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The 7 Best Dog Foods with Glucosamine: Supportive Supper For Spot!

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Dog Food By Kate Brunotts 20 min read June 21, 2022 2 Comments

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dog foods with glucosamine

Unfortunately, many of our furry friends suffer from joint issues.

Aside from the pain joint problems cause, afflicted pups often suffer from mobility issues too, which drastically reduces their quality of life.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to deal with joint problems, ranging from veterinary-prescribed medications to supplements like glucosamine — a naturally occurring compound that can help your dog’s painful joints feel better.

There are plenty of great dog glucosamine supplements out there that can be fed to your dog via chew or pill form. But for many busy owners, feeding your dog a kibble that already has glucosamine in the formula is an easier option that remembering to administer an extra dietary supplement each day.

Note that glucosamine appears in a number of dog foods, but just because a food contains glucosamine does not necessarily mean that it’s a good joint-supportive food for your four-footer. Plenty of these foods may contain only a minimal amount of glucosamine, while others might not qualify as a high-quality dog food based on the other factors. 

Thankfully, we’ve narrowed it down to only the best glucosamine-fortified dog foods to share with your precious pooch.

Below, we’ll explain what glucosamine is, detail how it may help your pooch, and identify a few of the best dog foods with glucosamine!

Quick Picks: Best Dog Foods With Glucosamine

  • #1 Blue Buffalo Life Protection [Best Overall Dog Food with Glucosamine]: A nutritious dog food, packed with real meat, whole grains, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and a healthy helping of glucosamine.
  • #2 Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice [Most Affordable Dog Food with Glucosamine]: Your bank account doesn’t care about your dog’s joint problems, but fortunately, Diamond Naturals offers this budget-friendly, glucosamine-rich recipe.
  • #3 Diamond Naturals Senior [Best Dog Food with Glucosamine for Seniors]: Joint problems are especially common in older dogs, and this recipe is specifically designed to meet the unique nutritional needs of aging pups.

What Is Glucosamine?

glucosamine from chicken feet

Glucosamine is a naturally-occurring amino sugar used to build tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. It helps the body create glycosaminoglycans, which serve as the building blocks for building these body tissues. 

Glucosamine supplements are either synthesized in a lab or harvested from the shells of shellfish. It can a be derived from a variety of other sources, including beef trachea and chicken feet, as well as pig ears and tails. 

Note that glucosamine can take a while to build up in your dog’s system, which is partly why feeding a glucosamine-rich diet to your ailing doggo makes sense: Consistently suppling him with glucosamine gives you the best chance of keeping your pup’s joints feeling good.  

Tag-Team Supplements: Glucosamine and Chondroitin

While glucosamine is a helpful supplement all by itself, it is almost always paired with another joint supporting supplement: chondroitin.

Chondroitin is also a naturally occurring compound, and it provides a number of the same benefits glucosamine does.

So, while we’re focusing on glucosamine here, it’s important to note that many of these foods will also contain additional joint-supporting supplements.

The 7 Best Dog Foods with Glucosamine 

Without further ado, here are some of our favorite glucosamine food options for your dog. Any of these should be great for your pupper, but — as always — be sure to discuss your dog’s diet with your veterinarian before switching over to a new food. 

1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken & Brown Rice

Best Overall Dog Food with Glucosamine

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Blue Buffalo Life Protection

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Chicken & Brown Rice

A great all-around, glucosamine-rich option for adult dogs in need of joint support.

About: Designed to work for most adult dogs, Blue Buffalo’s Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe is a great option for pooches with achy joints. Made with a litany of impressive ingredients and fortified with glucosamine and chondroitin, this food should help your four-footer enjoy improved joint health.

It’s also important to point out that — like all other foods in this Blue Buffalo product line — this recipe contains the manufacturer’s patented LifeSource Bits. These little morsels are full of antioxidants, to help keep your pup’s immune system working properly.

Features:

  • Made in the USA dog food with globally sourced ingredients
  • Real chicken is the first listed ingredient in this chicken-based dog food
  • Suitable for most adult dogs
  • Includes Omega-3-rich ingredients for additional joint support
  • Fortified with probiotics for gut health

Glucosamine Content: 400 milligrams per kilogram

Ingredients List

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Barley, Oatmeal...,

Pea Starch, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids), Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Dried Tomato Pomace, Peas, Pea Protein, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Direct Dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets, Dried Chicory Root, Potatoes, Pea Fiber, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Taurine, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.

Pros

  • Very impressive ingredient list
  • Contains both glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Formulated with a ton of antioxidant-rich produce
  • Fortified with 5 probiotic strains

Cons

  • Many other options have more glucosamine
  • Some dogs pick around the LifeSource Bits

2. Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice 

Most Affordable Dog Food with Glucosamine

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

Diamond Naturals

Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice

A nutritious, budget-friendly, glucosamine-rich food that’s suitable for most dogs.

About: Dogs can certainly be expensive to feed, so many owners are drawn to brands at the budget-friendly end of the spectrum. But while many low-priced dog foods leave a lot to be desired, Diamond Naturals Beef Meal & Rice is actually a pretty high-quality yet affordable dog food.

Made with protein-rich beef meal and easily digested rice, this dog food will keep your four-footer full and fuel his daily life while also supporting his joint health. It doesn’t have quite as much glucosamine as some other options, but there are always trade-offs involved when you try to save money.

Features:

  • Most dogs love the taste of beef meal
  • Made with several nutritious grains
  • Packed with antioxidant-rich “superfoods”
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health
  • Fortified with 5 probiotic strains

Glucosamine Content: 300 milligrams per kilogram

Ingredients List

Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Ground White Rice, Dried Yeast, Egg Product...,

Rice Bran, Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Kale, Chia Seed, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Oranges, Quinoa, Dried Kelp, Coconut, Spinach, Carrots, Papaya, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Beta Carotene, Chondroitin Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms. The Facility In Which This Food Is Made Also Makes Food That May Contain Other Ingredients.

Pros

  • Most dogs appear to love the taste
  • Includes several unusual fruits and veggies, such as papaya and coconut
  • Provides good value for your dog-care dollar
  • Included probiotics help promote intestinal function

Cons

  • Does not contain a whole protein
  • Some owners consider beet pulp a “filler”

3. Diamond Naturals Senior Dry Dog Food

Best Dog Food with Glucosamine for Seniors

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Diamond Naturals Senior Formula Dry Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Senior Dry Dog Food

A tasty, glucosamine-rich dog food that’s formulated specifically for older dogs.

About: For obvious reasons, joint problems are most common in older dogs. Fortunately, there are a few options on the market designed specifically for senior pups — such as this recipe from Diamond Naturals.

Made in the USA, fortified with probiotics, and full of all the nutritious ingredients owners want for their furry friend, this is a great option for senior dogs who need some help maintaining their mobility.

Features:

  • Designed specifically for senior dogs
  • Made with antioxidant- and omega-3-rich ingredients
  • Fortified with probiotics help promote proper digestion
  • Made in the USA by a family owned company
  • Contains no corn, wheat, or soy 

Glucosamine Content: 720 milligrams per kilogram

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barleys...,

Ground White Rice, Egg, Oatmeal, Rice Bran, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Dried Chicory Root, L-Carnitine, Kale, Chia Seed, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Oranges, Quinoa, Dried Kelp, Coconut, Spinach, Carrots, Papaya, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Beta Carotene, Chondroitin Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid. 

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Many picky pooches love this food
  • Suitable for both large and small senior dogs
  • Bursting with antioxidant-rich “superfoods”

Cons

  • Kibble may be too small for large breed dogs
  • Some dogs experienced stomach upset after eating it

4. Wellness Large Breed Dry Food

[Tied] Best Dog Food with Glucosamine for Large Breeds

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Wellness Large Breed Dry Dog Food

Wellness Large Breed Dry Food

A glucosamine-rich dog food designed to meet the unique needs of large breed dogs.

About: Because they must haul around big bodies, large-breed dogs are often very susceptible to joint problems. In fact, large-breed owners default to glucosamine-rich foods, whether or not their dog is currently suffering from joint problems.

So, if you have a big best buddy at home, you’ll certainly want to consider a large breed dog food, and this option Wellness is a fine pick! Made in the USA and packed with omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and nutritious proteins, this is a great dog food for German Shepherds or any other hip-dysplasia-prone large dog breed in need of some extra joint support.

Features:

  • Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients
  • Great source of glucosamine, antioxidants, taurine, and probiotics
  • Designed specially for large breed dogs
  • Whole meat is the first ingredient
  • Includes Omega-3-rich ingredients 

Glucosamine Content: 750 milligrams per kilogram

Ingredients List

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Barley, Peas...,

Oats, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salmon Meal, Tomato Pomace, Oatmeal, Tomatoes, Carrots, Natural Chicken Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Choline Chloride, Spinach, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Chicory Root Extract, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Garlic Powder, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.  

Pros

  • Deboned chicken is the first listed ingredient
  • Full of antioxidant-rich produce
  • Specially formulated for large breed dogs
  • It’s fortified with 4 different probiotic strains

Cons

  • Multi-protein recipes aren’t great for dogs with food allergies
  • Relatively pricey food

5. Blue Buffalo Dry Food

[Tied] Best Dog Food with Glucosamine for Large Breeds

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Blue Buffalo Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Dry Food

A US-made dog food fortified glucosamine, probiotics, and antioxidant-rich ingredients.

About: This high-quality dog food from Blue Buffalo is another great glucosamine-rich option for large-breed doggos. It is pretty similar to the Wellness option discussed previously, but there are a few interesting differences between the two.

Made in the USA with plenty of protein, healthy grains for dogs, and antioxidant-rich produce, this food is a great option for most big pups. It’s also fortified with probiotics, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, and tasty chicken fat for additional flavor.

Features:

  • Contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega-3 fatty acids 
  • Made without corn, wheat or soy
  • High protein recipe for active dogs
  • LifeSource Bits provide a great source of antioxidants
  • Made in the USA from globally-sourced ingredients

Glucosamine Content: 700 milligrams per kilogram

Ingredients List

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley...,

Pea Starch, Peas, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (Source of Omega 3 And 6 Fatty Acids), Pea Fiber, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Protein, Fish Oil (Source of Epa-Eicosapentaenoic Acid), Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Potatoes, Dried Chicory Root, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dl-Methionine, Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Vitamin E Supplement, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Garlic, L-Carnitine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vegetable Juice For Color, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), L-Lysine, Copper Sulfate, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Sulfate, Chondroitin Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.. 

Pros

  • Very impressive ingredient list
  • Large-size kibble is perfect for big gods
  • Some pups enjoyed increased energy levels and mobility
  • Antioxidant-rich LifeSource Bits support immune function

Cons

  • Some dogs tend to eat around the LifeSource Bits
  • Lower protein content than some other options
Choosing Between Wellness and Blue Buffalo

In addition to providing information about dog foods and other products your canine needs, we place a big emphasis on helping owners understand the subtle distinctions between similar products. Ultimately, we hope this will help you choose the best products for your pupper.

In this case, we want to help you decide between the large-breed foods offered by Wellness and Blue Buffalo.

By and large, these foods are very similar, and either would make an excellent choice for your dog. However, the primary differences include:

  • Wellness has slightly more glucosamine than Blue Buffalo
  • Blue Buffalo has quite a bit more chondroitin than Wellness
  • Wellness contains 4 probiotics; Blue Buffalo features 5 different strains
  • Blue Buffalo contains a more diverse array of fruits and veggies
  • Wellness likely wins on the taste front, as some dogs pick around Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits

Just try to consider your dog’s specific needs and discuss the issue with your vet to arrive at the best possible decision.

5. Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Recipe

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Instinct raw boost

Instinct Raw Boost Small Breed Recipe

Designed specifically for small dogs, this is a delicious, meaty, glucosamine-rich food.

About: While large-breed dogs suffer from joint problems more frequently than small pups, some little waggers do suffer from painful joint issues. If you have a pint-sized pooch who isn’t getting around as well as you’d like, you’ll want to consider Instinct’s Raw Boost Small Breed Recipe.

