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.

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Details

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


Some examples of brands with unsafe ingredients for pets would be Vitamin Shoppe's glucosamine chondroitin msm raspberry chewable wafers as they contain the lethal ingredient xylitol and GNC's TriFlex™ Soft Chewables as they provide the deadly ingredient chocolate. Both of these brands are entirely safe for people but can quickly kill your dog.


Another reason to use pet supplements is that human supplements are meant to be swallowed and dissolved in the human digestive tract.


The difference between human and canine versions is how it breaks down in the digestive tract. A dog's digestive tract is much shorter than ours, so the supplement needs to be absorbed before it passes through the body. Chewable tablets allow the dog to break the tablets up so the nutrients can be absorbed. Human glucosamine tablets sometimes just pass through the dog altogether.


Glucosamine supplements designed for dogs are better. Dogs chew their pills, so it's best to enhance the glucosamine and other nutrients with a flavor. (Our glucosamine supplements for dogs have both a bacon and cheese flavor.)


Does this mean a human supplement will harm my dog or be ineffective? If it is just pure glucosamine, like a liquid or powder, with the correct dosage and is absorbed fully, the supplement should be beneficial to the dog's joint health. It's important to know that a tablet may not be as effective in a dog if it isn't designed for a dog.

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