Cosequin vs Dasuquin: Our 2019 In-Depth Comparison

Joint issues plague dogs in their older age, so it’s really common to give pets supplements to prevent joint decline. There are quite a few on the market now, and not all are created equal.

If you’re heartbroken by your dog’s discomfort, you aren’t alone. The pet industry is a $60 billion-plus industry with pet owners frequently spending over $100 or even more on their pets each month. Joint supplements can be a big chunk of that, but the relief to your pet is worth it.

Cosequin and Dasuquin are from the same company, but we’ll break them down to figure out which product may be better for your pet. Let’s take a look.

Which is Better Cosequin or Dasuquin for Dogs?

Both have the same joint supplementing ingredients with one exception, ASU. We’ll talk about this compound a little bit later, but it’s more appropriate for dogs with severe arthritis or existing joint issues. It’s more expensive and may be overkill for most dogs.

Cosequin is easier on your wallet and offers complete support for dogs who don’t have severe arthritis or joint issues yet. It’s an excellent prevention supplement to start in your dog’s middle age or if you notice it’s favoring hips or seems uncomfortable. It’s our first pick for a joint supplement because, for many dogs, this is the only supplement they’ll need.

Which is Better Cosequin or Dasuquin for Cats?

Our recommendation is the same for cats. Unless your cat has severe issues already and you’re working with your veterinarian to try to reverse those effects, Dasuquin may be overkill for most cats.

Cosequin can offer protection and relief for mild pain as well as possibly strengthen the lining of the bladder for some cats. This can help with incontinence issues although that’s an off-label use. Be sure you check with your veterinarian if that is also a primary concern for your aging cat.

Our Review of Cosequin and Dasuquin

Both offer joint supplementation in the form of glucosamine and chondroitin. These compounds help strengthen the lining and cushion of the joints, preventing damage to bone and connective tissues through rubbing or grating.

Both come in chewy tablets because let’s face it. Giving dogs a regular tablet is hard and inconvenient. Instead of all that, these mimic dog treats, alleviating all the tricks and games you have to go through to get your dog to eat them.

They aren’t all the same, however. Let’s take a look at the major differences.

Key Differences Between Cosequin and Dasuquin

The most significant difference is a single ingredient and subsequently, the price.

ASU

ASU, or Avocado & Soybean Unsaphonifiables, is a compound shown to repair existing damage to joints. If your pet’s pain is pronounced and the damage is already severe. It’s considerably more effective at both mitigating and healing damage.

It inhibits the release of enzymes responsible for the degradation of the joint, so your pet can begin to heal and find relief. The effects could take a few months to be noticeable as the body goes through this slow repair.

It’s not going to cure your pet’s joint damage, but many people see dramatic results over time.

Price

The price of Dasquin is much higher than Cosequin, both for the pills and the soft cost of vet visits. You can find auto ship methods that can help with the price if budget is a big concern.

Cosequin can be an excellent place to start if you’re beginning to supplement. Your pet may find relief through it, and you wouldn’t have to go up to a more expensive supplement.

Prescriptions

Part of the soft cost of Dasuquin is the prescription requirement. Cosequin is available over the counter and at many big box stores. You can also easily find it online. Your vet needs to prescribe Dasuquin because of the active ingredients. If you’re already regularly at the vet for your dog’s pain, this extra step probably isn’t an issue.

Cosequin and Dasuquin Active Ingredients Comparison

Like we said, both the same ingredients aside from the addition of ASU. Let’s take a look at how each active ingredient works.

Glucosamine

As bones and joints age, the health of connective cartilage wears down. Glucosamine seems to slow this process down though science still isn’t quite sure how that happens. There aren’t any natural sources of this compound, so your pet will need to get it from supplements.

If your dog is allergic to any type of seafood, particularly shellfish, be careful using glucosamine as a supplement. Some sources come from shellfish, and your dog could have an adverse reaction.

Chondroitin

Chondroitin is found naturally in connective tissues so adding this supplement helps maintain those levels as your pet ages. Studies are mixed, but there is some evidence to suggest that it can reduce the pain and inflammation of degrading joints.

It’s found particularly in gristle from bone, but dosages in supplements are much higher than this natural source. IF you’re supplementing, feeding bones may not be nearly enough. Because it comes from animal sources, there’s always the chance of it being contaminated. Make sure you get your supplements from reputable dealers.

Which Treatment is the Best Priced?

Cosequin is the best priced of the two for general use. It’s nonprescription and widely available. For most pets, Cosequin should provide relief from pain and give better mobility.

