<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=332465044330223&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Pet Health


how supplements support pet health

How Supplements Support Pet Health

As pet owners, we want the best for our furry friends. Whether we get our dog or cat when they’re a baby, adult, or senior, one of your first purchases (aside from toys) will be pet food and yummy treats.

But a super important part of your pet’s diet that is often overlooked and is an essential part of pet health is pet supplements

Just like people, our four-legged family members are unfortunately prone to various health issues, and we want to make sure we do everything we can to prevent these issues. If we can’t stop diseases and other ailments, we want to at least do our best to give our pets the comfort and relief they need and deserve.

Like you, your dog or cat can benefit from taking supplements, as they can help prevent pet health problems that their breed is prone to or simply help them stay in tip-top condition as they age. 

In other words, supplements can help make your dog or cat stronger, faster, better!


Ok, maybe supplements won’t give your pet super powers. But as long as you’re giving them ones backed by science and that don’t add anything harmful to your pet’s diet (like a known allergen), then you’re golden.

Choosing the right animal supplements to support your pet’s health requires a bit of education, including learning how to read a supplement label and avoiding supplements that contain ingredients that may be harmful to your pup (which we’ll get into more detail later in this article).

Joint health issues in cats and dogs are extremely common, so one of the supplements we’ll focus on quite a bit in this article is joint supplements, as they help prevent or treat joint-related conditions in dogs and cats, giving them a better quality of life. 

Let’s start by taking a step back and answering some common questions about animal supplements for pet health, starting with their safety. 


are animal supplements safe

Are Animal Supplements Safe?

For the most part, animal supplements are safe, but it’s essential to recognize that there are loose regulations surrounding them.

Supplements for animals and humans don’t require the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine the effectiveness and safety of a supplement product before it’s marketed to the public. That may seem surprising, but it’s because supplements are regulated by the FDA as food, rather than drugs. This means that there are specific regulations that supplements do need to observe, like making sure all ingredients are on the label, but these regulations are often not enough.

Many studies and professional opinions suggest that more research and oversight are needed to ensure that supplements contain what they say they contain and that they are accurately labeled so that consumers can fully understand what they are giving their pets. 

In Canada, animal supplements are not regulated because they are considered low-risk veterinary products. However, Health Canada can still approve veterinary products, provided they meet the strict requirements. TRI-ACTA and TRI-ACTA H.A. are approved by Health Canada as designated Veterinary Health Products (VHP). Integricare also follows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), meaning our supplements are made with the highest quality ingredients with no fillers. Our clear labels make it easy to verify ingredients, so you know exactly what you’re giving to your pet.

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.


types of pet joint supplements

Types of Pet Joint Supplements

Pet joint supplements are made in various different forms, including powders, liquids, injectables, chews, and capsules.

Powders are very easy to administer—they typically come with a measuring scoop and can be easily disguised in your pet’s food. They are relatively easy to transport and store without worrying about liquid spills. Plus, powders are highly absorbable in your pet’s body, meaning they start to work faster.

However, even with these positives, there are some drawbacks. Powdered pet joint supplements can contain excipients—which are chemicals that help make manufacturing easier. Unfortunately, these chemicals have no benefit to your pet, and there’s some debate as to whether commonly used ones, like magnesium sterate, are harmful. Many powdered supplements also contain sweeteners to enhance flavor, which isn’t the best option for pets with conditions like diabetes.

Liquids are similar to powders in that they are easy to administer. One of the main advantages of liquids is that they can be formulated in different concentrations.

However, this also means they have a higher risk of causing an upset stomach and other gastrointestinal issues, so giving liquid supplements with food is often recommended. Thankfully, liquid pet supplements often come with a syringe or pipette to make extracting the correct dose and adding it to food or water easily. Liquid pet supplements often contain stabilizers to extend the product's shelf life, which, like excipients in powdered supplements, can potentially have harmful side effects for your pet (e.g., allergic reaction).

Chews are a popular choice for pet supplements because they act like a treat for your pet. They are often well-received by pets because they taste great, and it’s easy to ensure your pet gets the correct dose. For pets with dental problems, soft chews are a great choice because they are easy to eat. 

However, pet chew supplements can be lacking in some essential minerals—like magnesium and zinc—because it’s tough to disguise the taste. Further, they contain sweeteners and artificial flavors to make them more appealing to your pet, which increases the chance of allergens and other negative effects. Fillers are often also present that would be unnecessary if the supplement was in a different format, like powder.

Capsules are another form of pet supplement. They contain powdered ingredients that are surrounded by a casing, often made from animal gelatin or plant-based cellulose. Because the ingredients are contained in a capsule, it helps mask the odors of them, making it easier to disguise the capsule in food or treats. Further, the capsule’s casing protects the ingredients from pre-mature digestion, enhancing the likelihood of being appropriately absorbed.

When ingested, the capsule dissolves in your pet’s stomach, releasing the contents. One of the benefits of capsules is that the dose is always correct—as long as your pet eats the entire pill. But, they are probably the most difficult to administer to your pet, as they often avoid swallowing it. Hiding the capsule in a treat or in food is generally effective, but some pet owners still have administration issues. 

