The onset of joint pain or arthritis in your dog can be a slow and gradual process and one that is extremely painful for both you and your dog.
It usually begins with more time spent in certain positions.
Then that easy run to meet you at the door or fetch a favorite toy becomes stiffer and a little slower.
One day you will notice that your dog can no longer jump up on the couch with you.
Finally, it will visibly wince and may even cry out in pain as it tries to make a particularly difficult movement.
But it doesn’t have to be this bad or this sad.
The Best Joint Supplement for Dogs WILL Make a Difference to Your Dog’s Quality of Life
By using only the best joint supplement for dogs, you can give your friend a second wind and put off (or eliminate altogether) the effects of genetic joint disorders or the aging process.
Before we talk brass tacks and breakdown the 5 top supplements to find the best joint supplement for dogs, let’s discuss the types and causes of joint disease in dogs.
The Symptoms of Joint Disease in Dogs
There are several common signs and symptoms of joint disease that you should be aware of as a pet owner.
Some of the most common symptoms are:
- Limping while walking
- Your dog hesitating to move, jump or run
- Your dog whimpering or yelping if it has to move suddenly
- Weight gain due to lack of movement
- Visible joint deformities
You should immediately bring your dog to a veterinarian upon observing such symptoms.
The most common joint disease in dogs is arthritis.
Arthritis is the general term used for abnormal changes in a joint, especially when cartilage wears away faster than it can regenerate.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis found in dogs and may occur as your dog ages.
This disease occurs when the bone beneath the cushion of cartilage becomes exposed to constant wear.
Over time, the joint will become less elastic and blood vessels to it will become larger and the joint will swell and inflame.
The extreme pain caused by this inflammation will prompt your dog to use the affected joints less and less.
Ultimately, this condition may affect your dog’s anxiety levels, moods, and quality of life.
Hip dysplasia is a type of arthritis that occurs more commonly in some breeds such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, St Bernards and Old English Sheepdogs to name just a few.
It exists when the hip joint is genetically shallow (this is more common in some breeds than others), or where a bony buildup occurs along the margins of the socket cartilage.
This means that the end of the joint will no longer fit cleanly into the bone socket, causing pain, an inability to walk and general symptoms that are much the same as those of arthritis.
Although artificial joint supplements for dogs are an excellent way of preventing or controlling joint-related issues, natural strategies should also be used as part of a two-pronged maintenance and prevention strategy.
Natural Management Strategies to Prevent Joint Diseases in Dogs
Although we are rating available artificial supplements for the management of joint diseases in dogs, it is still important to use these supplements in conjunction with natural preventative treatments.
These strategies include weight management, exercise, the immediate and effective treatment of injuries and occasional massage and physical therapy.
Maintaining your dog’s ideal weight is an important factor in the prevention of joint disease in your pet because an overweight dog puts additional strain and stress on joints.
A good amount of exercise will help in preventing joint diseases in your dog.
You should ensure that your dog achieves a good range of exercise including muscle building activities that will strengthen the ligatures and muscles between their joints.
Some recommended low-impact exercises for dogs are walking on treadmills, climbing up and down a staircase and slow jogging.
Another very effective exercise is to walk your dog with a retractable leash that has a good break.
This way, when your dog tries to run around you can increase the resistance on the leash thus gradually strengthening your dog.
It is also recommended that you exercise your dog daily rather than weekly, to allow it to build up endurance and a tolerance to exercise.
Proper and Immediate Treatment of Injuries
The proper and immediate treatment of injuries can also lessen the risk or totally prevent joint diseases in dogs.
According to veterinarians, it is very important to treat any injury in your dog quickly and efficiently to reduce or prevent joint issues as the animal grows older.
It is thought that many joint diseases in dogs are the result of a traumatic injury experienced earlier in their life.
Massage and Physical Therapy
Conducting basic physical therapy and massage on your dog can help relax its muscles and promote good motion activities of the joints.
Ask your veterinarian for advice on how to perform a good joint massage or therapy on your pet.
This can be done when relaxing with your dog.
Aside from these natural strategies to help prevent joint disease in your dog, there are also various artificial supplements on the market that help to promote and maintain good joint health in dogs.
Artificial Joint Supplements
As a dog owner, you should always be on the lookout for the best joint supplement for dogs and quality should be your foremost consideration.
There two most common forms of best joint supplement for dogs are liquid and tablet form supplements.
The ingredients in tablet form will be more difficult to be absorbed by your animal when compared to its liquid form.
Common Joint Supplement Ingredients
There are several very desirable ingredients that are commonly found in joint supplements and the best joint supplement for dogs will have to include several of these.
Chondroitin can prevent stress injuries to joints as well as aiding in the repair of damaged connective tissue.
Chondroitin also assists in repairing damaged cartilage and aids joint integrity and some studies have suggested that chondroitin will greatly reduce joint pain in your dog.
Chondroitin sulfate is the most potent version of this chemical and will be absorbed by your dog’s body the best.
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring sugar combined with an amino acid that produces joint lubricants.
