Despite the top-notch care we provide, joint issues are somewhat common in dogs. Fortunately, joint-issue treatments are also pretty common — there are a ton of them available.
And although they won’t solve every canine joint problem, supplements for dogs are one of the first things owners often try, and they can be helpful in many cases.
We’ll discuss some of the most common joint issues in dogs, explain some of the different types of supplements available, and identify a few of our top picks below.
Best Dog Joint Supplements: Quick Picks
- #1 Nutramax Dasuquin [Best Overall Joint Supplement for Dogs]: Backed by stellar user reviews and made with several effective ingredients, Dasuquin stands head-and-shoulders above the joint-supplement crowd.
- #2 Honest Paws Mobility Green Lipped Mussel Joint Powder [Best Powder Joint Supplement for Dogs]: A handy powder-style joint supplement that’s easy to administer and made with multiple joint-supporting ingredients.
- #3 Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet [Best Liquid Joint Supplement for Dogs]: A high-quality fish-oil that’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids, this liquid supplement is easy to administer or simply mix in with your dog’s food.
- #4 Nutri-Vet Hip & Joint Biscuits [Most Affordable Joint Supplement for Dogs]: Affordable yet effective, these delicious dog biscuits are easy to administer and fortified with glucosamine, vitamins, and minerals.
- #5 Alpha Dog Nutrition FREE RANGE Joint Supplement Powder [Best Joint Supplement with Multiple Active Ingredients]: Dogs with serious joint problems often benefit from supplements that contain a variety of different ingredients — like this one, made with glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM.
- #6 Wuffes Advanced Hip & Joint Support [Joint Supplements with the Best Guarantee]: Tasty and effective joint supplements that are backed by a 90-day, no-BS guarantee, which allows owners to try them in risk-free fashion.
How Do Joint Supplements for Dogs Work? What Kinds Are Available?
Joint supplements work in a few different ways. Some are formulated to protect and potentially rebuild joint cartilage (the flexible connective tissue between bones), while others feature ingredients that help reduce inflammation caused by joint issues.
The most common active ingredients in joint supplements are:
- Chondroitin: Primarily sourced from cow cartilage, chondroitin is an element that helps to prevent cartilage from breaking down, thereby making it particularly helpful for treating some dogs with osteoarthritis.
- Glucosamine: Either synthetically created or derived from shellfish, glucosamine (sometimes called glucosamine sulfate or glucosamine hydrochloride) is a compound that helps your dog build new cartilage. This makes it great for treating a range of joint conditions, including those that’ve left your dog without enough joint cushioning.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM): An anti-inflammatory sometimes harvested from shellfish, the MSM used in joint supplements is usually manufactured in a lab.
- Green-lipped mussel: A rich source of omega-3s and glycosaminoglycans, this shellfish has anti-inflammatory and cartilage-protecting properties.
- Omega-3s: Renowned for their anti-inflammatory principles, omega-3s are typically sourced from fish, including cod, whitefish, and salmon.
- Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU): Non-water-soluble fats derived from avocados or soybeans that stimulate collagen synthesis in joint cartilage. They’re not super common in joint supplements, but they are present in at least one (Dasuquin).
There are also some less common active ingredients used in joint supplements, though they’ve not yet been proven to be effective or subjected to clinical studies (unlike those in the above group).
A few less common active ingredients are:
- CBD: Derived from the cannabis plant, cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which has been shown in limited studies to reduce inflammation. Many owners also praise CBD for helping to reduce canine anxiety.
- Turmeric: A member of the ginger family, this herb is hailed by many for having anti-inflammatory benefits. More research is needed to verify its efficacy, but it has shown promise.
- Spirulina: Rich in omega-3s, it’s a blue-green algae containing vitamins and minerals like iron, vitamin B, and beta carotene. More research is needed, but this supplement may prove valuable over the long-term.
- Sodium hyaluronate: This glycosaminoglycan is a salt form of hyaluronic acid that’s found in connective tissues of animals and functions as a sort of joint lubricant. It is thought by some to help improve joint health.
