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MSM For Dogs: What is it, and Does Your Dog Need It?

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In humans, it’s relatively common knowledge that prolonged use of anti-inflammatory drugs (also called NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can cause some serious issues—including kidney problems, heart disease, and even ulcers.

When it comes to man’s best friend, these symptoms can be similar, so it makes sense that dog owners would be hesitant about giving their precious pooch an NSAID—especially when there may be another option.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an anti-inflammatory sulfur that naturally occurs in your dog’s body. MSM does a number of positive things for your pooch, like ensuring their immune system is working properly, as well as assisting with good cell, tissue, and organ function.

Of course, because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory, MSM for dogs helps with pain as well, especially joint pain caused by injuries or conditions such as:

In other words, MSM helps keep your dog’s body strong and healthy!

Because of the benefits that MSM provides, it’s been developed for use as a supplement. An MSM supplement for dogs assists their bodies in reducing pain and discomfort and helps with overall dog joint health.

But dog owners like yourself probably have questions about MSM use. Is it effective? Is it safe? These are all common questions pet owners ask when deciding whether to give their dog MSM for the first time.

In this article, we’ll explore more about MSM, including getting into more detail about MSM for dogs, including its safety, how it’s usually developed, benefits, any potential risk factors, and more.

Is MSM Good for Dogs?

Yes, MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur in your dog’s body and, therefore, good for your pooch to have. In fact, without MSM, your dog’s body wouldn’t be able to manage the functioning of each cell, tissue, and organ—which, as you can imagine, would lead to life-threatening problems.

Every living thing needs organic, biologically-active sulfur to survive, and your pooch is no different. MSM is just one of those sulfurs.

As a preventative supplement, MSM can be used to help treat the inflammation (swelling) that a variety of conditions cause, including:

  • Colitis
  • Lung injury
  • Liver injury
  • Allergies
  • Joint diseases and injuries

Where Does MSM for Dogs Come From?

MSM can come from two different processes—either naturally occurring or synthetic.

  • For naturally occurring MSM, when phytoplankton dies, they release dimethylsulfide (DMS) when they decompose. DMS, in turn, reacts to oxygen and sunlight to form MSM and other sulphates. In nature, MSM is absorbed into clouds and dispersed to plants through rain.
  • MSM for commercial use is created from a catalytic reaction (think sudden, drastic change) of a chemical called dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) and hydrogen peroxide. DMSO is often created as a by-product of wood pulping in a commercial setting. But don’t be turned off—a medical-grade DMSO is used for MSM supplements.

Think back to high school biology class for a moment. We absolutely don’t want to go killing off all the phytoplankton in the ocean to make supplements, as it’s an essential component of aquatic food webs—small fish and crustaceans eat the phytoplankton, then those animals are eaten by bigger fish, small sharks, corals, and whales.

So instead, we produce MSM using various manufacturing processes, like the DMSO creation process described above.

MSM, in general, is considered a safe and effective substance that’s perfectly fine for dogs—and humans—to take on a regular basis.

Is an MSM Supplement for Dogs Recommended?

If your dog suffers from any sort of joint ailment, such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, sprains, strains, carpal tunnel, back pain, and more, then you should absolutely give your dog MSM. In fact, you can also give your dog MSM alongside other supplements, like glucosamine for dogs.

TRI-ACTA is a great supplement that combines MSM's anti-inflammatory power with glucosamine's joint lubrication properties, offering your pet effective protection against joint issues and pain. It can be given to your pet daily by simply sprinkling a small amount of the supplement powder in their food. Even if your pet doesn’t have joint issues, TRI-ACTA can be given as a preventative supplement.

On the other hand, if your dog does have joint issues or diseases, then you’ll want to give them TRI-ACTA H.A. The “HA” stands for hyaluronic acid—which improves the viscosity of the synovial fluid in their joints, resulting in less pain, better healing, and boosted joint protection. It also provides maximum protection against the deterioration of cartilage (which happens naturally as your dog ages or due to a joint issue) and helps actively repair damaged or missing joint cartilage.

TRI-ACTA H.A. for Pets

Our maximum strength formula is optimally designed to accelerate the formation of cartilage, minimize inflammation, expedite the healing process, and improve joint conditions.


MSM for Dogs Allergies

MSM can provide your pup with some relief from allergies as well as helping to relieve joint pain. This is because MSM naturally blocks the allergen’s access to the host by creating a mucous layer. MSM also has detoxification and antioxidizing properties, which can help to eliminate the free radicals in your dog’s body, reducing the likelihood of allergic reactions.

MSM for Dogs Benefits

MSM for Dogs Benefits

There are a variety of positives that MSM provides to help keep your pup happy and healthy for years to come. Here are those benefits in greater detail:

1. Decreases Pain Associated With Joint Diseases or Ailments

Because MSM is a natural anti-inflammatory, giving a dog an MSM supplement can help make your pooch that’s suffering from arthritis and general joint pain more comfortable. In some cases, the dog MSM itself is enough to keep your pooch pain-free, meaning they don’t need to take NSAIDs, and therefore avoid the potentially nasty side effects.

