Joint and muscle problems affect humans as well as animals. According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis affects one in every five dogs in the United States. This makes it one of the leading causes of chronic pain conditions that veterinarians handle. The good news is MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) can help ease joint pain and connective tissue problems in dogs.

What is MSM?

MSM is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in animals, plants, and humans. Scientists can also create it in the laboratory and it is widely used to treat joint health problems in many parts of the world. It comes in white, odorless powder form that easily dissolves in water. Some of the foods that contain MSM include pepper, broccoli, onions, sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, beetroot, corn, tomatoes, alfalfa, and chicken meat. This chemical is important because it helps the body to use vitamins and other essential nutrients efficiently. The Arthritis Information and MSM Supplement Center states that methylsulfonylmethane is a non-toxic and odorless chemical.

What Does MSM Do for Dogs?

old dogMSM is a natural form of sulfur and is widely stored in almost all body cells. The problem is the body’s MSM levels decrease with age. As a result, your pet may develop skin problems and joint pain. With this in mind, MSM for dogs can be beneficial because it plays a big part in the formation of healthy skin, amino acids, connective tissue such as ligaments, and blood proteins. This is in addition to decreasing pressure inside cells allowing nutrients and water to flow inside cells and nourish the body. As a result, it maintains the skin’s elasticity allowing it to stretch without causing pain.

In addition, this chemical component protects cartilage from deterioration according to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Zoology. Another study published in the journal Osteoarthritis Cartilage found that MSM for dogs can reduce joint pain associated with osteoarthritis. Methylsulfonylmethane is necessary for maintaining healthy dog fur and skin because it helps the body form keratin. This protein is one of the major components in the outermost layers or hair and fur. It is also present in biotin — a vitamin that helps hair and fur develop a shiny sheen.

Other deficiencies associated with lack of sulfur or MSM in the body include rheumatism, poor immune system, gastrointestinal problems, brittle nails, and acne.

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How Do I Give My Dog MSM?

The rule of thumb is to give your dog a dose of 50-100 mg for every 10 pounds of body weight. You can mix it with your pet’s food. Your vet may prescribe a higher dose if he or she determines that your dog has an extreme MSM deficiency. However, larger than normal doses only last for about one to two weeks. After this compensatory period, you can revert to giving your dog the normal dose. Most of the MSM products come in the form of powder although you may come across capsule and tablet variants.

Take note that the daily dosage also depends on the health of your pet. For example, gastrointestinal tolerance may affect the amount of Methylsulfonylmethane that your dog can take. Furthermore, giving your pet this chemical for one day will not produce any noticeable results. It can be anywhere from one week to one month before you begin to see any improvement in your pet’s health.

Is MSM Safe for Dogs?

This natural form of sulfur is relatively safe and you do not have to worry about harming the health of your dog. A study carried out and published in the Journal Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2007 found that MSM for dogs did not produce toxic chemical or biomechanical signs in clinical trials.

Nevertheless, your pet may experience mild side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea. It is advisable to stick to the dosage prescribed by your vet because MSM can cause your pet to develop toxicology problems.

Furthermore, you should take your dog for regular eye checkups. This is because sulfur may cause opaqueness in your dog’s eyes. Other notable side effects include kidney problems, hives, breathing difficulties, and liver problems. It is advisable take your pet for regular kidney and liver tests. For people with pregnant dogs, it is wise to consult a qualified vet before giving any medication including methylsulfonylmethane.

A report published by the Arthritis Information and MSM Supplement Center states that MSM can cause blood to thin. This means that you should seek advice from your vet if your pet is on any other medication or supplement. Seek professional help if you pet develops any health complications or unusual behavior after taking MSM for dogs.

Why Use MSM Instead of DMSO

In simple terms, methylsulfonylmethane is the oxidized form of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). This means that MSM occurs only after the oxidation of DMSO. The problem with dimethyl sulfoxide is it causes health problems such as shortness of breath, nasal congestion, and formation of excess intestinal gas. Although these side effects might not be life threatening, they can cause a lot of discomfort. The good news is methylsulfonylmethane does not have these negative side effects.

Additional Supplements

Some vets recommend giving methylsulfonylmethane together with vitamins B and C. Additional prescriptions depend on the observations your pet’s vet makes. He or she may also advise you to give your dog plenty of water to help flush toxins. Vitamin E may be necessary because it has anti-inflammatory properties. Mobility CARE+ by PetVitalix is the best all-in-one dog joint supplement you can get on the market. Get all the components like Glucosamine, MSM, Chondroitin, Manganese and Vitamin C your canine requires in this unique new hip and joint supplement for dogs.

Another complementary supplement with anti-inflammatory properties is omega 3. It also helps promote healthy growth of skin, fur, and muscles. These additional supplements may or may not be necessary.

Health problems such as arthritis can be debilitating to both humans and animals such as dogs. One way of alleviating this pain is by giving your dog methylsulfonylmethane. It has benefits such as promoting healthy cartilage growth, transfer of nutrients of throughout the body, and healthy growth of fur. Unlike DMSO, MSM does not produce serious health complications. Studies published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal Cartilage Osteoarthritis show that MSM can help reduce joint inflammation.