However, for a small subset of pets, the benefits of added ASU make this supplement’s value much higher. It may be overkill for most pets, but for those with severely degraded joints, the cost of Dasuquin provides a much better value and a possible reduction in vet cost overall.

Aside from that subset, we think your money is better spent with Cosequin.

Which Do We Recommend?

We would definitely start with Cosequin if you’re beginning to consider your pet’s joint health. Unless there’s serious cause for alarm, most pets experience plenty of benefit from the more basic Cosequin.

We would never discourage you from spending more money on your pet’s health, but we just don’t think the extra ingredient in Dasuquin is worth the expense for most pets. You can go for Dasuquin, but we think you’ll find the same benefits merely using a glucosamine and Chondroitin blend.

7 Treatment Application Tips

Both types of supplement come in a chewy tablet designed to mimic your pet’s treats. You don’t have to hide it in food or perform gymnastics to force it down your pet’s throat. Here are a few other things you can do to make this process a little bit easier.

If your pet still hates the supplement:

  • Sandwiching – “Sandwich” the supplement between your pet’s favorite treats. Ask your pet to sit and feed it the good treat. Make sure your pet smells the other good treat. Quickly feed your pet the supplement and then offer the good treat right behind so your pet quickly swallows it in anticipation of the good treat.
  • Games – Turn the whole process into a game of hide and seek. Or ask your pet to perform the usual tricks for a treat. The idea is to provide enough distraction that your pet will take the supplement in between regular treats without too much fuss.

If your pet has severe pain:

  • Reduce inflammation – some joint pain can get worse with chronic inflammation. Changing your pet’s diet to remove common causes of dietary inflammation may help alleviate that pain. Gluten, corn, soy, and some meat by-products are common causes of dietary inflammation. Switch to a brand of food with fewer ingredients. Those ingredients should include whole meats as the first ingredients, probiotics, and fruits and veggies for better nutrition.
  • Add healthy fats – Fat has a bad reputation, but your pet needs healthy fats for good skin and soft tissues. Adding healthy Omega fatty acids to your pet’s diet can help reduce inflammation. Omega 3 is your target fat because that one is excellent at working on chronic inflammation. Make sure your pet receives enough of this crucial dietary ingredient and work with your veterinarian to add it responsibly.
  • Check Antioxidants – Antioxidants, such as those found in blueberries, for example, bind to free radicals that cause irritation and inflammation throughout the body, not just the joints. As your checking your pet’s food, the presence of quality fruits and veggies can help add this back into your pet’s body. Again, work with your veterinarian to determine which food may be the best choice for your aging pet.

If your pet has already started the supplement:

Weight is a tricky issue because your pet’s suffering is likely a factor in increased weight. If they can’t move around as much as they used to, they gain weight, which causes more pain. It’s a vicious cycle that can lead to severe health problems down the road. Start with a weight management food and work with your veterinarian to reduce weight.

  • Strengthen the muscles – Your vet can also provide recommendations for safely and slowly strengthening areas where the pain is present. Stronger muscles can compensate for some of the pain because muscle mass offers protection for the joints.

The stronger your pet is, the more likely the pain is to be manageable, reducing the weight gain cycle and providing better mobility overall. Your vet may be able to provide physical therapy or can give you directions for how to safely help your pet strengthen muscles.

Final Thoughts

If your pet is aging, it’s crucial that you begin the process of protecting joints. There are methods for managing existing damage and strengthening your dog’s muscles, but the best method for maintaining joint health is to start before things are an issue. The sooner you get a handle on your dog’s joint health, the less you’ll have to do to keep your pet well as it ages.

If your pet already shows joint damage from age or your pet’s genetics predisposed them to joint issues, Dasuquin can offer extra protection and healing that might make a huge difference. Otherwise, Cosequin is an excellent supplement that has everything your pet’s joints need to stay supple and healthy. IN fact, we recommend that the vast majority of pet owners start with this supplement.

It doesn’t require a prescription, so you could pick it up on your way home from work and start this evening. It’s easier on your wallet without sacrificing quality. You know that the ingredients are sourced from responsible providers, and you can trust that the dosages in the supplement are correct. Get your pet’s joint health in order and enjoy your pet’s energy for longer.

What stage is your pet on this journey? Are you maintaining joint health or trying to heal the damage already done through aging? Let us know in the comments below.

Sean Green

Sean Green, a leading developer of several pet-related websites and devoted pet owner. Sean is supported by a knowledgeable team of pet-loving writers who work together to provide you with a wealth of information about training and caring for your pets.

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