It is created in the joint cartilage and is one of the major components involved in the maintenance of healthy joint function.
Much like chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine sulfate is the most potent and desirable version of this chemical.
Methylsulfonylmethane (or MSM), is an organic sulfur-containing compound that is well known for its support of proper joint function and connective tissue health.
There are many other natural ingredients that assist in joint function and healing, two of the major ‘secondary’ ingredients to keep an eye out for when looking for the best joint supplement for dogs are Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and hyaluronic acids.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that nurture joints and help limit swelling in them.
Hyaluronic acids exist in the joint fluid that lubricates joints and this chemical gives joint fluid a thick viscous consistency.
Factors and Criteria we Will Use to Find the Best Joint Supplement for Dogs
In our effort to find the best joint supplement for dogs we will evaluate the top 5 products according to three specific criteria.
These are the ingredients used, the effectiveness of the product and the overall value for money it provides.
This criterion evaluates the ingredients of the product and whether or not it contains the important primary and secondary ingredients discussed above.
Products with several primary ingredients will be rated more highly than those that only have a few and products that pack in more milligrams of nutrition per chew will receive higher marks.
Sulfate ingredients will also receive higher points as they can be absorbed more easily and completely by your dog.
This criterion will also take into account the form in which the joint supplement comes, with liquid supplements being awarded more points than chewable tablets.
Finally, we will award higher marks to products that have been awarded governmental certifications.
This criterion is used to determine the general effectiveness of the product.
This will be primarily based on feedback from consumers who have actually used the product on their pets.
In awarding marks for this criteria, we will look at both positive and negative feedback to see what people say about the effectiveness of a product.
Value for money
This criterion will assess the product’s price against the various health benefits and features of the product.
With the exception of the Zesty Paws product that is in liquid form, we will calculate the price on a ‘per chew’ basis.
So with the above information in mind and the criteria by which we will evaluate these products being settled, lets press forward and examine our top 5 products to find the best joint supplement for dogs in 2021.
Zesty Paws — Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs and Cats
This pure wild Alaskan salmon oil from Zesty Paws is jam-packed with beneficial omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and other fish-based ingredients that will help your dog’s joint function.
While it is not ‘the best joint supplement for dogs’ it is a handy all-purpose liquid product that we felt we just had to mention!
This product’s all-natural fish oil content is packed with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids obtained from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
These acids are difficult to get consistently for your dog, so this product is an excellent ‘general purpose’ product that will help your dog with both its joint health and general health.
The product is manufactured in factories registered with the FDA that employ certified manufacturing practices.
It is also the only liquid product on this list and it gains points for this.
That being said, while it has excellent fish-based nutrients, it does not have many of the primary ingredients that assist joint function and so it loses points for this.
This product is proven to be effective in improving the health of dogs’ joints and many users have commented that their dog moves around much better once it has started a course of this treatment.
It is also an excellent product in helping dogs achieve better general health and assists skin health and prevents fur loss.
Value for Money
Liquid supplements are often more expensive and at USD 34.97 we think this is a reasonable price for the product on offer.
That being said, while the product has some peripheral joint benefits it does not comprehensively cater to dogs with joint issues.
- Excellent omega acids content
- Liquid product so easily digestible
- Has additional benefits such as for dog skin and fur
- FDA certified
- Not a specific joint product
Ingredients: 85/100 Effectiveness: 83/100 Value for Money: 84/100
Infinite — Hip+ Joint Advanced Formula
Made from human grade ingredients and coming in a chewable beef liver flavor, this product is effective in rejuvenating your dog’s cartilage and joints, as well as maintaining your pet’s flexibility.
Infinite’s Hip+ Joint Advanced Formula contains a reasonable mixture of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM.
It scores strong points here because both the glucosamine and chondroitin are in sulfate form which makes it more easily digestible in your dog’s body.
These primary joint supplements are also present good quantities with 250 mg of glucosamine, 100 mg of chondroitin, and 100 mg of MSM per chew.
This product also contains organic turmeric, which is thought to be one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory ingredients for dog joints.
Many users have noted that this product works extremely well with older dogs that have joint pain and arthritis and after giving their dog a double dose of this product for a week, it visibly reduced swelling in the joints.
This being said, turmeric can have a distinct flavor and the addition of this ingredient makes this product unpalatable for many dogs.
If your dog is very fussy about strong flavors, this may not be the ideal product for it.
That being said, if your dog is not a fussy eater, then this is an excellent choice.
Value for Money
Priced at USD 29.47 for 90 chewable tablets, this product comes in at an average of 0.33 cents per chew.
Infinite back this product with a 100% lifetime money-back guarantee and is vet back and vet approved which gains it points.
While this is certainly good value in our opinion, it not in the outstanding category because this product doesn’t have the same high quantities of quality ingredients that some equally priced products have.
- High-quality ingredients
- Vet approved and backed
- 100% lifetime money-back guarantee
- Smaller quantities of primary ingredients than other more highly rated products
- The turmeric ingredient may put off fussy dogs
Ingredients: 85/100 Effectiveness: 88/100 Value for Money: 85/100
Pointpet — Glucosamine Booster Supplement
This product from Pointpet contains excellent quality ingredients in good quantities.
