Every dog's joints take a beating over the years but this especially comes out as the dog gets older. A well-balanced diet and a good dog arthritis supplement can aid in hip and joint health, and help to rebuild damage done by strenuous activity.
Table of Contents
- Treating Arthritis in Dogs
- How Can Diet and Supplements Help Dogs with Arthritis?
- Which Supplements are Effective for Arthritis?
- The Best Dog Arthritis Supplements
According to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, osteoarthritis affects one out of every five dogs in the U.S. Also known as degenerative joint disease in senior dogs, this ailment occurs when the cartilage that protects the joints breaks down. The cartilage is supposed to cushion the dog's joints, but when it's gone, the bones begin to rub against one another and exposes the canine to arthritis issues.
This article discusses how best dog arthritis supplements, given alongside a well-balanced diet and any necessary veterinarian recommended treatment plan can promote healthy cartilage and support a dog's joint health.
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Treating Arthritis in Dogs
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in a dog's body, but statistically, the most common joints affected by canine arthritis include paw wrists, knees, elbows, hips and lower back. While aging is the primary cause of arthritis in dogs, other causes are certain activities, obesity, the dog's size and metabolic diseases like diabetes.
The dog may also have a congenital joint disorder, an old injury or repeated trauma to a certain joint that leads to this condition. However, studies found that increased size and weight of a dog is the main predisposer of joint problems, degenerative and development problems in dogs in the U.S.
If you notice any signs of arthritis in the dog, such as your pet having trouble standing from a lying position, showing discomfort while walking, abnormal gait or movement in a different way than before, osteoarthritis may have been taking over the dog's body already. It's best to schedule an appointment with a vet, because canine arthritis left untreated could lead to permanent lameness and muscle atrophy.
How Can Diet and Supplements Help Dogs with Arthritis?
Yes. Arthritis is essentially inflammation, which can be reduced through consuming anti-inflammatory foods and other dietary adjustments. When it comes to commercial dog food brands, certain formulas are designed specifically for this reason. They're usually labeled as “Mobility” or “Life Protection” foods from brands like Hill's Science, Nulo or Blue Buffalo. They will often contain ingredients and added supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin and omega-3 essential fatty acids (EPA/DHA).
Switching to these brands isn't always necessary. You can either continue feeding your dog current diet (especially if there are good reasons you need to stick with it, such as upset stomach or other health problems) and simply add pet arthritis supplements, or mix it up with homemade dog food recipes for joint health.
Some of the best natural foods for dogs with osteoarthritis to include which have been shown in studies to help with inflammation are:
- Salmon, tune or mackerel (fatty fish high in omega-3s)
- Pumpkin and sweet potatoes (for high fiber content)
- Blueberries and cranberries (for anti-oxidants)
- Broccoli and cauliflower (for essential vitamins)
- Coconut and flax-seed oils
- Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach
- Ginger root and turmeric spices
At the same time, some foods should be avoided completely or limited because they were shown in research to increase inflammation, particularly carbohydrates:
- Grains, wheat, corn
- (Too many) omega-6s
- Sugar, (too much) salt, artificial preservatives
- Table scraps and most other human foods
Which Supplements are Effective for Arthritis?
Let's be clear – there's a lot of hype about supplements in general, both for people and animals, but not all of them are actually useful or effective. In fact, majority are likely to be completely useless, according to research.
Fortunately, some studies have proven that when it comes to arthritis, a few types of supplements improved joint health condition and decreased inflammation in human and canine clinical trials. The potentially effective ones are glucosamine hydrochloride, omega-3 fatty acids, chondroitin sulfate, eggshell membrane, avocado soybean unsaponifiables, boswellia serrata and green-lipped mussels.
Not all of these are easy to find or buy over-the-counter; however, the most popular ones can be purchased online or from local pet stores. Among the available ones, we've ranked some of the best dog arthritis supplement brands with a proven track record below.
While some of the below best dog arthritis supplements can be beneficial, not every supplement that claims to be useful for joint health will work for your dog. You will need to discuss the diet and supplements with your veterinarian before picking the right one. Outside of the above mentioned supplements, fish oil for dogs is also recommended.
