Comprehensive Guide to the Best Joint Supplements for Dogs

by Curtis Greenwald on Apr 17, 2024

Comprehensive Guide to the Best Joint Supplements for Dogs

As caring dog owners, we have a lot on our plate, and one big job is looking after our furry baby’s health. But there's one thing we often forget about until it's too late, their joints. 


Our dogs love to run, jump, and play, but just like us, their joints can ache. Waiting until they start slowing down isn't smart. It's better to act early to keep them feeling their best. 


That's where joint supplements come in. They're like magic pills that can make a big difference to your dog's ability to move around and feel good. Whether you want to prevent joint troubles or help with ones they already have, these supplements can be a huge help. 


In this blog, we're going to talk all about the best joint supplements for dogs. Read along!  


Is it Necessary for My Dog to Take Joint Supplements? 

Joint supplements can be advantageous for dogs at any point in their lives, but they hold particular significance for specific groups of dogs. Older pets, larger breeds, and those dealing with arthritis or similar joint issues typically experience greater benefits from these dietary supplements. 


Recent research findings present compelling figures: around 20% of dogs aged one year or older are afflicted by arthritis, while up to 70% of purebred dogs experience some degree of hip dysplasia. 


With joint problems being common among our beloved dogs, taking a proactive approach to their health isn't just a good idea—it's necessary. Adding a mix of high-quality supplements into your dog's routine can make a significant difference. 


These proactive steps aim to strengthen joint health, reduce inflammation, and slow down joint deterioration. Keep in mind, when deciding on which supplements to give your dog, it's wise to seek advice from your veterinarian or a qualified dog nutritionist. 


Identifying Signs of Joint Discomfort 

These symptoms are the real signs that your dog is facing joint discomfort:  

  • Spotting joint pain early on can greatly impact how well you manage your dog's comfort and movement. Signs of joint discomfort may include: 


  • Struggling to rise or settle into a sitting position. 


  • Walking with a noticeable limp or showing a preference for one leg. 


  • Frequent slipping while moving. 


  • Exhibiting signs of frustration or displaying irritability. 


  • Reduced engagement in activities or showing signs of laziness. 


  • Noticeable puffiness or enlargement around the joints. 


  • Making sounds of discomfort or pain while in motion. 


The top five supplements for supporting your dog's joint health.

The top five supplements for supporting your dog's joint health. 

Many important ingredients are renowned for their ability to support joint health in dogs. Here's a breakdown of the top joint supplements for our furry friends: 


1. Glucosamine 


Glucosamine, a natural compound present in cartilage, plays a vital role in repairing and reconstructing joint cartilage, thereby alleviating joint discomfort and enhancing mobility when taken as a supplement. 


Unlike many other anti-inflammatory drugs, research suggests that glucosamine is safe for prolonged usage. This makes it an ideal choice for proactive joint care, as it can be used preventatively for extended periods. 


Glucosamine isn't just beneficial as a preventive measure; it also offers relief for existing joint conditions. By increasing glucosamine levels, dogs suffering from arthritis can experience notable improvements, including reduced pain and enhanced ability to bear weight. 


2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids 


Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that provide various health advantages for your dog, including promoting joint wellness. These vital fats possess anti-inflammatory properties that can notably alleviate joint discomfort and enhance mobility in dogs, particularly those with conditions like arthritis. 


By mitigating inflammation, omega-3s play a crucial role in preserving healthy joints and can even impede the advancement of joint deterioration. 


In addition to benefiting joint health, omega-3 fatty acids also contribute to overall well-being in dogs. They help maintain a glossy coat, healthier skin, improved heart function, and better cognitive abilities [5]. This makes omega-3 supplements a holistic health enhancer, addressing not only joint issues but also overall health and vitality. 


The most common sources of omega-3s include fish and plant-based oils, namely krill oil, camelina oil, and flaxseed oil. 


3. Green-Lipped Mussels (GLM) 


Green-lipped mussels (GLM) serve as a natural reservoir of glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega-3 fatty acids—key supplements known for their potency. Numerous dog parents attest to the efficacy of green-lipped mussels, especially in alleviating joint discomfort and inflammation. You can administer it to your dog in powdered supplement form or fresh! 


4. Chondroitin 


Chondroitin is another vital supplement that plays a key role in preserving your dog's joint health and strength. It works alongside glucosamine and is naturally found in cartilage. 


Chondroitin helps maintain joint cushioning by ensuring that cartilage retains moisture, which is essential for its ability to absorb impacts during activities like running or jumping. Additionally, chondroitin helps slow down cartilage degradation, offering relief to dogs experiencing joint discomfort or conditions such as osteoarthritis. 


The combination of chondroitin and glucosamine is highly effective, aiding in the repair of damaged cartilage, enhancing joint function, and reducing pain. This combined effect makes them highly recommended supplements for promoting joint health, particularly in older dogs, large breeds, or those already showing signs of joint issues. 


5. Methyl Sulfonyl Methane (MSM) 


Methyl sulfonyl methane, or MSM for short, is a naturally occurring compound recognized for its positive impact on canine joint health. MSM, a type of sulfur, is instrumental in maintaining robust and resilient connective tissues, essential for joint structure. Its ability to diminish inflammation, a common source of joint discomfort, is particularly valuable for dogs, especially those grappling with arthritis. 


This is especially advantageous for older dogs, high-energy breeds, and those recuperating from joint-related injuries. 


Integrating MSM into your dog's diet, whether through specialized joint health supplements or a well-rounded meal plan, can significantly contribute to supporting your furry companion's joints, fostering a more active and comfortable lifestyle. 


Maintain Your Dog's Joint Health and Happiness! 


By including the right joint supplement in your dog's diet, you can make a big difference in their joint health and overall happiness. Understanding the benefits of each supplement type and choosing one that suits your dog's needs will help keep them active and comfortable for years to come. 



  1. How do I know if my dog needs joint supplements?

Consider giving your dog joint supplements if you notice difficulty moving, limping, or decreased activity levels. Consulting with your veterinarian is advised for proper assessment. 


  1. What ingredients should I look for in joint supplements for dogs?

Look for joint supplements containing ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), omega-3 fatty acids, and green-lipped mussels (GLM). These ingredients are known to support joint health and mobility in dogs. 


  1. How long does it take to see results from joint supplements?

Results from joint supplements can vary. Some dogs may show improvement within a few weeks, while others may take months. Consistency and patience are key.