The Best Dog Joint Supplements (Review) in 2021
- The Best Dog Joint Supplements
- 1. Pet Goodness Liquid Glucosamine Dog Joint Supplement
- 2. Nutramax Laboratories Dog Joint Supplement
- 3. Doggie Dailies Glucosamine for Dogs
- 4. PetNC Natural Care Hip and Joint Soft Chews for Dogs
- 5. VetIQ Hip and Joint Supplement for Dogs
- 6. Bayer Animal Health Dog Joint Supplement
- 7. Strellalab Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs
- 8. Paws & Pals Glucosamine Supplement for Dogs
- 9. Zesty Paws Glucosamine for Dogs
- 10. Goodgrowlies Hemp Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs
Your dog depends on healthy joints to live a full and active life. But as they age, those hips and elbows can start to get stiffer, slowing them down and making exercise and play more of a chore. With symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain and loss of mobility, joint issues such as arthritis can eventually take your pet from a fun-loving, hyperactive goofball to an unhappy pooch that spends most of his time laying or sitting down.
However, maintaining good joint health throughout his life can reduce stiffness as he ages and by giving him a daily joint supplement you can help to keep that spring in his step. But with so many brands and products on the market, it can be a challenge to know which ones really work. To help, we have reviewed what we think are 10 of the very best dog joint supplements that offer quality ingredients known to help prevent and reduce stiffness and pain. We start with our review’s Best Choice - Pet Goodness’s Liquid Glucosamine for Dogs.
The Best Dog Joint Supplements
2000mg of high-grade glucosamine
Added MSM, Omega blend, vitamins and chondroitin
Liquid formula with tasty bacon flavor
For puppies and dogs of all ages
With its role in building cartilage, glucosamine is an essential supplement if your dog is suffering from stiff joints. And with this bacon-flavored formula from Pet Goodness, you get an advanced supplement that’s pretty easy for your pooch to stomach. Pet Goodness Liquid Glucosamine is fortified with not only the big G, but also an Omega 3-6-9 blend along with essential vitamins to support joint health and vitality. You also get OptiMSM, one of the purest forms of the sulfur compound MSM, which plays a key role in reducing arthritic pain.
Gentle enough for puppies, this supplement can be added to the food of all breeds and all ages but is particularly beneficial for senior dogs looking for relief from stiff and creaking joints. Not only can it reduce the painful inflammation caused by joint problems, it also improves flexibility and overall mobility, meaning a happier and healthier pooch all-round. The large sized 32-ounce bottle means that this quality supplement is great value too.
Glucosamine 600mg and chondroitin 300mg
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) 250mg
With 40mg marine lipid (omega 3) blend
Chicken flavored chewable tablet
Focusing on cartilage and connective tissue health, these easy to chew tablets from Cosequin offer a powerful combination of glucosamine, MSM and chondroitin to keep your pooch happy and on the move. Available in delicious chicken flavor, your dog should lap these supplements up and the large tub contains 250 chewable tablets so they should last you a while. Both glucosamine and chondroitin work to build up the healthy cartilage that supports your pet’s joints while MSM helps to reduce inflammation and pain. You also get an effective blend of omega 3s to support their joints. Cosequin is also safe for dogs of all sizes, with pups less than 15 pounds needing ½ a tablet a day to start, while large 60lb+ pooches can be given up.to three tablets a day. Once improvement is seen, you can then drop your pet down to a reduced ‘maintenance’ dose to keep him mobile and on the go.
Soft, chicken flavor chew tablets
100mg glucosamine; 100mg MSM, 50g chondroitin
Coenzyme Q10, MSM and yucca extract
Added omega 3 and vitamins C&E
Doggie Dailies offers this easy chew glucosamine tablet which can also help to boost joint lubrication and smoother mobility thanks to the added hyaluronic acid. With 225 tablets, these joint supplements for canines is also good value for money and can be used with dogs of all sizes, over the age of six months. Doggie Dailies Glucosamine for Dogs also has an impressive additional ingredient list, with quality formulas of chondroitin, MSM and coenzyme Q10. Plus, there is added yucca, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe and reduce joint pain. The advanced formula does mean you need to feed these tablets after their main meal, at least to start with, so their digestive system gets time to adjust but with extra vitamins C and E, as well as salmon and cod liver oil, they will also give your pooch an all-round health boost.