However, even if your dog does still need to take NSAIDs to keep them healthy, happy, and pain-free, MSM for dogs can be safely used in conjunction with NSAIDs. By combining the two, you may even be able to reduce your dog’s dosage of NSAIDs over time, which helps lessen the potential for side effects.

2. Acts as a Powerful Antioxidant

MSM activates transcription factors (special proteins that are involved in immune system responses) to regulate and balance antioxidant enzymes, which help ensure that cells in your dog’s body remain stable. Transcription factors are like little watchmen that make sure all the cells in your dog’s body are healthy and doing what they are supposed to.

MSM can also bind to and inhibit free radicals, which are unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and aging.

3. Helps Preserve Cartilage

MSM, on its own, has been shown to help prevent damage to cartilage and protect articular cartilage in animals. However, combining MSM for dogs with other natural components found in TRI-ACTA H.A., like glucosamine and chondroitin, provides the maximum benefit for your dog’s joints and cartilage, including the ability to help repair worn-out cartilage.

Basically, if your pup is suffering from joint issues or is getting older, it’s a good idea to start giving them TRI-ACTA H.A. to support their joint health as they age.

4. Helps Eliminate Parasites

Giving your dog MSM can also help eliminate intestinal parasites that may be present in their body, including giardia, trichomonas, roundworms, nematodes, enterobius, and others. These parasites can cause general gastrointestinal upset, itching around your dog’s anus, and more uncomfortable—and sometimes life-threatening—symptoms.

5. Helps Boost Other Nutrients in Your Dog’s Diet

When your dog eats yummy and nutritious food, you want to ensure they’re getting the maximum benefit. After all, a raw food diet for dogs isn’t exactly cheap. Thankfully, MSM is known for increasing the potential of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your dog needs by making the cell walls more permeable to certain vitamins and nutrients, including A, C, D, E, all B Vitamins, Coenzyme Q10, amino acids, and more.

MSM Impact on Disease

In addition to the benefits of MSM for dogs that we’ve gone through, it’s important to note that MSM has also been noted for its ability to help treat inflammatory and immune diseases. These diseases and ailments, and how MSM helps, are listed in the table below.


How MSM for Dogs Helps


Because MSM is able to pass the blood-brain barrier, it supports the movement of blood to the brain, which can help prevent damage and repair damage. The repaired cells within the membrane will be permeable and elastic in nature, allowing them to release waste and chemicals.


Arthritis and some skin diseases are considered autoimmune conditions in dogs. Because MSM is a natural anti-inflammatory, it helps with providing relief for your pup from autoimmune conditions.


There’s some evidence to suggest that MSM may be helpful for dogs that suffer from diabetes. This is because MSM is a sulfur, and sulfur is an essential component of insulin, it may help with insulin production. As well, MSM improves cellular glucose uptake and cell permeability, which may help balance blood sugar levels.


Some research shows that MSM may have beneficial effects in helping to delay symptoms of Cancer. However, it’s important to mention that this research has been done on rats, with limited positive results. In any case, MSM shouldn’t be relied on as a single treatment for Cancer in dogs.

How Much MSM for Dogs?

With all the benefits we’ve discussed about MSM for dogs so far, your next question might be “How much MSM should I give my dog?” After all, you wouldn’t want your precious pup to experience any sort of negative side effects from a supplement that’s supposed to be helping them feel better!

Like other supplements, the MSM for dogs dosage amount varies based on your dog’s weight. Here is a chart detailing how much MSM for dogs is appropriate based on their weight and size:

Dog Weight

MSM Daily Dosage

Less than 10 pounds (about 4.5kg)

Less than 500mg

11–20 pounds (4.5–9kg)


More than 20 pounds (over 9kg)

Add 500 mg dose for every 10lbs (e.g., if your dog weighs 40lbs, then you would give them 1,000 mg of MSM)

Can Your Dog Get Too Much MSM?

Thankfully, MSM is not only effective, it’s also extremely safe. While dogs can experience some potential side effects from taking MSM, like diarrhea, lethargy, restlessness, and loss of appetite, the majority of dogs are perfectly fine and do not experience any side effects.

In fact, MSM has a similar toxicity level to water! With that being said, if your pet takes too much, they might experience stomach-related side effects, like diarrhea, bloating, and nausea. So while it’s not really possible for your dog to overdose on MSM, staying within the recommended dosage for their size is still a good idea to avoid any potential issues.

Pure MSM Powder for Dogs

Like other pet health supplements, MSM powder for dogs is available in addition to capsules and chews. Some dog owners find powder supplements easier to administer than other types because they can be sprinkled onto your dog’s food using the provided measuring scoop.

Remember, the optimal dosage of MSM for dogs is 500 mg per 10 lbs or 4.5 kgs of body weight. The measuring scoop provided in most pure MSM powder for dogs supplements makes it easier to ensure that your dog is getting the correct dose. If your dog takes more than their body can handle, it might experience minor stomach upset, including diarrhea.

Where To Find MSM Dog Supplements?

