The key to choosing an effective joint supplement for your dog, according to a vet — plus 7 popular options

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ByMargeaux Baulch Klein
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If you're noticing your dog is limping or less mobile than they used to be, you should consult with your vet to determine if a medication might be right for them. If your vet thinks a supplement will help to relieve daily discomfort, you'll want to find the one that includes proven ingredients. According to Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM, a small and exotic animal veterinarian and a veterinary consultant for DogLab, the best joint supplement for dogs contain glucosamine and chondroitin, as these naturally occurring compounds found in healthy cartilage help increase joint fluid. Omega fatty acids can also be beneficial, Dr. Ochoa tells Mic, since they help make this fluid easier to move around in the joint capsule.

"As soon as you notice any joint issues, you should start giving your dog these supplements," Dr. Ochoa says. "I always recommend that large breed dogs take them as soon as they are an adult. Many people are giving their dogs treats anyway, she adds, so "why not give them something that also helps improve their quality of life?"

Keep in mind that before choosing a supplement, pet owners should pay attention to the serving sizes (they vary based on a dog's weight) as well as the ingredient list for any potential allergens that your dog might be sensitive to. And always check with your own vet first before starting your dog on any new supplement.

You'll find a list of the best joint supplements for dogs that you can find on Amazon below. Beyond the inclusion of glucosamine and chondroitin, you will also find some chews with additional benefits for your pup.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

01

The fan-favorite chews

With over 13,000 five-star reviews to its name, this Doggie Dailies advanced hip and joint supplement for dogs is one of the most popular options on Amazon. Each soft chew contains 100 milligrams of glucosamine and 50 milligrams of chondroitin and is chock full of other beneficial vitamins and minerals, including MSM (a natural anti-inflammatory), omega-3 and 6, vitamins C and E, hyaluronic acid, and salmon oil.

Recommended for dogs six months and older, this supplement comes in either chicken or peanut butter flavors to make it feel more like a treat for your pup. The recommended serving ranges from one to six chews per day, depending on your dog's weight. After taking these daily supplements for at least two to three weeks, the brand notes that dogs should have a noticeable increase in energy level and mobility.

One reviewer wrote: “My Golden mix is 8 years old, and I have noticed him slowing down, so I ordered Doggie Dailies. This supplement exceeded my expectations. Mac has more energy, is moving around much better, and is much more playful after only a few weeks! We also give them to our little Cavalier mix. Both Mac and Snoopy love the flavor.”

02

The popular tablets

Backed by over 42,000 reviews and an overall 4.7-star rating, these joint supplement tablets are a best-seller on Amazon. Each maximum strength chewable tablet contains 600 milligrams of glucosamine and 300 milligrams of chondroitin to support healthy joints and cartilage. The chicken-flavored tablets also contain MSM, a natural anti-inflammatory.

These supplements are formulated for dogs of all ages and sizes, with the recommended dose varying based on your dog’s weight. The brand recommends a higher dose for four to six weeks and then suggests reducing the dose to a maintenance level to help maintain your dog’s daily comfort.

One reviewer wrote: “My 7 years old retriever mix rescue dog Bear was suffering with hip and joint pain when we got him. The pain was so bad he had hard time climbing up stairs, getting out from bathtub, dog pool etc. We’ve been feeding this medicine for 2 bottles now. Bear can run, get out from tubs, running like a puppy now!”

03

The maximum strength chews

For dogs over 10 pounds who could benefit from a potent joint supplement, these Cosequin soft chews are a great option. Each chew offers 600 milligrams of glucosamine and 300 milligrams of chondroitin. This supplement also boasts omega-3 fatty acids, MSM, green tea extract, and fish oil.

Although the supplement contains rosemary extract and other natural flavors, some Amazon reviewers have pointed out that their dog didn't care for the taste, which may be a concern if your own pup is a picky eater. Note that for dogs under 10 pounds, the manufacturer recommends a mini-sized version of this supplement instead.

