What Are The Best Joint Supplements For Dogs?

Best Joint Supplements for Dogs

Dana Scott

You might assume that you don't need joint supplements for dogs. But did you know that 25% of dogs suffer from arthritis?

And arthritis isn’t just an issue for older dogs ... a study found that 20% of dogs over one year old have osteoarthritis, and this figure is likely underestimated.

That's why it’s never too early to start thinking about your dog’s joint health and natural joint supplements. But before we reveal the best ones, let's get clear on what exactly causes joint problems in dogs.

Best Natural Joint Supplements For Dogs

There are many excellent natural supplements that can help support joint health and help maintain a normal inflammatory response in dogs. These supplements can play a crucial role in maintaining joint mobility, and improving the overall quality of life for your canine companion.

Natural joint supplements are often packed with beneficial compounds that work synergistically to nourish and protect your dog's joints without the side effects associated with conventional medications.

However, when selecting a joint supplement, it's important to consider ingredients that not only alleviate symptoms but also support long-term joint health. Look for supplements that promote cartilage development and joint health, and provide high quality nutrients. Incorporating these natural options into your dog's routine can help manage existing issues and potentially prevent future problems.

Here are our top choices if you're looking for the best joint supplements for dogs:

Astaxanthin

Astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant found in certain algae, helps support healthy bones and joints while also supporting overall cellular health. It's a great choice for promoting cartilage development and joint health.

Giving Your Dog Astaxanthin: Follow the dosage instructions on the supplement. For human supplements, adjust the dose for your dog’s weight (1 mg to 1.6 mg per 20 lbs of body weight daily).

Chondroitin

Chondroitin is a crucial component of cartilage, helping to inhibit enzymes that break down cartilage and supporting its repair and hydration.

Often paired with glucosamine, chondroitin provides connective tissue support by improving shock absorption and protecting existing cartilage.

Giving Your Dog Chondroitin: Look for freeze-dried powders. Adjust the human dosage for your dog’s weight, and consider bone broth as a natural source of chondroitin.

You can also see chondroitin suppliers approved by the national animal supplement council (NASC) by clicking here.

Green Lipped Mussel (GLM)

Green lipped mussels are popular joint supplements for a reason. They're from New Zealand and rich in natural glucosamine, which supports healthy joints and can promote a normal inflammatory response. Unlike synthetic glucosamine, GLM is more bioavailable, meaning your dog can absorb the active ingredients and use it more effectively.

Studies have shown that GLM can support healthy mobility in many dogs, making it as effective as prescription products without the harmful side effects. GLM also contains essential fatty acids EPA and DHA, which help may help relieve discomfort associated with normal daily exercise and activity

Giving Your Dog GLM: Ensure the supplement contains at least 6% fatty acids and is cold-extracted to preserve nutrients. Dosage: 200 mg per day for every 10 lbs of body weight.

Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM)

NEM is derived from the thin membrane inside eggshells and is a powerful joint support substance. It’s rich in collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. Studies in humans and dogs have shown that NEM supports healthy joints and flexibility and supports normal joint and connective tissue.

Giving Your Dog NEM: Ensure the product has the NEM® trademark. Dosage: 60 mg per 10 lbs of body weight per day.

Turmeric

Turmeric a plant in the ginger family, is well-known to help maintain a normal inflammatory response. 

Giving Your Dog Turmeric: Add 1/8 to 1/4 tsp per day per 10 lbs of body weight to your dog's food. Use organic turmeric for the best results.

CBD Oil

CBD oil from the cannabis plant is another potent supplement that can help support a normal inflammatory response. It does this by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Giving Your Dog CBD: Use a full-spectrum CBD oil and follow the manufacturer’s dosing instructions, starting at the lower end and gradually increasing until you find the right dose for your dog. Typically, a 500 mg or 1000 mg strength oil is recommended.

Poria Mushrooms

Poria mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and are known for enhancing the immune response. They can also help support a normal inflammatory response and aid in maintaining joint mobility.

Giving Your Dog Poria Mushrooms: Look for supplements specifically formulated for dogs, and follow the dosage instructions provided. Typically, the dosage is based on your dog's weight, so adjust accordingly to ensure optimal benefits.

Collagen

Collagen is a major structural protein in connective tissues, including joints. It supports the strength and elasticity of cartilage, helping to maintain joint health and flexibility. Collagen supplements can be beneficial for supporting normal joint and connective tissue.

Giving Your Dog Collagen: Opt for powdered collagen supplements. Mix the collagen powder into your dog’s food according to the dosage instructions, usually around 1 gram per 10 lbs of body weight per day.

Cat's Claw

Cat's Claw is an herbal supplement derived from a vine native to the Amazon rainforest. It is known for its antioxidant properties and its ability to support a normal inflammatory response, which is essential for maintaining joint health.

Giving Your Dog Cat's Claw: Ensure you use a product formulated for pets. The dosage is typically based on your dog's weight, with common recommendations being 1-2 mg per pound of body weight per day. Always start with a lower dose and gradually increase as needed.

How To Ease Your Dog’s Joint Pain

Aside from the foods and supplements mentioned above, there are also some lifestyle changes you can make to help ease your dog's joint pain:

Switch To A Raw Diet

Processed foods can contribute to inflammation due to advanced glycation end (AGE) products formed during manufacturing. A fresh, whole-food diet reduces these inflammatory agents and supports overall joint health. Foods rich in antioxidants combat oxidative stress and inflammation.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

Extra weight puts unnecessary strain on your dog’s joints, exacerbating pain and inflammation. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight alleviates pressure on the joints and promotes better mobility.

Regular Exercise

Consistent, moderate exercise helps tone the muscles around the joints, providing better support and maintaining joint fluid viscosity. Short, frequent walks or swimming can be particularly beneficial for dogs with joint pain.

Final Thoughts

If joint discomfort is hindering your dog’s quality of life, it’s time to explore natural joint supplements. These popular supplements, along with dietary and lifestyle changes, can provide effective relief and support your dog’s joint health.

By focusing on natural third-party tested supplements, you can help your dog live a more comfortable and active life.

FAQ

What is the best vet recommended joint supplement for dogs? The best vet-recommended joint supplement for dogs often includes a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are known for their effectiveness in supporting joint health.

Do any joint supplements really work for dogs? Yes, many joint supplements are effective for dogs, especially those containing ingredients like glucosamine, NEM, green lipped mussels, chondroitin, and collagen.

How do I know if my dog needs a joint supplement? You might need to consider a joint supplement for your dog if you notice signs of joint pain or stiffness, such as difficulty getting up, reluctance to jump or climb stairs, or decreased activity levels. Consulting with your veterinarian about pain relief can help determine the appropriate dosage and best dog supplements based on veterinary medicine and your dog's condition.