As your canine friend ages, it’s not uncommon for them to experience joint problems. Pet parents of older dogs may also notice that their fur baby begins to develop arthritis, leading to joint pain and stiffness. This is where trying a hip and joint supplement with natural active ingredients can make all the difference for Daisy or Dexter.

If you have a friend or family member who suffers from osteoarthritis, you may already have heard of glucosamine. It’s a common joint supplement that people use to alleviate pain and inflammation due to the breakdown of joint cartilage.

Glucosamine can be helpful for your pooch too, but it’s only one of many natural joint supplements available. Read on and we’ll explore the best joint supplements for dogs to promote the health and well-being of your pet.

With a little knowledge, you can locate a good joint support product for your pet so that they can enjoy life with less pain as they get older.

The Best Joint Supplements for Dogs

best joint supplement for dogs

Truly, there’s an endless number of joint supplements for dogs to choose from. Many have human-grade ingredients. Some are actually treats that are prepared as soft chews, while others are in liquid form you that can add to Rover’s dog food. Here are the best joint supplements for dogs and what we can tell you about them.

1. CBD

Cannabis plants contain a compound called cannabidiol, or CBD for short. These are active ingredients that can be extracted from the plant as an oil. CBD oil for pets supports healthy bones and joints as well as mobility in older dogs. In fact, here at Honest Paws, it's been our extreme pleasure to hear about all the amazing ways pet parents have used our CBD to help their dog walk again, climb the stairs again, run again, play again, and more!

2. Turmeric

Another natural ingredient that assists with joint health is turmeric. It’s effective in supporting a healthy inflammatory response in the body, which can help with discomfort and also support healthy joints and connective tissue. Naturally, this can improve your pooch’s range of motion. In addition, it provides antioxidant support, which assists the immune system in older dogs.

3. Green Lipped Mussel

Have you heard of the green lipped mussel as a joint supplement ingredient? A study done in 2013 suggests that the omega-3 fatty acids found in the green lipped mussel supports joint health in dogs. It should be noted that there’s still some debate about whether the features of a wild-caught green lipped mussel or a farmed green lipped mussel are best.

4. Boswellia Serrata

This is a resin extracted from the tree of the same name. It promotes a healthy inflammatory response in the body and can support joint health and mobility. According to a 2004 research trial, it has been shown to reduce the severity of osteoarthritis in canines as well. ‘Fun fact – Boswellia Serrata is better known as Indian frankincense, often used in churches.

5. Eggshell Membrane

Eggshell membrane features a high amount of collagen, chondroitin, glucosamine and hyaluronic acid. You can buy soft chews for dogs that include eggshell membrane. To date, the clinical studies about eggshell membrane and osteoarthritis focus on the human population. 

6. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

If you know anything about supplements, you may recognize omega-3 fatty acids as beneficial for overall health. As well as supporting joint care, this includes helping the kidneys, heart and immune system to function better. Interestingly, according to one study, canines on carprofen (a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID) for pain who received omega-3 fatty acids needed less of the medication.

7. Glucosamine Hydrochloride

This ingredient is helpful in stimulating cartilage cell growth. This is because the substance is one of the building blocks of cartilage. There’s sufficient scientific evidence to confirm that both glucosamine hydrochloride and glucosamine chondroitin are excellent joint supplements for dogs.

8. MSM

Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, is available for dogs to address joint health and relieve stiffness. Like certain other natural substances, MSM is sometimes found in dog food. With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant features, MSM is certainly worth considering.

9. Chondroitin Sulfate

As a joint supplement for dogs, chondroitin sulfate can protect your pet from enzymes that have the potential to destroy connective tissue such as cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate is more effective when it’s given together with glucosamine. This is why you’re likely to see glucosamine combined with chondroitin in a single substance called glucosamine chondroitin.

10. Hyaluronic Acid

Since the 1970s Hyaluronic Acid has been a standard treatment for joint issues in animals. It has shown to be effective for canines with osteoarthritis as a consequence of hip dysplasia. Therefore, pet parents of large breeds of dogs that are genetically more prone to this may want to pay special attention to this joint supplement for dogs.

Common Signs of Joint Pain in Dogs

Have you noticed a change in your pooch’s behavior? Maybe there’s a new habit that you might identify right away as pointing to possible joint pain. There are a host of things to look out for when it comes to joint issues.

  • Swelling of joints – Any swelling that’s visible is a red flag that your pup is having joint problems. You may find that the area is also tender to the touch, or may appear red and inflamed.

  • Joint stiffness – Is Snoopy or Sally having a harder time walking? Stiffness in their joints may indicate the presence of hip joint pain.

  • Strange movements – If your fur baby is moving in an awkward or unusual way, they could be having difficulties that can be remedied with a join supplement.

  • Problems standing −What about their ability to stand up? If your pooch can’t seem to do this for very long or seems to be favoring one leg, it may mean that they need joint care.