- Boswellia: This herbal extract from the Boswellia serrata tree is believed by some to have anti-inflammatory benefits. Further research is necessary to confirm its potential value.
- Yucca schidigera: The desert shrub is commonly used to reduce gas and stinky stools in dogs (its present in a lot of dog foods), but it’s also thought to help the body produce natural corticosteroids that can help with arthritis pain.
The 10 Best Dog Joint Supplements
Now that we know what goes into joint supplements, we can dive into some of the best available today. Just be sure to consider your dog’s specific needs when making a choice — that’ll give you the best chance of healing your hound and promoting healthy joints.
1. Nutramax Dasuquin
Beef-flavored soft chews made with several proven-effective ingredients, including chondroitin, glucosamine, and MSM.
About: Nutramax is a trusted brand in the doggo world, and Dasuquin is their flagship product. Combining glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM into one tasty chewable, Dasuquin has helped eliminate joint pain for many four-footers, and earned a paws up from pets and their parents alike (seriously — this product has phenomenal ratings from owners).
- Contain glucosamine, chondroitin, ASU (somewhat rare among joint supplements) and MSM, among other active ingredients
- Beef-flavored soft chews are tasty and easy to administer
- Two formulas available: one for dogs less than 60 pounds and another for those over 60 pounds
- Available in 84-count packs for smaller dogs or 84- and 150-count bags for large dogs
- Made in the USA
Glucosamine hydrochloride, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), sodium chondroitin sulfate, Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables, Boswellia serrata extract...,
Green tea extract, Glycerin, Lecithin, Mixed tocopherols, Natural flavor, Rosemary extract, Silicon dioxide, Soy protein isolate, Stach, Vegetable oil
Active ingredient amounts per soft chew (large dog formula):
- 900 milligrams glucosamine
- 800 milligrams MSM
- 350 milligrams chondroitin
- 90 milligrams avocado/soybean unsaponfiables
- 40 milligrams Boswellia serrata extract
- 32 milligrams green tea extract
- These supplements have earned a ton of positive reviews from other owners
- Most dogs only need to take one a day after the initial period
- Contains a fair amount of active ingredients
- Taste isn’t a hit with every dog
- Somewhat pricey
- Soy can be an issue for dogs with sensitive systems
2. Honest Paws Mobility Green-Lipped Mussel Joint Powder
Honest Paws Mobility Green-Lipped Mussel Joint Powder
A joint-supporting powder made from green-lipped mussels that’s rich in glucosamine and chondroitin.
About: Honest Paws Mobility harnesses the goodness of green-lipped mussels to provide natural joint support for everyday wellness. With a limited-ingredient formula that sticks to the basics like glucosamine and chondroitin, this powder is designed to nourish your pup and tempt his taste buds with a yummy bacon popcorn flavoring.
- Contains inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids
- Low odor, lightly colored powder mixes easily into kibble
- Safe for dogs of all sizes
- Made in the USA with internationally-sourced ingredients
Glucosamine HCI, Green-lipped mussel powder, Fish oil, Chondroitin sulfate, MSM...,
Active Ingredients (per scoop):
- 600 mg Glucosamine HCI
- 300 mg Green-lipped mussel powder
- 250 mg Fish oil
- 200 mg Chondroitin sulfate (Bovine)
- 200 mg MSM
- 50 mg Vitamin C
- 10 mg Boswellia serrata
- 5 mg Manganese gluconate
- 0.5 mg Hyaluronic acid
- Owners report that the powder smells good and dogs think it tastes great
- The limited ingredient list is a hit for owners of dogs with food sensitivities
- Honest Paws offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
- More flavor options would be ideal, as some dogs don’t like the taste of bacon. (Shocking, we know)
- Powder supplements can be a bit messy, especially if your pup is a sloppy eater or a bowl tipper
3. Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet
Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet
Sustainably sourced, omega-3-rich fish oil supplement that’s made in Norway and packaged in a convenient dropper bottle.
