Can Dogs Take Human Joint Pain Supplements?

Most dogs will experience joint problems at some point in their lifetimes, whether by injury or predisposition. Canine joint health problems present as pain and swelling in legs, neck, and/or back. This leads to poor mobility, emotional and behavioral issues, and an overall lower quality of life.

Just like in the human body, certain dietary supplements can either slow down or prevent damage to joints in canines. These supplements help slow down wear and tear on dog joints from the impacts of daily activities.

What do you do if your dog won’t eat tablets, and you need to add supplements to their diet? A dog that won’t eat a supplement won’t benefit from it no matter the potential for improvement.

Some chewables are small enough to hide in other foods, peanut butter being the most popular choice. There’s still hope even if the supplement can’t be hidden inside another treat. Most pet stores have an isle of flavored treats that have antioxidants, glucosamine chondrite, Boswellia Seratta extract, and other anti-inflammatory dietary supplements that can improve canine joint health.

MSM is another supplement that can improve and protect canine joint health. It is a type of sulfur that is used by the bodies of both humans and dogs to build cartilage in joints.

While it may be tempting to give a dog the same supplements humans take (since they’re likely already on the medicine shelf at home and don’t require a new recurring expense) that’s a mistake. Dosages, additives to promote digestion, and the compounding of supplements are different for dogs than they are for humans. Dogs weigh less and have a much faster metabolism than humans. Human dosages may be far too strong.

For example, glucosamine is a natural substance that the body produces throughout its life. It’s used in building joint cartilage. However, as a human ages, the amount of glucosamine the body makes is far less than the amount the body needs to replenish its supply. The same is true of dogs though to a lesser degree and at an older comparative age.

Other ingredients included in human dietary supplements can be harmful to dogs. Xylitol is a sweeter used in everything from candy to medicine. It’s safe for humans but can be deadly for dogs. The chemical is used in supplements to make them taste better. For dogs, dietary supplement labs use other additive ingredients that are safe for canine ingestion.

That’s just one reason why it’s important to give dogs only dietary supplements designed for canine use. Check to make sure that products come from a reputable lab through a trusted dealer.