Injectables are pet supplements that are delivered intravenously or through a shot. They are an excellent option for pets that won’t take oral supplements or need a larger dose or a dose that lasts longer compared to an oral supplement. Injectables can be administered directly to an affected area, like the muscle or joint tissue, for maximum effect. But, because they can be tricky to administer, a vet often gives injectables.

Repeated visits to the vet to get injectable pet supplements can be costly, and it can be a bit painful or uncomfortable for your pet.

how to choose a pet joint supplement

How to Choose a Pet Joint Supplement

With so many pet joint supplements on the market with so many price points, how do you know which one is best for your dog or cat? One of the most important things to consider is the ingredients. But reading supplement labels can be challenging. What’s good? What’s bad?

Here is a list of common ingredients found in pet health products and supplements. While some of them are not great additions, others have benefits. By understanding what an ingredient label is saying, you can make better decisions about the products you give to your pets.


These additives increase the volume of the supplement. Examples of fillers that you may find in pet health supplements include:

  • Cornstarch
  • Lactose
  • Cellulose (usually plant or animal-based material)
  • Sorbitol (a sweetener; often used to preserve moisture and add texture)
  • Calcium phosphate


These components are often used with tablets and chews to hold the ingredients together. Binders include:

  • Honey
  • Sorbitol
  • Gum Arabic (hardened sap of either the senegalia senegal or vachellia seyal trees, which are two types of gum trees)
  • Cellulose
  • Lecithin (a mixture of fats)

Flavourings and Sweeteners

Just like children, pets aren’t going to want to take a supplement if it doesn’t taste good. Flavourings and sweeteners are fine in small amounts. However, some pets can have adverse reactions to some flavourings and sweeteners. For instance, maltodextrin can cause bloating, vomiting, and stomach upset. Not all animals will experience these issues, but it’s important to be aware of what’s in your pet health products so that you can better identify the cause of any problems that arise. 

Types of flavourings and sweeteners commonly found in pet food and pet health supplements include:

  • Sucrose
  • Fructose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Sorbitol
  • Maltrin

Disintegration Aids

Disintegration or dissolving components help capsules break apart in your pet’s digestive system so that the beneficial pet health ingredients can be absorbed properly. Examples of disintegration aids include:

  • Alginic acid (a starch that occurs naturally in brown algae)
  • Crospovidone (a synthetic, water-soluble polymer)
  • Sodium carboxy-methylcellulose (a type of salt)
  • Croscarmellose sodium (a polymer of carboxy-methylcellulose sodium)
  • Sodium starch glycolate (a chemical modification of starch that promotes rapid disintegration)

Lubricants and Flow Agents

These components help release tablets from molds and dies during the manufacturing process and help increase the time it takes for tablets to dissolve. This is beneficial to ensure that the supplement gets to the area it needs for maximum absorption by your pet’s body.

Most lubricants and flow agents are made of vegetable components, with corn being the most common:

  • Silica
  • Vegetable stearate (a stearate is a type of salt or acid)
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Calcium stearate
  • Stearic acid
  • Polyethylene Glycol (a type of polymer used for thickening)

Colouring Agents

The colour of a pet heath product isn’t of any concern to your dog or cat—it’s about being attractive to you. If a pet health supplement is a gross brown or green colour that we associate with something toxic or rotten, we might be unconsciously drawn away from it. Manufacturers know this, so they’ll colour the product to make it look better. 

Colouring agents that are common in pet supplement manufacturing include:

  • Red, yellow, and black iron oxides
  • Sunflower, canola, and soy-based lecithins
  • Colours derived from beet, carrot, or chlorophyll

If dyes are deemed “generally safe to use” by the FDA in the United States, they can be used in pet health and food products sold there. In Canada, there is a list of permitted colouring agents that can be used in these products, with restrictions on how much can be used of each. Some agents are deemed better than others and thus fall under the GMP standard.

Coating Materials

To prevent a pet health product from drying out, going bad prematurely, or breaking apart (tablets and chews), or to mask unpleasant odours or tastes, coating materials may be used.  

Common coatings that are used for pet health products include:

  • Poultry-based fats
  • Marine-based oils
  • Antioxidants
  • Palatants (appeals to a pet’s sensory capabilities—taste, smell, texture)


To extend the shelf life of a pet health product, preservatives will often be used. They are almost always synthetic, but some brands prioritize natural preservatives (although they may not be as effective as synthetic ones). 

Synthetic preservatives often found in pet health products include:

  • Ethoxyquin
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)

These preservatives are great at preventing products from becoming rancid, but they have been linked to health problems in pets, especially when ingested in large quantities.

On the other hand, natural preservatives often found in pet health products include:

  • Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols)
  • Plant extracts (e.g., rosemary)
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

These preservatives are better for your pet but don’t offer the shelf-life longevity benefits of the synthetic preservatives. If you’re buying pet health supplements with natural preservatives, it’s best to purchase smaller quantities at a time so that the product doesn’t go bad. 


It might remind you of chewing gum, but the gums used in pet health products are very different from the tasty human treat—instead, they act as thickening or binding agents. 

The most common gums used in pet health products, supplements, and foods are seed gums such as Guar, Carbob, Cassia, and Tora (often used in wet food for dogs and cats).

These gums do have pet health benefits as well. Seed gums help lower blood cholesterol, and give pet food better texture and taste while preserving its nutritional benefits. 

