Today we can find a wide range of supplements for dog joints on the market. These products are based on various molecules of chemical or natural origin, such as collagen, glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid, among others.
These nutritional supplements have evolved and improved in recent years, so they are usually prescribed by veterinarians for various problems related to joint degeneration. We will talk about the best supplements for dogs’ joints.
What is the best dog joint supplement? How do you know which constitutes the best joint supplements for dogs with so many products on the market? To help you make an informed decision, we have interviewed some veterinarians and technicians for their recommendations.
I have found the Zesty Paws Mobility Bites Hip & Joint Support Duck Flavor Chews with Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM for Dogs the best joint supplement overall for your dog Vetoquinol Flexadin Advanced Chews with UCII running for a close second.
Always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog vitamins since an excess of them could also be harmful. Also, this professional will help you select the most appropriate vitamin supplement for your case since he knows your dog’s specific needs.
Best dog joint supplement
Because different life stages lead to different needs for your pup, we select the best dog joint supplement, attending to other categories.
The following ones are the best ones for overall joint health in different categories:
Zesty Paws Mobility Bites Hip & Joint Support Duck Flavor Chews with Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM for Dogs (Best Dog Joint Supplement Overall)
Vetoquinol Flexadin Advanced Chews with UCII (Best Dog Joint Supplement Runner Up)
Doggie Dailies Advanced Hip & Joint with Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM Soft Chew Dog Supplement (Best Dog Joint Supplement Back-Up)
Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Joint Health Small/Medium Dog Supplement (Best Dog Joint Supplement For Small Dogs)
Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Soft Chews Joint Health Large Dog Supplement (Best Dog Joint Supplement For Large Dogs)
Super Snouts Joint Power Green Lipped Mussel Dog & Cat Supplement (Best Dog Joint Supplement For Natural Ingredients)
VetIQ Maximum Strength Hip & Joint Soft Chews Dog Supplement (Best Dog Joint Supplements On Budget)
Infinite Pet Supplements All-Natural Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs (Best Dog Joint Supplement In Powder Form)
Liquid Health Pets Original K9 Glucosamine Dog Supplement (Best Dog Joint Supplements In Liquid Form)
VetriScience GlycoFlex Stage III Senior Joint Support Dog (Best Dog Joint Supplement For Seniors)
Prescription Diet j/d Joint Care by Hill’s Prescription Diet (Best Dog Joint Supplement In Kibble)
Lets have a closer look at each of these supplements
Zesty Paws Mobility Bites Hip & Joint Support Duck Flavor Chews with Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM for Dogs
They are made with glucosamine and chondroitin for joint boosting mobility and a host of other wholesome, nourishing ingredients, including vitamin E and flaxseed meals. They come with a natural duck flavor.
- Advanced hip and joint support with glucosamine, chondroitin, and vitamin E.
- Reduce and prevent aches, pains, soreness, inflammation, and arthritis problems
- All-natural great ingredients
- Glucosamine, yucca extract, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)
- Promote heart health as well as immune support
- It was manufactured in FDA-registered facilities that are NSF and GMP-certified in the USA.
This product contains omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed oil, fish oil, and vitamin E, a known antioxidant. But the fundamental standout feature of Flexadin Advanced with UC-II Chews is an undenatured type II collagen (UC-II).
The science behind this molecule (UC-II) is quite compelling. The UC-II component supports joints by modulating the immune system. This is a unique method of action. The dose is the same in dogs of all sizes (and cats).
In one study, dogs receiving UC-II supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin typically experienced significantly more symptom relief than dogs receiving only glucosamine and chondroitin. (1)
- Healthy joints and flexibility
- Omega 3 Relieve inflammation and soothe aching joints
- Vitamin E prevent the breakdown of cartilage
- UCII, an undenatured type II collagen, provides optimal joint support
They’re loaded with essential vitamins like C and E, minerals, essential enzymes, and powerful active ingredients including glucosamine, chondroitin with MSM, hyaluronic acid, co-enzyme Q10, yucca schidigera, plus salmon and cod oil. The formula is an independent lab tested for safety and efficacy and is proudly made in the USA with no unnecessary additives or palm oil. Formulated to be given daily, it’s great for small to extra-large dogs, and your pup will love the delicious natural chicken flavor.
- Promote healthy joints maintain mobility
- It contains Glucosamine, chondroitin with MSM, hyaluronic acid, co-enzyme Q10, and yucca schidigera.
- Vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, plus salmon and cod oil
- Suitable for adult dogs of all sizes
- Independent lab tested for safety and made in the USA
- No palm oil
The combination of glucosamine, low-molecular-weight chondroitin, and ASU (avocado soybean unsaponifiables) has been shown in clinical studies to provide good joint support better than any one of these by itself (2)
- #1 veterinarian-recommended
- Chewable tablets for small to medium dogs
- Formulated with the highest quality glucosamine, chondroitin, and ASU for further joint health support
- It helps block enzymes in joints that break down cartilage and supports reparation and regeneration of new cartilage
- Made in the USA
Promote a healthy lifestyle to help your dog thrive with Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Soft Chews. This maximum strength, easy-to-administer chews support mobility in your dog for his continued good health and happy, healthy life. This is the version for Large dogs. As in the previous version for small and medium dogs, clinical studies to provide good joint support better than any one of these by itself (2)
The difference with the anterior is the concentration of the active principles, as the dog’s weight is different on a large breed and small or medium one.
- #1 veterinarian-recommended
- Highest quality glucosamine, chondroitin, and ASU for further joint health support
- It helps block enzymes in joints that break down cartilage
- Supports reparation and regeneration of new cartilage
Unique joint supplement composed of 100% New Zealand green-lipped mussels. Stabilized, freeze-dried green-lipped mussels have shown highly positive results in clinical trials for pets. (3)
That’s because they provide a rich source of all major classes of glycosaminoglycans, compounds responsible for the natural anti-inflammatory and joint-lubricating properties.
Also, green-lipped mussel extract contains a nutrient-rich blend of natural proteins, minerals, and omega fatty acids.
- All-natural arthritis and joint support
- Excellent for easing pain, inflammation, sore joints, and osteoarthritis
- Ideal for aging dogs
- It helps improve damage from injuries and connective tissue repair
- Promotes joint, heart, eyes, skin, bone, and brain health
- Natural proteins, minerals, and omega fatty acids
- Rich in glycosaminoglycans (GAGs)
These vet-recommended chicken flavor treats make it easy for your best friend to enjoy taking his daily glucosamine and lubricate those stiff and sore joints that come with age.
Formulated to support healthy hip joint function and maintain muscle tone are rich in Glucosamine HCL, MSM, antioxidants, and Omega3 fatty acids to support cartilage condition, healthy connective tissue and help sustain a vibrant activity level.
These natural chicken flavored chews are made in the USA with all-natural ingredients for your adult canine companion to enjoy as a tasty treat every day.
- Helps lubricate hip and joints for better mobility and comfort with 600mg Glucosamine, 210mg MSM, and 210mg krill per serving
- Healthy cartilage, joints, and muscle.
- Supports hip and joint mobility
- Chicken flavor
This powder makes it easy to help treat the symptoms of your dog’s arthritis, hip dysplasia, and joint stiffness—mix the powder in with your dog’s regular dinner. No struggling with pill pockets, tablet grinding, or pill swallowing—plus, the powder is formulated with a flavor even picky pooches love.
This formula contains zero additives, fillers, or inactive ingredients, which means you aren’t adding anything your pup doesn’t need to their meal. It’s made in a GMP-certified facility in the USA.
“A standard glucosamine dose is 10 to 20 milligrams per one pound of dog weight”, says Dr. Tripp, so if your pup lands somewhere in the middle of a small and a large breed, a powder formula may be your best bet.
- Easy-to-serve powder effortlessly mixes into food
- boost joint support in dogs of all sizes
- Includes organic turmeric, glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM
- Works as an anti-inflammatory to help alleviate dog arthritis
- Support healthy hearts
- Aid in metabolism management
- Made in the USA at a GMP-approved facility
The liquid supplement is specially formulated so that dogs’ bodies absorb it quickly, whatever the breed and size.
Many pet owners say they’ve had good luck with this liquid formula they pour over their dog’s food. It can also be given by itself if your pet is willing to give it a try. This formula contains hyaluronic acid to help keep your pup’s joints lubricated and healthy. It’s made in the USA.
It didn’t contain any sugar, starch, wheat, gluten, yeast, milk, corn, or soy and was developed to be readily absorbed.
- Supports cartilage and tissue health
- It has glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM.
- No sugar, starch, wheat, gluten, yeast, milk, corn, or soy.
- Joint lubrication and hydration with hyaluronic acid
Aside from glucosamine, MSM, and manganese, GlycoFlex also contains Perna canaliculus, AKA green-lipped mussel (GLM), Dr. Jeffrey says, adding that there’s plenty of scientific research backing the product: “There are peer-reviewed studies of the effectiveness of the supplement.” In at least one study, more dogs receiving GLM improved than those in the placebo group. (4)
GlycoFlex comes in products designed for different “stages” of a dog’s life.
