Cosequin(®) is a joint supplement manufacturerd by Nutramax which contains the active ingredients glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin. These ingredients are often combined together when treating joint pain in dogs and can be found in many other popular veterinary joint support supplements including Dasuquin®.

How Do The Ingredients Work?

Glucosamine: Glucosamine is thought to promote the production of cartilage in joints which can help to slow down the process of cartilage break down that occurs in arthritic pets. Cosequin uses glucosamine hydrochloride which is more readily absorbed than its sulfate counterpart.

Chondroitin: Chondroitin works by promoting water retention in the cartilage tissue which helps to maintain elasticity and prevent cartilage from breaking down.

What’s The Correct Dosage?

Note: Speak to the vet before using Cosequin. The vet will be able to advise you on whether it is suitable for your dog, and whether you should use it in conjunction with other medicines.

When using Cosequin for dogs you should start off by using a slightly higher “initial” dose and then a lower “maintenance” dosage after 4 to 6 weeks to maintain the improvement of symptoms. Our recommendations can be found below.


Weight of dog (lbs)

Standard strength

Double strength (DS)

< 10½ – 1 capsule per day
10 – 24.92 capsules each day
25 – 49.92 capsules daily
50 – 1003 capsules daily
> 1004 capsules daily

There are also chewable tablets which are usually more palatable and readily accepted by dogs. If you are having a hard time getting your pet to swallow the supplement you can split the capsules and sprinkle the contents onto food or crush the chewable tablets and mix them in with food.


Weight of dog (lbs)

Standard strength

Double strength (DS)

< 10½ tablet once daily
10 – 24.91 tablet once daily
> 25Half the initial dosage you were using.

If your pet does not feel relief after sustained treatment talk to the vet about increasing the dosage you are using or switching to a different supplement or medicine.

Cosequin Minis: This formula is specially created for small dogs and contains the added ingredient MSM. See the table below for the recommended initial (first 4 to 6 weeks of treatment) and maintenance dosage.

Dog’s weight in lbs

Initial dosage

Maintenance dosage

5 – 10.91 tablet daily½ tablet daily
11 – 252 tablets daily1 tablet daily

Example: A 20 lb dog could be given 2 capsules a day for 4 to 6 weeks and then switched onto a lower maintenance dose of 1 capsule per day.

How Safe Is It?

The active ingredients are very safe. Glucosamine and chondroitin are both naturally occurring in the body and are hard to overdose. Side effects are also usually mild and limited to gastric upset (e.g. diarrhea) at worst. Contrary to popular opinion glucosamine should be safe for those with diabetes mellitus, but always talk to your vet first to be sure.

MSM (methylsulfonylmethane)

MSM is another active ingredient found in some formulations (e.g. Minis and DS Plus MSM). It may or may not further aid in the relief of arthritis, and could potentially make allergies or insomnia worse. MSM may also thin the blood which could make it unsuitable for some dogs or those taking drugs with anticoagulant properties such as aspirin, however, this is not proven. We recommend asking for your vet’s opinion on whether the addition of MSM would be beneficial.

Safety Guidelines

We recommend these guidelines during treatment:

  • Speak to your vet to discuss all treatment options before use
  • Ask the vet whether MSM would be of benefit
  • Contact the vet if any adverse effects occur

Glucosamine has been known to make symptoms of asthma worse in humans. Though this effect has not been reported in dogs you should be extra careful when giving the supplement to an asthmatic pet.

What Is It Used For?

This supplement is used to relieve the symptoms of joint pain and cartilage damage. With MSM it may provide additional anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which may be of further help to arthritis sufferers.

Other treatments

If this supplement is not able to relieve your pet’s symptoms speak to a vet about a different remedy. Other supplements such as turmeric may help, or, if not, you can try NSAID medicines such as Previcox®.

Side Effects

Adverse effects are not expected but in rare cases your dog may experience diarrhea, vomiting and other signs of gastric upset. If you choose products containing the added ingredient MSM the following are also possible:

  • Fatigue
  • Itching
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Degradation of allergic conditions

Cosequin may also (in rare cases) cause allergic reactions.