Supports hip and joint mobility
250mg shellfish-sourced glucosamine
100 mg Chondroitin & 25 mg MSM plus Hyaluronic acid
Liver flavored soft chews
With a delicious liver flavor and an easy to chew formula, these hip and joint tablets from PetNC are excellent value for money. You get the three big joint health ‘big hitters’ – human grade glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM – in a one-a-day dose of goodness. Based on a 40-pound dog, the one tablet a day helps to maintain healthy joint function, supports connective tissue and helps to reduce inflammation and associated pain. The result should be a pet that rediscovers some if not all of the spring in their step. Initial dosage is for four to six weeks, with a maintenance program once improvements are seen. And with the savory flavor, even the pickiest of pooches should happily take their daily joint health booster with no complaint.
High strength, triple action formula
600mg glucosamine; 210mg MSM
Omega 3 (krill oil) – 210mg
Chewable tablets – chicken flavor
If you think your older pooch needs a boost, then with 600mg of glucosamine, VetIQ Maximum Strength Hip Joint could well hit the spot. In a resealable pouch, you get 180 soft chews than come with an attention-grabbing natural chicken flavor. But it is what’s inside these chews that really counts when it comes to your pet’s mobility and health. As well as maximum strength glucosamine which is sourced from shellfish, you also get MSM to reduce inflammation and omega 3 fatty acids from krill for helping ease joint stiffness. The result is a triple action formula designed to support cartilage, lubricate joints and maintain muscle strength. These are quality hip and joint chews at a good price, although you need to make sure you properly seal the bag as they do have a tendency to dry out.
Promotes joint and muscle health plus flexibility
Naturally derived ingredients
Glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM
Added antioxidants, turmeric and Boswellia
You are paying a premium for the Synovi G4 but you get a premium formula for your money. In a good value, large 240-chew tub, these supplements are designed for dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds to help boost hip and joint health as well as mobility. This is a specialized blend which focuses on three areas: joint health, muscle tone and antioxidants to protect at a cellular level. So, let’s take a look at the ingredients, which are all naturally sourced. First up, there is glucosamine, manganese and green-lipped mussel, which is a natural source of chondroitin. Added to this mix, you then get Boswellia serrata and turmeric, which bring powerful antioxidants to help protect the joints. Each soft tablet is easy to chew and digest and have a tasty chicken flavor your pooch will love.
250mg hempseed oil for pain relief
400mg glucosamine; 200mg MSM
Chondroitin, vitamins C and D
Organic turmeric plus yucca extract
StrellaLab have formulated their hip and joint supplement with natural hempseed oil and powder, recognized for its ability to reduced inflammation, stiffness and pain. Ideal for older dogs, these hemp chews are easy to eat and digest and have a host of ingredients that can help to boost their joint health. Alongside the hemp oil, you get glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM plus the natural healing properties of turmeric. The chews can also be given to younger pets to support their joint health as they age and are safe for dogs of all sizes. With 120 chews per tub, depending on your pet’s size, you should have up to a three to four-month supply and there are no artificial additives or flavors. Each chew is also soy, corn, dairy, sugar and hormone free.
Chewable formula for senior dogs
500mg glucosamine; 400mg MSM
50mg yucca chidigera and 50mg chondroitin
Omega 3&6 plus vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
With yucca to reduce inflammation and relieve pain, these hip and joint soft chews pack an impressive joint health punch, at a very good price. You get 240 chews which can be given to both cats and dogs to help support joints, flexibility and mobility while reducing aches and inflammation. Alongside the yucca, you get premium strength formulations of the ingredients you would expect, including glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM. Then there is a well-thought out blend of omegas, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutrients, all working together to support muscles, healing and all-round good health. Wheat-free, these chews won’t irritate sensitive tums and are ideal for senior or ageing dogs who need that little extra joint and immune system support to keep on their paws.
Glucosamine (shellfish) 450mg
OptiMSM 400mg; 125mg chondroitin
Flaxseed, yucca extract and vitamins C, E
Grain free, bacon flavor
If you are looking for a multi-tasking joint support formula, then Zesty Paws is a tasty option for your pooch. As well as helping with joint and arthritic pain relief, this high strength blend can also offer immune system and general health support. At the heart of Mobility Bites is glucosamine, as well as OptiMSM and chondroitin to help keep your pooch flexible and on the move. There is also added yucca as well as vitamins and antioxidants to boost their all-round good health. Each soft bite is easy to chew, even for more senior mouths and has an irresistible bacon flavor. Care has also been taken over one of its key ingredients – the organic OptiMSM, excellent for maintaining flexibility and movement – which has been distilled to be over 99% pure. Grain-free, there are also no artificial additives or flavors.
