing your fur baby in pain. Glucosamine helps to replace lost joint fluid, which keeps your dog’s joints stronger and more agile, and supports them to move comfortably through their senior years.
What are the best sources of dog food with glucosamine?
Here’s where you need to do your research. You’ll find hundreds of food products claiming to be packed with glucosamine, but sadly the concentration levels are often so low, your dog gets very little benefit.
Your best bet? Start with Mother Nature.
Crab, lobster, and shrimp shells are packed with glucosamine. It’s also abundant in New Zealand’s most iconic (and one of the world’s most sustainable) seafood – the New Zealand Green Mussel.
We include a minimum of 3% sustainably sourced whole New Zealand Green Mussel in all ZIWI® Peak air-dried and canned recipes.
This mussel is a natural superfood - one that’s ideal for dogs because of its highly digestible nature. It’s packed with nutrients (including iron, protein and omega-3) that support long-term joint health, and is a biological match made in heaven for a meat-rich diet. It’s also the only species of mussel to contain the power couple we mentioned earlier - glucosamine and chondroitin.
The fresh meat of the New Zealand Green Mussel is plump and sweet, and our slow and gentle air-drying process ensures your dog gets all the flavor and nutrients - without preservatives. All ZIWI® Peak foods are complete and balanced for dogs of all life stages, so you can rest assured your pup’s getting enough glucosamine without worrying about supplements.
Whether your dog’s young and sprightly or slowing down due to age, a diet rich in glucosamine and chondroitin will help them live their healthiest, happiest life.
While good nutrition is key, if you think your dog is suffering from arthritis we recommend consulting your vet for further advice.