Anyone who has ever had a dog with arthritis knows how tough it can be both physically and emotionally. We all would do anything to prevent our dog from suffering, but it can be hard to find a product that works. That’s why we have compiled this list of the best dog joint supplements available, so you can give your dog a joint supplement that provides results.
Best Dog Joint Supplements
What Can You Give a Dog for Arthritis
There are a number of options available to treat a dog with arthritis. The most common thing to start with is supplements. If supplements don’t provide the desired effect then pharmaceutical drugs might be necessary. In the following section, we will go over the most popular supplements and pharmaceuticals for treating dogs with arthritis.
Glucosamine is the most popular supplement for arthritis on the market. The way glucosamine works is by reducing inflammation and providing a source of nutrients to repair damaged cartilage.
The most common form of glucosamine in most supplements is glucosamine sulfate. It is believed that the sulfate bound to the glucosamine molecule helps stimulate the body to produce cartilage which can help heal joints damaged by arthritis.
MSM (methylsufonylmethane) is an organic sulfur compound that has been found to lower inflammation and restore joint function. Just like glucosamine sulfate, the sulfur found in MSM is key to its restorative effects.
The extra sulfur atoms found in MSM are used to create methionine which is a key biochemical needed to produce connective tissues. MSM may also help the body flush out damaging waste by-products by increasing cellular permeability.
Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 & 6 Fatty acids are well known amongst dog owners for their ability to give a dog a smooth shiny coat. What some people may not realize is that Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids also play a role in a dog’s joint health.
Essential fatty acids act as an antioxidant and they also improve cell membrane flexibility. The antioxidant properties of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids protect delicate joint tissues from the damaging effects of free radicals. These oxidative free radicals can get worse with age and are one of the main reasons cells begin to break down. Essential fats also play a vital role in keeping cell membranes flexible which makes them less prone to damage from mechanical stress.
Adequan (Buy at 1-800-PetMeds.com) is one of the few drugs that has been approved by the FDA to treat canine arthritis. Adequan is an injectable drug that contains polysulfated glycosaminoglycan (PSGAG).
Adequan has been subjected to clinical trials where it has been shown to stimulate cartilage repair and reduce the pain caused by arthritis. It is also very fast acting and will start to provide relief in hours or days at most. If your dog has not responded to supplements or other drugs consider consulting with your veterinarian to see if Adequan would help.
Tramadol can be used to help alleviate the pain associated with arthritis. Tramadol is a synthetic opioid which has very potent analgesic effects. It will not heal the damage caused by arthritis but it will make the pain more bearable.
Since Tramadol is an opioid it is only available with a prescription from your veterinarian. It also has a number of side effects like lethargy and constipation. For those reasons Tramadol is only recommended when a dog is suffering from osteoarthritis pain and no other drug has provided relief.
Anti-inflammatory steroids can also be given to a dog with arthritis. They can help with joint pain and swelling, but only for a limited time. Continued use of steroids will actually break down the joint and cause the damaging effects of arthritis to progress. For that reason, steroids should only be used to treat acute inflammation, and then once the inflammation is under control the dog should be slowly weaned off.
How Much Glucosamine for Dogs
There are two main dosage levels when it comes to glucosamine. The first one is the “loading dose” and the other is the maintenance dose. The loading dose is what is given to a dog when you first start giving them glucosamine. The loading dose is usually double the maintenance dose, and it is given to a dog for three to six weeks in order to quickly elevate the glucosamine levels in their blood.
- Daily Maintenance Dose: 10 mg per Pound
- Daily Loading Dose: 20 mg per Pound
The maintenance dose is usually 10 mg per pound per day, so for example, a 70-pound dog would require 700 mg per day to meet their maintenance requirements. And that same 70-pound dog would need 1400 mg of glucosamine per day during the loading phase. Adjustments to a dogs dosage can be made if the maintenance dose isn’t having the same effect as the loading dose. If that’s the case then you will need to slowly increase their maintenance dose to a level closer to the loading dose until you see better results.
Signs of Aging in Dogs
Lack of Energy
As all animals age, their energy levels start to decline. This natural ebb in energy can be an early indicator of a dogs declining health. Pain and discomfort might also be confused with low energy. This is quite common since dogs are very good at hiding weakness from other members of their pack.
If you notice your dog is just not moving around as much as they once did then joint pain might also be at the root of the problem. If that is the case you should get them checked out to see if your veterinarian can offer a plan of action to get your dog back on track.
As many of us know our weight just seems to creep up as we age. The same thing happens to our pets as well. Lack of mobility and exercise can make the problem even worse. Muscles also start to naturally degrade which also makes it harder to lose the pounds.
This extra weight can put stress on a dog’s joints. For this reason, keeping a dog at a proper weight is very important if you want to slow the progression of arthritis. Fat cells also contribute to inflammation in the body, so any reduction in weight can also help stave off the deleterious effects associated with that.
