Can I Give the 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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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 contain additional ingredients that may not be safe 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.

Human supplements are usually in pill form with a coating over them. They are meant to be swallowed and dissolved in the human digestive tract.

The primary 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. This means that 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 sometimes just passes through the dog altogether.

Glucosamine supplements designed for dogs are different. Dogs chew their pills, so it's best to enhance the glucosamine with a flavor. (Our Osteo-Pet® Joint Care formulas are flavored with bacon and cheese.)

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

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