About: Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet makes giving your dog supplemental omega-3s a breeze. Packaged in a convenient eye-dropper bottle, this high-quality fish oil is easy to administer, and most dogs seem to like the taste. Best of all, this environmentally conscious company employs ethical fishing practices and strives for zero waste.
- Made using fresh, wild-caught fish
- Both small and large breed formulas available
- Third-party tested for purity
- Made in Norway
Anchovy oil, Sardine oil, D-alpha tocopherol...,
Active ingredient amounts (per milliliter of small dog formula):
- 304 milligrams omega-3 fatty acids
- Easy to apply to food or dose your dog directly
- Tasty enough for picky palates
- Omega-3 supplementation may also improve coat health
- Can be messy
- Requires refrigeration
4. Nutri-Vet Hip & Joint Biscuits
Nutri-Vet Hip & Joint Biscuits
Crunchy, peanut butter flavored dog biscuits that are formulated with joint-supporting glucosamine, vitamins, and minerals.
About: Nutri-Vet’s Hip & Joint Biscuits give your dog a boost of glucosamine at a reasonable price. Delivered in a tasty, peanut butter flavored biscuit, they’re easy to administer and most pooches — even the picky ones — seem to like these treats.
- Delicious peanut butter taste
- Large and small dog biscuits available
- Hard, crunchy texture
- Made in the USA
Wheat flour, Ground whole wheat, Chicken meal, Wheat germ meal, Poultry fat...,
Glucosamine hydrochloride, Ground peanuts, Dicalcium phosphate, Salt, Fish meal, Dried skimmed milk, Corn distillers dried grains with solubles, Malted barley flour, Brewers dried yeast, Calcium carbonate, Potassium chloride, Dried egg product, Dried cane molasses, Choline chloride, Calcium ascorbate, Ferrous sorbate, Vitamin E supplement, Zinc sulfate, Zinc proteinate, Vitamin B12 supplement, Vitamin A supplement, Copper sulfate, Copper proteinate, Niacin supplement, Calcium pantothenate, Manganous oxide, Manganese proteinate, Riboflavin supplement, Vitamin D3 supplement, Thiamine mononitrate, Pyridoxine hydrochloride, Calcium iodate, Sodium selenite, Folic acid
Active ingredient amounts (per large dog biscuit):
- 500 milligrams glucosamine
- Affordable daily option
- Also contains basic vitamins and minerals
- Since it’s a cookie, it’s more appealing than other applications, like capsules
- Ingredients can be an issue with dogs with sensitive systems
- Hard texture can be tricky for dogs with missing teeth
- Relatively low levels of glucosamine in the small dog biscuits
5. Alpha Dog Nutrition FREE RANGE Joint Supplement Powder
Alpha Dog Nutrition FREE RANGE Joint Supplement Powder
A powder supplement that takes on joint wellness with a powerful trio of glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin.
About: Alpha Dog Nutrition Free Range Joint Supplement Powder nourishes your doggo’s frame with a fair amount of glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin per scoop. Featuring a yummy beef liver flavoring, the powder easily mixes into food and keeps your canine coming back for more.
- Each tub contains about 45 servings for medium to large breeds
- Contains Vitamin E and B for an added nutrient boost
- Formulated by nutritionists
- Made in the USA
Glucosamine HCI, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), Chondroitin Sulfate, Brewers Yeast Powder, Vitamin E...,
Desiccated Beef Liver Powder, Maltodextrin, Silicon Dioxide
Active ingredient amounts (per scoop):
- 700 milligrams glucosamine
- 600 milligrams MSM
- 300 milligrams chondroitin
- Each serving offers a large dose of joint-supporting ingredients
- Comes with a 60-Day manufacturer’s money-back guarantee
- Easily mixes into food
- Affordably priced
- Powders can be messy
- More flavor options would be nice (not every dog likes beef)
6. Wuffes Advanced Hip & Joint Support
About: Want to try a high-quality joint supplement without the risk of losing money? Wuffes Advanced Hip & Joint Support may be just what you’re looking for! The vast majority of owners who try these chews report excellent results, but even if they don’t work for your pup, you’re still protected by Wuffes’ unmatched 90-day guarantee.
