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When considering giving your dog glucosamine supplements you may wonder if you can give her human glucosamine supplements. There are several reasons that you may want to do this. One of the chief reasons is probably because you are taking glucosamine supplements yourself and believe it may be possible to spend less money on supplements if you and your dog can both take the same supplements. However, it may be a better idea to get your dog her own glucosamine supplements.
Glucosamine supplements intended for human consumption and supplements intended for animals, including dogs, are basically the same. The glucosamine usually comes from the same or similar sources and functions exactly the same in the human and dog body. However, just because the active ingredients in these supplements – the glucosamine – are the same and function in the same way does not mean that human supplements are entirely appropriate to give to your dog. There are several factors that differ between supplements for humans and supplements for dogs that may make you reconsider giving human supplements to your dog.
Glucosamine supplements intended for human consumption have to meet more rigorous standards than supplements for dogs. Standards of purity and safety are more strict when the products are meant for humans than they are when the product is meant for dogs. Because of the added stringency of standards, companies that manufacture glucosamine supplements for humans spend more money producing and marketing their products, which they pass on to the people buying their products. It is likely you will spend more money over time if you decide to give your dog the supplements you take yourself, since you will have to buy the more expensive human glucosamine supplements more frequently.
Glucosamine supplements for humans are also made to appeal to the tastes of humans. People can make themselves take a supplement that does not taste particularly pleasant, or for an additional expense they can buy something that tastes better or that is at least less unpleasant than the cheaper supplements. However, dogs cannot talk themselves into eating something that they do not want to in the same way that humans can.
The supplements that taste more pleasant often have a high amount of chemicals and artificial flavors and sweeteners in order to remain low calorie or calorie free while giving them a more pleasant flavor. These kinds of chemicals and artificial flavorings may cause side effects in your dog, particularly if your dog has an allergy or intolerance for one of those chemicals. You will not know about allergies to a substance until your dog has been exposed to that substance at least once; some animals can consume a substance for years before developing an allergy to it. In addition, some of these chemicals have been suspected by researchers to encourage weight gain or digestive disorders.
Some have been connected to cancer and other diseases. In small amounts, these chemicals are often not harmful to humans, but dogs, whose bodies are smaller than humans’, may experience some of these negative side effects because of the higher proportion of the chemicals to their body weight. Giving your dog chemicals that encourage weight gain is unproductive, since one component of joint health is maintaining a healthy body weight, and causing your dog to gain weight could encourage injury and increased wear and tear to your dog’s joints.
Glucosamine supplements for dogs are made without many of these artificial flavors and chemicals. If they do contain artificial flavors or chemicals, they are in lesser amounts that are safer for your dog’s body and that are less likely to cause negative side effects to your dog.
Since human glucosamine supplements are made to be taken by humans and not dogs, they may be more difficult to give to your dog than supplements made specifically for dogs. Supplements for humans often come in powder, pill or liquid form; all of these forms of glucosamine supplements can be very difficult to give to your dog. Dogs cannot be reasoned with, so owners must often force feed the supplements to their dog either by pushing pills to the back of the dog’s throat or by using an oral syringe to force the dog to swallow a liquid supplement.
This can be messy and stressful for both you and your dog. Force feeding your dog a pill can cause her to vomit, and giving her a liquid with an oral syringe can cause spills. Glucosamine supplements intended for dogs are often made in forms that can easily be given to dogs in treats or in their food. In addition, powdered supplements intended for dogs are often flavored so that it is not necessary to struggle to give them to your dog; you can simply sprinkle the supplement over your dog’s food. Glucosamine gravy and treats are other commonly-used products that are very easy to give to dogs, since they often have a flavor that is enticing to most dogs.
It may be tempting to simply give your dog some of the glucosamine supplements that you take yourself. There will be fewer bottles and jars to take up space in your medicine cabinet and you feel like it may cost less money to give your dog some of your supplements. However, humans and dogs have different needs when it comes to glucosamine products, and it is best to consider these differing needs before giving your dog human glucosamine supplements.