Cosequin vs Dasuquin, Which is better joint supplement for dogs?

Best joint supplement for dogs
Best joint supplement for dogs

Large breeds of dogs are highly vulnerable to joint ailments such as dysplasia (hip, elbow) and osteoarthritis, which results in joint pain, impaired mobility, and poor quality of life. To address this, the vet usually advises to give pets additional health supplements that prevent joint decline. Dasuquin and Cosequin both are the two most familiar dog joint supplements made by Nutramax Laboratories Veterinary Sciences, Inc. The key difference between Dasuquin and Cosequin mainly relies on their ingredients, Dasuquin contains an additional ingredient namely Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU).

So What is Cosequin? What is cosequin made of? What does Cosequin do for the dog?

Cosequin is a renowned veterinarian recommended nutritional joint health supplement of the Nutramax brand. Cosequin mainly contains Glucosamine Hydrochloride and Chondroitin Sulfate and MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane).  These ingredients work together to prevent cartilage erosion and to maintain the connective tissue of the dog’s joints. Cosequin is available in a variety of strengths and formulas depending on the size of the dog and need. It is available in the form of chewable tablets and soft chews that can be sprinkled over your pet’s food.

What is Dasuquin? What is Dasuquin made of? What does Dasuquin do for dog?

Similar to Cosequin, Dasuquin is also a veterinarian recommended nutritional joint health supplement of the Nutramax brand. However, it is an advanced version that consist of an additional unique ingredient namely ASU (Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables). The active ingredient of Dasuquin are Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, and Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables. Dasuquin provides key nutrients that help to stimulate the cartilage matrix production and therefore protect cartilage architecture and joints functions.

How long does it take for Cosequin and Dasuquin to work for dogs?

Improvement following administration of Cosequin and Dasuquin depends upon the age, size, weight of your dog, and the type and quantity of joint health supplements prescribed. It is recommended to follow the precise administration schedule as suggested on the box according to the weight of your dog. Usually, Cosequin and Dasuquin work gradually and takes some time to see the visible effect i.e. initial administration period for Cosequin and Dasuquin is about four to six weeks. However, in some cases, it can take a shorter or longer time to see the desired response. Once your dog achieves a good response, you can reduce the amount of Cosequin and Dasuquin you give to your dog each day. Based on further evaluation of your dog health and comfort you can further adjust i.e. increase or decrease the number of soft chews/tablets/capsules.

Which is better Dasuquin or Cosequin?

It is really hard to say which one is better than the other. Dasuquin and Cosequin both are renowned joint health supplements from the same company. Both of them are almost the same in ingredients except ASU that is additional in Dasuquin. Dasuquin is comparatively more expensive as compared to Cosequin. Furthermore, the content of glucosamine and chondroitin is higher in Dasuquin compared to that of Cosequin. Therefore, in terms of active ingredients, Dasuquin is better than Cosequin. But, having more active ingredients does not always mean good. Infect, it depends on the age, size, underlying joint problem that decides whether Dasuquin or Cosequin would be better or not. For some cases maybe Cosequin is better while in other Dasuquin.

At what age should I give my dog joint supplements?

When you need to give your dog, a joint supplement totally depends upon the underlying health condition or the breed of your dog. Usually, dogs develop joint issues with old age. In such cases, joint health supplements can be given at a later stage of life i.e. 3-4 years. Besides this, certain breeds of dogs are more prone or predisposed to osteoarthritis due to injury. In such cases, supplements can be given as early as 8 weeks to old puppies. However, in most cases, the supplements are recommended after one year because at this time dogs stop growing in size and therefore it becomes more advantageous to take preventative measures.

What is the difference between Cosequin and Cosequin DS?

The main difference between Cosequin and Cosequin DS is the strength of the active component. The name DS in Cosequin DS is referred to double strength of the active ingredient. Cosequin is available as chews while Cosequin Maximum Strength or DS as Chewable tablets.

 How much Cosequin and Dasuquin should I give my dog?

The amount of joint health supplements prescribed for dogs depends upon the age, weight, and breed of dog. Every dog responds differently to health supplements therefore you need to adjust the amount accordingly.  Cosequin and Dasuquin both are relatively safe and do not have any safety concerns or adverse effects. Furthermore, there are no known contraindications or interactions of Cosequin /Dasuquin with other medications or health supplements. According to the manufacturer, both the supplements have two dosing regimens including a loading dose (for an initial period of 4-6 weeks) and maintenance doses (continue after the loading dose until your dog’s veterinarian asks for discontinuing). Guidelines for dosing amount of different health supplement to your dog are as follows:

(For small to medium size dogs)

 0-15 lbs  16-30 lbs  31-60 lbs  60 + lbs
Loading Dose (Cosequin DS Plus MSM)½ chewable once daily1 chewable once daily2 chewable once daily3 chewable once daily
Maintenance Dose (Cosequin DS Plus MSM)½ chewable every other day½ chewable once daily1 chewable once daily1-2 chewable once daily
Loading Dose (Cosequin)½ chewable once daily1 chewable once daily2 chewable once daily3 chewable once daily
Maintenance Dose (Cosequin)½ chewable every other day½ chewable once daily1 chewable once daily1-2 chewable once daily
Loading Dose (Dasuquin)½ chewable once daily1 chewable once daily2 chewable once daily3 chewable once daily
Maintenance Dose (Dasuquin)½ chewable every other day½ chewable once daily1 chewable once daily1-2 chewable once daily

What are the side effects of Cosequin?

