Arthritis is a bone condition where there is a breakdown of the cartilage in the joints. Cartilage is important for the smooth movement of joints. So it is once it starts breaking down that you find it difficult bending, walking and even doing simple, everyday things like getting up from the bed.
This is when arthritis pain starts in joints like legs and hips. It can occur in both humans and most animals, including dogs. And a common treatment option for arthritis in humans and dogs is prescribing joint supplements containing ingredients like glucosamine.
What is glucosamine?
Glucosamine is basically a natural cartilage building block which is used by the body much faster than it’s produced as the body ages. Glucosamine products help replenish these depleting glucosamine levels and in the process, provide some relief from arthritis symptoms.
With both humans and dogs finding relief from arthritis through the same supplements, many wonder if it’s safe to give human glucosamine to dogs and if there is any major difference between the two.
Well, the answer to this question is that while it’s safe to give human glucosamine to dogs, there are these major differences between the two.
- Two types of glucosamine
The first thing to know is that there are two types of glucosamine used in joint aide products- glucosamine sulphate and glucosamine hydrochloride. While both types are available at any health store, it’s general products containing glucosamine hydrochloride that are better for your dog as they are more readily absorbed by them.
- Varied composition
Different aide products have different compositions where the human supplements are generally made using 99% strength glucosamine hydrochloride. On the contrary, dog specific supplements contain 90% strength glucosamine.
However, if you compare the working between the two, the dog formulas are designed to give the quickest relief from pain. This is because most of the substance is directly absorbed into the dog’s system.
- Difference in regulation
Human and dog glucosamine have different regulations. The dog options are generally highly regulated while the human versions are considered more of a dietary aide. This is why they are not regulated by the FDA. So by choosing and giving your dog a dog specific product, you know it’s regulated and know what you are giving your dog.
- Price difference
There is a huge difference between the two types of products where the ones meant for dogs are more expensive than the human varieties. This may be attributed to the fact that the dog supplements are FDA regulated.
However, it is not necessary that the most expensive one is always the best. It’s always better to compare the ingredients between different products to ensure you are paying a worthy rate.
- Food safety
While the human grade variety is safe to give your dog, those labelled ‘pet food’ or ‘pet grade food’ may contain some ingredients that are not FDA approved or rendered safe by the Meat Inspection Act or Pure Food and Drug Act for human consumption.
This is because many of the pet/animal varieties and foods contain animal products that are not legal or safe for people. On the contrary, dogs and other animals can anytime safely eat human food products.
- Food composition
The human grade glucosamine products are usually of a higher quality, and a purer form. Besides, the concentration also differs between different products. The products meant for dogs contain ascorbic acid or manganese, essential for the absorption of glucosamine in the dog.
In addition to this, the dog varieties may be fortified or flavoured with other minerals for your dog’s betterment, and also to make it more palatable to the dog. This is why you have bacon and cheese flavoured products to make them more appetizing to dogs.
So the benefit of giving your dog supplements meant for them is that you know they contain helpful and integral compounds. You also know that they come with the perfect dosage for your dog.
On the contrary, it is the other ingredients in the human varieties which may make a supplement unsafe for your dog. There are in fact some ingredients in some human options like chocolate and xylitol that are fatal to your dog.
- Different forms
There is another major difference between a pet and human joint aide product which is its form. The human varieties are meant to be swallowed and dissolved in the human digestive tract. However dogs have a shorter digestive tract than humans, so this means the ingredients have to be absorbed by the body before passing out through the body.
Dog types are generally chewable so that it’s easily broken up to be quickly absorbed. Human types, however, can end up just passing through the dog, without getting absorbed.
So looking at all these differences, you should know by now that the main differences between human and dog glucosamine are its form and dosage. Tablets that are not designed for dogs may not be useful for their joint problem as they will not get absorbed by the dog’s digestive tract.
Besides, there is a difference in the way dogs metabolize some vitamins and minerals when compared to humans. This is why though it’s tempting to give the same human glucosamine you take to your dog, it’s better to find a supplement that’s safe for your pet and has the appropriate dosage guidelines.
You should never give your dog the supplement based on your human dosage as humans and dogs have different glucosamine needs, requirements and dosages.
Doctors best Glucosamine/ Chondroitin MSM capsules Review
There is, however, one human glucosamine supplement that many dog owners take, and have safely given their dogs, which is Doctors best Glucosamine/ Chondroitin MSM capsules.
This is a dietary joint product from the company Doctor’s Best, containing natural and selected ingredients, making it one of the best in the market. It is unique in its working as it stops joint inflammation by attacking the root cause of inflammation. Not only does it treat joint inflammation, but also lubricates the joints and flushes out any anti-oxidation substances in the body.
The main ingredients are:
- Collagen, cartilage’s major building block, is responsible for our body’s strong cartilage. Poor collagen levels lead to weak cartilage and consequent weak support structure that can lead to eventual joint degradation and pain.
- Glucosamine sulphate is responsible for regenerating damaged and worn out cartilage and that helps improve joint lubrication and cartilage regeneration. This entire repair, in turn, leads to eventual joint movement and flexibility.
- Chondroitin works with glucosamine to lubricate joints by attracting moisture to the joints.
- Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM is a natural sulphur source that’s essential for the body to maintain healthy cell membranes, fight cell inflammation and help repair connective tissue.
The suggested dosage for adults is taking 4 capsules a day with food, or as recommended by your physician.
- Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Chondroitin constitutes natural ingredients that are safe and effective in fighting and managing joint related problems.
- Regular use of the supplement helps support joint health and flexibility, supports and maintains the body’s joints and even supports overall hair, nail and skin health.
- Doctor’s Best is a famous company known for producing high-quality, safe and effective supplements and product, rendering this supplement safe to take too.
- It is free of gluten, GMOs and soy
- There is a money-back guarantee
Disadvantages of the product
- There is the risk of the product not being safe for consumption by people who are allergic to shellfish
- Though there is a return policy, it works out to be rather cumbersome and expensive to use.
- You do not receive any free samples with a purchase.
Possible side effects
While there are no major side effects related to Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM, it may not be safe for people who are allergic to shellfish. It’s also advised to take this supplement with caution if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The supplement hasn’t been evaluated safe for use by breastfeeding and pregnant women.
Doctor’s Best Glucosamine Chondroitin constitutes there of the best ingredients for a joint supplement in a single product. The only drawback in it is that it does not have minerals and vitamins to make it the perfect supplement.
With regular use, it reduces joint pain and damage so that you can continue with your work as usual. It in fact not only promotes stronger joints but also helps reduce future possible degeneration.
Though there are dog supplements meant solely for dogs, it’s relatively safe to use Doctor’s Best Glucosamine supplements for your dog. You can give one capsule each in the morning and evening with food and within a few months’ time, you find a noticeable difference in your dog’s gait and fitness. And in case your dog gives some problems taking it, you can always open the capsule and sprinkle it onto your dog food.