Duck-flavored soft chews
Hempseed, yucca and green-lipped mussels
400mg glucosamine, plus chondroitin and MSM
Sugar, dairy, corn and soy-free
Here’s another hip and joint supplement that maxes out on the healing properties of hempseed. Using both the oil and the protein from the seed, GoodGrowlies Hemp supplement is a delicious duck flavored chew that is also a tasty treat for your dog. As well as natural hemp, you also get a decent 400mg dose of glucosamine, as well as chondroitin, omegas (from green-lipped mussels) and MSM, all known for their joint support properties. GoodGrowlies have also added in the anti-inflammatory spice, turmeric as well as a blend of vitamins, minerals and yucca extract for good measure. At 120 chews per pot, you don’t get as many tablets as some other products, but these joint and hip supplements are well priced for the quality of the healthy-boosting ingredients. Can be used on dogs over the age of 12 weeks.
Best Dog Joint Supplements Buying Guide & FAQ
What Ingredients to Look for in Dog Joint Supplements
There are several ingredients that can be included in dog joint supplements. Here are the main ones that you should look out for.
Glucosamine is sometimes referred to as chitosamine and it is a naturally occurring amino sugar. It is found in connective tissue of animals such as claws, tendons, skin and ligaments but the glucosamine that you find in supplements is mainly from shellfish. Dogs don’t get it from their food so supplements are their only source.
It plays a vital role in keeping cartilage healthy and may be able to slow down the natural wear and tear of cartilage in joints.
Chondroitin also naturally occurs in animal cartilage. It is a type of molecule called glycosaminoglycans which attract water so they help to keep the joints lubricated. The chondroitin in supplements is derived from cattle trachea although it can be obtained from algae.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
Methylsulfonylmethane may appear on ingredients lists as MSM and is good at reducing inflammation around joints in arthritis. It helps to provide the building blocks that cartilage needs to repair itself and it protects it from further damage by free radicals.
- Hyaluronic acid
Joints need to be lubricated so that they can move freely and without pain. The fluid that lubricates joints is called synovial fluid. Hyaluronic acid is needed for the body to produce synovial fluid. It also helps with tissue repair and elasticity of joints.
This supplement helps to reduce inflammation in joints so that they can move freely and without pain. It works in conjunction with vitamins C and E to perform this function.
Why Give a Dog Joint Supplements?
You may be wondering whether you should be giving your pooch joint supplements at all. The best person to advise on this is your vet and you should always check with them before starting any supplementation. Some dogs cannot tolerate the ingredients in the supplements or may be allergic to them. They may be taking some medication that could react with them or they may have an underlying medical condition that would make the supplements unsafe.
Generally, there are two good reasons to give this type of supplement to your dog. The first reason is to help alleviate joint problems that your dog is already having. Perhaps your four-legged friend is noticeably limping or cries out when they walk? You may have noticed more subtle changes in behavior such as licking the joints, moving more slowly or spending more time in their kennel. This can indicate that osteoarthritis is setting in and that cartilage is degenerating at the joints. This can be due to underlying joint disease or simply from old age.
The second reason is to prevent arthritis of the joints in the first place or at least to delay it. Your vet can advise you if your pooch falls into the category of dogs that are more likely to develop joint problems. Some working dogs may be at risk as may dogs that commonly get joint conditions such as hip dysplasia. German Shepherds and Rottweilers are two breeds that are often affected.
In this case, formulations of glucosamine chondroitin for dogs will be very helpful because they will:
- Improve mobility
Life is not much fun for a dog who can’t get around especially if they previously enjoyed an active lifestyle. The lack of exercise can lead to other health problems including obesity.
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- Relieve pain
Your dog cannot tell you that they are in pain but it is often clear from the way that they are behaving. No one wants to see their four-legged friend suffering so anything that cuts down the pain is a good idea.
- Maintain quality of life and interaction
Your pooch holds a very special place in your family and when they cannot play and interact with you, it’s very upsetting. A supplement that maintains quality of life for your pet helps to preserve the family relationships.
- Promote desirable behavior
A dog that is in pain and cannot move is less likely to obey your commands and may start to show undesirable behavior. By removing the pain, you remove the barrier to promoting desirable behavior.
How to Get the Most from Your Dog Joint Supplements?