- Each tub contains 60 chews (a 1-month supply for dogs between 11 and 39 pounds)
- Formulated with 4 different joint-supporting compounds
- Easy-to-administer chews
- Made in the USA
Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, Yucca schidigera, Vitamin C...,
Vitamin E, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Omega-6 Fatty Acids, Brewer’s Dried Yeast, Canola Oil, Citric Acid, Dried Potato Product, Glycerin, Lecithin, Maltodextrin, Mixed Tocopherols, Natural Flavoring, Sorbic Acid, Tapioca Starch, Vegetable Oil, Water
- Most owners found these supplements very effective
- We simply love Wuffes’ 90-day guarantee
- Additional savings available by joining the “Wuffes Club”
- Most dogs appear to love the taste
- A very small number of dogs suffered digestive upset (though this can happen with any supplements)
- They’re more expensive than some of the other options on the market
7. Zesty Paws Mobility Bites
Zesty Paws Mobility Bites
Nibble-sized soft chews that are available in three pup-pleasing flavors and formulated with glucosamine and chondroitin.
About: Need a joint supplement for a picky pooch? Check out Zesty Paws Mobility Bites. Available in three tasty varieties: duck, bacon, and chicken, you’re sure to find one that’ll please your pooch’s palate. Molded into delicious nibble-sized chews, they’re a tail-wagging pick across the board.
- Comes in 90 and 250 count jars
- Contains no corn, soy, wheat, artificial flavors or preservatives
- Manufacturer has passed NASC quality standards
- Made in the USA
Active ingredient amounts (per each duck-flavored soft chew):
- 450 milligrams glucosamine
- 400 milligrams MSM
- 250 milligrams flaxseed
- 140 milligrams Vitamin C
- 125 milligrams chondroitin
- 34 milligrams Yucca schidigera extract
- 32 international units Vitamin E
- 25 milligrams kelp
- Contains significant quantities of the active ingredients in each chew
- Palatability is a plus with most dogs
- One of the few joint supplements fortified with probiotics for digestive health
- Check the ingredient list, as some of the inactive ingredients may cause issues for sensitive systems
- Picky eaters may not like all of the flavors
8. Zesty Paws Omega Bites
Zesty Paws Omega Bites
Chewable supplements that are available in three different forms and fortified with omega fatty acids and vitamins.
About: No, this isn’t a duplicate entry — Zesty Paws just uses very similar packaging for their varied products. Rest assured, Zesty Paw’s Omega Bites are different than their Mobility Bites and approach joint health in a different way. Instead of things like glucosamine, these soft chews are packed with inflammation-fighting omega 3s.
- Three flavors available: chicken, chicken with hemp, and bacon
- Comes in 90 count tubs
- Contains no corn, soy, wheat, or artificial preservatives and flavors
- Made in the USA
(Bacon Formula) - Omega-3, EPA, DHA, Omega-6, Omega-9...,
Pollock oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, Biotin, Pea flour, Palm fruit oil, Garbanzo flour, Tapioca flour, Flaxseed meal, Algae, Natural chicken flavoring, Sunflower lecithin, Cod liver oil, Coconut glycerin, Sorbic acid, Powdered cellulose
Active ingredient amounts (per each bacon-flavored chew):
- 106 milligrams omega-6 fatty acids
- 210 milligrams omega-3 fatty acids
- 63 milligrams EPA (a type of omega-3 fatty acid)
- 43 milligrams DHA (a type of omega-3 fatty acid)
- 1 milligrams zinc
- 20 international units Vitamin E
- 250 milligrams fish oil
- 23 milligrams Vitamin C
- 2 milligrams biotin
- Provides a healthy dose of fatty acids without requiring you to deal with messy fish oils
- May also improve coat health
- Hemp seed option also available for maximum omega-3 content
- Hemp seeds provide more omega-3s, but they’re not a source of CBD as some pet parents may think
- Contains palm oil, which is a no-go for some pup parents because of the ingredient’s sustainability issues
9. Charlotte’s Web Hip & Joint Chews
Charlotte’s Web Hip & Joint Chews
Premium CBD-based joint supplements made from US-grown hemp and fortified with glucosamine, chondroitin, and turmeric.