  • Trouble with stairs – You may note that your doggo is taking the stairs more slowly than normal. Or, perhaps they’re not jumping up on the furniture like they used to. Changes in these behaviors could suggest joint issues. 

  • Resists petting – If your usually snuggly canine companion doesn’t want you to pet them, then it could be that they’re experiencing joint pain.

  • Moody behavior – A change in your doggo’s usually sunny disposition tells you that they’re not feeling well. This might be because of painful joints that need attention. 

  • Of course, the last two points could be signs of other health issues. Even so, put joint pain on your list to investigate. 

Benefits of Joint Supplements for Dogs

joint supplements for dogs

All pet owners are determined to give their canine friends the best quality of life possible. For senior dogs especially, good joint care is an important component of keeping them thriving. Your furry friend offers so much love and companionship, that you want to have that relationship for as long as you can. Here are the ways joint supplements for dogs can assist your pooch.

Strengthen Their Immune System

Just like ours, a dog’s immune system plays a crucial role in fighting infection and disease and supporting general health and well-being. Joint supplements contain anti-inflammatory compounds and other nutrients and vitamins that work to strengthen the immune system. Many also are antioxidants that provide further assistance.

Support Organ Health

Joint supplements such as those that contain omega-3 fatty acids are advantageous for optimal heart health and kidney function. When your doggo has a strong heart and their other organs are in good working condition, this has a positive impact on their overall health.

Keep Coat and Skin Healthy

Your Buddy or Bella likely has a lovely shiny coat and healthy skin. One way to promote skin and coat health is to give them joint supplements that contain helpful minerals and vitamins. It’s no fun for them when they’re afflicted with itchy skin or a coat that’s dull and shedding a lot. 

Provide an Energy Boost

Basically, pain zaps energy. If you’ve experienced pain, you can relate. Your best friend isn’t going to feel like going for a run, or even a walk when they’re in pain. Joint supplements for your dog will help relieve their discomfort and restore their normal energy level.

Buyer's Guide: What to Look For

dog joint supplements

There are certain things to look for when selecting the best joint supplements for dogs. This is what you need to be mindful of for a product that delivers good joint care.

Ingredients

In terms of ingredients, there are some you want to see on the product label of a joint supplement and others that you don’t. Look for ingredients from the following list. These help keep your dog moving with more ease and less pain by lubricating joints and supporting cartilage. If you see active ingredients like MSM or Boswellia Serrata, that’s good. One of the ingredients below is acceptable − more is better! 

Safety

As mentioned, there are certain ingredients that you don’t want to find in the joint supplement product. Scan the label for grain, soy, preservatives, artificial flavors, or artificial colors. Grains such as corn and wheat can upset your pet’s GI tract and cause other digestive issues, while soy can contribute to thyroid function problems. It should be a no-brainer that you don’t want to feed your dog anything with preservatives, artificial flavors, or artificial colors!

Ease of administration

Search for a product that’s easy to give. Sometimes getting them to try something new is all about the presentation, never mind the taste. Dog treats are always welcome and some products come in the form of soft chews. Others are in tablets or liquid that you can add to their food and may even have an appealing chicken flavor.

Certifications

Find out if what you’re preparing to purchase is certified with the NASC or National Animal Supplement Council. This is critical. You’ll want the assurance that the product has received the NASC’s stamp of approval and the ingredients are safe.

Number of Reviews

If you’re like most people, you’re no stranger to searching for what other customers have said about a product. This is where you can learn what people liked and didn’t like and note any potential issues before you buy.

Best Joint Supplements for Dogs: Final Thoughts

joint supplements for dog health

There are many reasons for joint pain in dogs. It could be that your canine friend has developed a congenital disorder like hip dysplasia. There may be a serious illness or disease including arthritis, Lyme disease, or cancer.

Maybe Austin has injured himself playing too hard or Alice is just getting older and joints are stiffening up. Whatever is behind it, make sure to investigate properly. In the meantime, offer a good joint supplement with natural ingredients to help ease their pain and increase mobility.

FAQ

What’s the best joint supplements for dogs?

The best ones for joint support are those that are contain only natural ingredients (no artificial additives or preservatives, wheat or soy) that are proven to support joint health and alleviate pain. Look for something that has certification from the NASC or National Animal Supplement Council.

Should I give my dog joint supplements?

Yes, it’s an excellent idea to give your dog joint supplements. Not only can the vitamin and nutrient ingredients they contain (such as MSM and Glucosamine) assist with joint pain and mobility, but they can increase energy levels for a happier and more active pooch. 

When should you give your dog joint supplements?

This is a judgement call for pet owners, any could depend on the age of the canine. Older dogs generally benefit more from supplements, but you don’t necessarily want to wait for problems to appear since the active ingredients can have a protective effect on joint health. 

What is the best hip and joint supplement for large dogs?

Take a good look at the ingredients and online reviews be help decide on the best joint care product. Consider also how easy it will be to give to your pup, whether it comes in a soft chew or yummy chicken flavor liquid to add to their dog food.