What this is:
Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural amino sugars that are produced by the body (both humans and canines alike). It is not naturally occurring in any foods, save for very small trace amounts in some types of shellfish.
When these are at optimal levels, and with a young, healthy dog, they works by keeping cartilage strong. And this is important, as cartilage must be strong to cushion bones at the joints (hips, knees, elbows).
Why this may be needed:
As a dog ages, his body starts to struggle with producing enough glucosamine and chondroitin. At a certain point, his body uses it faster than he can produce it. As soon as a Boxer reaches that tipping point, cartilage starts to break down. This is what leads to arthritis.
In addition, with dogs of any age that have had conditions that involve joint health (hip dysplasia, patella luxation, elbow dysplasia, back issues) this is often recommended.
The age that a Boxer needs glucosamine: Most owners do not start their dogs on this early enough. Here's the thing, this is prescribed
after a dog develops arthritis. But, by then it's a game of catch-up that cannot be won.
And arthritis can be terribly crippling. You may notice that your older Boxer starts to hesitate when he tries to rise. He will be a bit slower on walks. Then, things can just spiral down. Issues are most commonly seen in the legs and hips. And this can have a huge impact on so many elements in a dog's life. From walking to being able to sleep well at night and everything in between.
You may strongly want to consider starting your Boxer dog on glucosamine or chondroitin at the age of 6 years old, before issues start to develop. If you offer the recommended daily amount, this can only be beneficial.
Please note, there are 2 basic options:
- This would be recommended for a younger adult Boxer aged 6 and up that you are giving this to preemptively to help prevent joint issues.
- This contains both glucosamine and
chondroitin (both are the chemical compounds that a senior's body has trouble producing) and
sometimes MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) which is an organic sulfur containing compound that is believed to help reduce pain and swelling. This is recommended for a Boxer that already has joint issues and/or has been diagnosed with arthritis.
***The only thing to keep in mind is that these are derived from shellfish, so while it is very rare, if a dog was allergic to shellfish, he should not be given this supplement.