For dog lovers, nothing can be more painful than watching your pet agonizing in pain and unable to move. Even the slightest movement can produce a sharp pain that can be felt right through our pet’s spinal column. They become fully agitated, and some can be quite aggressive; not that it’s their fault, but rather they’re already frustrated at the experience of pain and immobility. Even before joint problems set in, dog owners must look after their pets' welfare. Joint health supplements may not cure these canine conditions, but these can help provide healthier and more stable articulations.

Sadly, the market is littered with supplements for dog joints that do nothing to prevent canine joint problems. It is, thus, imperative that we choose only those that have been proven effective. To give you a headstart, we’ve researched the 10 best joint supplements for dogs. Hopefully, these will give you an idea of what to give your beloved pooch.

The 12 Top-Rated Joint Supplements for Dogs

1 Zesty Paws Senior Advanced Mobility Bites – Hip & Joint – Chicken

Zesty Paws Senior Advanced Mobility Bites - Hip & Joint - Chicken
Key features:
  • Formulated with Vitamin C and Vitamin E to support the joints and connections tissues of your dog’s body.
  • Includes Chondroitin Sulfate – a compound that supports cartilage, connective tissues, and joint function.
  • Gives muscular support to your dog’s entire body while promoting resilience.

Zesty Paws present their Glucosamine Hydrochloride supplement for premium hip and joint support for dogs that need a little extra mobility boost.

They’re suitable for all dog sizes, from the Toy Poodle to the Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog.

With 400mg of optimized MSM per chewable supplement, your dog can flex their muscles like they’re an energetic puppy again.

They also come in delicious flavors, including Bacon, Chicken, and Duck.

What others say about it:

This gives our 13 year old small puppers a whole new life and ability to go on walks. She used to be so sore and couldn’t move around much. Our vet recommended a glucosamine supplement to help and we found this brand. I have loved most of the Zesty Paws products.

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  • Supports mobility in dogs of all ages with a combination of Glucosamine, MSM, and Chondroitin.
  • MSM in this product is optimized using a purifying distillation process.
  • The brand is part of the National Animal Supplement Council and has gained the council’s seal of approval as a trusted brand with great products.
  • Suitable for all dog breeds and sizes.
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
  • Supplement crumbles easily, which can make it difficult to feed it to your dog.
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2 Nutramax Cosequin Maximum Strength Plus MSM

Nutramax Cosequin Maximum Strength Plus MSM
Key features:
  • Per tablet contains 600 milligrams of glucosamine derived from shellfish, 300 milligrams of chondroitin sulfate derived from pork cartilage, and 250 milligrams of MSM
  • With 3 milligrams of manganese
  • Chewable tablet formulation

The Cosequin DS Plus remains one of the most trusted supplements for dog joints primarily for its excellent combination of three powerful ingredients known to improve joint health, facilitate cartilage remodeling and regeneration, and alleviate some associated symptoms with arthritis.

It contains methylsulfonylmethane or MSM, glucosamine, and chondroitin, all working to provide your dog with optimum joint health. The formulation comes in chewable tablet form, so administering it to pets shouldn’t be that difficult.

What others say about it:

This is the best purchase I could have made for my 140lb rotty. He has been limping around for about 2 weeks and I thought maybe he had just hurt his paw running around playing with the neighbor dogs running the fence. But then I got to thinking maybe its his hip that is bothering him. Sure enough it was. I have been giving him 2 pills in the morning and 2 in the evening and he has no limp or doesnt stuggle to get up any longer. Im so happy I was able to purchase this product from Chewy!!! Thank you for being there for us!

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  • Chewable formulation ensures easier administration
  • Exceptional levels of joint-friendly substances per tablet; higher than most brands
  • Recommended by most veterinarians
  • A little bit expensive
  • May contain a few artificial flavoring
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3 Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Soft Chews Joint Supplement for Large Dogs

Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Soft Chews Joint Supplement for Large Dogs
Key features:
  • Each chew comes with 900 mg of glucosamine, 350 mg of chondroitin, and 800 mg of MSM
  • Enriched with soybean, rosemary extract, and avocado

Consider Dasuquin as Cosequin but with exceptional anti-osteoarthritis properties, making it one of the most trusted brands of arthritis medicine for dogs.

