Is Cosequin The Same As Glucosamine?

Is Cosequin The Same As Glucosamine?

Table of Contents

No, cosequin is not the same as glucosamine. Cosequin is a brand name for a joint health supplement with glucosamine as a key ingredient. However, it also contains chondroitin sulfate and, in some formulations, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). These substances are mixed in exact ratios to promote and preserve joint health, improve mobility, and reduce symptoms of joint disorders such as arthritis, particularly in dogs, cats, and horses.

On the other hand, glucosamine is a naturally occurring chemical found in the body, primarily in cartilage. It is a supplement used to help maintain healthy joints and is frequently used to treat bone and joint pain symptoms, such as osteoarthritis. Glucosamine can be offered as a solo supplement or a component in more complicated formulations, such as Cosequin.

Glucosamine: Sources and Types

Glucosamine is an amino sugar occuring naturally in the body, particularly in joint cartilage. It helps to produce and maintain cartilage, the tissue that cushions joints.


Natural Production: The body creates glucosamine, which is utilized to form tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and synovial fluid around joints.

Supplements: Glucosamine can be extracted from shellfish shells or synthesized in laboratories..


There are two major types of glucosamine found in dietary supplements:

Glucosamine Sulfate is the most extensively researched form of glucosamine and is thought to be the most helpful for joint health. It is commonly utilized in osteoarthritis research and is typically derived from shellfish shells or synthesized.

Glucosamine Hydrochloride  Although glucosamine hydrochloride is also utilized for joint health, it lacks the sulfur component considered essential for cartilage regeneration and maintenance. This type is also extracted from shellfish or produced synthetically.

Cosequin: Key Ingredients

Cosequin supplements promote joint health and mobility in animals like dogs, cats, and horses. Each substance in the formulation performs a specific function in joint health and maintenance. The combination of the following components in Cosequin is intended to provide a complete approach to joint health for Dogs:

Glucosamine, as previously stated, promotes cartilage repair and synthesis. Cosequin helps to maintain joint integrity and promotes cartilage healing.

Chondroitin Sulfate: This molecule complements glucosamine. It aids in water retention in the cartilage, allowing it to function properly and provide necessary flexibility. Chondroitin also helps the body resist cartilage deterioration.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM): MSM, which is found in some versions of Cosequin, is a sulfur source necessary for the health of connective tissues and joints. It is thought to have anti-inflammatory qualities, which can help relieve joint discomfort and swelling.

Glucosamine Benefits for Dogs

Glucosamine helps to repair and preserve joint cartilage, which is necessary for smooth mobility.

Arthritis Relief: Glucosamine can benefit dogs with arthritis by maintaining the cushion between bones in a joint, reducing discomfort and stiffness.

Improves Mobility: By maintaining joint health, glucosamine improves dog’s mobility and quality of life, particularly in older canines or those with joint issues.

Glucosamine supplements for dogs are available in chewable, liquid, and powdered forms. The dog’s weight normally determines the dosage. For more detailed information on the dosage, please refer to Glucosamine dosage for Dogs on VetGen pharmaceuticals.

Cosequin Benefits

Comprehensive Joint Support: The combination of glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and MSM promotes joint health by repairing cartilage, lubricating joints, and reducing inflammation.

Cosequin is highly helpful for arthritis in dogs, improving movement and reducing pain.

It is intended to be safe for long-term daily use, making it an excellent choice for maintaining joint health.

Cosequin is available in chewable pills and soft chews, making it suitable as a treat for most dogs. The dog’s weight determines the dosage, and while benefits can occasionally be observed in a few weeks, continuous use for at least 4-6 weeks is recommended for best effects.

Is glucosamine or cosequin better for dogs?

Choosing between glucosamine and Cosequin can be tricky. When determining whether to give a dog glucosamine or Cosequin, consider the following:

The severity of Joint Problems: For mild joint pain, glucosamine alone may suffice. However, for more serious illnesses, such as advanced arthritis, the extra components in Cosequin may provide more thorough relief.

Veterinary Advice: Always consult a veterinarian to identify the best supplement and dose for your dog’s health needs.

Preference and Tolerance: Some dogs may prefer the taste of one supplement over another or tolerate one more effectively regarding digestive side effects.