Of course, you probably know by now how bad arthritis can be for your beloved pet. As your dog ages, the connective tissues in their joints start to break down. They also suffer from a dis-regulated immune system which attacks their joints.
Out of all of the dog aging symptoms, arthritis can be one of the worst. A dog might be in such pain that they can’t even get up off the ground without your help. That’s why treating it as early as possible is very important so it doesn’t progress to a point where it can no longer be managed.
As a dog ages, their ability to digest food starts to take a turn for the worse. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies and other undesirable side effects. If your dog isn’t able to get the nutrients from their food it can hasten the spread of arthritis.
The best way to counteract this problem is to change your dog’s diet and to provide them with supplements. There are diets available for dogs that have digestive problems that can be a big help. While supplements can deliver a more concentrated dose of nutrients which can be easier to absorb even if your dog has a compromised intestinal tract.
Dog Hip and Joint Supplement Reviews
VetriScience Laboratories GlycoFlex 3 Bite-Sized Dog Chews (Buy Online) are one of the best dog joint supplements you can find. These chews contain higher levels of glucosamine than most other joints supplements on the market. They also contain a broad range of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that help support joint health.
The main active ingredients in VetriScience Laboratories GlycoFlex 3 Bite-Sized Dog Chews are Glucosamine, MSM, Canaliclus, DMG, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Manganese, Grape Seed Extract, Glutathione, and Selenium. All of these ingredients play a key role in healing and strengthening joints and cartilage.
Many people that have given this supplement to their dogs have seen benefits in their overall mobility and activity level. Another nice thing about this chew is that it has a flavor that most dogs can’t resist. If you need a high potency joint supplement for an aging dog then you can’t go wrong giving VetriScience Laboratories GlycoFlex 3 Bite-Sized Dog Chews a shot.
At one time ActivPhy Joint Support Chews (Buy Online) were only available at a veterinarians office, now they can be purchased off the shelf. All of the ingredients remain the same all that has changed is that it now has a much more affordable price. You also won’t have to run out to the veterinarian’s office when you need more since you can just order it online when ever you want.
The main active ingredients in ActivPhy Joint Support Chews are MSM, Glucosamine, Omega 3, Blue Green Algae Extract, Citrus Bioflavonoids, Calcium Phosphate, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin C, Zinc Sulfate, Grape Seed Extract, Creatine, Turmeric and Vitamin E.
These chews contain a diverse mix of vitamins and minerals which have all been selected to help maintain a dogs overall joint health. Some of the ingredients like Omega 3 fatty acids will also help keep your dogs coat healthy and bright. Overall this veterinarian grade joint supplement contains everything your dog needs to help put a little spring back in their step.
NaturVet Joint Health Level 2 Soft Chews (Buy Online) are a very effective and affordable dog joint supplement. These chews have most of the same ingredients as the more expensive brands, but they come in at a much lower price. Which is great if you have multiple dogs with joint problems or if you have a large breed dog that needs a higher daily dose.
The main active ingredients in NaturVet Joint Health Level 2 Soft Chews are Glucosamine, MSM, Yucca, Chondroitin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. This blend has everything a dog needs for optimal joint support without any added fluff.
The recommended dosage levels for this supplement are 2 chews for dogs up to 30 pounds, 3-4 chews for dogs 31-50 pounds, and 5-6 chews for dogs 76 pounds and above. And for the first three weeks, your dog will need to go through a loading phase which means they will need to consume double those amounts.
Vetritionals Joint & Hip Complete Daily Therapeutic Soft Dog Chews (Buy Online) are the perfect joint supplement if your dog is on a restricted diet. These chews are gluten free and they are not made with any corn or soy. This is great if you have a dog with food allergies, or if you prefer to keep your dog on a primal diet.
The main active ingredients in Vetritionals Joint & Hip Complete Daily Therapeutic Soft Dog Chews are Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, Kre-Celazine, Vitamin C, and Hyaluronic Acid. Besides the active ingredients in these chews, they have an appealing chicken flavor that dogs just can’t resist.
The one ingredient that stands out in this joint supplement is Kre-Celazine. This patented nutrient helps reduce joint pain by moderating the bodies natural inflammatory response. If you have tried other joint supplements and they haven’t seemed to help with your dog’s pain and stiffness, then you might want to give Vetritionals Joint & Hip Complete Daily Therapeutic Soft Dog Chews a shot.
NaturVet All-In-One Dog Soft Chews (Buy Online) contains everything an aging dog needs to remain in good health. Not only is this a joint supplement, it also is a source of vital vitamins and minerals. These chews also contain probiotics and digestive enzymes which can help protect a dog’s digestive health.
The main ingredients found in this product that support joint health are Glucosamine, Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids, Chondroitin and Vitamin C. The ingredients that help support digestive health are Lipase, Protease, Cellulase and Probiotics such as Bacillus coagulans. This chew also contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals which means it can also serve as a daily multivitamin.
