What’s the difference between Dasquin and Cosequin for my dog?

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It’s when your once active pet dog grows hesitant to climb stairs or finds it difficult moving around as usual that you start thinking and realise that something’s wrong. It indicates that they have joint pain, which is a significant problem in dogs.

Yes, dogs too experience osteoarthritis as they age where the joints’ protective cartilage cushioning wears with time. And they feel intense pain when the bones rub against each other against the thinned cartilage protection. While this condition can’t be treated, dog supplements like Dasquin and Cosequin help control it.

Both of them are excellent supplements from Nutramax labs and are safe for your dog. They, in fact, have many similarities between them, and a few differences.

Difference between Dasquin and Cosequin for dogs

It’s easier defining the differences between the two by first learning more about each supplement and their similarities. Both are supplements formulated to help provide relief from doggy arthritis to give relief from joint pain like hip dysplasia and other joint problems. Both are easy to give to your dogs as they come in chewable, tasty tablets and not a regular pill.

Cosequin is a dog supplement that helps maintain and promote your dog’s proper joint health and condition. It’s the glucosamine, MSM and chondroitin in it that does all this. With regular use, it can help your dog quickly climb your home stairs as usual, and even jump and run as usual.

Dasquin is similar to Cosequin in its functioning; it is also given to dogs to help maintain their joint health and condition. It also contains MSM, chondroitin and glucosamine and works at increasing the production of your dog’s cartilage matrix. However, it has an additional ingredient that keeps it a step ahead of Cosequin and makes it a stronger and more effective supplement for your dog.

ASU- Avocado-Soybean Unasponifiables- The X-factor

It contains the ingredient ASU, which is Avocado-Soybean Unasponifiables, which is absent in Cosequin.  ASU is calculated amounts of soybean and avocado concentrated oil extracts. Studies have proven that this is a much better ingredient in preventing and delaying the production of cartilage breakdown compounds in your dog.

It’s shown to be helpful in repairing your dog’s stiff, sore and damaged joints as it directly targets Prostaglandin E2 synthesis, the inflammation marker that triggers cartilage destruction. Effects of ASU on your dog are comparable to the results experienced after taking aspirin for pain relief.

Now the question arises if it’s worth paying more and giving your dog Dasquin instead of Cosequin. Well, it’s not a question with a generic answer as it all depends on your dog and his condition. Your veterinarian is a better judge to decide which supplement is better and necessary to help provide your dog with pain relief.

Your vet will evaluate your dog’s condition and determine if you have to spend more for the ASU in Dasquin or if the cheaper Cosequin is more than enough for your dog. So while Cosequin can help your dog rebuild its joint cartilage with its essential components, Dasquin is more helpful for dogs that are in severe pain.

When and how to give it to your dog

Once you realise the similarities and differences between the two supplements, you need to know when and why you have to give these supplements to your dog. Some dog food manufacturers create lots of hype about their dog food containing the same ingredients found in these supplements.

However as dog food does not contain that much of the ingredients, your dog won’t get as much MSM, glucosamine and chondroitin, and ASU, from any dog food as they would get from Cosequin or Dasquin.

As both supplements are available as chewable tablets, your dog enjoys chewing it as they feel they are getting a treat. So there’s no need to go through any battles with your dog trying to make them take the supplements. You can even opt to mix the chewable tablets with your dog’s food so that they get a tastier meal. It’s when your dog suffers from any of the below-mentioned conditions, that they will be given a supplement.


This is the main reason to give the supplements to your dog as they help provide relief from the pain and discomfort of joint pain. They also help your dog regain their body flexibility and movements so that they feel and move about as freely as they used to before.

Hip dysplasia

This is another condition the supplements can help where your dog has deformed or not correctly placed hip joints.

Joint problems

Both supplements not only provide arthritic pain relief but also help treat and solve most dogs’ joint pain problems. But they will not be of much use in treating conditions requiring veterinarian or surgical intervention.


Both supplements prove helpful at repairing cartilage damaged by physical injuries so that your dog can resume normal body functioning.

Aging process

Stiff joints, reduced flexibility and slow reduction in your dogs’ movements are all part of your dog’s aging process. This is when these supplements help at providing some relief from these symptoms by minimising and prolonging deterioration so that they don’t feel so much discomfort.

Which is better- Dasquin or Cosequin?

