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Natural Sources of Glucosamine for Your Dog: Chicken Feet, Beef Trachea, and More
By Amy Caldwell
Published: 09/12/2017, edited: 08/10/2021
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Glucosamine is a natural compound found in the building blocks of cartilage. When dogs suffer from arthritis or bone and joint pain, glucosamine can help to cushion the area between joints where cartilage is missing, thin, or damaged. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements are easy to find and can safely be given to your dog. There are differences between glucosamine supplements for humans and glucosamine supplements for dogs, so if you decide to offer your dog glucosamine as a supplement, please speak to your veterinarian about proper dosage amount for your dog's breed, size, age, and condition. Be sure you are giving your dog the proper form of glucosamine. Otherwise, you are potentially wasting money if you are offering your dog supplements meant for humans.
Because glucosamine is a natural supplement, it can also be found in foods your dog will love. There are some excellent sources of glucosamine found naturally in foods your dog can eat every day. And what better way to offer a supplement to your dog, than in their meals or treats.
Chicken feet contain about 30% cartilage. This cartilage is about 5% glucosamine. Researchers estimate approximately 450mg of glucosamine per chicken foot. As a treat for your dog, chicken feet could be an excellent source of glucosamine. Chicken feet also offer the benefit of naturally brushing your dog's teeth. As your dog chews and gnaws on the chicken feet, they will absorb glucosamine from the cartilage while having their teeth cleaned at the same time. Chicken feet are typically available in farmers markets, some butcher shops, and grocery stores, as well as in Asian markets.
Much like chicken feet, the beef trachea is made of mostly cartilage. With 5% glucosamine, a 30-gram chunk of beef trachea could have about 1,400mg or more of glucosamine. A medium-sized arthritic dog may be recommended about 1,000mg for the ease of discomfort and pain of arthritis and bone and joint pain. Chewing on a beef trachea may be beneficial for your dog in multiple ways. Your pooch can get the glucosamine the body needs for arthritic pain, as well as enjoy a well-balanced treat. Beef trachea is high in protein and low in fat. With glucosamine and chondroitin, your dog's joint health can benefit along with your dog's dental health as they chew on a beef trachea treat.
Pork Tails and MoreA little harder to find to include in your dog's diet for extra glucosamine and chondroitin to help feed and nurture their achy bones and joints are pig tails, pig ears, ducks feet, and the necks of ducks, turkeys, and lambs. Some pet stores may have these as chew treats for dental care as well as for increasing glucosamine intake. Be sure if you are giving your dog pork tails, poultry feet, and pig ears that you are watching your dog for signs of an upset stomach. Limit these treats to once a day and only a few times a week to keep your dog's stomach from becoming overwhelmed from the high-fat, high protein content of these treats.
An Important Supplement
Glucosamine is an important part of your dog's diet. As your dog ages and arthritis begins to settle in, aches and pains will be more difficult for your dog to deal with. Offering supplements such as glucosamine may help cushion the cartilage between these joints, giving your dog more comfort and relieving their arthritic pain. If your dog is on a raw food diet, finding these treats may be easier for you. However, if you are feeding your dog kibble, they may need an additional glucosamine boost.
If you want to give your dog natural sources of glucosamine rather than pill form, you have some healthy options readily available between farmers' markets, local farms, grocery stores, and butchers. Any time you start a new diet, treat, or food with your dog, start slowly and watch your dog closely for adverse reactions.