The table below summarizes the differences between Glucosamine and Cosequin: 

Side Effects of Glucosamine and Cosequin in Dogs

Aspect Glucosamine Cosequin
Primary Ingredients Glucosamine (sulfate or hydrochloride) Glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, and sometimes MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane).
Purpose Supports cartilage repair and formation; may help with arthritis and joint pain. Helps with cartilage maintenance, joint lubrication, and inflammation reduction.
Common Formulations Chewable tablets, liquids, powders. Chewable tablets or soft chews.
Typical Use Cases Mild to moderate joint discomfort; early-stage arthritis. Moderate to severe joint issues; comprehensive support for arthritis.
Side Effects Gastrointestinal upset, allergies (rare, from shellfish sources). Gastrointestinal upset, increased thirst, and urination, mild allergies (with MSM).
Contraindications Caution in dogs with diabetes (potential to increase blood sugar). Use caution in dogs on blood thinners or with liver/kidney disease.
Monitoring Monitor for gastrointestinal issues and allergic reactions. Regular monitoring, especially for dogs with pre-existing conditions.

Most dogs tolerate glucosamine and Cosequin well, but as with any supplement or medication, there are some potential negative effects. These adverse effects are uncommon and usually minor.

Gastrointestinal Issues: The most common side effect is gastrointestinal distress, which can appear as diarrhea or vomiting. This is more likely to happen if the dog receives the supplement on an empty stomach.

Allergic Reactions: Although uncommon, some dogs may be allergic to shellfish sources of glucosamine, resulting in symptoms such as itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing. MSM, which appears in some Cosequin formulations, can potentially trigger moderate allergic responses in susceptible dogs.

Increased Thirst and Urination: Some owners claim that their dogs become thirstier and urinate more frequently after taking these supplements.


While glucosamine and Cosequin can significantly benefit dogs with joint problems, they should not be used in all situations.

Diabetes: Glucosamine may raise blood sugar levels in some dogs, particularly those with diabetes or other disorders that influence glucose metabolism. Close monitoring is required in these circumstances.

Glucosamine may have a blood-thinning effect, so use it with caution in dogs on blood thinners.

Pre-existing Liver or renal Conditions: Dogs with liver or renal problems should only take glucosamine or Cosequin under special veterinary supervision, as these organs process and eliminate supplements.

Glucosamine Supplements for Dogs

Apart from Cosequin, there are a few other brands that are certified by The National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) and provide quality pet supplements: 

Nutramax Dasuquin is an advanced joint health supplement that contains glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, and ASU (avocado/soybean unsaponifiables) to promote joint health.

VetriScience GlycoFlex: This product line offers several stages of joint support supplements, including glucosamine, Perna canaliculus (green-lipped mussel), and other substances to maintain overall joint health.

GNC Pets Ultra Mega Hip & Joint Health: GNC provides glucosamine supplements for dogs of various strengths to meet a wide range of joint support needs. These supplements may also contain additional helpful substances such as MSM and chondroitin.

ProSense Advanced Strength Glucosamine Chew pills: These chewable pills, designed for daily usage, contain glucosamine, vitamin C, and MSM to help dogs maintain healthy joints and mobility.


To summarize, both glucosamine and Cosequin play important roles in promoting joint health and mobility in dogs, especially those suffering from arthritis or other joint-related disorders. But is glucosamine and Cosequin the same? Certainly not. Understanding the differences, benefits, potential side effects, and contraindications is critical. 

Supplement quality varies, and each dog has unique health needs; selecting a reputable brand and speaking with a veterinarian before beginning any new supplement program is critical. This guarantees that the selected product is appropriate and safe for your dog’s health needs

Frequently asked questions

1. What does glucosamine do for dogs?

Glucosamine helps to create and repair cartilage, relieving joint pain and boosting mobility in dogs, particularly those suffering from arthritis.

2. How long does it take for glucosamine to work in dogs?

Improvement is usually noticeable after 4 to 6 weeks. This can vary based on the dog’s condition, age, and the exact supplement administered.

3. Is glucosamine safe for all dogs?

Glucosamine is typically safe for most dogs, however it should be cautiously administered in those with diabetes or sensitivities to shellfish. 

4. How is Cosequin different from regular glucosamine supplements?

Cosequin combines glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and, in some formulations, MSM to create a more comprehensive joint health supplement than glucosamine alone.

5. Can Cosequin cause side effects in dogs?

Most dogs well tolerate Cosequin. However, some may develop stomach distress. Dogs may experience allergic responses less frequently, particularly if they are sensitive to shellfish.

6. How quickly can I see improvements in my dog’s mobility with Cosequin?

Some dog owners report seeing changes in as little as a few weeks, but it’s best to assess the effects after 4 to 6 weeks of constant use.