About: Charlotte’s Web Hip & Joint Chews give you a chance to support your dog’s joints by using full-spectrum, CBD-rich hemp extracts. But unlike run-of-the-mill CBD supplements, these soft chews also contain glucosamine, chondroitin, and turmeric, giving you a way to help improve your dog’s joint health in several different ways.
- Infused with USA-grown hemp
- Grain-free, non-GMO formula
- Offered in 30 and 60 count packages
- Made in the USA
Glucosamine HCI, Turmeric root powder, Chondroitin sulfate (bovine), Broad spectrum hemp extract, Brewers dried yeast...,
Chicken liver hydrolysate, Coconut glycerin, MCT oil, Natural flavor, Natural tocopherols, Potato flour, Potato starch, Salt, Sunflower lecithin, Sunflower seed oil, Water
Active ingredient amounts (per each chew):
- 2.5 milligrams CBD
- 125 milligrams glucosamine
- 75 milligrams turmeric root powder
- 30 milligrams chondroitin
- Charlotte’s Web is one of the leading CBD supplement manufacturers in the world
- Made in the USA from US-grown hemp
- Flavor gets a tail wag of approval from most dogs
- On the pricey side
- Not available in all states
- Relatively little chondroitin in each chew, but this is really directed at owners interested in the potential joint-supporting benefits of CBD
10. The Anxious Pet’s Hip & Hop
About: The Anxious Pet’s Hip & Hop combine the tried and true glucosamine, MSM, and chondroitin combo present in many other supplements, with the less commonly used TAP60 and Boswellia serrata extract in a chew. This makes it a promising option for owners who’ve not had success with other joint supplements.
- All products go through third-party testing for quality
- Contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Company offers a 60-day money-back guarantee
- Made in the USA
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Ground White Rice...,
Active ingredient amounts (in each chew):
- 700 milligrams glucosamine
- 400 milligrams MSM
- 300 milligrams chondroitin
- 150 milligrams TAP60 (Cat’s claw, turmeric, and white willow)
- 100 milligrams Boswellia serrata extract
- Most dogs only need to take one chew per day
- Contains an excellent amount of active ingredients per chew
- No hidden protein sources that can be a problem for sensitive systems
- Price is on the higher side compared to other supplements
- Relatively new product without as many reviews as other products
How to Pick a Joint Supplement: Things to Think About
When browsing joint supplements, there are several things to consider to ensure you’re getting a quality product that will work best for your pooch, including:
- Clinical trials: A supplement that’s been tested with third-party verification is ideal (failing that, the trials should at least be “blinded” to help reduce the chances of bias creeping in to the results). This can rule out snake oil solutions and help you end up with a product that’ll help keep your dog’s pain at bay.
- Strength: While stronger supplements are not always necessary (or advisable), it is important to note that the quantity of active ingredients in various dietary supplements varies. For example, some have higher concentrations of glucosamine or chondroitin than others.
- Ingredient list: Always scrutinize ingredient lists when selecting supplements. Try to stick to products that utilize natural ingredients whenever possible and avoid those containing tons of unnecessary additives. Also, be sure to check if your chosen supplement includes anything that could counteract any of your dog’s existing medications or medical conditions?
- Type: Some supplement forms are easier to give than others. Chewable tablets are simple to administer in most cases, but oils and powders can also be mixed into food with relative ease.