The only difference between Dasuquin and Cosequin is the inclusion of Avocado/Soybean Unsaponifiables or ASUs which have been well-documented to play an important role in the management of osteoarthritis.

This suggests that Cosequin is primarily used as a preventative while Dasuquin is best used on dogs with osteoarthritis or other similar health problems. It also comes as soft chews making it easy to administer.

What others say about it:

Our 6 year old shepherd mix has had hip dysplasia all her life. We started out using Dasuqin, but have tried a few others over the past couple years and we ultimately came back to this one — seems to keep her most active. Decided to “upgrade” her to this one with MSM which also seems to be helping more as she gets older.

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  • Contains substantially higher concentrations of joint-friendly substances than most brands
  • Doesn’t include other ingredients that may impact the principal mechanism of action of joint health active ingredients
  • More expensive than other brands
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4 Doggie Dailies Advanced Hip & Joint Chicken Flavored Soft Chews

Doggie Dailies Advanced Hip & Joint Chicken Flavored Soft Chews
Key features:
  • Each chew contains 100 mg each of glucosamine and MSM and 50 mg chondroitin
  • With added yucca shidigera, hyaluronic acid, and coenzyme Q10
  • With natural ingredients including chicken liver, cooked chicken, flaxseed, salmon oil, egg, cod liver oil, vegetables, and rice bran
  • Comes with 2 free e-books on dog care

One of the advantages of giving your pet the Advanced Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs in soft chew form is that it contains two additional ingredients that may not be found in other products.

The Doggie Dailies contain Co-Enzyme Q10 and Hyaluronic Acid. CoQ10 is important for its antioxidant activity, while HA is best known for improving the production of synovial fluid, which effectively lubricates the entire joint capsule.

Without the synovial fluid, pain and swelling will be more severe, leading to immobility. There are vitamins, micronutrients, and minerals, too, that help promotes overall joint health.

What others say about it:

I have a highly active Working Border Collie, DUKE that had a bad trauma to his spinal cord nerve, after vet treatment lasting 10-14 days, i put him on this, to be safe, we have used these products before in our horses, it has been 2 yrs now since he was hurt, he gets the Doggie Dailies every day without fail, and he is even back to working livestock.

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  • All-around support for health of the joints, skin, and heart
  • Addition of Co-Q10 and hyaluronic acid for greater health benefits
  • Uses only premium, natural ingredients
  • Comes in soft chewable formulation for easier administration
  • Greater value than most brands
  • Slightly lower levels of glucosamine and chondroitin than other brands
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5 Liquid Health K9 Glucosamine Joint Supplement

Liquid Health K9 Glucosamine Joint Supplement
Key features:
  • Uses 99.9% pure grade MSM which has been distilled and purified to produce the purest form of sulfur possible for this supplement
  • Combines five supplements in one product for an optimized liquid joint supplement
  • Liquid form for easier application
  • Can help prevent arthritis in many dogs who are genetically inclined to suffer from joint pain

A purified supplement can be easily added to your dog’s water or food or placed on a spoon with a treat for your dog to lap at.

The ingredients in this liquid promote joint health and can also aid in the prevention of arthritis in young dog breeds prone to the condition.

As a liquid joint supplement, K9 Glucosamine works to support joint health using the purest form of sulfur. Sulfur helps build the best structure possible for all of the joint cartilage in your dog’s body.

What others say about it:

I have a gsd which are prone to hip dysplasia and I have a 115 cas. They are both young adults and after doing lots of research this is what I decided on. They don’t mind it in their food at all and no tummy issues! Sure it can be a little pricey but I figure it may help me with vet bills years ahead. And of course help my dogs! My chessie is 9 now and I even put him on it. May be a little late in life to help but it sure can’t hurt.

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  • Great value – 1 teaspoon is just 0.16 fluid ounces, which means you could get 200 servings from one bottle for a dog under 10 pounds
  • MSM in this product is tested for lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury to ensure your pet’s safety
  • High quality Glucosamine
  • Optimized and purified MSM
  • Must be refrigerated after the product has been opened
  • Not flavored, which some dogs may not appreciate
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6 PetLab Co. Joint Care Chew – Pork Flavor

PetLab Co. Joint Care Chew - Pork Flavor
Key features:
  • Commits to joint care by enhancing joint and bone health.
  • Uses turmeric to target discomfort and help maintain joint mobility
  • Targets everyday stiffness in the joints of all dogs, no matter their age
  • Supports joint flexibility and strength

Joint medicine for dogs is a saturated market, so it’s best to research to find the right supplement to help your dog’s joint disorders.

When you’re looking for a supplement suitable for all dogs of all ages, Petlab Co. offers their solution in the form of their joint care chews, which are suitable for puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs. Help promote a more active lifestyle for your dog, no matter their age.

These delicious, bone-shaped chews are perfectly flavored to entice your pup into eating one a day without any complaints. Even picky dogs love them!

What others say about it:

One of our two dogs was recently diagnosed with elbow dysplasia and arthritis so we started here on joint supplements. These have natural ingredients and green lipped mussel which is supposed to help with joint inflammation. She loves them and eats them easily with food or as a treat. Its early to tell long term results but she seems to be moving with less stiffness.

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  • Compatible with other chews from the same brand, including those that are formulated for digestive health
  • Contains omega fatty acids in the form of salmon oil, which can ease joint discomfort
  • Supports hip and joint flexibility through the use of green-lipped mussels as an ingredient in the product
  • Pricey supplement at more than $1 per chew
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7 PetNC Natural Care Hip and Joint Soft Chews for Dogs

PetNC Natural Care Hip and Joint Soft Chews for Dogs
Key features:
  • Each teaspoon contains 250 mg of glucosamine sourced from shellfish, 250 mg of MSM, and 100 mg of chondroitin from porcine sources
  • Formulation is enriched with proprietary enzymes and essential fatty acids
  • Contains green lipped mussel and hyaluronic acid
  • Includes yucca schidigera, boswellia serrate, and vitamins C and E
  • Comes in powdered form

If you don’t like chewable tablets for your dog, then the Particular Paws Glucosamine powder should be an intelligent choice.

This product comes with the 3 essential substances for optimum joint health, with the addition of hyaluronic acid for synovial fluid consistency and vitamins C and E for added antioxidant effects.

The overall result is an improvement in the symptoms of joint problems and protection of overall joint mobility.


What others say about it:

My dog has been taking these treats for a couple of months now, and he’s running around like a puppy again! My only complaint is it’s hit or miss if it’s going to be in one piece when it arrives. In my last package the treats had busted open and the box was out in the rain for about an hour before I got home so most of the treats were soggy and trash. They need to have a better container or better packaging but the product is great when it gets to you in one piece!

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  • Powder formulation allows for easier mixing with pet’s food
  • Addition of vitamins, enzymes, and essential fatty acids helps promote better all-around health and not just for the bones
  • Uses only all-natural ingredients for improved pet safety
  • May be more expensive since it is in powdered form
  • Has the possibility of recommended dose not being consumed
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8 VETIQ Hip and Joint Supplement for Dogs

VETIQ Hip and Joint Supplement for Dogs
Key features:
  • Made in the USA with globally sourced ingredients
  • Eases joint stiffness caused by normal, everyday activities that dogs get up to
  • 600mg Glucosamine supplements with 210mg MSM and 210mg krill
  • Maintains muscles, lubricates joints, supports cartilage

With a triple-action formula that targets cartilage, joints, and muscles, VETIQ’s Hip and Joint chewable supplement are sure to dog hip and joint pain.

Healthy cartilage is a must-have for all dogs, whether they are large breed dogs or small. Using Omega fatty acids, Glucosamine, MSM, and krill, these soft chews promote complete joint health and can help your pup produce healthy cartilage.