The Best Dog Arthritis Supplements
1. Nutramax Cosequin DS PLUS MSM Tablets
Elderly or ailing dogs with failing hips and joints need constant attention as they’re prone to accidents that can lead to serious injuries and further health deterioration.
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Nutramax Cosequin DS Joint Health Supplement offers the best in joint and hip care for dogs needing treatment or on post-surgery recuperation. Trusted and recommended by vets over the years, this bite-size tasty chewable supplement contains methylsulfonylmethane or MSM, a naturally-occurring organic compound that bolsters mobility and maintains superior joint support for dogs.
It contains naturally-sourced protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids and other essential vitamins and minerals to support health and vitality in dogs. Dog owners learned about Nutramax Cosequin in different ways – some through the vet, others by word of mouth, and mostly from doing web research. They’ve tried pain killers to help alleviate the pain momentarily, but it was this pill that brought their pet back to being active again.
Many dogs even evaded surgeries recommended by their dog’s vets after resorting to this supplement. What they found impressive was how this supplement stopped further inflammation of the joints and restored their dog’s energy level and flexibility. Many of those who were later successful with Nutramax Cosequin DS Plus MSM Chewable Tablets initially used it with reservations. But, when they were weighing things out whether to put their aging dog through a critical surgery or trying a supplement in conjunction with therapies for arthritis, they chose the latter and were happy for their decision.
This is one of the top ranked dog arthritis supplement brands and it contains 250 mg MSM, 300 mg chondroitin sulfate and 600 mg glucosamine. Sadly, a few reviewers noted that their dog suffered an allergic reaction to these chewables. As with any dog supplements, you'll also find reviews from buyers that say this product did not work for their pet at all. However, without knowing the variables that led to and effect the dog's arthritis, it's difficult to tell why their pet did not see improvement.
2. Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Tablets for Dogs
Arthritis in dogs can have crippling effects if left untreated. It deprives the dog of their freedom of movement, leads muscles to atrophy, and snuffs the life out of the pooch.
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Dogs with this condition have long benefited from Nutramax's Dasuquin with MSM, a non-prescription supplement. This naturally-flavored chewable tablet contains all-natural ingredients like avocado and soybean for stronger bones, glucosamine hydrochloride for better hydration, chondroitin sulfate, green tea, MSM, essential vitamins and minerals.
Nutramax Dasuquin is highly recommended for large dogs weighing 60 pounds and over. Leg and hip joints of large dogs get the brunt of their weight, and this takes its toll on the joints as these dogs age. Dog owners describe how depressing it is for them to see their pet’s pain – how their dogs develop inflammation or stiffening of the joints, tenderness on the legs, and overall weakening and slowing down. They couldn’t be happier after learning about Nutramax Dasuquin and using it with their pet.
Buyers were also impressed with how quickly this product worked. This is a good arthritis supplement for dogs because they were seeing results after only 5-7 days. They claim they could already see their dog getting up without pain, showing interest in walking and hanging around. This was surprising for a dog that has lately been very lethargic. In four weeks, improvement continued to be very promising, with the dog visibly feeling better and becoming more active.
This continuous improvement attains a peak in 4 months and is sustained through the maintenance period with the dog building up more muscles and looking much like its younger self. A few pet owners who purchased this product say the formula has changed in the last 2 years and it does not work as well as it used to. They've switched to a different supplement due to the change.
3. VetriSCIENCE Laboratories Glyco-Flex Dog Chews
Cartilage and synovial fluid are what keep dog joints cushioned, lubricated and functioning effectively. These supplements are designed to improve specifically this part.
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The foremost ingredient in these VetriScience dog arthritis supplements, Perna canaliculus (or green-lipped mussel), provides the perfect building blocks for a strong and well-developed cartilage. Perna – a mussel found mostly in the pure waters of New Zealand – also provides glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, amino and fatty acids, making it a perfect joint health supplement for canines.