Stage I is formulated to ease large dogs’ growing pains or for puppies who will be working dogs, competitive athletes, or may otherwise need joint support throughout their lives.
Stage II is designed for dogs beginning to slow down and show the first fatigue signs.
Stage III is VetriScience’s ultimate strength product, suitable for seniors, dogs with limited mobility, or surgery recovery. This is the one that we will get for our senior dog.
- Veterinarian approved joint support.
- Perna, glucosamine, MSM, DMG
- Antioxidants for advanced joint support
- Recommended for dogs with a maximum need for joint and connective tissue support
- Recommended for geriatric and working dogs as well as to support normal recovery after orthopedic surgery
- It is clinically proven to increase hind leg strength in dogs by up to 41% in 4 weeks.
- Flavored with real chicken
Commercial dog food labels can’t legally carry claims that the product can treat, cure or prevent disease. To comply with the Food and Drug Administration, dog food companies must limit these claims to veterinary-prescribed therapeutic diets. One diet that falls under this category is Prescription Diet j/d Joint Care by Hill’s, available as canned or dry food.
Even though you can purchase it online, you need to have permission from your veterinarian to do it. The good news is that many veterinarians agree with this option, so that shouldn’t be a problem at all. OAs have been proven to reduce the need for using NSAIDs. This means that this diet has been scientifically shown to reduce joint pain in dogs, without some secondary effects (5) (6)
- Help improve your dog’s ability to run, walk and jump in as little as 21 days.
- Source of the Omega 3 fatty acid, EPA, to nourish cartilage
- Added L-carnitine help maintain a healthy weight
- Enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate and controlled calories
The most common signs of joint problems in dogs
One of the many reasons a dog visits the vet is the appearance of joint pathologies. A reasonable observer usually notices this problem in his dog by the arrival of lameness and, sometimes, acute pain.
Your dog has his ways of communicating that something is not right. The following signs are commonly shown by dogs that experience joint pain:
- Stiffness in joints
- Unusual movements to compensate
- Challenging when trying to stand
- Favoring one leg over the other ones, which also leads to muscular problems on the other legs
- Unusually bad temper due to pain
- Visible swelling in the joints
- Doesn’t want to be touched or cuddled, especially in the areas where the pain is located
- Refusal to climb stairs or jump on the bed (if that was a previous behavior)
Reasons of joint problems
There are different causes of joint problems in dogs. You can see some of them on the following list.
Certain breeds of dogs, such as the German Shepherd, often develop hip dysplasia. On the contrary, breeds such as the Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, or Doberman tend to suffer from shoulder or elbow dysplasia due to their large size and rapid growth.
Like other mammals, including humans, when dogs enter old age, pathologies linked to his vital stage appear, like canine degenerative joint disease.
The growth period is a delicate moment, as in other species. Some dogs, particularly giant breeds and breeds that are large-boned, are prone to disorders of the bones and joints during the growing stage.
These disorders, most notably panosteitis, osteochondritis dissecans, and hypertrophic osteodystrophy, generally strike between the third and twelfth month of the animal’s life and can be pretty painful, leading to sensitivity to touch and to a reluctance to move.
Most dogs afflicted with this condition grow out of it as they mature. However, anti-inflammatory medication is often prescribed to manage the symptoms until that time.
If your dog is on a homemade diet, for example, either BARF or cooked diets, consult your veterinarian to ensure he receives all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals he needs. Otherwise, you may have to modify his intake or administer a supplement (always under the supervision of your veterinarian and following his instructions). (7)
The body’s immune system can cause inflammation of joints. It generally affects several joints. Immune-mediated arthritis can destroy the joint cartilage and bone beneath the cartilage or cause inflammation around the joint. Signs include lameness, pain, swelling in multiple joints, fever, a generalized illness, and loss of appetite. These signs commonly come and go. (8)
Fractures involving a joint
Many types of joint trauma can contribute to the development of joint disorders. Some of the more common types of trauma that can affect the joints are discussed below.
An anterior cruciate ligament tear
Due to overexertion, excessive exercise, or belonging to a small breed. This leads to serious joint problems if not appropriately prevented.