Made with several protein sources (including chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, herring meal, and freeze-dried chicken), this food has a taste dogs love, while also providing the nutritional value pet parents demand. And for good measure, this recipe contains several antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies.

Features:

  • Real chicken is the first listed ingredient
  • Contains multiple ingredients that are full of omega-3s
  • Made in the USA
  • Fortified with a probiotic for gut health
  • Formulated with fatty and delicious chicken liver

Glucosamine Content: 300 milligrams per kilogram

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Chickpeas, Tapioca, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid)...,

Turkey Meal, Herring Meal, Peas, Freeze Dried Chicken, Dried Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Freeze Dried Chicken Liver, Coconut Oil, Salt, Pumpkinseeds, Potassium Chloride, Freeze Dried Chicken Heart, Egg Product, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin), Montmorillonite Clay, Carrots, Apples, Cranberries, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Choline Chloride, Dried Kelp, Salmon Oil, Blueberries, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.

Pros

  • Contains a ton of chondroitin (525 milligrams per kilogram)
  • Dogs often love the taste of freeze-dried raw pieces
  • Fortified with probiotics and omega-3-rich salmon oil
  • Contains several “superfoods,” such as blueberries

Cons

  • Grain-free foods have been correlated with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)
  • Raw meats present a slightly increased risk of illness
  • Multiple proteins can cause problems for dogs with allergies

6. Merrick Backcountry Dry Food

Best Grain-Free Dog Food with Glucosamine

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Merrick Backcountry Dry Dog Food

Merrick Backcountry Dry Food

A kibble-and-freeze-dried recipe, packed with plenty of protein and joint supplements.

About: While the vast majority of dogs digest cooked grains without issue, a handful of puppers do need a grain-free option. If your dog falls into this camp, you may want to try this freeze-dried-and-kibble food from Merrick.

A high-protein food comprised of traditional kibble and freeze-dried meat bits, this food is certain to tempt your doggo’s palate, and it features glucosamine and chondroitin to help ease your pup’s joint issues. 

Features:

  • Made with freeze-dried meat bits for extra flavor
  • Whole chicken is the first ingredient
  • Made in the USA
  • It’s a grain- and gluten-free recipe 
  • Protein-rich recipe includes 3 types of protein and taurine to support active dogs 
  • Fortified with 4 probiotic strains to support digestive function

Glucosamine content: 1200 milligrams per kilogram

Ingredients List

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes...,

Peas, Salmon Meal, Potato Protein, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavor, Duck, Lamb, Sunflower Oil, Chicken Liver, Salt, Organic Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Apples, Blueberries, Minerals (Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Proteinate, Cobalt Carbonate), Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Citric Acid for freshness, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product. 

Pros

  • Contains more glucosamine than most other foods
  • Most dogs — even picky pooches — loved the taste of this food
  • Several owners reported improved energy levels
  • Most dogs seemed to digest it very well

Cons

  • Really picky dogs may only eat the freeze-dried bits and ignore the kibble
  • This food is relatively expensive
  • Grain-free foods have been correlated with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)

7. Dogswell Happy Hips Dry Food

Best Boutique Dog Food with Glucosamine

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dogswell dog food

Dogswell Nutrisca Hip & Joint Dry Dog Food

A nutritious food with real chicken, plenty of antioxidants, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

About: While we generally recommend that owners stick to foods produced by large, well-established manufacturers, some owners simply prefer foods produced by boutique brands. In these cases, it’s hard to beat this glucosamine-rich food by Dogswell.

Made with real chicken, whole grains, and antioxidant-rich produce, this is a nutritious, joint-supporting food that may help keep Fido’s joints feeling better. Additionally, this food is a great choice for owners who’re keen to avoid GMOs, as it is made without any at all.

