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Shark cartilage dosage levels to relieve dog arthritis



This article shows you how many sticks (grams of shark cartilage) are needed for your dog (dog size) to help relieve osteoarthritis issues.

Recently I analysed a science paper that tested Glucosamine / chondroitin  (Glu/CS) combination for the treatment of confirmed osteoarthritis of hips or elbows (or any joint in dogs). It showed positive results after 70 days of daily doses of (Glu/CS) as described below.

(Glu/CS) also happens to be a major ingredient in SHARK CARTILAGE DOG TREATS. So in this article I look at what commercial dog joint support formulations use (that are based on (Glu/CS), and what you might be able to use with 100% natural Shark Cartilage if you wanted to go the organic natural route.

In the evaluation for effectiveness of (Glu/CS) for dog arthritis tests the that the previous article reviewed.  ” Dogs were given Glu/CS via (Synoquin SA from, VetPlus Ltd.)  REF 1

Synoquin 2017 formulation tablet contains:

  • Glucosamine HCL 99% 475 mg
  • Sodium Chondroitin Sulphate 95% 200 mg
  • Dexahan® 200 mg
  • Ascorbic Acid 50 mg
  • Zinc Sulphate 30 mg


“after the initial loading programme the daily intake can usually be reduced to:

Body Weight  25-40kg 1 tablet per day,     (675 mg active ingredients)

>40kg 2 tablets per day (1 morning, 1 evening)   ( 1300 mg active ingredients)”

Glu / CS amounts used in the osteoarthritis tests

In the original experiments of 2006, Synoquin had the following ingredients: Each gram of the Glu/Cs formulation contained the following active ingredients; glucosamine hydrochloride 475 mg/g, chondroitin sulfate 350 mg/g, N-acetyl-D-glucosamine 50 mg/g, ascorbic acid 50 mg/g and 30 mg/g of Zn sulfate.”

” Glu/CS was administered at a rate of

  • 1 g of active ingredient twice daily to dogs weighing 5–19.9 kg,
  • 1.5 g twice daily to dogs weighing 20–40 kg and
  • 2 g twice daily to dogs weighing >40 kg.”

the daily dose of Glu/CS was reduced by one-third for the subsequent 28 days.

 For a 20 Kg dog that would  be equivalent to  3 g active ingredients per day reducing to 2g (which is higher than the Synoquin 2017 recommendations.

The active ingredients in Shark Cartilage

” Active Ingredients Shark cartilage is comprised primarily of proteins and complex carbohydrates known as glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s). It is one of these GAG’s, chondroitin sulphate, the predominant GAG in shark cartilage that is responsible for its health benefits.”

One of the other major constituents of shark cartilage powder is the collagen protein.

About 40% of the powdered product is made up of proteins, with GAG’s from 4% – 12%. Levels are very dependent on the shark species harvested. The third major constituent of shark cartilage powder is the ash component (about 45% – 52%). Calcium which comprises about 15% of the dry powder and phosphorous, which is about 8%.

”  REF 3


Our packs currently come in a range of diameters but mostly about 16 cm long. From a quick sample of one 500g packet we have found that three typical sizes are:

  • small = 16 cm long   12 mm x 7 mm  =   7  g
  • medium = 16 cm long,  16 mm x 9 mm = 10 g
  • large = 17 cm long,  20 mm x 15 mm =  15 g

 The science test REF 1 gave dose levels of active ingredient per gram of capsule contained: glucosamine hydrochloride 475 mg/g, chondroitin sulfate 350 mg/g, for about the first month the shark cartilage formulation was given as:

1.5 g active ingredient twice daily to dogs weighing 20–40 kg

Where active ingredient =  glucosamine hydrochloride  + chondroitin sulfate

The above reference suggests that in shark cartilage on average you might expect:

Chondroitin sulfate 4%  and  Hyaluronic acid conjugated to glucosamine. 6%

(Glucosamine glycans= Constitute 28 % of the cartilage powder-  and include:  Chondroitin sulfate 4%, Dermatan sulfate 18%, Hyaluronic acid conjugated to glucosamine. 6%)

This means that the glucosamine hydrochloride + chondroitin combined active ingredient amount is approx 10% of the shark cartilage.

For a 20- 40 Kg dog

3 grams active ingredient    (1.5 g twice per day for 20-40 Kg dog) =  an equivalent of 30 g of shark cartilage  (30 g x 10% =  3 g active ingredient) 

30g of shark cartilage is approximate   THREE of the mid size (10g sticks). per day

The test trials said that after 28 days the dosage was dropped by one third, so that would mean you would use two medium shark cartilage sticks per day.

REF 1  Feeding amounts:


  • dogs weighing 5–19.9 kg, =  1 g of active ingredient twice daily  
  • dogs weighing 20–40 kg  =  1.5 g  active ingredient twice daily to and
  • dogs weighing >40 kg =  2 g active ingredient twice daily for 42 days.”

the daily dose of Glu/CS was reduced by one-third for the subsequent 28 days.


Shark Cartliage daily doses V dog size to relieve arthritis

ANOTHER EXAMPLE  =  if you have a 50 Kg dog, you might want to give about 5g of active ingredient in total per day (in two serves on an empty stomach).  5g active ingredients  =  50g of dried shark cartilage.  This is about THREE of the LARGE 15 g STICKS

Note these are basic guides.  Your dog might need more or less of the shark cartilage, but you will need to provide it daily for up to 70 days to know if it works. If you over slightly over provide the cartilage there should be few side effects (unlike pharmaceuticals.


The above guide is only approximate and is mainly recommended for dogs that have Osteoarthritis.  However shark cartilage can also provide good teeth cleaning and gum strengthening, extra omega 3, pain relief and acts to strengthen the immune system and has anti -inflammatory non-toxic properties, which are valuable for any age dog.

We sell shark cartilage in small packs and bulk on this site. For dogs with chewing issues we sell shark cartilage powder.

NOTE the  active proteins,  can be damaged  by increased exposure to stomach acid. That is why it is recommended to feed shark cartilage on an empty stomach. In this way the cartilage passes through the stomach quickly, with minimal damage from acids.

ALWAYS consult your vet before beginning major changes in diet and particularly if your dog has any healthy conditions or is already taking medication.



REF 1   Randomised double-blind, positive-controlled trial to assess the efficacy of glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate for the treatment of dogs with osteoarthritis Grainne McCarthy a,*, James O’Donovan b , Boyd Jones a , Hester McAllister c , Michael Seed d , Carmel Mooney a


REF 2  synoquin  ingredients


REF 3     shark cartilage active ingredients


REF 4   Composition of Shark Cartilage

REF 5  Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulphate Content of Shark Cartilage (Prionace glauca ) and its Potential as Anti-Aging Supplements Sulityowati W.*1 , Titiek Indhira A 1, Arsiniati Arbai 2 and Erina Yatmasari2     2015






Fresh Shark Cartilage analysis   ref 5

Cartilage flour analysis showed that only about 18.39% of the dried flour could be produced from the WHOLE RAW (undried) shark cartilage, indicating sufficiently high water content of the cartilage.

DRY SHARK CARTILAGE  weight was typically 30%  higher than the Shark cartilage flour once sieving and extra drying occurred. ” indicating sufficiently high water content of the cartilage.”


Yield of glucosamine isolated shark cartilage powder  =  28.36%


Yield of chondroitin Isolated shark cartilage powder = 6.06%

(The shark used is blue shark)

This is close to the previous experiments values  REF 4  ((However Glucosamine glycans. Constitute 28 % of the cartilage powder-  that is Chondroitin sulfate 4%, Dermatan sulfate 18%, Hyaluronic acid conjugated to glucosamine. 6%)


It would also explain the ratio of  active ingredients inSynoquin SA (2006) being glucosamine hydrochloride 475 mg/g, chondroitin sulfate 350 mg/g  ie approx 6:4  if they were sourced from shark cartilage.




Composition of Shark Cartilage  (REF 4)

Chemical analysis  unadulterated shark cartilage comprises”

  • 41 % ash,
  • 39 % protein,
  • 12% carbohydrates,
  • 7% water,
  • less than 1 % fiber and
  • less 0.3 % fat.