If your dog is suffering from more than just joint problems then a nutrient deficiency might be a root cause. If your dog’s coat is dry and their hair keeps falling out then the Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids in this product will help.
If you notice that your dog is losing weight they might not be able to digest their food like they once could. Malabsorption of nutrients can contribute to a wide assortment of health issues that include but are not limited to joint problems. The digestive enzymes and probiotics in these chews can help your dog get the nutrients they need for optimal digestive health.
NaturVet All-In-One Dog Soft Chews address a dog’s overall health and wellness, so you can be sure that your dog has everything they need in their diet to live a long and happy life.
VetriScience Laboratories GlycoFlex 3 Chewable Dog Tablets (Buy Online) are just as strong as the GlycoFlex Chews but they come in a more compact tablet form. Tablets can be easier to administer to dogs that have problems chewing or if they are not interested in treats.
The main ingredients in these tablets are Glucosamine, MSM, Canaliclus, DMG, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Manganese, Grape Seed Extract, Glutathione, and Selenium. Those are the same ingredients that come in the chews so you are not losing anything if you have to opt for the tablets instead.
While these tablets can be swallowed whole they are also chewable so they won’t hurt your dog’s teeth if they do take a bite. If your dog doesn’t have problems chewing than the chews are the better option since they have a slightly lower price. Where the tablet can help is if your dog has bad teeth or any other problems with chewing. You can simply put the tablet in their mouth and hold their mouth closed until they swallow the tablet. This can be much more convenient than liquids which can spill and can also be hard to get in your dog’s mouth.
Cosequin Double Strength Chewables (Buy Online) are one of the most popular dog joint supplements on the market. Cosequin DS earned this position by helping tens of thousands of dogs with their joint pain and mobility problems.
The main ingredients in Cosequin DS are Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Manganese and Mixed Glycosaminoglycans. This formula has proven over many years to be one of the most effective combinations of nutrients for joint support.
The dosage rate for Cosequin DS is dependent on a dogs weight and will be higher in the initial loading phase, and then it tapers off to a maintenance level after that. The recommended dose for a dog that weighs 10-24 pounds is ½ tablet, dogs that weight 25-49 pounds require 1 tablet, dogs that are 50-100 pounds need 1-2 tablets and dogs over 100 pounds need 2 tablets. All of these dosages are doubled in the initial loading phase so that should be taken into consideration before you buy a bottle of Cosequin DS.
Overby Farm Hip Flex Joint Level 3 Advanced Dog Hip & Joint Supplement (Buy Online) promotes joint mobility and healing. This product has a unique formulation that contains all the ingredients found in most other joint supplements with the addition of potent antioxidants to increase its effect.
The main ingredients in Overby Farm Hip Flex Joint Level 3 Advanced Dog Hip & Joint Supplement are Glucosamine, MSM, Tart Cherry Extract, Berry Extract, Chondroitin, Vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids and Vitamin E. All of which work in concert to heal and lubricate a dogs aching joints.
The unique ingredients that stand out in this product are the tart cherry extract and berry extract. Cherries and dark berries are well known for their high antioxidant levels. These antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can lead to inflammation and the break down of soft tissues such as tendons and cartilage. The antioxidants in this supplement help reduce the damage caused by oxidation so the other ingredients can have a more pronounced and rapid effect.
NaturVet Joint Health Supreme Level 3 Hip & Joint Dog Supplement (Buy Online) comes in an easy to administer liquid form that is perfect for dogs that can’t eat chews or swallow tablets. If you have tried chews and tablets but your dog can’t keep them down a liquid joint supplement might be your safest bet.
The main active ingredients in NaturVet Joint Health Supreme Level 3 Hip & Joint Dog Supplement are Glucosamine, MSM, Chondroitin, Yucca, Boswellia, Cetyl Myristoleate, Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E. To make the liquid more palatable it also contains corn syrup, citric acid, and other natural flavorings.
If your dog has trouble chewing or even swallowing a tablet your only recourse is a liquid supplement. If they still manage to eat their food you can mix the liquid into their food, or you can add it to their water. Either method will ensure your dog is receiving the proper amount of joint healing supplements no matter what their limitations may be.
The Missing Link Ultimate Hip & Joint Food Supplement For Dogs (Buy Online) is actually a food and not a chew or a tablet. This five-pound bag of dry dog food has been fortified with nutrients to support joint health. That means you can replace your dog’s current kibble with this food so you can be sure they are always getting their joint supplements with every bite.
The main active ingredients that promote joint health in this food are Glucosamine, Flax Seed, Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids and Yucca Extract. Along with that, this is a complete dog food that has a protein content of 20% a fat content of 28% and a fiber content of 15%.
If you have a hard time remembering to give your dog chews or tablets a food is a much better choice. All you will have to do is feed your dog like you normally do and they will get all the benefits of a joint supplement without you having to do any extra work. Making sure your dog gets their joint supplements every day can go a long way towards getting them back on their feet again so they can enjoy life like they did in the past.