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.
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1. The fan-favorite chews
With over 6,000 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 says: “I have a 9-year-old 65-pound Pit mix who was recently diagnosed with degenerative joint issues. He was never completely crippled, but his discomfort became obvious with weather changes or after hard exercise or play. I keep him pretty active so it was hard to see him slowing down so much. Within a week of eating his 5 daily chews he was moving more comfortably and fluidly. We are now almost finished with our first container and I will be ordering again."
2. The maximum strength chews
For dogs over 10 pounds who could benefit from a more potent joint supplement, these Cosequin soft chews are a great option. Each chew offers 600 milligrams of glucosamine and 300 milligrams of chondroitin (more than six times the amount of glucosamine and three times the chondroitin than the previous option). 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 says: “My vet recommended giving these a shot before we did anything more drastic (or expensive). I couldn't be happier that we did! These have made a world of difference in my 6-year-old Lab/Australian Shepherd mix. She was having trouble standing up after laying down, or getting up and down off the couch and things, but since starting on these, you can barely tell she had any issue at all. The only problem I have with these chews in particular is that they smell TERRIBLE when you open the bag, but it doesn't seem to put her off eating them, so that's the important part.”
3. 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 the chicken-flavored version 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 says: “I love that my 6 year old Havanese is enjoying this multivitamin with glucosamine supplement. It is her favorite treat. She always comes running to me whenever she sees me with the container of her favorite multivitamins. I have noticed an increase in mobility, activity and appetite in my dog ever since I started giving her this multivitamin treat. The glucosamine helps keep her hips and joints healthy.”