The joint health supplement Cosequin is incredibly safe and hardly displays any side effects in dogs.   The only occasional side effect observed following Cosequin administration is gastrointestinal upset. It has been noted that less than 2% of dogs (that are supplemented with Cosequin) showed mild gastrointestinal upset mostly due to sensitivity to the source of the ingredients. The most common symptoms of upset stomach are increased thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, and indigestion. The symptoms usually appear in the beginning (when the supplement is initiated) and subsidize with time. Besides this, loss in appetite, allergic reaction (if your dog is sensitive to beef products) and an increase in overall mobility are some other side effects noted in dogs.

What are the side effects of Dasuquin?

Dasuquin is almost similar to that of the Cosequin except for Avocado soybean unsaponifiables (ASU).  ASU is made up from natural vegetable extracts, seafood or flex seed and mainly contains avocado, soy, and the omega fatty acids. In case If your dog is allergic to soy product or shellfish, use of Dasuquin can cause an allergic reaction. Overall the side effects of Dasuquin are similar to that of Cosequin such as the upset stomach, vomiting, fatigue, excessive thirst, urination (at high doses), diarrhea, different behavior, or allergic reaction. If any symptoms appear then stop administration of the supplement to your dog and contact your veterinarian immediately.

What are the common active ingredients in Cosequin and Dasuquin?

Glucosamine and chondroitin are two most common active ingredients present in all forms of Cosequin and Dasuquin joint health supplements. Glucosamine and chondroitin both are physical components of cartilage (i.e. the tissue that cushions the joints). They act like building blocks and help in protection and maintenance of the joint function. Glucosamine and chondroitin are highly effective in pain and inflammation of joints and increased joint mobility. The recommended dosage of glucosamine and chondroitin depend upon the size and weight of your dog and severity of joint function/condition. Following is a list of the average recommended dosage of glucosamine and chondroitin for your dogs

Average dosages of Glucosamine for Dogs: 

  • 5-20 pounds: 250-500 mg
  • 20-45 pounds: 500 mg
  • 45-90 pounds: 1,000 mg
  • >90 pounds: 1500 mg

Average dosages of Chondroitin for Dogs

  • 80 pounds:  900 mg
  • > 80 pounds: 1,800 mg 

What is ASU and how does it work?

Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables, also branded as ASU, are basically vegetable extract made up of avocado oil (one third) and soybean oil(two-thirds). ASU inhibits the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (chemicals that induce inflammation). This results in less inflammation in joints and thereby prevents the cartilage break down and subsequent joint damage. Besides this, ASU is also supposed to prevent the breakdown of synovial cells (cells that lines the spaces of joints) and encourage the regeneration of connective tissues (i.e. cartilage).

Does glucosamine really work for dogs?

Yes, glucosamine is one of the most recommended and frequently used health supplements. It is often prescribed with chondroitin, another joint health supplement to promote joint repair. Glucosamine is very effective in reducing pain, inflammation, and protects cartilage from damage. The loading dose of glucosamine for initial administration (4-6 weeks) is 500 to 1,000 mg for a 75-lb dog i.e. 15 mg/kg.

Can glucosamine cause liver damage in dogs?

Glucosamine is considered more as a food supplement rather than a drug. It is very safe and causes toxicity in rare cases when consumed in extremely high amounts. In most of the cases, your dog would develop gastrointestinal discomfort including vomiting and/or diarrhea. In a few recent reports, it has been observed that high-level toxicity of the joint supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin can cause symptoms of hepatotoxicity and liver injury.

Is Dasuquin better than glucosamine alone?

Dasuquin is a popular joint health supplement that mainly contains three active ingredients glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and ASU (Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables). It has been noted that a combination of glucosamine with ASU (i.e. Dasuquin) is more effective than glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate alone.

Should Cosequin and Dasuquin be given with food?

Health supplements are available in the form of flavored chewable tablets, therefore, does not require to be given with food. Cosequin chewable tablets are available in beef and cheddar flavor, while Dasuquin tablets available as pork liver flavor. So you can give your dog these chewable tablets directly like any other treats. In case if your dog don’t like the tablets you can also add them in their food items as well.

Do you need a prescription for Cosequin and Dasuquin?

Most of the health supplements does not need any prescription to be given to your dog. Similarly, Cosequin and Dasuquin both are also categorized as non-prescription (OTC) products for dogs.

Does Dasuquin cause diarrhea?

In general, Dasuquin is pretty safe and does not cause any side effects in dogs. However, excessive consumption of Dasuquin can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal upset which results in vomiting and diarrhea. It is advisable to use the health supplements as per the prescription leaflet and in case of visibility of any adverse effect immediately stop giving the supplement and contact your veterinarian immediately.

Is there a difference between Dasuquin and Dasuquin advanced?

Both Dasuquin and Dasuquin advanced are made by Nutramax Laboratories and they’re both natural joint supplements. However, Dasuquin Advanced has a formula that includes omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric, and frankincense. Furthermore, you can buy Dasuquin advanced from veterinarians’ prescriptions only.

 Does Cosequin cause gas in dogs?

Although Consequent is extremely safe for dogs you still can not overlook some side effects that arise due to over consumption of health supplements. One of them is gastrointestinal distress, it has been observed that ~2% of the dog population experience it.

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