Glucosamine and Chondroitin: Unleashing the Benefits for Dogs’ Joint Health

Johnna Devereaux C.P.N.

The overall well-being and happiness of our dogs is something we strive for as pet parents. One essential aspect of canine health is joint function, part of the musculoskeletal system, joint function directly impacts your dog’s mobility and quality of life. Two popular supplements that have gained attention for their potential benefits in supporting joint health are glucosamine and chondroitin. Let’s delve more into these benefits and learn why they are increasingly recommended for dogs and how you can offer these to yours.

But first, let’s get a better understanding on joint health. Joints are the connection between bones that allow for movement and flexibility.  Healthy joint function allows for various types of movement and provides stability and support to the skeletal system. Some joints, primarily the synovial joints, contain articular cartilage and synovial fluid that act as shock absorbers, cushioning the bones and reducing impact and friction as your dog goes about their day. Joints, therefore, play a crucial role in your dog’s daily activities, whether it’s running during play, jumping onto the couch or simply walking from place to place. As dogs age or experience certain joint-related conditions, this area of their body may begin to degrade and deteriorate, leading to discomfort, pain and reduced mobility. And that is where glucosamine and chondroitin may help play a role.

You may notice that I keep mentioning glucosamine and chondroitin in the same sentence. This is intentional and not to be ignored. The combination of glucosamine and chondroitin supplements work synergistically to provide comprehensive joint support. Meaning they work better when given together. This is important because together these chondroprotective compounds may have a large or small impact on the overall success of your plan depending on how you use them.

Now that we know the value in using these two compounds together, let’s take a moment to look at the value each brings individually. 


Glucosamine is naturally produced in the body and is found in cartilage, connective tissues and fluids surrounding the joints. Glucosamine supports the production of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), crucial components of healthy cartilage. When glucosamine is added to the body by way of supplementation, it is rapidly taken up by cartilage cells and promotes the production of GAGs, which in turn helps the synthesis of synovial fluid and cartilage, offering joint lubrication and cartilage protection. In addition, glucosamine helps inhibit destructive enzymes, potentially slowing down degeneration while also providing anti-inflammatory properties as it scavenges free radicals. Glucosamine is not usually obtained from food and is available as a dietary supplement for both humans and animals. These supplements are derived from chitin, a component found in the shells of shellfish.

Chondroitin is also naturally found in the body but production decreases with age. Chondroitin helps maintain the structure and elasticity of cartilage while also promoting the production of collagen, a protein that gives cartilage its strength and flexibility. It also helps inhibit certain enzymes that break down cartilage, further preserving its integrity and reducing joint damage. As a dietary source, it is commonly derived from animal cartilage and works hand in hand with glucosamine to support joint health.

To help you provide your dog with the power-packed duo, our new Chicken Waggy Wafers are expertly formulated with glucosamine and chondroitin to help support your dog’s hips and joints. This Waggy Wafer flavor is made using human-grade protein and is air-dried for natural preservation. Beyond the benefits stated above, these tasty treats are perfect for day-to-day treating, training and for use as high-value rewards. 


Glucosamine and chondroitin offer promising benefits for supporting joint health in dogs. By promoting chondroprotective properties, joint lubrication and anti-inflammatory effects, these supplements have the potential to enhance your dog’s quality of life, overall health and mobility. Remember, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian before starting any new supplements. With proper care, you can help your dog stay active, comfortable and happy for years to come.


Be well with BWL.


The points of view expressed above are those of our clinical pet nutritionist and supported by science, her education and experience. However, we recognize there may be different points of view or opinions on some aspect or even the premise of this article. Our goal at Bow Wow Labs is to provide the best, clearest, and most helpful information possible to help keep your dog happy, healthy and safe.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical or veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon or perceived as specific medical or veterinary advice.