Increase the mobility of your dog with these veterinarian-recommended supplements.


What others say about it:

I gave it a month before writing this review. My dog is 12 and has really bad arthritis, especially when it rains and when it’s cold. I’ve definitely noticed a difference. He was barely able to walk a few weeks ago and now he’s almost back to his old self! From limping and walking very slowly down the steps, he’s back to about 80-90% of himself. Highly recommended, amd for the price, what do you have to lose?

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  • Contains Omega-3 to look after your dog’s joints while the supplement also targets the cartilage and muscles
  • MSM supports healthy connective tissues
  • Perfect for dogs with everyday stiffness
  • Natural chicken flavor
  • Soft, chewable supplement
  • Dogs with sensitive stomachs may have issues with these supplements
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9 VetriScience GlycoFlex Stage III Chicken Flavored Soft Chews

VetriScience GlycoFlex Stage III Chicken Flavored Soft Chews
Key features:
  • Includes perna canaliculus, Vitamin E and C, l-glutathione, selenium, and manganese
  • Contains grape seed extract, rosemary extract, chicken liver flavor
  • Each chew contains 500 mg each of glucosamine sourced from crabs and shrimps and MSM

Intended to be one of the best dog vitamins for joint health, the Glyco-Flex III features Vitamins C and E in addition to MSM and glucosamine plus manganese and selenium.

All these ingredients are necessary to improve joints’ overall condition of highly active dogs, working breeds, and even senior dogs.

The dog chews come in chicken flavors that dogs love. Vitamin C is especially important in the production of collagen to help support the structure of cartilage.

What others say about it:

My dogs love these. I am hoping they help my oldest in extending her mobility. The reviews were great. I only gave it a 3 star as I ordered a couple large bags to start and we are 1/2 way thru the first one and have found that the bag contains MANY bits and 1/2 pieces. I am feeding 4 per day to start. It will become a pain to piece together bits, guessing the dosage at the end of these two bags . I think for the price, better packaging is needed. I feel like much will be wasted.

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  • Exceptional amounts of MSM and glucosamine per tablet
  • Uses only pet-safe natural ingredients
  • Clinically proven to improve hind length strength in one month by as much as 41%
  • Recommended by veterinarians
  • Doesn’t contain chondroitin sulfate
  • A bit expensive
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10 Vet’s Best Aches+Pains Chewable Tablets Joint Supplement

Vet's Best Aches+Pains Chewable Tablets Joint Supplement
Key features:
  • Contains a natural pain reliever in the form of white willow bark extract
  • Used to ease the discomfort that is associated with a dog’s regular activity
  • Formulated by a vet
  • A supplement in chewable form for easier application and digestion
  • National Animal Supplement Council seal of approval

A veterinarian recommended a supplement crafted to alleviate your dog’s pain each day.

Though the average hip and joint supplement for dogs only targets the joints to make them more supple, Vet’s Best Aches and Pains includes white willow bark extract, which works similarly to aspirin.

So, not only does the supplement work to keep your dog’s joints healthy, but it also contains a natural pain reliever for your dog’s joint pain. As well as Vet’s Best being veterinarian recommended, it was formulated by a veterinarian, and their products have been helping dogs for over 30 years.

What others say about it:

We have a chihuahua that has bad arthritis and pain in his hips from being hit by a cat before we adopted him. He struggles with cold weather much more than warm and I did not want to give him the prescription from the vet everyday in case this may effect the liver . My girlfriend said it has helped her senior pit bull very much so I thought we should give it a try. Soooo glad we did!! He is perky and moving with more ease and it has been so cold . I would recommend it!!!!

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  • Natural anti-inflammatory ingredients
  • Quick relief from everyday aches and pains
  • All-natural supplements for dogs
  • Relieves pain associated with stiff muscles and joints, even in older dogs
  • Some dogs can be sensitive to yucca root, which is an ingredient in this product
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11 Infinite Pet Life All-Natural Hip & Joint Powder Dog Supplement

Infinite Pet Life All-Natural Hip & Joint Powder Dog Supplement
Key features:
  • Contains organic turmeric curcumin for anti-inflammatory properties
  • Powder formula that can be easily added to your dog’s food
  • No harmful additives or other ingredients that could hurt your pup
  • Average 90 servings per container

While other supplements stay chewable, Infinite’s Hip and Joint Advanced Formula is available as an easy-to-serve powder.