In addition to significantly reducing the quality of life of our pets, obesity causes, among other things, an overload of the joints. This can cause severe problems for them. Increasing body weight/condition is associated with joint disease, most likely due to the increased load on joints. (9)
The joint cartilage in freely moving joints may degenerate over time, leading to loss of joint movement and, in many cases, pain. This condition is characterized by thinning of cartilage, the buildup of fluid within the joint, and the formation of bony outgrowths around the joint. Joint degeneration can be caused by trauma, infection, the body’s immune system, or malformation during development. This leads to inflammation of the joint membrane, continued cartilage destruction and inflammation, and abnormal joint function. (10)
Signs of osteoarthritis include lameness, joint swelling, wasting away of muscle, and thickening and scarring of the joint membrane. X-rays show increased fluid within the joint, soft-tissue swelling around the joint, the formation of bony outgrowths, hardening and thickening of bone beneath the cartilage, and sometimes a narrowed joint space. Eventually, enough damage can occur that a grating sound might be heard during joint movement.
What are the different supplements (Chondroprotectors) for the dog´s joints?
Chondroprotectors are substances that help improve specific pathologies that involve the joints. These problems are often accompanied by an inflammatory process of the joint and pain.
These supplements for the joints of dogs promote adequate nutrition of the articular cartilage and improve the consistency of the synovial fluid. They consist mainly of hydrolyzed collagen and glucosamine sulfate. Others are based on chondroitin sulfate or chondroitin sulfate.
Collagen as a supplement for the joints of dogs
The research and development of new supplements for the joints of dogs in recent years has led to a notable improvement in these products. Currently, they have great value in therapies to prevent osteoarticular degeneration processes and joint injuries in case of hereditary predisposition, joint overload, accidents, etc.
These products can be classified according to their base compounds since they all have the same purpose:
Hyaluronic acid-based supplements
Hyaluronic acid has been used in equine veterinary medicine for about 30 years, but its use in small animals is relatively new. Yet, since it has hit the mainstream market, it has tremendous impact. While Hyaluronic acid (or HA) makes up a lot of the skin, eyes, and other parts of the body, it’s also the primary component of the synovial fluid that cushions the joints of all mammals. Arthritis is caused when this fluid breaks down and does not function effectively anymore. Supplements with this composition seem to be the best because they act at all levels in the joints, hyaline cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and synovial fluid.
Supplements that combine glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate
They are the most basic in the world of chondro-protectors, but there is scientific evidence of their properties. (11)
Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural compounds found in healthy cartilage — the connective tissue that cushions joints. Glucosamine is sold in different forms, including glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. Supplements are manufactured from the cartilage of animals such as cows, pigs, or shellfish or are made in a lab. You can buy glucosamine and chondroitin individually, but they’re often sold together in a single supplement.
In Osteoarthritis (OA), the gradual degeneration of cartilage leads to pain, swelling, and other symptoms. Glucosamine and chondroitin have anti-inflammatory properties. (12)
The natural alternative to chemical supplements
There are alternatives to chemical supplements widely used in pets that do not have a genetic predisposition to suffer these problems and that are, in the beginning, healthy. This alternative is commonly used in those dogs that eat a diet based on natural foods, such as the BARF diet.
Green-lipped mussel (GLM) (Perna canaliculus)
GLM contains a combination of omega-3 fatty acids, chondroitin sulfates, amino acids, vitamins E and C, and minerals (Bierer and Bui, 2002). It is thought that the main action of the GLM is the anti-inflammatory properties of the omega-3 fatty acids (especially eicosatetraenoic acid). However, other constituents may have chondroprotective properties (Hielm-Björkman et al., 2009). Heat processing destroys the activity of the GLM powder, which means that veterinary therapeutic foods that include this supplement need to use low-temperature manufacturing or apply the GLM coating after the heat processing of the diet (Bierer and Bui, 2002). (13)
Golden turmeric paste for dogs
The recipe is known as golden turmeric paste. Its ingredients are:
60 grams of turmeric
250 milliliters of water
70 milliliters of coconut oil
Two teaspoons of freshly ground pepper
In a saucepan, it is heated water and turmeric for seven minutes. Then the oil and pepper are added and allowed to cool. We can keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Giant breed dogs can take up to a teaspoon of this paste daily. Those of small breed, meanwhile, should only eat a quarter.
We recommend Zesty Paws Mobility Bites Hip & Joint Support Duck Flavor Chews with Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM for Dogs as the best dog joint supplement overall.
For premium hip & joint support, Mobility Bites are excellent chewable supplements with ingredients (including a Glucosamine Chondroitin combo) that support joint health for small, medium, and large breed dogs.
Choose the best dog joint supplement for your dog here: