Login Sign in
Login Sign in

Join thousands of pet parents and get vet-approved guidance, product reviews, exclusive deals, and more!

MSM for Dogs: What Exactly Is It?

Skip To

MSM, short for Methylsulfonylmethane, is commonly found in animals (including humans) and plants. This naturally occurring compound is used in alternative medicine as a supplement for reducing inflammation and joint pain and boosting immunity in humans. 

Similarly, the right dosage of MSM in dog supplements can help canines with relieving hip and joint pain and increase immunity. 

Keep reading to learn about this nutritional supplement and ways it can help your furry friend.

What is MSM for Dogs?

MSM powder on blue background

“MSM is an organic form of sulfur popular for helping to relieve pain and discomfort in dogs with a variety of hip, bone and joint disorders often associated with pet arthritis,” says Dr. Carol Osborne of the Chagrin Falls Veterinary Center & Pet Clinic

Glucosamine is another supplement commonly used for reducing joint pain in dogs. When glucosamine supplements are combined with MSM, they can help reduce stiffness and make movement a bit easier for your dog. 

Is MSM Safe for Dogs?

“MSM can be safe and effective when given in the correct amounts for the appropriate condition(s) in dogs,” says Osborne. However, for pets being fed raw, organic diets, Osborne states that they “receive MSM naturally through their nutrition.” 

MSM-rich foods and vegetables include leafy green vegetables, alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, tomatoes, and beetroot. 

There is a difference between human grade and canine MSM versions. Osborne suggests that for humans, “they are generally available in more concentrated, pure forms versus animal grade versions for which the source, purity and safety can vary widely”. 

Osbourne explains that many animal grade MSM supplements are contaminated with heavy metals. This is reason enough to get supplements from a reputable company that have their products tested by an independent third party, which ensures that your pet is getting quality joint supplements. 

Benefits of MSM for Dogs

Senior dog running with people

MSM can benefit dogs in a number of ways. It can help reduce muscle damage as well as general pain and stiffness related to aging. MSM is also known to inhabit inflammatory responses in the body, thereby reducing any stress on the immune system. MSM also increases levels of glutathione, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system. 

According to Osborne, MSM has the following benefits for your dog:  

  • Reduces bone, hip and joint inflammation. 
  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Relieves muscle and joint pain.  

How to Give MSM to Dogs

MSM can be introduced into your dog’s system in different ways. It is most often included in dog joint supplements. Supplements containing MSM come in the form of dog treats or chews, supplement bars, and as powder. 

“MSM is often combined with other nutrients such as glucosamine, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate, for example in pet arthritis supplements available over the counter,” says Osborne. “It may be tableted and/or in a powder form and added to food.”

Your veterinarian can advise you on the appropriate MSM dosage for dogs. 

MSM Side Effects for Dogs

Consult with your veterinarian before giving any supplements to your dog. “Adverse reactions are possible with most nutrients including MSM,” warns Osborne. 

Some of these reactions include upset stomach, nausea and diarrhea.  

MSM for Dog Joint Health

Supplementing your pet’s diet with a nutritional treat containing MSM can improve joint health and help him live a longer, happier and stress-free life.