You have found out that the limp your dog has is due to joint pain problems or arthritis. And your veterinarian prescribes a glucosamine chondroitin joint supplement for your dog. Though it may not cure osteoarthritis, it’s helpful for providing relief from joint pain and discomfort. This is when you wonder if you could give your dog the same human glucosamine chondroitin you are taking for your joint pain problems. You naturally feel that as both conditions require the same medication, you will save money if both you and your pet took the same treatment. Besides, it’ll also take up less space in your medicine cabinet!
It is true that glucosamine for dogs and human consumption are the same as they come from same or similar sources, and work the same in the different bodies. However, it’ll be better if you gave your pet dog supplements as humans and dogs have different glucosamine needs. It’s essential that you consider these needs before giving your dog human glucosamine as there are differences between the two you need to know:
Human options are comparatively expensive
Human supplements meet rigorous and strict standards of purity and safety than compared to a dog’s one. The additional quality stringencies mean that the manufacturers have to spend more money on their product.
They pass these added costs to consumers by quoting higher rates. So instead of saving money as you’d expected, you end up spending more money!
Problem feeding your dog
While human glucosamine cater to a human’s tastes, and if you don’t like its taste you still take it as you’ve paid for it. Besides, you can always try a new and different brand once the existing supply is over. However, dogs don’t so quickly eat things they don’t like. So if they don’t like the taste, they can’t be reasoned into taking it. You end up having to force feed your dog by pushing pills to the back of their throats or using oral syringes to swallow liquid options. There’s the chance of your dog vomiting when you force feed them, and sometimes liquids given in oral syringes can cause spills.
However, glucosamine for dogs come in forms that are readily given to dogs like treats or to mix in their food. Some powdered options are flavoured so that you can conveniently sprinkle it over your dog’s food and get them to eat it without a fuss. There are also glucosamine gravy and treats that dogs like for their enticing tastes.
May contain chemicals that are dangerous for dogs
And supposing a human glucosamine tastes pleasant, it usually contains chemicals and artificial sweeteners and flavours to remain calorie free while maintaining a pleasant taste. These artificial flavours and chemicals may cause side effects in your dog especially if they are intolerant or allergic to any of them.
Researchers also suspect that some of these substances also encourage weight gain and digestive problems and is connected to cancer and other diseases. While the chemicals will not harm a human’s massive body, dogs have smaller bodies and quickly experience its adverse side effects because the amount of chemicals in it is proportionately higher for their body weight.
Human options may induce weight gain
And if the supplement contains substances that induce weight gain, it’ll only make things worse for your dog as weight gain only encourages injury and wear and tear on your dog’s joints. On the contrary, dog varieties don’t contain much of these artificial flavours and chemicals. If there’s any, it’s in lesser amounts and safe for your dog. Some glucosamine for humans also contain salts that may irritate your dog. There are also some which may contain xylitol or chocolate, which are entirely safe for human consumption but can kill your dog.
However glucosamine for dogs are better for them as they taste better with flavours dogs enjoy like cheese and bacon flavour. So in other words, while it’s comparatively safe to give glucosamine by itself, it’s the other components that may cause problems and need consideration.
Human supplements may contain more glucosamine than required
The right dosage is calculated based on the weight and severity of the problem. In case of humans, adults need about 1,500 mg of glucosamine every day, and the effects appear after a few weeks or months of starting the treatment. Even a dog’s dosage depends on his weight. Dogs weighing 70 pounds may need between 1000 to 1500 a day while smaller dogs need a lower dose. While a bigger dog’s dosage may coincide with a human’s dosage, smaller dogs need less glucosamine.
So it’s important you give the right dosage for your dog if you plan to start human supplements and not give more than the recommended dosage. Too much of it can lead to bone growth abnormalities and internal damage like liver and kidneys damage in your dog with prolonged use.
Differences in digestive systems
The difference in the digestive tract and systems of dogs and humans is another reason why it’s better to give your dog pet supplements. Human varieties are made to be swallowed and dissolved in the human digestive tract.
However, a dog’s digestive tract is shorter than a human’s so there’s not much time for it to get absorbed before passing through the dog’s body. However chewable pet forms let the dog break the tablets up for easy absorption while human glucosamine tablets just end up passing through the dog.
So looking at all this, if you want to know ‘Can I give human glucosamine chondroitin to my dog?” well the answer is yes and no. It all depends on the supplement. If it contains just pure glucosamine chondroitin and is in a palatable liquid or powder form, and if it’s the correct dosage for your dog to get absorbed entirely, then it’s safe and beneficial at providing relief from your dog’s joint health.
However if the human variety contains other dangerous chemicals, artificial flavourings and if you cannot regulate the amount of glucosamine your dog gets per dose, then it’s better to give your pet dog supplements.