Features:

  • Made without GMOs
  • Contains several “superfoods” like blueberries and sweet potatoes
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin are both included to support joint health
  • Features 2 high-quality proteins at the top of the ingredient list
  • Antioxidant-rich ingredients help support immune function

Glucosamine Content: 700 milligrams per kilogram

Ingredients List

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oat Groats, Barley, Peas...,

Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Brown Rice, Natural Chicken and Turkey Flavor, Pea Protein, Brewers Dried Yeast, Flaxseed, Dried Tomato Pomace, Potassium Chloride, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Sweet Potato, Dried Blueberries, Dried Apples, Dried Carrots, Turmeric, Dried Chicory Root, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Selenium Yeast, Calcium Iodate, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols (a Preservative), Chondroitin Sulfate, Citric Acid (a Preservative), Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Rosemary Extract.

Pros

  • Most dogs loved the taste
  • Very respectable glucosamine content
  • Made with lots of produce
  • Some owners will love the absence of GMOs

Cons

  • Some owners did not like the food’s smell
  • It’s a pricey food
  • Boutique food brands lack the resources major manufacturers have

What Kinds of Problems Does Glucosamine Help? 

dog hip dysplasia

Glucosamine can provide a number of benefits for dogs — especially those suffering from joint issues.  Here are just a few of the issues glucosamine can help address:

  • Arthritis:  This condition (technically termed osteoarthritis) is characterized by the chronic inflammation and degeneration of the cartilage in a dog’s joints. While there isn’t a cure for canine arthritis, glucosamine can help reduce pain by addressing the inflammation in pups with the condition. 
  • Dysplasia: Glucosamine can help preserve deteriorating joints for pups with conditions like hip or elbow dysplasia. These conditions occur when a dog’s joint does not fit correctly into its socket, causing abnormal growth, inflammation, and lameness. 
  • Luxating Patella: This condition — which is most common in smaller breeds — is characterized by a knee cap that moves out of place. Glucosamine can help protect connective tissues in the area to keep the knee cap from moving as much. 
  • Osteochondrosis: Osteochondrosis occurs as a result of abnormal cartilage development in large breed dogs. Glucosamine can help support cartilage development and reduce osteochondrosis associated inflammation. 
  • Joint Surgery Recovery: Because glucosamine can help reduce inflammation, it is a useful recovery tool after things like ACL surgery or hip replacement. 
  • Prevention: If your dog participates in competitive sports or is particularly athletic, glucosamine can help prevent injuries and keep your furry friend feeling his best. 
  • Preventative Joint Protection: Glucosamine can also help stimulate cartilage growth and protect pre-existing cartilage in the joints. 
Quick Tip: The Importance of Weight Management

If your dog has joint issues or is more likely to develop them, it’s especially important that he maintains a healthy body weight. Carrying around excess weight can put unnecessary stress on his joints, sometimes exacerbating the root cause of his issues. (and therefore cause more pain and stiffness for your pooch).

So, be sure to talk with your vet and ask whether or not a weight-loss dog food would be good for your pet.

How Much Glucosamine Does Your Dog Need?

Why Dogs Tilt Their Heads

The only way to determine the ideal amount of glucosamine for your furry friend is by working with your veterinarian. The recommended dose depends greatly on your dog’s condition and size, and different authorities recommend different dosages.

However, generally speaking, the approximate dose is somewhere around 15 milligrams of glucosamine per kilogram of body weight on a daily basis. 

Just be sure to discuss the issue with your veterinarian to figure out the best dosage plan for your furry friend. 

Is Glucosamine Safe for Dogs?

Generally speaking, glucosamine is safe for most dogs. That being said, there are some situations in which glucosamine may need to be avoided based on the recommendations of your veterinarian. Some of these situations may include: 

  • Dogs with Clotting Issues: Glucosamine can slow down the clotting process, so it’s not a good fit for dogs with blood clotting diseases such as Von Willebrand’s disease or hemophilia. 
  • Dogs with Shellfish Allergies: Since glucosamine is often sourced from crustaceans, you’ll need to proceed with caution if your furry friend has shellfish allergies. It’s possible that your dog can still benefit from lab-synthesized glucosamine, but you should always run it by your veterinarian first to be as cautious as possible. 
  • Diabetic Dogs: Glucosamine is an amino-sugar, so it should be avoided by diabetic dogs or dogs at risk of developing the condition. 

