How Much Collagen Should I Give My Dog? A Concise Guide

Collagen is one of the best nutritional supplements that you can give to your dog due to its excellent health benefits and minimal side effects.

Due to collagen supplementation having very little known side effects, you can safely give a large amount to your dog without having to worry about toxicity or overdose.

You may wonder then, “Exactly how much collagen should I give my dog?”

The exact amount to give will still vary depending on the size of the dog. Generally, the recommended daily dosage of pure collagen is .33 x the body weight of the dog in pounds. The resulting number is the amount of collagen, in grams, that should be given to your dog.

However, as each collagen product differs and may be mixed with other ingredients, it is important to follow the specific feeding instructions usually printed on the back of the package.

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Why Is Collagen Good For Dogs?

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Collagen is the primary, most abundant protein which makes up the body- whether human or canine. It can be thought of as the ‘glue’ that holds a dog’s body together and allows the entire structure to function properly.

So, it is essential that your dog gets enough collagen either through food or other means.

Different types of collagen are responsible for different roles in the body. For example, Type I collagen gives strength and structure to skin, tendons, bones and connective tissue.

Meanwhile, Type II collagen is found in the cartilage between joints and helps to keep the cushioning healthy.

Top Benefits of Collagen Supplementation For Dogs

Stronger bones and joint health

Collagen production naturally declines as dogs get older, and they begin to develop joint and bone problems.

Since the collagen can’t be renewed as efficiently by a dog’s body as before, joints start to lose their cushioning and become inflamed. This leads to common painful conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and tendonitis.

Studies have shown that an increase in collagen supplementation has the ability to slow down the breakdown of cartilage and bone in older dogs. Making collagen a part of an aging dog’s diet will help ensure it experiences less joint degeneration as the years go on.

Young dogs can benefit from collagen too as a matter of prevention, maintenance, and daily repair. A study published in The Journal of Veterinary Science showed that dogs which were given collagen were much less likely to develop joint disorders such as dysplasia later on.

Effective treatment for existing joint pain

One of the biggest, most unavoidable problems that dogs face as they get older is joint stiffness and pain.

Years of diving into mud puddles, jumping onto couches and chasing the neighbor’s cat will eventually catch up with any dog. The collagen that is lost during aging is what contributes most to degraded joint cushioning and lubrication.

However, one study showed that just 10 grams of gelatin hydrolysate (collagen extracted from bone, skin or fish) supplemented daily over eight weeks was beneficial for dogs that were affected by arthritis. It greatly brought back the dogs’ liveliness and vitality, and reduced limping and stiffness.

Another study conducted in 2007 showed that dogs which were supplemented with undenatured Type II collagen experienced significant reductions in overall pain within 30 days.

Within 60 days, limb movement pain and exercise-related limping was also reduced. The maximum effect on pain reduction was achieved after 120 days of treatment.

This is an extremely eye-opening finding for dogs and dog owners like myself. Most good owners would love to help their best friends live as pain-free and happily as possible into their golden years!

Even more exciting is that it was established that supplementing glucosamine and chondroitin alongside collagen was even more effective than just using collagen by itself.

Improves appetite and digestion

Collagen is a protein found in meat, so dogs naturally find it appetizing and have no problem eating it! Adding collagen may even encourage a picky dog to eat more as it adds additional texture and taste to their regular meal.

Amino acids that make up collagen such as glycine, proline and glutamine are also very beneficial for a dogs’ digestive systems. They have the ability to soothe the stomach lining by helping to repair connective tissues that have been damaged.

Fur, skin and coat maintenance

Sufficient collagen intake is essential for your dog to have a healthy coat, since 70% of a dog’s skin is made up of the structural protein.

The largest layer of the skin of a dog’s coat is called the dermis, and it primarily consists of collagen. Dermis helps to nourish and support the upper epidermal layer, fights off any infections that make it through, and is responsible for maintaining the skin’s elasticity and strength.

By including enough collagen in your dog’s diet, your dog will be in the best possible position for soft, healthy fur and nail growth and a beautiful, shiny coat.

Are There Any Side Effects?

One of the biggest advantages of collagen is that as a natural ingredient, it has no known negative side effects!

The absence of side effects was noted in the same 2007 study, where it was stated that there were no adverse reactions and no major changes in blood serum chemistry. This suggests that collagen is a supplement that dogs absorb easily and tolerate very well.

What Are The Best Collagen Products For Dogs?

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If you’re after a collagen product with all-natural ingredients, then this offering by Pet Honesty should top your list. It is backed by research and is especially effective for older dogs that are already experiencing joint pain and stiffness.

It is also suitable for young dogs as well as a maintenance and preventative supplement. It contains both glucosamine and chondroitin which when combined with collagen significantly improves joint pain reduction. Bonus: your dog will love the taste!

Otherwise, one of the easiest ways that you can start adding collagen into your dog’s diet is by feeding it bone or fish head broth. You can either make it yourself or use an organic option like this one from Osso Good. The gelatin that forms when bone broth cools down is packed with collagen and very nutritious for dogs.

If you want to supercharge your bone broth into a lean, mean, joint-healing machine, consider adding collagen peptides to the mix. When looking for a suitable collagen supplement for your dog, make sure to choose a pure, hydrolyzed collagen so that it is able to be absorbed easily.

It can be from various sources, such as chicken, bovine or marine. Marine collagen is typically the most bioavailable and the easiest to digest. It is also typically hypoallergenic and free from virus risks associated with cows or birds. Codeage’s Marine Collagen Powder is a great option.

can dogs have human collagen supplements?

A perfectly legitimate question that you may be wondering is, “Can I give human collagen to my dog?”

Yes! If it is a pure collagen product, then it should be perfectly fine for your dog too. Collagen for humans and dogs come from the same sources- and if anything, the collagen source and amino acids for humans may be of a higher quality.

Just double check to make sure that any human collagen supplement you want to give your dog doesn’t contain other added ingredients or chemicals that might be harmful to canines.

So, How Much Collagen Should I Give My Dog For It To Be Effective?

The amount of collagen that each dog needs will differ based on their size, weight and health needs.

Doses as small as 1mg – 40mg of undenatured Type II collagen have been shown to be effective for joint pain in dogs.

After doing research on the large variety of dog collagen products available, I have found that products recommend anywhere from 1 gram to 20 grams as a single serving.

This is influenced by the size of the dog, as well as the other ingredients that are present in each formula. Generally, you will be able to give hydrolyzed collagen in smaller amounts as it is very easily absorbed.

The important takeaway here is to always follow specific product instructions carefully, and to consult with your vet if you are uncertain.

However, as a general guideline- the recommended daily dosage of pure collagen is .33 x the body weight of the dog in pounds. The resulting number is the amount of collagen, in grams, that should be given to your dog. 

If you don’t want to do the maths, here’s a handy calculator that’ll do it all for you! 

When/How Should I Give My Dog Collagen?

Since collagen is derived from meat sources, it is usually readily and enthusiastically taken by any dog.

You can either give collagen to your dog separately in the form of a treat or chew, or mix the collagen in with its usual meals.

In Conclusion

Collagen dosage will be different for every dog, based on their size and nutritional requirements.

The easiest way to know exactly how much collagen to give to your dog is by checking the back of the supplement package. However, the general guideline of .33 grams per pound of dog weight works well in a pinch.

What’s not up for debate are the superb health benefits that collagen can provide to your dog. Whether your dog needs pain relief for its joints, a boost to its coat or smoother digestive function, collagen can be the missing link.

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