While not the ‘best joint supplement for dogs’, it is an excellent all-rounder with quality ingredients in good quantities, excellent effectiveness and good all around value for money.
This product from PointPet contains several good primary natural ingredients such as glucosamine hydrochloride (a sulfate), chondroitin sulfate and MSM.
While the product scores points for containing both glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate, it loses points because its ingredients are not of the same level of the best joint supplement for dogs, with 300mg of glucosamine hydrochloride, 100mg of chondroitin sulfate and 150mg of MSM.
On the plus side, all of these ingredients are of high quality and are produced in a manufacturing plant supervised by the USDA, FDA, and FSIS.
This supplement from PointPet is a very effective treatment, especially for hip dysplasia with a customer satisfaction rating of 94% positive from several hundred reviews, which is no mean feat!
This joint supplement may not be suitable for fussy dogs however, as the duck flavored chews are a ‘love it or hate it’ flavor.
Value for Money
This product provides good value for money at USD 29.89 for 90 soft tablets which are a reasonable USD 0.33 cents per chew.
This product provides very good value for money considering its quality digestible ingredients and effectiveness in treating hip dysplasia.
This product also has full U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) approval.
It also comes with a 30 day 100% money back guarantee.
- Excellent sulfate based ingredients for quick digestion
- Excellent food certifications
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Overall good value for money
- Average per milligram dosages
- Duck flavored chews can be unpopular with fussy dogs
Ingredients: 85/100 Effectiveness: 88/100 Value for Money: 93/100
Nootie — Hip & Joint Soft Chews
This product from Nootie contains all of the best ingredients for preventing arthritis, articular damage and hip dysplasia while also offering very good value for money and whopping per milligram amounts of primary ingredients.
It would have pipped the #1 product for the title of ‘best joint supplement for dogs’ if the #1 product hadn’t been slightly cheaper with sulfate primary ingredients.
This supplement contains several desirable ingredients that are important to healthy joint function including glucosamine, chondroitin and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM).
The product also contains several very beneficial secondary ingredients including, fish oil, flaxseed oil, and hyaluronic acid.
Nootie also packs in the highest amount of active ingredients in their chews with 600mg of glucosamine, 300 mg of chondroitin and 400mg of MSM.
This being said, this product does not seem to contain sulfate ingredients and it loses points for this.
While this product scores generally high marks in this category and most dogs seem to like these treats, it should be noted that they smell absolutely awful and are certainly not ‘human’ friendly.
Based on user comments, this supplement is highly regarded, with people swearing that this product has done wonders for their dog.
This product appears to be particularly effective for older dogs and dogs that are recovering from joint injuries.
Owners point to significant improvements in the mobility of their pets following their sustained consumption of the supplement.
Value for Money
This product provides excellent value for money for a number of reasons.
It is reasonably priced at USD 39.99 for 120 soft chews (or 0.33 cents a chew) so customers are getting very good value for their money when the huge amount of primary ingredients are taken into account (more than 2x the amount of some other chews!).
This product comes with a lifetime warranty and also a special ‘buy 3 get 1 free’ promotion.
- Higher than usual amounts of primary ingredients
- Second best joint supplement for dogs
- Very good value for money
- Lifetime warranty
- Can have a bad smell
- Does not contain sulfate ingredients
Ingredients: 93/100 Effectiveness: 94/100 Value for Money: 91/100
Nutramax — Cosequin DS
This product from Nutramax is the best joint supplement for dogs in our opinion because it has very high quantities of high-quality ingredients that are sulfates.
It is also considered the hands-down best quality product for sale with a whopping 4.7 star rating out of 2,017 customer reviews and is the cheapest product on this list!
This product is also the top recommended dog joint supplement by veterinarians in the U.S.
This product has the second-highest per milligram content of primary ingredients with 600 mg of glucosamine hydrochloride (a sulfate), 300 mg of sodium chondroitin sulfate and 250 mg of MSM.
This product also contains quality glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate ingredients, which make it very easily digestible by your dog and it scores very highly in the ingredient category because of this.
Thousands of satisfied customers attest to the effectiveness of this product as the best joint supplement for dogs and we have not seen such a highly rated pet product before.
This product is fast acting and you should see visible signs of it having an effect within a single week. The long term effects have been described as near miraculous by owners
The only (very slight drawback) is that this product must be taken every day to be most effective.
Value for Money
Who said the best things in life aren’t (cheap)?
Priced at only USD 29.98, this product is phenomenally priced at 0.22 cents per chew and when coupled with the large amounts of quality ingredients and the superior effectiveness of this product, it is simply the best value for money product out there.
- Best joint supplement for dogs
- Large quantities of primary ingredients
- High quality and easily digestible ingredients
- Extremely effective in alleviating joint symptoms and pain
- Excellent customer satisfaction rating
- Product must be administered daily for optimal effectiveness
Ingredients: 98/100 Effectiveness: 95/100 Value for Money: 99/100