Our playful pet dogs love to run, jump and play whenever they can. Many dog breeds are energetic and active and given the chance, they will play all day long. Other dogs are working hard on the farm, walking long distances and leading high-energy lifestyles with their companions. It is no wonder the lubrication and cushioning between the bones of dogs can weaken at the joints over time. This usually can be attributed to old age, trauma or disease.
We all want our beloved pets to live long, happy and active lives. Fortunately, there are some remedies we can give our dogs when old age creeps in or if they suffer from an accident or disease.
MSM or Methylsulfonylmethane is a supplement for dogs that supports proper joint function and connective tissue health. MSM is an anti-inflammatory, analgesic and aide in collagen production. If your dog is feeling aches and pains MSM can ease the discomfort or pain it is experiencing. No pet owner wants to even think about their dog feeling pain and it is sometimes hard for a dog to express aches and pains especially in the beginning stages when it is mild. In fact, some dog breeds will hide their pain to show strength especially if there are several dogs in the house.
MSM is a wonderful supplement that has helped many dogs feel less pain and get back to being more active. If your dog is suffering from a chronic inflammatory condition or joint pain MSM can help too.
In This Article
What Is MSM?
MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in the body and is a source of organic sulfur. The sulfur is a gas released from dead plankton which works its way through the water cycle and comes down as rainwater. Rain falls onto plants which are then eaten by animals and so MSM is present in all living things. When your dog gets MSM through its food it comes in this form.
Sometimes dogs can get enough MSM naturally through their water and food with a normal diet. Other times we need to give nature a helping hand. Commercially manufactured products come in the form of supplements. These supplements can be given in combination with the MSM your dog gets through its diet.
MSM is found in small amounts in water, fruits, vegetables and grains, but because of its volatile nature, it is easily lost. Supplementing the diet with additional MSM ensures the body’s ability to synthesize collagen for connective tissue health, maintain membrane flexibility and promote cell regeneration.
The concentration of MSM in the body can decrease over time, so deficiencies may occur as part of the aging process. Sulfur deficiencies are associated with brittle nails and a dull coat, slow healing of wounds and gastrointestinal, immune system, joint and connective tissue dysfunctions.
Low levels of MSM can cause physical and psychological stress, organ and tissue malfunction, fatigue and susceptibility to disease. These symptoms can be difficult to see until the later stages. That is why your vet will likely recommend you start giving your dog MSM for joints at an early age.
MSM also acts as a detoxifier. Unwanted waste is flushed out of cells and once those toxins are gone fresh nutrients can take their place. This results in less disease and better health.
MSM is considered safe for dogs and has been used for many years as a reliable treatment for joint health. MSM is fast-working. You can usually see the first results of MSM within 1-2 weeks of introducing the supplement to your dog’s diet.
How Does MSM Benefit Dogs?
MSM can benefit dogs in many ways including the ones listed below.
- relieving chronic pain
- relieving joint pain
- neurological disease
- autoimmune disease
- fights parasites such as giardia, trichomonas, roundworms, nematodes, Enterobius and other intestinal worms
- osteoporosis arthritis
Dasuquin With MSM
Dasuquin with MSM chewable tablets are often recommended by veterinarians and most dogs will take the tablets easily. It comes in bottles of 84 or 150 tablets and is suitable for dogs of any size. There are two formulas (Dasuquin with MSM for small and medium-sized dogs and Dasuquin with MSM for large dogs).
It is recommended the tablets are taking for 4-6 weeks to see results and if effective a maintenance dose can be given. This is a lesser dose that should maintain the benefits. More can be given at times the dog is more active such as weekends if for example, you spend more time outdoors then.
If you observe any changes in your dog after giving Dasuquin, such as vomiting, diarrhea, an allergic reaction or abnormal behavior stop giving the supplement and contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible.
Dasuquin With MSM Benefits
- Helps support cartilage matrix production
- Helps inhibit cartilage breakdown
- Helps support joint comfort
- MSM is a source of sulfur, a compound used by cartilage
Glucosamine For Dogs
In dogs, glucosamine is also often used to relieve pain and joint wear caused by hip dysplasia or other structural changes. Combining glucosamine with MSM is a proven way to help dogs feel better as their bones absorb the benefits of glucosamine. Your vet can access your dog and tell you if you need MSM only or MSM combined with glucosamine.
Glucosamine chondroitin MSM for dogs can also help reverse and repair cartilage damage.
How Much MSM Do Dogs Need?
The therapeutic dosage for dogs is about 50 to 100 mg of MSM per 10 pounds of body weight. Even dogs on a diet of raw, whole foods may still require this supplement.
