Debating the Safety of Human Glucosamine for Dogs

Arthritis in dogs can be as uncomfortable and painful as it is in humans.  It can also inhibit canines from jumping, going up and down stairs or even the simple acts of standing or lying down.  This deterioration of cartilage happens as a dog ages and leads to the development of the condition.  When a dog is young, its body will naturally produce a substance known as glucosamine.  This substance works to keep joints protected, lubricated and working efficiently.  As years go by, the natural ability to create glucosamine decreases and leads to detrimental effects to the cartilage.  Supplements are available to give the dog the boost they need as they get older.  However, debates do exist on whether or not human glucosamine for dogs is safe.

Glucosamine Supplements

Glucosamine supplements have been on the market and available for human as well as dogs for years.  They have been proven to alleviate pain and are extremely safe for long term use.  These supplements rarely have side effects in animals.  However, bouts of vomiting or diarrhea can occur and the dosage should simply be changed to eliminate the issues.

Disadvantages of Using Human Glucosamine for Dogs

It is possible to give human glucosamine for dogs.  But there are some disadvantages and risks in doing so.  It is important to understand that humans can consume and process various ingredients that can be harmful or even fatal to animals.  Therefore, glucosamine designed for human consumption may be hazardous for pets.  Another difference between the two types of supplements is the regulation that surrounds them.  Dog supplements are highly regulated while those for humans are seen as dietary aids and fall outside the mandates of the FDA.  By choosing a canine specific product, a pet parent can be absolutely sure of what they are giving to their dog.

The composition of the supplements is quite varied.  Human glucosamine products are normally made at 99% strength of glucosamine hydrochloride while dog specific formulas use 90% strength.  However, canine formulas are made to provide the quickest relief from pain.  More of the substance is taken directly into the dogs system.  Canine supplements also contain other beneficial minerals and ingredients that promote healing, such as Vitamin C.  Flavors are added to dog tablets to make them tastier and easier to administer to the pets.

Exercise Caution

When an individual chooses to give their dog human glucosamine, extreme caution must be exercised during dosing.  It is also easier to use a human tablet than liquid, as the tablet is much easier to split.  Dog specific products are designed to be easier to administer and provide an overall high level of safety for the pet.  Although a bit more expensive, these products can be purchased in a vet’s office to ensure on-site advice, council and dosage instructions.  Online retailers also offer these types of supplements.  Being a responsible pet parent includes not only unconditional love and support but also providing the safest consumables available.  Research and the advice of a medical professional can help individuals decide if human glucosamine for dogs is acceptable.