You may have recently stumbled upon a little health supplement called MSM, and are now curious about the numerous health benefits that it can provide to dogs.
But- What is it? Is it safe? And what is the proper MSM dosage for dogs?
You’ve come to the right place, as in this post we will attempt to answer all those questions and more. Read on, learned pet owners!
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Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an organic form of sulfur used as a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant for dogs suffering from arthritis and some forms of cancer.
A powerful antioxidant, MSM originates as an organic sulfur compound released by dead plankton that rises to the upper atmosphere.
The exposure to ozone and ultraviolet light converts this compound to MSM, which returns to the earth as rainwater. Thus, MSM is a naturally occurring compound found in fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, milk, meats, eggs, and plants.
On the other hand, commercial MSM – the type of MSM you may be looking to get for your dog – is manufactured by the reaction of two raw materials: dimethyl sulfoxide (from petroleum) and hydrogen peroxide (from methane).
MSM is then purified to remove any impurities. In the US, MSM is purified through a distillation process, which requires boiling the compound to its boiling point. In India and China, MSM is distilled by the crystallization process, which requires solvents.
In recent years, commercial MSM has become a popular dietary supplement for both humans and dogs in the quest to improve hip and joint health.
As a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) substance, MSM has been widely used to treat oxidative stress, joint/muscle pain, inflammation, and cancer. It can also treat cartilage degradation.
As a powerful antioxidant, MSM binds to free radicals – which have been found to be at the root of aging and disease by destroying cells and DNA – to remove them from the body.
MSM is particularly good at going from the bloodstream to the brain, making it the perfect supplement for dogs with neurological disorders such as Wobbler syndrome, vestibular disease, and intervertebral disc degeneration and herniation.
Various studies have shown that MSM, like other joint supplements such as fatty acids, glucosamine, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate, can significantly improve your dog’s joint pain with minimal side effects- particularly if it has arthritis.
MSM can also improve your furry friend’s ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients and thus help to prolong his or her lifespan.
Accordingly, MSM can improve your pet’s overall physical function. If your pooch has had problems moving due to arthritis and other health issues, MSM can be part of the solution to getting him and her back on her feet.
MSM can also alleviate symptoms from allergies– including but not limited to food, inhalation, and contact allergies – by lowering inflammation and inhibiting the release of cytokines and prostaglandins.
If your pet is suffering from skin irritation or dryness, MSM can help out as well, since it can rejuvenate aging, damaged, irritated, and dry skin.
Additionally, MSM is great for dogs suffering from chronic pain. By blocking the transfer of electrical pain impulses, MSM is an effective natural painkiller.
MSM is also excellent for boosting your dog’s immune system. It does so by flushing the waste out of your dog’s body by lowering cell pressure. This allows for more nutrients to be absorbed.
Finally, consuming more MSM can reduce cell senescence, anchorage-dependent growth, and prevent various metastatic biomarkers, which helps to limit and prevent the growth of cancer cells.
In humans, MSM has been shown to be able to reduce the size of breast cancer, gastrointestinal, and esophageal tumors by inducing apoptosis (a process in which cancer cells are induced to self-destruct).
Generally, vets recommend a dosage of MSM from around 40-100 mg per 10 pounds of body weight. Elderly, sick, and large dogs tend to need MSM the most.
Nevertheless, you should consult your vet before deciding what the proper MSM dosage for your dog is.
Keep in mind that every dog’s medical history is different and that individual differences such as height, diet, weight, and breed may also influence what would be the proper dosage for your dog.
For instance, dogs who only eat kibble may need more MSM, while dogs who have an entirely or predominantly raw diet may not need as much MSM.
This is because raw meat and vegetables already contain MSM. However, if your dog eats a lot of heated vegetables and meat, then he or she may need more MSM, since sulfur escapes when MSM is heated.
Before you consult your vet about what brand of MSM supplement to get for your dog, you should keep in mind that not all MSM supplements are created equal. Unfortunately, some of the cheaper brands have poor nutritional value and poorly synthesized MSM.
As such, you should ask your vet a variety of questions to make sure your pooch gets the proper MSM dosage he or she deserves:
- Should I give my dog MSM?
- Does my dog need MSM?
- Does MSM mix well (or not at all) with any other medications my dog is or should be taking?
- What is the best brand of MSM for my dog? (This one’s pretty great!)
- What is the proper MSM dosage for my dog?
Even after consulting your vet, you need to pay attention to how much MSM you give your dog.
While a very high dose of MSM is safe for your pet in the short term, if you keep on giving your pooch a high dose of MSM in the long term, your dog may start experiencing some gastrointestinal discomfort and nausea.
To make sure that you’re not giving your dog too much MSM, monitor your dog’s stools, energy levels, health, and behavioral changes. If anything changes, you should consult your vet about what is the proper MSM dosage for your canine friend.
Usually given by mouth in the form of capsules or powder, MSM can be mixed with your pet’s food.
However, note that some dogs are sensitive or intolerant to sulfur and that long-term use of MSM can decrease your pet’s calcium levels, which can worsen their joint problems.
MSM can also enhance the effect of other supplements. Since MSM pushes toxins out of your dog’s cells, it will make it easier for your dog to absorb vitamins, magnesium, calcium, and other minerals.
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.