The Bottom Line in Choosing a Pet Joint Supplement

You may look at a supplement and think it’s a better value because it has more volume for the price, but look again: if there are a bunch of fillers listed in the ingredients, you’re not getting the value you’re hoping for. Instead, look for an option with as few ingredients as possible.

And just as there are ingredients you want to avoid, there are also those you don’t want to do without:




A component necessary for cartilage development. It can also help in the development of collagen, which is also extremely important for joint health.


Slows down and neutralizes destructive enzymes in the joint. By doing this, it also acts to prevent the breakdown of cartilage.


MSM is a detoxifier. It’s a powerful antioxidant and can provide relief from pain and inflammation.

Hyaluronic Acid

This is a glucosamine compound. It occurs naturally in joint fluid and acts as a shock absorber. In older and arthritic pets, the concentration is reduced. Supplementing with HA increases this cushion in the joints and contributes to your pet's comfort.

TRI-ACTA includes all of these ingredients except for hyaluronic acid, which is included in our TRI-ACTA H.A. maximum strength product.

While both products can be used as a preventive supplement to help your dog or cat avoid joint health issues, TRI-ACTA is meant proactively for animals that don’t yet have joint health issues or minor ones, while TRI-ACTA H.A. is intended for animals experiencing joint pain.

TRI-ACTA H.A. aids in the recovery process by adding more lubrication properties to your pet’s joints and assisting in the formulation of cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. It can be given to your pet alongside NSAIDs or on its own.

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.


pet joint manufacturing

Pet Joint Supplement Manufacturing

When manufacturing a pet joint supplement, there are several factors that companies need to consider:

  • Production cost
  • How easy it is to transport and store
  • The active ingredients that will be used
  • The dosage

The answers to these questions will help the manufacturer determine whether a powder, capsule, liquid, chew, or injectable is the proper formulation for their supplement.

Some supplement ingredients can also only be made in specific formulations, so pet supplement manufacturers have to make the above choices considering the limitations of the active supplement ingredient. For example, glucosamine for dogs can come in chewable treats, tablets, liquid, and powder, but other supplements may only be viable in one type of formulation.

Further, manufacturers have to decide where to source the active ingredients used for pet health supplements. Green-lipped mussel for dogs, for example, can reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation in dogs suffering from joint issues like arthritis, but the process of farming these animals can cause significant damage to marine ecosystems. This is an important consideration that a pet health supplement manufacturer has to weigh—while green-lipped mussel is a natural ingredient and customers may look favorability at it, it also has environmental implications that may turn some customers away from the product.

Fillers in Pet Supplement Manufacturing

Fillers in pet health supplements refer to inactive ingredients present in the supplement rather than active ones, which benefit your pet. As mentioned earlier in this article, pet health supplements don’t have to undergo any specific approval process. 

Instead, to get certain types of approval (which can be beneficial to gain customer buy-in) like from the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the supplement has to include ingredients approved as a pet food.

Many supplements, just like pet food, contain excipients. As you’ll recall, excipients are any sort of filler or binding agent, including:

  • Lubricants
  • Flavorings
  • Colouring agents
  • Coating agents
  • Preservatives
  • Emulsifiers (helps keep supplements moist—often used with soft chews and treats)
  • Gums and resins (thickens the supplement mixture)
  • Bulking agents (prevent the supplement ingredients from separating)
  • Dispersing and suspending agents (helps ensure that the solids in the supplement are uniformly distributed throughout the mixture)

Excipients aren’t necessarily bad—in many cases, they are necessary to ensure that the pet health product maintains its configuration while it is being stored or to make it more palatable for your fuzzy friend. After all, even human supplements have flavors and colouring agents to make them more appealing.

The problem is that some of these ingredients can cause allergic reactions in our pets, gastrointestinal upset, or, in rare cases, serious illness. Because these ingredients don’t add any nutritional or supplemental benefit to the pet health product, it can be a tough sell when a product contains too many excipients and few active ingredients. Manufacturers have to balance the amount of inactive ingredients with active ones to ensure that their product is safe and offers good value for money.

TRI-ACTA products are made with 100% active ingredients—so you’re not paying for fillers, you’re paying for results. Being made with all active and natural ingredients means that you also don’t have to feed your pet as much of the supplement for it to be effective, so each dose goes further. Because TRI-ACTA only contains ingredients that naturally occur in your pet’s body anyway, there is also no chance of adverse effects due to the supplement.

best joint supplements for pets

Best Joint Supplements for Pets

As you can see, many considerations go into choosing a great joint supplement for your pet. We’ve compiled a list of several different joint supplements that follow the two main factors you should look for when choosing a pet health joint supplement:

  1. Includes the essential joint health ingredients, glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid (optional, but optimal for dogs or cats that have existing joint issues)
  2. Has little or no fillers (non-active ingredients) 



Integricare designed TRI-ACTA H.A. to be a premium pet joint health product for dogs and cats that suffer from joint issues, including arthritis, osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, and general pain and immobility due to joint issues. It has the maximum amount of glucosamine sulphate and glucosamine HCL, MSM, Chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. These are all naturally occurring components in your pet’s body, so there is no chance of adverse effects. Plus, because TRI-ACTA H.A. only includes active ingredients, you’re getting the maximum amount of pet health product for your money. It also means that you don’t have to give your dog or cat a high dose, a small dose is fine. For instance, even if your dog is 75-100lbs, you only have to give them a 3g dose!

