Can I Give Human Glucosamine to My Dog?

Can I give human glucosamine to my dog? The short answer is yes, but you should know a little bit about how dogs digest and take their glucosamine before moving forward.



Can I Give Human Glucosamine to My Dog?

Yes, if you are just giving glucosamine by itself. It's the other ingredients that need consideration.

Glucosamine is an amino sugar and should be the same regardless if it's in a human or dog supplement. However, human supplements can contain ingredients that may be unsafe for your dog.

Surprisingly, some ingredients that humans use daily can be fatal to dogs. For a partial list, see our "Can my dog have...?" resource.

Unfortunately, some human brands of glucosamine use unsafe sweeteners and flavors for pets.

For example, Vitamin Shoppe's glucosamine chondroitin msm raspberry flavored chewable wafers contain xylitol. While xylitol is harmless to humans, it's fatal to dogs.

This sugar substitute can kill your dog within 30 minutes due to insulin shock. Even if your dog survives the shock, it may experience liver failure later in the day.

GNC's TriFlex™ soft chewables are chocolate flavored, but chocolate is toxic to dogs.

Both of these brands are entirely safe for people but can quickly kill your pet.

Another difference between human and canine supplements is how each dissolves in the digestive tract. A dog's digestive tract is shorter than ours, so it needs to break down the supplement before passing it through its body.

Chewable tablets, soft chews, and liquids break down quickly. These forms allow the dog to absorb their nutrients. Regrettably, certain brands of human glucosamine tablets can pass entirely through the dog altogether.

So, buy glucosamine supplements designed for dogs. Dogs chew up the tablets or soft chews, so we enhance the glucosamine and other nutrients with tasty flavors. This is helpful because dogs have a tremendous sense of both smell and taste. (All of our glucosamine supplements for dogs have both a delicious bacon and cheese flavor.)

Does this mean a human supplement will harm my dog or be ineffective? If it is pure glucosamine, like a liquid or powder, with the correct dosage, it should be beneficial to the dog's joint health. But it's important to know that tablets may not be as effective if not designed for your dog.

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