Powder supplements are great because you can sneak them into your dog’s food, and most dogs won’t even notice. For picky eaters identifying the added formula, try mixing the powder into wet food for easier drug administration.

This supplement contains the Glucosamine and MSM that every other decent joint supplement contains while adding organic turmeric. Turmeric is a powerful addition because it’s a natural anti-inflammatory.

What others say about it:

My 11 year old mix has been slowing down and showing some pain if runs around too long with the 2 rambunctious young ones in the pack. I started looking for a supplement to help her. The pills and treats are a pain because have to be cut up for her size (14#). Found this and it’s easy to give and I do see a marked improvement. Didn’t happen quickly, but I didn’t expect it to. Have to give a supplement time in their bodies. Very pleased. Don’t let price alarm you. The powder lasts longer than you would think.

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  • All-natural ingredients
  • Powder formula
  • Helps prevent degenerative joint disease and arthritis
  • Reduces inflammation and improves mobility
  • Larger dogs use more of the product, which reduces the average 90 servings per container
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12 Dr. Joseph VetPro Complete Hip and Joint Supplement

Dr. Joseph VetPro Complete Hip and Joint Supplement
Key features:
  • Includes 1000mg of Glucosamine per serving (two chews)
  • Added omega fatty acids for better cardiovascular health
  • Supports cartilage, reduces inflammation, promotes health and wellness in all dogs
  • Can help treat hip dysplasia, arthritis, and other joint disorders

For dogs who need a boost of joint mobility, Dr. Joseph’s Hip and Joint supplement is a maximum strength formula that contains 1000mg of Glucosamine per serving.

This product carries five times the average Glucosamine of regular hip and joint dog supplements, giving it the ability to boost joint health in dogs of all sizes. But that’s not all! The VetPro Complete formula also contains nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatory: Turmeric.

Turmeric is a natural pain reliever in this supplement while aiding digestive health, promoting heart and liver function, and giving allergy relief to pups who need it.

What others say about it:

Our 12 1/2 year old german shorthair pointer has been not doing well. Crying everytime he gets off his bed, having a really hard time going up and down stairs. We thought the end was near. Took him to the vet and was given gabapentin which my dog doesn’t do well with. Searched amazon for a solution and took a gamble on this supplement. All I can say is WOW. Within 2 days he was running up the stairs and wanting to play with our puppy. I’m giving him double the dose (6 chews a day) plus a high omega supplement which he was already getting.

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  • Five times the Glucosamine of regular joint supplements
  • Targets joints, cartilage, cardiovascular health, and digestive health all at once
  • Reduces painful swelling from joint inflammation
  • Formulated by a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience
  • Not flavored, which can be off-putting for some dogs
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Best Dog Joint Supplements: Buying Guide & FAQs

You may be interested that humans also take these supplements to aid in their joint problems. While Glucosamine improves the mobility of joints and can reduce arthritis pain, Chondroitin lubricates those same joints, supporting the body’s natural flexibility. Both are naturally occurring and can be found in your dog’s cartilage and synovial fluid (that’s the fluid that fills the cavities of all articulating joints).

When your dog takes a supplement containing these chemicals, they’re adding to what already exists in their body. As they’re digested, they’re absorbed into your dog’s joints and cartilage, reducing the aches and pains built up through illness, injury, old age, and existing health conditions. For more info, check out our guide on the best supplements for senior dogs.

Why Use Dog Joint Supplements?

Cute fluffy jack russel dog laying on floor by bowl and jar for supplements,

Your dog having joint problems is not that different from you having arthritis or joint pain or swelling. You can barely move as each attempt to move a limb is like pulling on a 5-ton vehicle. It also gets worse during cold weather as the muscles tend to pull on the different structures that connect them to the joints, leading to increased swelling and pain. These physiologic responses are the same with dogs. Typically, a pet dog with joint problems displays the following manifestations.