TRI-ACTA H.A. is a tasteless, powder joint health supplement that can be easily sprinkled on your dog or cat’s food using the provided measuring scoop.

Starts at $27.99 CAD for a 60g container. Pricing as of June 2023.

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.


Paramount Pet Health Liquid Glucosamine for Dogs



The liquid glucosamine pet health supplement option from Paramount Pet Health ticks most of the boxes on our list, as it doesn’t have a ton of fillers and contains a good concentration of the active ingredients that should be included in a joint supplement, like glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid. It also contains manganese chelate (which helps with bone structure and metabolism).

In addition, this supplement also:

  • Made with all-natural, human-grade ingredients
  • Follows GMP and is manufactured in an FDA-compliant facility
  • Is transparent about the ingredients it does and does not contain
  • Offers clear dosage directions

$39.99 CAD. Pricing as of June 2023.

Extend Joint Care for Dogs

extend joint


As a powdered pet joint supplement, Extend™ Joint Care contains some of the most important ingredients we like to see—glucosamine and MSM—but takes a different approach from the rest, making it more like a nutritional and joint supplement-hybrid. However, the label and website for this joint supplement are not super clear on the amount of glucosamine and MSM that the supplement contains and it does not contain any chondroitin. This is important as you need to know the amount of glucosamine you’re feeding to your pet on a daily basis to know whether it’s having any benefit or not.

In addition to the glucosamine and MSM, it also contains:

  • Type II chicken collagen, which helps maintain cartilage and might help with joint and animal muscle pain (though there’s mixed evidence regarding the effectiveness)
  • Ascorbic acid (also known as vitamin C) aids in the production of collagen and glycosaminoglycans (which have a wide variety of functions in the body) and aids in the delivery of nutrients to joints

$51.95 CAD. Pricing as of June 2023.

BiologicVET BioJOINT Powder for Dogs & Cats

bio joint


Free of artificial colours, flavours, and binders, BioJOINT Powder for Dogs and Cats is already looking like a great option. It also contains most of the key ingredients on our list, including MSM, glucosamine, and chondroitin. Although this joint supplement contains all-natural fillers, they make up the majority of the product (flaxseed and defatted meal hull make up 72% of the product). Each dosage contains only 200 mg of glucosamine, 200 mg of MSM, and 80 mg of Chondroitin in a 5 g dosage, which means you’d have to provide further supplements (or a higher dose) to get the maximum benefit for your pet from these ingredients. 

Some pros of this pet health supplement include:

  • Made in Canada
  • GMO-free
  • Suitable for cats and dogs of all ages

$31.99 CAD. Pricing as of June 2023.

Bold by Nature+ Bone, Joint, & Immune Health

bold by nature


Does your dog or cat love cheese? Then they’ll probably like Bold by Nature+ Bone, Joint, & Immune Health. It’s a supplement powder that provides optimal pet health benefits, including joint protection and immune system health. It includes all-natural ingredients, including glucosamine HCL, which is a more potent type of glucosamine compared to glucosamine sulphate. 

This pet joint health supplement also includes:

  • Natural cheese powder (yum)
  • Green-lipped mussel powder
  • Turmeric powder, which is commonly used in pet health supplements to support immune health

$39.99 CAD. Pricing as of June 2023.

Head to Tail Hip & Joint For Dogs (Various Formulations Depending on Dog Size)

head to tail


Sometimes our pups have trouble with powders or capsules but love tasty treats. Head to Tail Hip & Joint Supplements come in slightly different formulations to suit your pup’s size. Each supplement contains glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin to support joint cartilage, fluid, and collagen. However, it’s important to note, as with any chew, you will be taking on some inactive ingredients to bind the product together. 

In addition, this pet health product contains:

  • Natural antioxidants like blueberries
  • Some excipient ingredients like Arabic Gum, brewer’s yeast, calcium sulphate, and others, but nothing too over-the-top
  • Hyaluronic acid

$43.99 CAD. Pricing as of June 2023.


Pet Glucosamine

So far, in this article, we’ve discussed the benefits of adding a pet glucosamine supplement to your dog or cat’s diet. But what exactly is glucosamine for pets, and why is it so important to maintain your pet’s joint health over time?

Glucosamine for Pets to Help Treat Joint Pain and Issues

Just like humans, as your dog or cat ages, their body slows the production of glucosamine—an essential chemical that lubricates their joints for easy movement. Glucosamine production in dogs typically starts slowing down when they are around 4-5 years old, while with cats, we can see evidence of lessened glucosamine production when they become seniors, as between 70-90% of cats over 12 years old tend to develop arthritis. 

By giving our aging dogs and cats a glucosamine supplement, we can help lessen (or even eliminate) the pain of joint conditions like arthritis. With the myriad of benefits that glucosamine for pets can provide for your dog or cat, there’s no reason not to incorporate it into your pet’s diet.

Best Sources of Glucosamine for Pets

Glucosamine for pets is made up of a combination of ingredients—glutamine, an amino acid, and glucose, a sugar. Your dog or cat naturally produces their own glucosamine to help lubricate their joints and aid in cartilage production.