One reviewer wrote: “We got this for our 14 yr old Jack Russell, and we have been pleasantly surprised. Within about 3 weeks, we noticed that she was running around the yard and wanting us to throw a stick or her ball - which she hadn't done for quite some time. At 14 her endurance isn't what it used to be, but the fact that she seems to feel better and wants to play makes us think that this must be helping. She tends to be a bit persnickety on treat flavors, so it can be a challenge to get her to eat it, but other than that it is a definite win!"

04

The multivitamin chews

This PetHonesty Store 10-in-1 multivitamin is not just a great joint supplement; it also provides your dog with a variety of vitamins and minerals to benefit their overall health. In addition to the 200 milligrams of glucosamine and 22.5 milligrams of chondroitin, each chew contains probiotics to improve digestion and other nutritious ingredients like whole egg, pumpkin, fish oil, and vitamins A, B, C, and D.

Choose between chicken or peanut butter-flavored versions for dogs of all ages, or the smoked duck-flavored one for seniors — the latter has added ingredients like selenium yeast and organic mushrooms to help support an older dog's immune system. Either way, Amazon reviewers noted that their dogs love the taste of these supplements.

One reviewer wrote: “My Eddie is a 10 year old cocker spaniel that’s slowing down a little. I researched what I should be giving him and found this product. He’s been taking two a day for a few weeks now and I can honestly say, he’s got his pep back in his step!!! He gets excited for them every morning and I enjoy giving them to him."

05

The budget-friendly chews

If you’re hoping to spend a little less on supplements, these soft chews are a more affordable option with over 12,000 five-star reviews. The liver-flavored supplements contain 250 milligrams of glucosamine and 100 milligrams of chondroitin, along with MSM, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and other ingredients to help maintain healthy joints and cartilage.

The chews are safe for dogs aged 18 weeks and up, and the recommended dose varies based on weight. After giving a higher dose for four to six weeks, the brand recommends lowering the dose to a maintenance level for long-term comfort.

One reviewer wrote: “Great value for the money! My [dog] loves the flavor, she thinks these are treats. I give them to my 16 year old hound mix and they definitely help relieve her pain. Without them she limps and has trouble getting around. She still has difficulty with stairs but does well otherwise on these! They keep her moving.”

06

The liquid one

Does your dog avoid chews and tablets? This liquid joint supplement might be the best option for your pup. The extra-strength formula contains 1,600 milligrams of glucosamine and 1,200 milligrams of chondroitin — the highest amount on this list — and it’s easy to add to your dog’s food or water. It also contains anti-inflammatory MSM to further support your dog’s hip and joint health. There’s no specific flavor, but reviewers write that their dogs seem to love it.

The formula is safe for dogs of all ages and sizes, and dosage varies based on your dog’s weight. You can double the recommended dose for the first four weeks before reducing it to a maintenance dose. This supplement should be refrigerated after opening.

One reviewer wrote: “I got this for my 12 year old dog and she loves it! She used to love her glucosamine treats and then just kind of stopped eating them. We needed to make sure that she was getting the supplement so we tried this. Well...she loves the taste and she’s practically guaranteed to eat her whole bowl since we put in on her food.”

07

The powder one

This powder joint supplement is also easy to mix into your dog’s food if they don’t like chews and tablets. The powder contains no artificial flavors and has 400 milligrams of glucosamine, along with omega fatty acids and heart-healthy ingredients — but it does not contain any chondroitin.

The powder is formulated for adult dogs that weigh 12 pounds and up, and dosing varies based on weight. Because the supplement has high fiber content, the brand recommends starting with a small amount and gradually increasing to the recommended dose.

One reviewer wrote: “I’ve got a senior small breed, middle aged shepherd mix, and young Newfoundland mix with hip problems. I give them all the suggested amount with their food and I started noticing a difference within days. I’m now on month 2 of giving them supplements and they all have more pep in their step."

Expert:

Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM, veterinarian and veterinary consultant for doglab.com

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