- Flavoring: Taste is king with most dogs, and if something tastes strange, they won’t eat it. Look for a supplement that has a tongue-tempting flavor like beef, preferably, or pick one that is designed to be easily hidden if need be.
- Country of origin: Ideally, you want a product made in the USA. Not every country has strict production standards (looking at you, China), which is a pretty concerning issue for pup parents. If you can’t find a made in the USA supplement you like, look for something made in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or Western Europe.
- Owner reviews: Pay attention to what other owners are saying. Note how effective they think the product is or how easily their dog takes it. These reviews can alert you to any concerns, such as a problem with picky pups or tummy issues it may cause.
- Vet recommendation: If your vet recommends a supplement, it’s best to stick with that.
- Crazy claims: If a product makes wild claims that sound too good to be true, it’s a sign that you should keep looking.
Always discuss any potential supplements with your vet before purchase.
It’s also worth noting that if you don’t want to bother with supplement every day, you could also consider a dog food for joint health that includes added ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin already.
The Most Common Causes of Canine Joint Pain
Many medical conditions and factors can aggravate the joints of four-footers (especially as dogs age), including:
- Dysplasia (of the hip or elbow)
- Luxating patella
- Metabolic disorders
- Poor diet
- Lyme disease
- Muscle disease or injury
- Tendon or ligament injury or disease
Some types of joint disease are present at birth, while others — such as osteoarthritis in dogs — develop over time. You can prevent some joint issues by simply feeding a high-quality food that meets the AAFCO standards for your dog’s life stage. Keeping him at a healthy body weight will also help in many cases, so if you think your pup is experiencing some weight gain, talk to your vet about switching foods.
You can also avoid some hereditary conditions such as hip dysplasia by seeking out a puppy whose parents have received appropriate health screenings, such as hip and elbow scoring.
What Are Some Signs of Joint Pain in Dogs?
Dogs can’t tell us when they’re hurting, but they can send us clues in their day-to-day actions. So, just be sure to watch your doggo closely, as some of these signs of pain are subtler than others.
Joint pain has several signs to look for, including:
- Reluctance to run, jump, play, or walk
- Premature fatigue
- Stiff gait
- Swollen joints
- Rising, sitting, or laying slower than normal
- Excessive licking at joints
- Muscle loss
- Sleeping more often
- Panting and the inability to “settle”
If you notice any of these in your pooch, contact your vet and schedule an exam. Dogs with osteoarthritis or other joint problems will typically enjoy the best results if you begin treatment sooner than later.
Joint Health in Dogs: Are Some Breeds of Dogs More Susceptible to Joint Problems?
Dog breeds of all sizes and ages can suffer from joint issues, but some breeds of dogs are more prone to joint pain and joint disorders than others.
Generally, the larger the dog, the higher the risk of joint problems — large dogs and giant breed dogs are far more likely to suffer from joint problems than small or medium-sized breeds. And this includes both degenerative and developmental conditions. That’s not to say that small breeds aren’t susceptible to their fair share, just that they don’t suffer from them as frequently.
Certain breeds are prone to specific joint issues, including:
- Hip dysplasia: Bulldog, most retrievers, mastiff
- Elbow dysplasia: Golden retriever, Bernese mountain dog, Rottweiler
- Luxating patella: Yorkshire terrier, Pomeranian, Patterdale terrier
- Hypertrophic osteodystrophy: Weimaraner, akita, Irish wolfhound
For breeds at-risk for specific joint issues, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, selecting a breeder who performs screenings is highly recommended. You’ll also want to keep a close eye on your pooch for any symptoms suggesting he’s experiencing joint pain.
Addressing joint issues in dogs is sometimes a long road, but it’s well worth the effort. With the right joint support supplements, you can help promote proper joint mobility and give your pupper a long, happy life.
What joint support supplements does your pup take? Have you found a mobility or arthritis supplement that proved especially effective? Have you tried any on our list above?
Let us know in the comments!