Also, avoid giving your dog glucosamine supplements intended for humans. Many of these supplements can contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that’s extremely toxic to our furry family members. Only provide your pooch with diets and supplements that are specifically designed for dogs

Other Joint-Supporting Supplements to Consider 

supplements for dogs

Glucosamine-rich foods are a great starting point for many dogs who’re suffering from joint problems, but they aren’t the only game in town. In fact, there are several other joint-supporting compounds that appear in dog foods and supplements, which you may want to check out:

  • Chondroitin: Chondroitin (which is often used in conjunction with glucosamine) is a compound that may also support mobility and overall joint health. Typically harvested from shark or bovine cartilage, chondroitin is one of the most popular joint-supporting supplements for dogs with arthritis or dysplasia.
  • Omega-3s: Omega-3 fatty acids (which are typically provided via fish oil supplements) help tamp down the process of inflammation, which can help support overall joint health. As a bonus, omega-3 supplements often help improve coat and skin health too.
  • MSM: MSM (technically called methylsulfonylmethane) is a natural anti-inflammatory that may help some dogs suffering from conditions like arthritis. Empirical studies on its efficacy are mixed, but many owners view it as a high-upside, low-risk option.  
  • Green-Lipped Mussels: Like many fish oils, green-lipped mussels are a good source of omega-3s that can help reduce inflammation for your furry friend. However, they also contain glycosaminoglycans, which are thought to have joint-protecting properties. 

Signs and Symptoms of Joint Problems in Dogs 

dog massage

Are you unsure whether your dog is suffering from joint issues? While you’ll have to visit your veterinarian for a positive diagnosis, there are a few signs and symptoms you’ll want to look for, including:

  • Limping
  • Stiffness
  • Inability to move
  • Excessive licking of one or more joints
  • Yelping when touched 
  • Swollen joints
  • Muscle loss
  • Irritability
  • Hopping when running
  • Loss of interest in activities 
  • Lethargy
  • Lameness

Dog Breeds That Are Susceptible to Joint Problems 

golden retriever

Unfortunately, some dog breeds are simply more likely to suffer from joint problems than others. So, if you have one of these following breeds, you’ll want to pay special attention to Spot’s weight and keep an eye out for any signs of developing joint issues. 

  • German shepherd dog
  • Labrador retriever
  • Golden retriever
  • Mastiff
  • Newfoundland
  • Saint Bernard
  • Corgi
  • Greyhound
  • Pug 
  • Boxer
  • Great Dane
  • Dachshund
  • Chow chow
  • Basset hound
  • Rottweiler
  • Otterhound

Unsurprisingly, many of these pups are big best buddies though any pooch can develop joint issues. The sooner you can identify your dog’s joint issues, the better! 

***

Glucosamine-rich foods can be a great way to support any canine companion who suffers from joint issues. While you’ll still need to address the source of your dog’s joint problems, glucosamine infused foods can help your pooch manage his symptoms to keep his tail wagging. 

Does your dog suffer from joint issues? Has he tried any of these foods? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments below! 

best dog foods for joint support
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6 Best Dog Food for Joint Health: Dietary Support for Aching Joints!

Written by

Kate Brunotts

Kate is a dog-loving content specialist with over a decade of canine-care experience. She is currently a professional dog walker and pet sitter, with previous experience working at the Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital in Manhattan. When not spending time with four-footers, she can usually be found crafting top-notch dog-care articles that pet parents can trust. Kate loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, but Bernese Mountain Dogs hold a special place in her heart.

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Gordon

Happy to see BB And n the list .. My 3.5yo boy is on 50/50 BB Lamb/Brown rice and Fish/Brown rice Life protection formula

Considering switching to Kirkland super premium Lamb/Rice/Veg as it appears to contain all the good things mentioned (for less $$)

Thoughts?

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Ben Team

We’ve never really taken a deep dive into Kirkland foods before, but glancing at it, it looks roughly comparable. It doesn’t *quite* reach the Blue Buffalo level in a few areas (fewer probiotic strains, etc.), but it does look like a solid choice.
Let us know how it works for your woofer, Gordon!

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