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Dasuquin vs Cosequin: Which Is Better for Dogs?

Two of the most effective supplements for dog joint pain are Dasuquin and Cosequin. Here’s a detailed comparison of their ingredients and benefits.

Just like people, dogs can experience joint pain which can seriously impact their quality of life, especially as they get older. Two of the most popular joint supplements for dogs are Dasuquin and Cosequin, both of which contain glucosamine. We compare these two supplements to help you decide which one is most likely to help your dog.

Dasuquin and Cosequin are both available as tablets or chewables.

What You Need to Know About Dog Joint Pain

Joint issues are broken down into two categories: developmental and degenerative. Developmental problems are issues like hip or elbow dysplasia, which are a product of the joint not developing correctly. Degenerative issues are conditions like arthritis and ligament problems which develop over time. 

Bigger dogs are more at risk of developmental and degenerative joint issues. Your dog is also more at risk of degenerative joint conditions as they age. 

While most joint diseases do not have a direct cure, there are several methods for managing and preventing your dog from developing joint issues. These include surgery, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy.  But the most accessible treatment and preventative measure out there are nutritional supplements.

What To Look For In a Canine Joint Supplement

Supplements are categorized as food by the FDA and are therefore less intensely regulated than a medication would be. This means that doing research on supplements is very important, because many of the cheaper supplements you come across on the market may contain low quality ingredients with deceptively low concentrations of the active ingredients they feature.

While there are many glucosamine supplements which claim to help your pup develop healthy joints, Nutramax ranks highest in terms of quality control. They send their products out to a third party lab where their product is reviewed. This ensures that their products are 99% pure glucosamine, while other options only have about 20% bioavailable glucosamine. 

This combination of transparent process and high quality ingredients means that veterinarians tend to recommend Nutramax products. Nutramax has two canine join supplements – Dasuquin and Cosequin – which serve the same function but are sold at different price points because they have slightly different active ingredients.

How do Dasuquin and Cosequin Promote Joint Health?

Both supplements are designed to relieve joint pain, arthiritis, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and other joint related injuries.

Both come in a chewable form, so your dog will think of it more as a treat than a pill that needs to be coaxed down or hidden in peanut butter or a pill pocket.

They also have generally the same active ingredients. Below are the full ingredients lists for both:

Dasuquin Full Ingredient List

·      Glucosamine hydrochloride 

·      methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

·      sodium chondroitin sulfate

·      avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU)

·      dextrose

·      dried brewer’s yeast

·      gum resin

·      lecithin

·      magnesium stearate

·      microcrystalline cellulose

·      mixed tocopherols

·      natural & artificial flavors

·      silicon dioxide

·      soy protein isolate

·      tea

Cosequin Full Ingredient List

·      Glucosamine hydrochloride

·      sodium chondroitin sulfate

·      methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

·      manganese

·      dextrose

·      dried brewer’s yeast

·      magnesium stearate

·      microcrystalline cellulose

·      natural & artificial flavors

·      silicon dioxide

Active Ingredients Present in Both Dasuquin and Cosequin:

Glucosamine Hydrochloride

Glucosamine is an amino sugar essential to the production of cartilage in the body. Increasing your pup’s glucosamine intake with supplements will provide their bodies with the nutrients to begin repairing and rebuilding cartilage. 

Glucosamine Hydrochloride is just one of several common forms of glucosamine used in supplements, and it’s harvested from the shells of crustaceans.

A common alternative to glucosamine hydrochloride in supplements is glucosamine sulfate, so if you come across the latter in your research, know that they’re essentially the same thing.

Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate

Chondroitin sulfate is responsible to the shock absorbing properties in the cartilage of your dog’s joints.

This compound is prepared as a salt (hence the ‘sodium’ at the beginning of its name) and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It also works to both prevent the breakdown of existing cartilage and encourages the formation of new cartilage, making it ideal for soothing and repairing achey joints.

Most manufactured chondroitin comes from the cartilage of cows, pigs and marine animals.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

MSM is another active ingredient with anti-inflammatory properties also found in raw fruits and leafy vegetables.

This ingredient is present in the supplement to:

·      decrease joint inflammation

·      rebuild tissue

·      improve flexibility

·      boost immune function

Brewer’s Yeast

Research into brewers yeast reveals that it can serve a variety of functions. While the list of benefits of brewers yeast seems very long, it’s important to note that only a small component of it is present in these supplements as the effects it can deliver are not the main priority of these supplements.