There are three common forms of glucosamine for pets; Glucosamine sulphate, Glucosamine hydrochloride, and NAG N-acetyl glucosamine. About half the pet supplements on the market contain the sulphate form while the other half contain the hydrochloride form, while NAG N-acetyl glucosamine isn’t usually used for joint health. 

  • Glucosamine hydrochloride: Also known as glucosamine HCl, this formulation of pet glucosamine is extracted from shellfish shells. It is naturally stable, which means it does not need an extra ion to attach to it. This makes it very bioavailable and highly efficient. It’s a more concentrated version of glucosamine, and has shown positive results in dogs when given in conjunction with chondroitin sulphate.
  • Glucosamine sulphate: This form can also be extracted from shellfish shells or produced synthetically in a lab. It is naturally unstable, which means it needs an extra ion to attach to it. While it is less concentrated than the HCl form, it has the unique advantage of contributing to the production of collagen. Collagen is one of three pillars that make up cartilage, and is extremely important in a healthy joint structure. 
  • NAG N-acetyl glucosamine: This form of glucosamine comes from the outer shells of crustaceans and is mostly used for gut health rather than joint repair. 

TRI-ACTA products contain glucosamine sulphate and glucosamine hydrochloride to ensure all the unique benefits of glucosamine are made available. These are formulated in combination with chondroitin and MSM, to provide the most comprehensive and therapeutic effect for your pet’s joints. 

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.


An Important Note About Human Glucosamine for Pets

It’s important to know where the glucosamine you want to give your pet is sourced from and to never give your dog or cat human glucosamine. Glucosamine that’s made for humans often contains xylitol, which is a natural sweetener. Unfortunately, this sweetener can be toxic to dogs, as ingesting it can cause severe hypoglycemia (a significant decrease in blood sugar) that results in symptoms like decreased activity, weakness, staggering, incoordination, collapse, and seizures.

Interestingly, cats seem to be spared, at least for the most part, of the severe side effects of xylitol consumption, but research is still on the fence about this. This means that while some cats have been observed not to demonstrate serious side effects from xylitol consumption, it isn’t a given that your cat won’t get a serious side effect—so the best course of action is to simply avoid giving them human glucosamine. 

But Can’t I Just Find Human Glucosamine Without Xylitol?

Sure, you could try to find a source of glucosamine that doesn’t contain any artificial sweetener. Still, the other issue is that glucosamine made for human consumption often contains more additives—and not all ingredients are always listed on the label. The best course of action is to purchase a glucosamine supplement that’s very clear that it’s for pets and to read the supplement's label carefully. 

Benefits of Pet Glucosamine

Just like humans can take glucosamine to relieve aching joints, giving your pet a daily glucosamine supplement can provide various benefits to their overall joint health. 

1. Improves Joint Mobility and Range of Motion

Glucosamine is naturally produced in your pet’s joints, where it repairs cartilage by combining it with collagen. Healthy cartilage acts as a natural sponge for your pet’s joints, acting as a shock absorber when they move.

 If joint cartilage is damaged or non-existent, your dog or cat will experience pain when moving. Giving your pet a glucosamine supplement that contains chondroitin, and if they are a senior, hyaluronic acid helps their little bodies produce healthy cartilage and synovial fluid, naturally lubricating the joints. Glucosamine helps maintain synovial fluid’s viscous consistency. 

2. Acts as a Natural Anti-Inflammatory

As a natural anti-inflammatory, giving your pet glucosamine will not only help them become more mobile, but it will also help reduce the pain in their joints. The effects are heightened when combined with MSM, which is another natural anti-inflammatory that your pet’s body produces. 

3. Helps Treat Arthritis and Other Joint Conditions

While glucosamine isn’t a cure for arthritis, osteoarthritis, and other joint conditions your pet can potentially suffer from, it does help treat them. Giving your pet glucosamine can help lessen or even eliminate pain, help them become more mobile, and even reduce the number of NSAIDs they need to take to manage the pain resulting from their joint conditions. NSAIDs can cause secondary issues with the kidneys, liver, stomach, and intestines if taken for long periods of time, so being able to reduce the dosage or get your pet off of this medication completely is a good idea. 

potential side effects

4. Can Potentially Help with Lower Urinary Tract Issues in Cats

In cats, there’s clinical practice evidence that giving them a pet glucosamine supplement can even help with lower urinary tract disease by helping to protect the lining of the bladder. Because urinary issues are so common in cats, this could be a great potential solution to discuss with your vet.

5. Helps Support Joints in Overweight or Obese Pets

Even though chonky kitties and dogs are super cute, the extra weight on their joints can take its toll over time, potentially leading to arthritis and other joint problems. In North America, almost 60% of cats are overweight, while around 65% of dogs are considered overweight or obese—so weight is a big issue for our furry friends.

But getting your dog or cat to exercise when their joints are hurting them is a tough chore. Giving them a joint supplement with glucosamine can help your pet’s joints withstand the extra weight and help relieve pain so that they’ll be more willing to exercise and shed the extra pounds. 