As well as tablet form you can also get MSM in powder form. It is an odorless crystal which can be mixed with water or added to food. It doesn’t have a strong taste so most dogs won’t even notice anything has been added to their food. Sprinkle it on top or mix it in with the dog food if you have a fussy eater. This option is great if your dog isn’t interested in chewing the tablets.
MSM As Prevention
Even if your family pet is young and running around the garden with heaps of energy a joint supplement such as MSM can be beneficial. You don’t need to wait until your dog is old and hobbling around the house to introduce MSM to its diet.
Prevention is a wonderful thing. Slowing down the onset of old age symptoms can prolong the life of your dog and improve it’s overall health.
So when is the best age to give your dog MSM?
Below is a list of dog breeds that are prone to experiencing joint issues including inflammation, arthritis and hip and elbow dysplasia. If you have one of the breeds below it doesn’t mean your dog will have joint issues for sure. It just means the likelihood is much higher compared to the other breeds.
If your dog is on the list below you can start giving MSM from the age of one year old. If your dog is not on the list you can wait until it is three or four years old.
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- Basset Hounds
- Bernese Mountain Dogs
- Catahoula Hounds
- Chow Chows
- Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
- French Bulldogs
- German Shepherds
- Great Danes
- Golden Retrievers
- Labrador Retrievers
- Neapolitan Mastiffs
- Norwegian Elkhounds
- Old English Sheepdogs
- Pit Bulls
- Saint Bernards
- Shih Tzus
Weight Control Is Vital
When dogs are overweight it puts a lot of strain on their body and can cause joint discomfort and pain. As well there are so many health issues associated with obesity in dogs. It is therefore important that your dog maintains a healthy weight. With the right diet and exercise, you can ensure your dog stays at a weight that won’t threaten its health and wellbeing.
Keep a record of your dog’s weight and measurements. Every few months check and record any changes. This is a good way to keep track of your dog’s weight. If your dog puts on weight you may not notice if you are together every day so it is a good idea to keep a diary for your dog. You can also use the diary to record milestones, treatments and any other health issues for easy referral in the future.
If your dog is old, has a disease or has suffered an accident and has been prescribed MSM there are some other therapies you can apply at home to help further.
Make sure your dog has an extra soft bed with plenty of soft pillows and blankets. Massage your dog gently once or twice a day to help ease the pain it may be experiencing and to speed up detox. Make sure your dog is getting regular exercise. Put ramps for easy access if your dog is severely hurt or quite elderly so it doesn’t have to conquer the steep steps. Give your dog extra grooming sessions which is another form of gentle massage that can help ease your dog’s aches and pains.
As with any supplement, flower, plant or medicine, some dogs will have a negative reaction. Any time you see an adverse reaction you should stop giving your pet the substance and monitor them carefully in case they need medical attention. Often the problem will ease naturally and you can keep your pet quiet, warm and safe until the reaction subsides. Other times you might need to rush your pet to the vet for observation and treatment.
Some dogs are sensitive or intolerant to sulfur compounds which can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, congestion, immune problems or skin issues. Also, the long-term use of MSM lowers calcium levels which then inflames joint problems. Symptoms can show up shortly after your dog is given the supplement or may take time. Always give small doses initially and restrict the use of MSM to a month if benefits are not apparent by then.
Pained joints and arthritic conditions are often due to calcium deficiency which is a very common mineral deficiency in canines. Always consider giving your dog calcium as an initial treatment or consult with your vet.
Where Can I Buy MSM?
MSM for dogs can be purchased at your pet store, pet supplier, department stores, online or from your local veterinarian. Always check expiry dates to make sure the product is not old.
MSM Dosage For Dogs Naturally
If you prefer your dog gets MSM through food only ensure your dog’s diet is raw and organic to keep as much of the naturally occurring MSM intact. MSM is found in milk, fruit, vegetables and grains.
Adding sulfur-rich foods to your dog’s diet might also help, since MSM is organic sulfur. Sulfur also plays an important role in the production of glutathione, another important antioxidant. Sulfur-rich foods include meats with a lot of collagen, such as bones, trachea and connective tissue. Raw, organic meats and bones are best.
You might see your dog limping, walking slowly or struggling to get up after a nap or a long time laying down. If you notice your dog is feeling some discomfort or pain talk to your vet about MSM to see if it is suitable to ease your dog’s pain.
Other times dogs don’t show pain. But most senior dogs will get some form of arthritis at some point even if it’s mild. So a supplement can only benefit your dog. Don’t wait until your dog is limping around in the later stages of arthritis before introducing MSM.
MSM is a much better remedy than pain killers. MSM is widely recognized by vets as one of the most effective treatments for age or injury-related joint problems. It is a great supplement that can give your dog a better quality of life and longer life too which is exactly what every pet owner wishes for their beloved dog.