MSM supplements for dogs can be found at most pet stores and online. If you want to purchase Integricare’s TRI-ACTA products, you can find retailers selling them using the Where to Buy tool. This will save you time Googling and calling various places.

Before you purchase any supplement, it’s important to read reviews and do some research about the brand. A variety of supplements are available online, and not all of them are from trustworthy sources or are manufactured following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). The GMP is a system that helps ensure human pharmaceutical products are manufactured safely and effectively—so if the pet supplement you’re choosing is GMP, that goes a long way in adding to its trustworthiness.

TRI-ACTA products follow GMP and are certified by Health Canada as a designated Veterinary Health Product (VHP). This means that the contents of TRI-ACTA supplements are regulated and verified by Health Canada, and their quality can be assured.

Best MSM for Dogs

Aside from checking the reviews for the MSM for dogs product and whether it follows GMP, you should also check the ingredients.

Reading a supplement label might seem like it would be straightforward, but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Different manufacturers use different formatting and fonts to list their ingredients, making finding and understanding ingredients difficult in some cases. If you want to compare two products to one another, going back and forth between the labels can make you go cross-eyed pretty quickly!

When you’re reading a supplement label, be sure to keep these three tips in mind:

  1. Compare active to inactive ingredients. Active ingredients are the ones that actually provide a benefit to your pet, while inactive ones will be things like fillers, flavourings, preservatives, and more. To ensure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck, look for supplements prioritizing active ingredients over inactive ones.
  2. Servings sizes. Related to active and inactive ingredients are serving sizes. If a product has a ton of inactive ingredients, it will increase the serving size needed to get your dog the dosage of the supplement they need for it to be effective. Giving your dog more of a supplement, of course, means that you’ll have to buy more of it, but it also increases the chance that they’ll turn their nose up at it. And in some cases, it may still only be subtherapeutic levels of the active ingredients. Supplements with few or no inactive ingredients will have smaller serving sizes and be easier to administer.
  3. Designations. It’s a huge plus for a supplement brand if they can say they use GMP and are a certified Veterinary Health Product by Health Canada or another jurisdiction.

With those considerations in mind, let’s get into our recommendations for MSM supplements for dogs:



While TRI-ACTA isn’t only an MSM supplement, it packs several key ingredients that protect and heal your dog’s joints. MSM works alongside glucosamine (HCI and sulphate) and chondroitin, two essential ingredients in joint health, to provide natural anti-inflammatory properties in addition to joint healing power. TRI-ACTA promotes the generation of new cartilage, muscle, and ligaments in the joints.

Because TRI-ACTA only contains active ingredients, you can feed your dog less as well, meaning that purchasing this supplement won’t hit your pocketbook as hard as ones that have fillers and other non-active ingredients. You can administer TRI-ACTA by simply sprinkling the required dose directly onto your dog’s food.

TRI-ACTA for Pets

A proactive approach for developing and younger adult pets to maintain optimal joint health mobility, minimize inflammation and fend off age-related ailments.


2. Liquid-Vet Hip & Joint Support

Liquid-Vet Hip & Joint Support


Receiving several 5-star ratings, Liquid Vet Hip & Joint Support is a joint health supplement for dogs containing MSM, glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin to help target your pet’s joints and relieve conditions like arthritis.

While it does have some fillers the list of inactive ingredients is on the lower side. The liquid formulation of this supplement is also an interesting alternative to powder. It is important to note that because it is a liquid,the active ingredients make up a relatively small percentage of the product. This means the serving size is quite large and the cost per serving high.

3. Thrive Joint Support

Thrive Joint Support


As an MSM powder for dogs, Thrive provides a good amount of therapeutic benefits in a small dosage amount (¼ of a tsp for 10 lbs, ½ a tsp for 20 lbs, etc.). It contains MSM, glucosamine HCI, and chondroitin sulphate to provide anti-inflammatory and joint-healing benefits. It can be added directly to food.

Aside from the active ingredients we listed above, Thrive does contain rice hull and mineral oil in very small amounts. These are likely used for binding agent purposes.

Final Thoughts on MSM for Dogs

Final Thoughts on MSM for Dogs

MSM for dogs is a great joint supplement to consider giving to your dog. Because MSM assists with so many different processes in the body, including the immune system, joints, organs, and more, it can provide essential benefits to your dog to help keep them happy and healthy as they age.

Thankfully, various MSM supplements for dogs are available on the market in different configurations. This gives you the freedom to choose a supplement that works best for you and your dog. One of the best options for giving your dog an MSM supplement is powder. Powdered MSM supplements are beneficial because they are easy to store, have a long shelf-life, and usually come with a measuring scoop so it’s easy to administer the needed dose to your dog.

TRI-ACTA is a great powdered joint supplement to consider giving to your dog to support their joint health. If you’re interested in trying TRI-ACTA, purchase it online today or find a retailer!

TRI-ACTA H.A. for Pets

Our maximum strength formula is optimally designed to accelerate the formation of cartilage, minimize inflammation, expedite the healing process, and improve joint conditions.