Potential Side Effects

Glucosamine for pets often has few side effects overall. The risk of side effects is usually because some pet glucosamine supplements include additional ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or stomach upset. These include fillers, additives, sweeteners, flavourings, and more. As a general rule, as long as you’re giving your pet glucosamine from a reputable pet product company, your pet will be fine. 

In rare cases, your pet can also be allergic to glucosamine. For example, if your dog has a sensitivity or allergy to shellfish, you would want to avoid glucosamine products sourced from shellfish. Glucosamine sulphate and glucosamine hydrochloride can be sourced from shellfish shells, but synthetic versions can also be made in a lab. Still, an extreme allergic reaction to glucosamine is rare in dogs. 

There’s also been some evidence that giving glucosamine to dogs with liver or kidney issues can exacerbate these issues, so it’s best to discuss whether it’s worth giving your dog a glucosamine supplement if they suffer from these ailments.

It’s best to choose a supplement that contains as many active ingredients as possible to limit your pet's potential to experience adverse effects. TRI-ACTA products contain 100% active ingredients, meaning no fillers or additives, so your pet can benefit from the positive effects of the joint supplement without you having to worry about allergies or other adverse reactions. 


Although adverse effects from a glucosamine overdose are rare, you should still monitor your dog’s behaviour when giving them any new medication or supplement. If you note changes in their behaviour and haven’t changed anything else surrounding their diet or daily routine, it’s worth checking in with your vet just in case.

General dosage directions for glucosamine for dogs is as follows:

Glucosamine Dosage

Dog’s Weight








90+ lbs

The dosage for glucosamine for cats is also usually based on weight. For a typical kitty, you should give them between 120 and 500mg of glucosamine daily. However, actual dosage may vary depending on the supplement you pick, and your veterinarian’s recommendation. 

For example, TRI-ACTA for pets is suitable for cats and dogs, and suggests a dosage based on weight, since the supplement only contains active ingredients with no fillers. For a dog or cat under 10lbs, you’d give them 0.5g of product per day, which is 250mg of glucosamine. But if your pet is over 10lbs, then you’re directed to give them 1g per day, which, of course, equals out to 500mg of glucosamine. 

What Happens if My Pet Gets Too Much Glucosamine?

If your pet consumes too much glucosamine (for instance, they get into the container when you’re not around) they can potentially experience general gastrointestinal symptoms, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy

However, it is important to pay attention to the additives in the supplement that you’re giving your pet, as these are more likely to be the culprit of the issues your pet is experiencing rather than the glucosamine itself. 

Best Glucosamine for Pets

When choosing a glucosamine supplement to give to your pet, look for reputable brands that have positive customer reviews and are transparent with the ingredients they include in their product. 

Here are some recommendations for the best glucosamine supplements for pet health:

TRI-ACTA for Pets

TRI-ACTA for Pets

TRI-ACTA for pets was developed by Integricare as a daily solution for maintaining your pet’s joint health. It has the unique benefit of using two types of glucosamine for maximum absorption and collagen production. It combines both forms of glucosamine with chondroitin, to promote the generation of new, healthy cartilage, muscle, and ligaments in your pet’s joints. The glucosamine and chondroitin in TRI-ACTA work alongside MSM, a natural anti-inflammatory, to provide a complete joint health solution for your pet. 

Because TRI-ACTA only contains active ingredients, you only need to administer a small dose to your pet (based on weight) for maximum effectiveness. Also, because there are only active ingredients in the supplement, you essentially eliminate the risk of your pet getting adverse reactions due to the supplement.

Starts at $23.99 CAD for a 60g container. Pricing as of June 2023.

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.


Dr. Joseph’s VetPro Complete Hip & Joint

vetpro complete


With over 30 years of experience developing veterinary pet health products, Dr. Joseph formulated this hip and joint glucosamine supplement to provide the maximum amount of glucosamine per chewable. Because it’s a chewable supplement designed to act like a tasty treat for your pet, it contains various inactive ingredients. However, the product is transparent about what these ingredients are, and many of them are ingredients that you’d find in standard pet food anyway. 

$53.65 CAD. Pricing as of June 2023.

GlycoFlex® Plus Hip & Joint Supplement for Cats

glyco flex


If you have an older cat, this chewable joint health supplement with glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and anti-oxidants is a great choice. The ingredients are mostly all-natural, with the glucosamine coming from green-lipped mussels sourced from New Zealand. Manufactured in the USA and only using highly-researched ingredients, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve chosen a great pet health supplement. Your kitty will surely enjoy the fishy flavour of these chewable supplements, too!

$15.93 CAD. Pricing as of June 2023.

pet healthcare and wellness

Pet Health Care & Wellness

As pet owners, we want our pets to be as healthy and happy as possible. After all, they are important family members. In between redirecting your cat with a wand toy from scratching the couch or hiding your shoes in the closet to prevent Fido from chewing them, you might be thinking about all the different pet wellness conversations you’ve heard. Whether it’s a good idea to look into a dog bland diet or read more about the benefits of fish oil for cats, this section closely investigates what you need to know about pet health.