More detailed ingredient analysis:

1. Proteins: 30-40% cartilage powder( Holtz 1995 Alencar et al 1995)

Extracellular structural proteins:

  • Collagen Type I
  • Collagentype II. Contains a high percentage of hydroxilisina

Soluble proteins:

  • Protein binding 40 kDa
  • Tetranectin similar
  • Metalloproteinase inhibitors . TIMP-2 protein similar
  • Sphyrnastatin 1 and 2

2. Proteoglycans

  • aggrecan
  • SCF2 angiogenesis inhibitor. Keratan sulfate ( Liang and Wong 2000 )
  • Leucine rich Proteoglycan

3. Glucosamine glycans.Constitute 28 % of the cartilage powder (Milner 1999)

Chondroitin sulfate 4%

Dermatan sulfate

Hyaluronic acid conjugated to glucosamine. 6%

4. Mineral: 750 mg of cartilage powder

Calcium 270 mg, Phosphorus as phosphate 142 mg, 7.5 mg sodium, Magnesium 3 mg, Potassium 1.5 mg

Zinc < 0.7 mg, Iron < 0.03 mg, Iodine 0.02 %, Heavy metals <10 ppm

5. Carbohydrates. 6-8% (Boik 1995) exert an immunoregulatory and anti- inflammatory effect.

6. Lipids. <1 %

Cholesterol , 0.07 % ( Alencar et al 1995)

Phospholipids, 0.05 %. Phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, sphingomyelin , phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylserine , cardiolipin ( Alencar 1995 )

fatty acids: Palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, esteraico acid, oleic acid, eicosatrienoic acid ( Alencar 1995)





Shark Cartilage: Potentially Active Chemical Constituents ·

Proteins: troponin-I, tetranectin-type protein, collagenases, cartilage-derived inhibitor (CDI), tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) ·

Glycoproteins: shyrnastatin-1 and -2, galactosamine, glucosamine ·

Glycosaminoglycans: chondroitin sulfate-D, chondroitin-6-sulfate, keratan sulfate

Troponin I appears to interfere with the growth of endothelial cells and to inhibit angiogenesis. Tetranectin is a human protein important in connective tissue structure; levels are often reduced in different types of cancer.

Shark cartilage contains a tetranectin-type protein (a C-type lectin) which is 45% identical to human tetranectin. Shark cartilage’s collagenases and a protein called cartilage derived inhibitor (CDI) block endothelial cell migration and proliferation..

Also present in shark cartilage are tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases, or TIMPs19, 4, 18. They appear to block the action of metalloproteinases, which are enzymes secreted by tumor cells that help them invade surrounding tissues.

Glycoproteins shyrnastatin-1 and -2 were isolated from the hammerhead shark Sphyrna lewini; they were reported to have strong antiangiogenic activity and to inhibit tumor neovascularization,

Glycosaminoglycans regulate chondrocyte metabolism and form a matrix to hold together protein components of skin and connective tissue, thus inhibiting enzymatic degradation of both proteoglycans and collagen22.

Chondroitin sulfate, isolated from shark cartilage in 1961 , appears to improve osteoarthritis symptoms.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin Yield  – REF   5

Glucosamine is one of amino glucose compounds extensively found in the cartilage and possesses very important role in health and joint malleability. Its function in the body is to produce synovial fluid working as lubricant of the cartilage that the cartilage moves well . Synovial fluid defficience will cause joint disturbances, such as stuffy joint, and could cause Osteoarthritis (OA) as well.

Glucosamine sulphate (2- Amino-2-deoxy-D-glucose sulphate) is salt of glucosamine with chemical structure of C6H13NO5(H2SO4) that is a natural compound in human body consisting of glucose and glumatime amino acid. Glucosamine is also main element of GAG (glycosaminoglycan) in the cartilage and synovial fluid.

Glucosamine is obtained from skin or shell extraction of crustacean, such as skrimp, lobster, and crab, which through deproteinization and decalciumization, becomes chitin then hydrolized to be glucosamine. It could be found in nearly all body tissues including cartilage. Shark whose bones are cartilageous contain mucopolysacharides, including chondroitin and glucosamine.[12,13]

Chondroitin Sulphate (CS) is an unbranched long chained-heteropolysacharide called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). GAGs is a heteropolysacharide possessing negative edge binding protein called mucopolysacharide.

CS is major component of the extracellular matrix which plays a role in maintaining the structural integrity of the tissue. Cartilage is an important structural component for defense against pressure [14]. CS is anionic polysacharide consisting of disacharide unit structure, N-Acetylgalactosamine 4- or 6- sulphate and D-glucoronic acid. In the cartilage tissue, the polysacharide is covalently bound to protein to make proteoglycan.

CS has extensive application in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food industries. For instance, CS has been known possessing chondroprotective and anti-arthergenic effects on test animals. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate products are used for symptomatic therapy of knee and hip osteoarthritis with some potential effect of structural modification. The product of glucosamine and chondroitin was isolated from blue shark in this research.


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