As you can see, both supplements are so much similar in function and ingredients. With ASU being the only significant difference between the two, you wonder if it is better and needed. Well, opinions waver about this.

While some dog owners claim that they notice a significant improvement in their dog when they switch from Cosequin to Dasquin, others say that there’s not much difference. They in fact state that they return to giving their dog Cosequin as it is a slightly cheaper option, and still works efficiently at providing joint pain relief.

So it can be said that Dasquin is a better option for dogs suffering from severe arthritis or hip dysplasia, and need some extra relief and help in treating their problems. Cosequin may be a better option if your dog is suffering from some minor irritation or if you have a large dog breed needing some additional joint protection.

Of course, you should always consult your veterinarian before starting any supplement, especially if you are giving your dog medications for other problems like diabetes.

Are There Side Effects of Cosequin for Dogs?

Cosequin for dogs doesn’t have any significant side effects, and it’s safe to give it to your dog for as long as needed. It’s only if you don’t follow the recommended dosage by the manufacturer, or your veterinarian as per your dog’s age, weight and condition that these possible side effects are triggered:

Vomiting and upset stomach

As gastrointestinal side effects are mostly associated with Cosequin, some dogs may get a bout of vomiting when first given it. Giving Cosequin with food instead of giving it on an empty stomach helps avoid this. Some dogs may suffer from gastrointestinal pain or discomfort which can be resolved by giving Cosequin with or after a meal.


Too large doses of Cosequin can trigger diarrhoea. Following the dosage can prevent it, and if necessary, a consultation with your veterinarian for a remedy to the problem.


As chondroitin has blood-thinning properties, combining Cosequin with other prescription drugs like inflammatory drugs is risky. This is why it’s also better to discontinue taking the supplement if your dog has any scheduled surgeries or related medical procedures.

Allergic reactions

As Cosequin is a supplement and not registered by the Food and Drug Administration like other prescribed veterinary drugs, there is a chance of your dog suffering from allergies because of glucosamine or chondroitin. It’s also observed that dogs allergic to beef tend to exhibit allergic reactions while taking Cosequin. So it’s better to report anything you notice amiss after giving your dog the supplement to your veterinarian.

Loss of appetite

As the initial Cosequin dosages are high, there will be severe loss of appetite in your dog when you start giving it Cosequin. This is best dealt with by tempting your dog with its favourite dishes.

Are There Side Effects of Dasquin for Dogs?

Like Cosequin, Dasquin for dogs doesn’t have any significant side effects and can safely be given to your dog for as long as needed. It’s only if you don’t follow the manufacturers or your veterinarian’s recommended dosage for your dog’s age, weight and condition that the same possible side effects as Cosequin are triggered.

While the ASU in Dasquin is safe for your dog, if your dog has a severe allergy to avocados, then it may be better to refrain from giving Dasquin and give Cosequin instead. However, most dogs don’t have any problem as even if they are sensitive to avocado, the amounts of avocado used are minimal.

However, the effectiveness and dangers of Dasquin have not been verified for pregnant, breeding or lactating dogs, so it’s better to refrain from giving it to them. It’s also not advised to give Dasquin to dogs suffering from asthma or for dogs with a history of clotting disorders or who are taking anticoagulant medications as it can trigger severe effects.

So while Cosequin and Dasquin are both safe supplements for your dog, and does provide relief from joint pain and joint diseases, it’s a non-prescription medication. Like any other non-prescription medicine, it’s better to start using it only after consulting your veterinarian and under their prescription and dosage.


Now that you know all about these two supplements, Dasquin and Cosequin, here’s a final word to wrap up the debate. The first thing to remember is that you are giving these supplements to help provide joint pain relief to your dog and make life much more comfortable for them.

As both are similar in function, there’s no definite answer to which is a better supplement. It mainly depends on what your dog is suffering from, and how severe or mild it is. Dogs suffering from slight, superficial joint pain can get relief from Cosequin.

However, dogs suffering from excruciating and increasing joint pain don’t get much relief from Cosequin. Dasquin is a better option for its stronger properties and extra ASU ingredient.

It’s your veterinarian who will be able to finally decide what supplement to give your dog as they are most competent about the matter and understand your dog and his pain much better. Remember, dogs are unique and age differently to suffer from different health problems. There’s no generic solution for any health problem; medication and diagnosis are done based on the dog, his condition and its severity.


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