Pet Wellness Concerns

Some common pet health concerns that weigh on the majority of pet owner’s minds include:

Weight Gain in Dogs

A dog is considered obese when his body mass index (BMI) exceeds 27.5. Body condition scoring is also used, which is a system that is used for both cats and dogs to determine ideal weight based on weight, muscle mass, and bone density. A score of 4-5 out of 9 is considered optimum.

dog weight chart


Obviously, the ideal weight for a dog highly depends on its breed and overall size. A Chihuahua will have a much lower ideal weight than a Husky. Dogs can become obese because of genetics, diet, lack of exercise, or certain health conditions, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or Cushing’s disease.

Obese dogs have an increased risk of serious health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, and joint conditions. These conditions can significantly impact your dog’s quality of life and, unfortunately, in some cases, can even lead to death. 

If your dog suddenly starts gaining weight, finding the underlying cause can be difficult. Your vet can perform blood work to determine if there are any abnormalities that may reveal the underlying cause. Many common causes of obesity in dogs can be treated with diet changes, increased exercise, and medications. More serious ailments may require surgery.

If you and your vet have ruled out any underlying conditions causing your dog to gain weight, it’s probably time to examine their diet. Your vet can help you develop a weight loss plan, but you’ll also likely want to look into healthy treats and food options to feed your dog. 

Diet dog food, for instance, offers several pet health benefits for your overweight pooch:

  • Has low caloric content while still meeting your dog’s nutritional needs
  • Relies on fewer fillers like soy and corn and instead prioritizes ingredients like chicken and other sources of protein
  • Often contains less sodium, which can help with your pup’s blood pressure and support heart health
  • Lessens the risk of diabetes by reducing complex carbs, such as corn, soy, and rice
  • Can help with skin and coat problems caused by a diet lacking in fatty acids by including fish oils and other Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Weight Gain in Cats

Like dogs, obesity is a problem for many of our beloved feline friends. A cat is considered overweight when their weight exceeds 10-20% above their ideal body weight. If a cat weighs above 20% of their ideal body weight, they are considered obese. In cats, obesity can also be diagnosed using the body condition scoring system, with a score between 4-5 out of 9 being an ideal weight. 

cat weight chart


Aside from performing a blood test to determine if any underlying conditions are responsible for your cat’s sudden weight gain, your vet will also perform a physical examination. This examination can help determine what score your cat falls under with regard to the body condition scoring system.

These are the areas that your vet will access (and you can do it too!):

  • Look and feel the ribs, spine, and pelvis
  • Look at the waist of the cat, also referred to as the abdominal tuck
  • Assess the amount of muscle and fat present
  • Look at the cat from the side and from above

Body Condition Score



While the ribs, spine, and pelvic bones are easily visible on short-haired cats, a very narrow waist, severe abdominal tuck, and small amounts of fat and muscle indicate that the cat is underweight.


Ribs are not visible but are easily felt. The waist is obvious, with a slight abdominal tuck. Overall, the body feels well-proportioned, and there are small amounts of abdominal fat.


Ribs cannot be felt, and the waist isn’t visible. There is also abdominal distention, but it’s subtle.


Ribs cannot be felt, and the waist isn’t visible. There is also abdominal distention, but it’s subtle. With a 9 score, the ribs are covered by an obvious thick layer of fat, and abdominal distention.

Joint Health Concerns in Dogs and Cats

Dogs and cats are active animals, and the potential for joint problems comes with that activity. If your dog or cat is overweight, that can also cause joint issues. It’s important that you keep your pet at a healthy weight, but it’s also important to supplement their diet with pet joint supplements. TRI-ACTA can be given to dogs and cats and is easy to administer.

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.


Raw Diet for Dogs and Cats

From kibble to wet food, determining the best food for your pet can be difficult. A common trend nowadays is to feed your dog or cat a raw diet consisting of organ meats, muscle, whole or ground bone, raw eggs, fruit, vegetables, and more.

The benefits of feeding a raw food diet for dogs include:

  • Shinier coats
  • Improved overall skin health
  • Better breath and cleaner teeth
  • Increased energy levels
  • Improved stools

The benefits of feeding a raw food diet for cats include:

  • Improved digestion
  • Reduced stool odour and volume
  • Healthier coat, less shedding, and fewer hairballs
  • More energy
  • Better dental and urinary health

When developing a raw diet for your dog or cat, it’s best to consult your vet to ensure that you include all the nutritional elements they need. It can be easy to overlook certain nutrients that your dog and cat need when feeding a raw diet.

Natural Pet Health Remedies

Natural products have become increasingly popular for people, so it makes sense that we’d like to use these remedies for our pets as well. Here are some common natural pet health remedies that can be used to treat a variety of pet health conditions:

  • Fish oil is a great natural source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and can be added to your dog or cat’s diet through a supplement. Some pet joint health supplements also include fish oil for its ability to help lubricate joints. Fish oil is also great for helping your dog or cat maintain a shiny coat and healthy skin.
  • Yogurt and Pumpkin are often used to help relieve digestive upset in pets. It’s important not to give your pet just any yogurt, however, as the lactose content can make them even sicker, and artificial sweeteners can be toxic. The best type of yogurt to give your pet is plain, unsweetened, xylitol-free greek yogurt. With pumpkin, purchase plain and unsweetened pure pumpkin—no pie filling or similar product. Usually, the recommended dose for pumpkin is 1–4 tablespoons. 
  • Chamomile spray is a great remedy for dogs and cats to relieve irritated skin. Simply prepare the tea as normal, let it cool, and transfer the cold tea to a spray bottle. Spray the affected area with the chamomile to give your pet instant relief. The spray can be stored in the fridge.
pet health supplement yogilongdog

Pet Health Supplements

There are a variety of pet health supplements that you can give to your pet to aid in their overall health and wellness. These supplements include:

Joint Supplements

To ensure that your dog or cat stays free from joint pain well into their golden years, giving them an effective joint supplement daily is important. TRI-ACTA is a safe and effective joint supplement that is formulated for daily use and contains no artificial ingredients or fillers. 