Before you consider giving your dog any sort of dietary supplement you must check with your vet that it is safe to do so. Your dog may be on medication or have a health condition or allergy that means that the supplements will not be safe for them to take. Then, the most important thing is to choose a dog joint supplement that you can trust from a reputable supplier that complies with all the recognized guidelines.
You must give them regularly and as prescribed on the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, this type of supplement is given once a day and you need to give them for at least a month before you can expect to see any difference. However, sometimes a higher dose is recommended for the first few weeks and then you can drop down to a maintenance dose. If you have trouble getting your pooch to take a chew, you may get on better with a liquid supplement.
Some supplements have different doses for different sizes of dogs so make sure that you are giving the correct dose to get the most benefit out of the supplement. Once you have started your dog on these supplements they must stay on them for life. If you stop giving them the supplements the cartilage will begin to degenerate again.
Tips for Managing Joint Pain
In addition to giving them dog joint supplements, there are plenty of other things that you can do to help your dog with their joint pain. Here are some of them.
- Go for regular check-ups with your vet to make sure that your dog is on the best treatment plan and has all the pain control they need. Your dog may be prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADs).
- Watch your dog’s weight and reduce their calorie intake if necessary. Obese dogs load their joints with extra weight and this makes the symptoms worse. If your dog is not very mobile, they will need fewer calories.
- Take your dog out for controlled exercise but only for short periods and make sure it is on a soft surface.
- Cold, damp conditions make arthritis worse so keep your dog warm and dry and provide a warm compress if they seem to be in pain from a particular joint.
- Consider visiting an animal massage therapist or an animal acupuncturist who may be able to help with your dog’s flexibility and pain levels.
- In advanced arthritis, surgery may be an option but this is your vet’s decision.
- Make your home easy for your dog to navigate by installing ramps to help them get upstairs and into your car and put down carpet on slippery surfaces.
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Our Top Pick
The top pick of the best dog joint supplements is a tried and trusted product that has been tested in medical research. It is in a chewable tablet form and will support cartilage matrix production and will inhibit cartilage breakdown.
The formulation includes avocado and soybean unsaponifiables together with active ingredients which are glucosamine hydrochloride, methylsulfonylmethane and sodium (low molecular weight) chondroitin sulfate.
Q: How do dog joint supplements work?
Dog joint supplements have active ingredients that work in harmony with your dog’s body. They support the repair and maintenance of synovial fluid and cartilage so the joint can function normally. Therefore, the bones can move smoothly across each other and mobility is increased.
Dog arthritis supplements also reduce inflammation and therefore bring pain levels down.
Q: Are there side effects of joint supplements in dogs?
The ingredients in dog joint supplements are generally very safe but some dogs can get side effects. Glucosamine and chondroitin can both cause stomach upsets and your dog may develop vomiting or diarrhea or constipation. You may be able to reduce the severity of the side effects by reducing the dose or giving the supplement with food. Some dogs get these symptoms when they are taking the high, initial dose but get better when the supplement is reduced to the maintenance dose after a few weeks.
A more serious concern with glucosamine and chondroitin for dogs is the possibility of an allergic reaction which could be severe and even fatal. Glucosamine for dogs is commonly derived from shellfish and you may not be aware that your dog has a shellfish allergy. If the allergic reaction is mild, you may not even notice it but an anaphylactic reaction requires immediate veterinary attention. It is possible (but not very easy) to source glucosamine products that are made from corn or other plants.
If you know that your dog is allergic to corn, wheat or soy, watch out for these on the ingredients list of the supplement.
Q: What causes joint problems in dogs?
Joint problems in dogs are caused by the same thing as in humans. The structure of the joint becomes inflamed and causes arthritis which is the medical term for inflammation of the joints. It is caused by wear and tear.
The surfaces of the bones in a joint are usually covered with a smooth layer of cartilage and lubricated with fluid. Arthritic joints have damage to the cartilage so the bone surfaces rub together and new bone forms which makes the joint even stiffer and causes more pain.
It is quite normal for joints to become arthritic with age but some conditions, such as hip dysplasia, cause it to happen in younger dogs.
Q: Can I give a dog human joint supplements?
It is never safe to give dogs any kind of medication that has been formulated for humans. Dogs and humans have very different metabolisms and substances that are harmless for us can be very toxic to dogs. Pet supplements can also be harmful to humans!
Therefore, it is only safe to give your dog veterinary joint supplements that have been approved for use in canines. If you are in any doubt, always check with your vet.