GlycoFlex 3 is VetriScience Laboratories’ third-stage joint-supplementation for highly active and working dogs, as well as for aging ones with joint health disorders. Your old dog will love the natural flavor of real chicken prepared in bite-sized soft chewable pills. Dog owners say they can’t be more thrilled seeing their dog transform from his cranky and miserable current self into the playfully active pooch that he once was. Granny dogs turned puppies in terms of activity level after just a month of taking these top rated dog arthritis supplements.
You'll even find pet owners who say their old rescue dogs requiring surgery for injured anterior cruciate ligaments and severe arthritis showed much improvement after taking VetrisScience Laboratories Glyco-Flex III Bite-Sized Dog Chews. They say their dog had more flexibility and vitality. Buyers say their pets were better prepared for surgery, had a better chance for success, and recovered so quickly that their humans couldn’t be happier.
Pet owners who’ve tried this supplement on their dogs trust it so much that they recommend it to family and friends who have dogs suffering similar conditions. Some reviewers say this product is ideal for mild joint and arthritis issues, but does not work well for dogs with severe cases. Multiple reviewers noted that they received supplements that smelled terrible, and they attributed it to a “bad batch” of this product. Some tried again and received a better quality replacement, while others didn't dare waste their money again.
4. Doggie Dailies Advanced Hip & Joint Supplement
Doggie Dailies Advanced Hip & Joint Supplement is a complete formula that supports healthy hips and joints in both working breed dogs and elderly dogs.
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Each soft chew contains all-natural active ingredients rich in glucosamine, MSM, coenzyme q10 or CoQ10, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, yucca schidigera, omega fatty acids (3 and 6), vitamins C and E, and salmon and cod liver oils. This blend of active nutrients helps lubricate joints, alleviate arthritic pains, and effectively reduce irritation from hip dysplasia.
Maintaining a daily dose of this tasty formula will help raise your dog’s energy levels and restore his strength and flexibility. Dog owners observed positive results in their pets after a couple to several weeks on this supplement. This was recommended for cases of limping due to stiff joints, various stages of arthritis, and general mobility issues.
Pet owners were convinced that their dogs showed markedly significant improvement with Doggie Dailies Advanced Hip & Joint Supplement in a shorter time than other supplements they’ve previously tried. Satisfied buyers point out that they much prefer this product over other brands because they really work, their dogs like taking it because it looks more like a treat than a pill, and its price is just right. It’s also made in the USA and FDA-certified.
A few pet owners who bought these pills said they gave their dog diarrhea. One buyer even said that these arthritis supplements for dogs made their pet lethargic and begin to grow cysts. As with any supplement for dogs, not every buyer saw improvement in their pet. There are some who were disappointed with this product, claiming it did nothing for their dog.
5. Extend Joint Care Supplement for Dogs
Elderly dogs and dogs suffering from joint pain still have a chance to live happier lives with this supplement from Extend Pet Health.
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This is one of the top rated canine arthritis supplements and should become an essential part of any health regimen to repair injured joints and cartilage and to improve flexibility. This formulation contains glucosamine, MSM, type II chicken collagen, and ascorbic acid. Along with other ingredients, these components provide hydration, enhance connective tissue function, and maintain health in joints and cartilage.
It comes in beef-flavored powder, which dogs love when mixed with their food. Dog owners didn’t expect the result to come so quickly. In barely 2-3 weeks of supplementing this in their dog’s daily nourishment, improvement was already observable. After trying several brands with no real results, pet owners came upon this formula and now call it something short of a miracle.
In a little over 2 weeks with this in their regimen, dogs could now get up and move more easily. They could sustain longer walks on steadier legs, and they’re visibly happier and more interested in interacting. With this initial success, dog owners feel that they can now look forward to more playful days ahead with their furry friends thanks to Extend Joint Care for Dogs.
Some dogs did not like the taste of this powder and refused to eat their food when it was added to their meal. As with any other pet arthritis supplements, there are many reviews from pet owners who claim this product did nothing to relieve their dog's arthritis pain. A few also noted that their dog had diarrhea after having this supplement added to their food.