Brewers yeast contains B vitamins (except for B12) and antioxidants, which help promote healthy skin, hair, eyes, and improves liver function.

Additionally rich in:

  • selenium
  • potassium
  • iron
  • zinc
  • magnesium
  • chromium (in some cases)

These all contribute to good cell and organ function as well as overall digestive health.

There’s some evidence to suggest brewer’s yeast can act as a minor flea and tick repellent, although not in all dogs, so it may be best to stick to your more traditional flea and tick preventative medications. 

Not-So-Active Ingredients

Curious about what those other ingredients on the list are in there for if they’re not explicitly helping your dog’s joint health?

Dextrose

A common added sugar, with high calorie content.

Microcrystalline Cellulose

A polymer which naturally occurs in the cell walls of plants. Used as a binder and stabilizer in tablets.

Silicon Dioxide

Used in food products as a thickener and anti-caking agent.

Magnesium Stearate

Present in both Dasequin and Cosequin supplements as an emulsifier, thickener, and anticaking agent.

Dasuquin vs. Cosequin: What’s The Difference?

All of this sounds pretty good right? These active ingredients present in both Dasuquin and Cosequin will help your dog feel better, but it would be misleading to present these two supplements as the same.

While both beneficial, Dasuquin does contain one more key active ingredient which is believed to prevent cartilage erosion – and this comes at a higher price point.

Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU)

ASU is the extra ingredient which sets Dasuquin apart from Cosequin.

ASU’s is comprised usually of 1/3 avocado oil and 2/3 soybean oil and is a byproduct of the soap manufacturing process.

While not as established as glucosamine, MSM or chondroitin, it is also a very effective supplement for joint pain according to the . It prevents the breakdown of the cells which line your dog’s joints and prevent bone-to-bone contact called synovial cells. It also helps regenerate connective tissues and cartilage.

The presence of ASU in Dasuquin, in addition to the other previously mentioned active ingredients, means that Dasuquin delivers a bit more than Cosequin. 

Dasuquin vs. Cosequin: Which Is Better?

Why You Might Want to Splurge and Get Dasuquin

Dasuquin is considered the next generation of the Cosequin soft chews and are the kind most recommended by veterinarians.

Dasuquin has a higher concentration of active ingredients (glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM) per tablet than it’s counterpart Cosequin. These active ingredients are never dangerous at high concentrations, so buying them in higher concentrations can’t harm your dog, and only ensures that you’re getting more added value for your dollar.

The presence of ASU in Dasuquin is not only beneficial because of its proven ability to reduce inflammation and slow cartilage damage, but also because it also helps increase the absorption of glucosamine and chondroitin in the body. So its presence in the supplement actually makes the other components helps the other active ingredients absorb more effectively in the body.

Dasuquin also differs from other alternative because it contains green tea which provides additional support with inflammation and your dog’s general health.

There are two different Dasquin chews — for dogs up to 60 pounds and for large dogs weighing over 60 pounds.

You can choose between tablets and soft chews which look and taste like normal dog treats.

Why Cosequin might still get a good option for your dog

Despite not having ASU, Cosequin still contains all the other active ingredients like 99% pure glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM. It is proven to reduce joint inflammation and build and protect cartilage.

You might still consider it if your dog isn’t experiencing intense joint pain and isn’t predisposed to develop any later in life. You might be able to get the job done while saving a bit of money.

It is suitable for dogs of all ages and sizes and has no adverse effects.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are Dasuquin and Cosequin vegan?

No they are not. Chondroitin is derived from cows and the supplements are often flavored with poultry, pork or beef to be more tasty to dogs.

Components like omega fatty acids come from seafood.

As of yet, it is not possible to find a vegan equivalent of these supplements.

How long do Dasuquin and Cosequin take to work?

This answer varies dog to dog, but with Dasuquin it can take up to 6 weeks before your dog begins to show any improvement, although some may show signs of improvement much earlier than that.

How much more does Dasuquin cost than Cosequin?

Based on our online research of current prices, Dasuquin is approximately twice the cost of Cosequin, depending on the dog’s size.

Final Thoughts

There is plenty of evidence that both Dasuquin and Cosequin can be effective in the management of dog joint pain. As always, we recommend checking with your vet first before giving your dog any kind of supplement or medication. 

Superb Dog Editor

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