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Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM – Everything You Need to Know

a senior black scruffy dog

Fact checked by Dr. Antoinette Martin, DVM

As dogs and other pets age, they can suffer from all types of joint pain and arthritis. These painful conditions can cause limping, severe trauma, and even disease. While there is not a cure for canine arthritis, you can help lessen the pain and improve mobility through treatments.

To help you understand treatment options for your dog, we are going to go over everything you need to know about glucosamine chondroitin with MSM.

What is Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM?

Glucosamine chondroitin with MSM is a supplement that is used to help ease pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in dogs.

Osteoarthritis is the medical term for inflammation of the joints. This is a condition that is typically diagnosed in older pets, especially senior dogs, and it is a natural yet painful symptom of ageing. It is less frequently diagnosed in younger or middle-aged pets; however, it can occur as a result of certain types of injuries and even obesity.

We will now break down the component parts of glucosamine chondroitin with MSM supplements and medicines.


Chondroitin is a substance that is found in many natural sugars. It is an important building block of cartilage, which is the natural cushioning that separates bones and joints.

Chondroitin supplementation has been proven to help maintain the natural flexibility of joints, which becomes very important as the cartilage begins to thin and wear away with age.

white sad bulldog face close up


Glucosamine is also a naturally occurring substance, which is found in the synovial fluid and cartilage between the joints. Glucosamine helps to lubricate and cushion the joints, so that the ends of your pets’ bones do not rub against each other.

In this sense, glucosamine allows the skeleton to be more flexible in its movement, which is particularly important for arthritic bones and joints. Glucosamine also helps aid in the repair, maintenance, and renewal of cartilage.


As we have explained, the naturally occurring cartilage and glucosamine within an animal’s joints will start to wear away with age. Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, is another naturally occurring substance that can help.

MSM is a form of sulfur, which is beneficial for the overall health of muscles and tendons in the body. It is considered to be a natural anti-inflammatory that also helps with the formation of new cartilage. In addition to this, MSM also has a natural ability to help with pain relief.

MSM forms naturally in various food products, such as cow’s milk, certain fruits, and vegetables, as well as some types of grains.

What Happens When the Component Ingredients are Combined?

When combined together, glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSN act as a compound supplement, which can help with overall joint stability in arthritic patients. The combined supplement can help with pain relief and even improve the overall health of damaged and aged joints.

Glucosamine supplements with additives, like chondroitin and MSM, are the most common supplements used in veterinary medicine for dogs with arthritis and various musculoskeletal-related injuries.

These complex supplements help ease stiffness and joint pain, help maintain joint function and healthy bones, and help alleviate pain, inflammation, and discomfort associated with osteoarthritis as well as other skeletal-related pain in dogs.

Commonly known brands that produce glucosamine chondroitin MSM medications include Dasuquin, Cosequin, and Glycoflex. However, there are others, which a Hello Ralphie online vet would be happy to discuss with you.

How Do I Use Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM?

Glucosamine chondroitin with MSM can be found in most pet stores and pharmacies. It is an over-the-counter product that does not require a prescription from a veterinarian. It is considered a naturally occurring substance and typically comes in a variety of formulations, such as capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids.

Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM is given orally to pets. Typically, it is offered once or twice a day and given with a meal. Although it does not require a veterinary prescription, it is always recommended to speak with a veterinarian prior to starting any long-term supplementation. A Hello Ralphie virtual veterinarian can be made available for an online consultation to help you decide if glucosamine chondroitin with MSM is a good fit for your dog.

It is important to note that it can take several weeks for the full effects of glucosamine chondroitin with MSM to occur, so it is important to be patient.

man giving medicine to his siberian husky outdoor

When Should I Start Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM Supplementation for My Dog?

As mentioned, when dogs age, the cartilage that helps lubricate their joints starts to wear away and break down naturally. The loss of this lubricant barrier causes the joints to rub against each other, causing inflammation, pain, and degeneration of the bone.

This is an unfortunate but natural process that occurs as a result of ageing. In certain cases, some dogs can be born with certain bone diseases or defects, like hip dysplasia, which may cause pain and inflammation at a young age.

If you suspect that your dog could be suffering from joint pain, one of our Hello Ralphie online veterinarians will be able to complete a full virtual vet assessment of your dog’s individual case. From there, they can offer advice and help you decide if your dog is a good candidate for supplementation with glucosamine chondroitin with MSM.

Common clinical signs that may mean your dog is suffering from joint pain can include, limping or lameness, stiffness or difficulty getting up from a prone position, refusing to jump on furniture or navigate stairs, visibly swollen joints, and a reluctance to go for walks.

Are There Any Side Effects from Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM Supplementation?

Even though glucosamine chondroitin with MSM is a natural supplement, any product that is given over the long term can cause unwanted side effects in certain patients. Side effects are typically uncommon, but those that have been reported from glucosamine chondroitin with MSM include soft stool, diarrhea, and mild flatulence.

It is possible to excessively dose a dog with glucosamine, which is why it is important to consult with a veterinarian prior to starting any oral supplement. A Hello Ralphie online veterinarian will be able to discuss proper dosing and frequency based on your pet’s individual needs.

Certain prescription medications are not safe to give in combination with glucosamine chondroitin with MSM, so if your pet is on any prescription drugs, please be sure to let one of our Hello Ralphie virtual vets know.

Can I Use Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM for a Cat?

The use of glucosamine chondroitin with MSM is safe for use in cats. As in dogs, it is used to alleviate discomfort and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in cats. The use of the product in cats is very similar to that in dogs, but as always, you should consult with a vet before offering your cat any new supplement.

Final Words

If you have any questions about glucosamine chondroitin with MSM, or any other supplement-related questions, please speak with one of our online veterinarians.

We also recommend that you read through our Senior Dog Care and Senior Cat Care guides for more information about looking after your elderly animal.

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