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.


Probiotic Powder

Just like us, sometimes your pets can experience gastrointestinal issues. This can sometimes be because their gut flora is out of whack. Giving your pet probiotic powder (there are different formulations for dogs and cats) can be an effective way to get their digestion back in normal working order. 

Calming Chews

Sometimes, our animals can become anxious, scared, or have trouble calming down. This can be due to a storm, which can stress out dogs and cats, because of a new environment, or for other reasons. Calming chews are an easy way to help your pet relax and can be given the same way as a regular treat.

Pet Health Care Tips

Here are some actionable tips to keep in mind to ensure your pet stays healthy and happy.

1. Listen to and Understand Your Pet

Keeping our pets healthy isn’t always as straightforward as it seems. Individual dogs and cats can have vastly different personalities, and with those different personalities come quirks. Over time, you’re going to naturally get to know your pet’s unique personality. This is important not only so that you can pick the toys and food you know they’ll like but also to alert you when they aren’t feeling so hot.

For instance, if your dog is usually a happy-go-lucky boy who is down for a walk whenever and wherever and suddenly shows no interest when you grab the leash, chances are that something’s amiss, and you should take a trip to the vet. 

2. Avoid High-Impact Exercise with Your Pet Recovering From Joint Issues

If your pet has joint issues or is recovering from them, avoid high-impact exercises like fetching, running, or jumping. This can cause additional stress on your pet’s joints that could result in making an injury worse or re-injuring a joint that’s healed. Instead, focus on exercise that is not as stressful on their joints, like walking or swimming.

3. Always Spay and Neuter Your Pets

Populations of dogs and cats are often out of control worldwide. If you’re unsure whether it’s a problem in your area, talk to a local rescue. Chances are they will inform you of how swamped they are with the intake of new kittens and puppies as they scramble to find homes for them all. When you spay and neuter your pet, you’re demonstrating responsible pet ownership by not contributing to an overwhelming population of dogs and cats. Also, spaying and neutering can prevent diseases and conditions related to your pet’s reproductive organs from developing.

Recommended Pet Wellness Programs

Pet wellness programs refer to activities that are meant as either preventative care or to help a pet that’s experienced trauma or disease to get better. Thankfully, there are a wide variety of pet wellness programs out there that are tailored to help your pet in certain situations. Here are some examples:


Hydrotherapy is an effective exercise option for overweight animals or animals that have weakened joints due to other conditions. The water helps the animal be buoyant and reduces the weight on their joints, making it more comfortable for them to walk. This can help them shed extra pounds while strengthening their joints over time.

Here’s one instance where hydrotherapy is used to help a cat hit by a car regain his ability to walk properly using his front legs. While the therapy could potentially take years, it’s nice to know that there’s an option to help pets that experience this sort of trauma. 

Veterinary Laser Therapy

This innovative pet treatment option has recently gained popularity as an alternative therapy option. Laser pet therapy can be used in place of or in conjunction with medication like NSAIDs to reduce inflammation, pain and assist with wound healing. 

Therapeutic lasers use light waves to cause photobiomodulation, which alters cellular and tissue physiology. The light absorbed by cells stimulates them to grow, heal, and repair.

Laser therapy helps repair tissue by causing the tissue to promote:

  • The release of endorphins
  • Vasodilation, which increases blood flow to bring in oxygen and cells to speed up the healing process
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Decreased inflammation


Certain ailments your pet may be suffering from, like digestive issues, hip dysplasia, or certain neurological disorders, can be helped by acupuncture

Acupuncture in pets is usually recommended in conjunction with other treatments, like medication and surgery, to help your pet heal. Just like a regular acupuncture session with people, needles are inserted into certain areas of your pet’s body to stimulate nerves, muscles, and fascia to stimulate neurotransmitters in the brain to relieve pain. 

However, acupuncture is not a method that works for every single pet. Pets that are sensitive to touch or don’t like being held would not be suitable candidates for acupuncture. 

final thoughts on pet health

Final Thoughts on Pet Health

Keeping our pets happy and healthy as they age is a top priority for pet owners. But, with so many pet health products and information out there, it’s important to perform your due diligence before purchasing any pet health product. This includes reading articles from reputable sources as part of your research process, reading reviews, and seeking out recommendations and expertise from your vet. We also have pet health recommendations that you can follow from our animal health partners

One effective pet health supplement that you can rely on to be a safe and effective way to ensure that your pet maintains strong joints is TRI-ACTA. Designed to be given to your pet daily, TRI-ACTA is a pet joint supplement that promotes healthy cartilage production, helps maintain collagen and connective tissue, protects joint tissues, decreases stiffness, and overall improves your pet’s mobility. 

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.


Contact us with any questions about Integricare products, or find a retailer near you.