  • Highly irritable, especially when made to move from a particular spot
  • Difficulty sitting up from a lying position or standing up from a sitting position
  • Purposely slower movements of the limbs
  • Incessant licking of the joints
  • Hesitates to move either to walk or to run or even avoids it entirely
  • Whines or cries even though there is no apparent reason
  • Stays in its kennel, dog crate, or dog bed for unusually long periods
  • May not eat or drink unless its food and water bowls are brought closer
  • Struggles climbing up and down stairs or avoiding doing so
  • Limps while walking sans any valid reason
  • Behaves in a manner that is grossly different from past behavior

These are some of the possible signs that your dog may already suffer from joint problems. A trip to your veterinarian can help establish your suspicions with absolute certainty. Your dog will also be provided with various treatments to help alleviate the symptoms and possibly reverse the progression of the condition. In many cases, you will be given a joint supplement that you will administer to your pet. But why are joint supplements important for your dog?

Alleviates Pain and Suffering

Like us, when our pets are in pain, they get grumpy, agitated, irritable, and aggressive. They may not feed, refuse to play, or even go for a walk simply because they focus on the pain experience. Inadvertently, they may begin showing signs of deteriorating health. Many supplements for dog joints contain ingredients that have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. These can help reduce inflammation which is technically the primary source of pain. This way, your pet can be free from pain and suffering, allowing it to enjoy its being.

Improves the Quality of Life

As presented above, the severity and magnitude of pain can impact many aspects of a creature’s existence. They are physically affected, and their social and emotional well-being is also damaged. Dogs are very social animals, everyone knows that by now. If they cannot join their masters and their children during family outings and activities, they will feel depressed and lonely, too. This can lead to various canine behavioral issues that may require professional help. That is why alleviating pain and suffering and improving overall physical mobility can help improve the quality of life of our dogs with joint problems. The best dog vitamins for joint health can, thus, help.

Enhances Overall Mobility

One of the most important reasons why dogs need joint supplements is to enhance their overall mobility. Your pet is not Garfield, who loves to lie and sleep all day. They need plenty of exercise and play, lest they develop canine behavioral problems. And since they have 4 legs to move about, a problem in any of these can significantly impair their mobility. You don’t want this to happen, do you? Besides, a dog without play is a dog that is dull and quite unsocial.

Facilitates Positive Canine Behavior

As we said, a mobile dog is a happy dog. If your pet can exercise, it can dispense all that energy inside it. This leads to significantly more positive canine behavior. Your pet is easier to train and will obey most of your commands. It becomes a little bundle of joy for the whole family.

Strengthens Owner-Dog Relationship

Giving your pet the best supplements for dog joints tells your pet you care so much for its well-being. This endears you more to your canine friend, further strengthening your relationship. For many, the loyalty of a dog is simply incomparable. No human being can ever replicate or even match a pet dog’s tenacious dedication, loyalty, and commitment to its master.

Types of Dog Joint Supplements

Now that you know why you need to give joint medication to canines, you may need to know how to best provide such supplements. Currently, there are three basic forms of supplements for dog joints. These are the following.

  • Liquids: This is often the most preferred supplement formulation as every bit of the active ingredient is easily absorbed by the dog’s intestinal tract. Some manufacturers recommend mixing it with food, while others have to be given as a whole, usually through a medicine dropper or a specially designed liquid medication syringe.
  • Tablets: One of the most common issues about using tablets is the difficulty of getting your pet to swallow them. While experts recommend pushing the tablet to the back of the throat to bypass the pet’s gag reflex, it is painful to watch your pet suffer needlessly, especially if your hand is much larger than your pet’s mouth. Additionally, tablet preparations often contain binders to compress the active ingredients and prevent them from loosening. Unfortunately, this can impact the number of absorbable ingredients.
  • Powders: These are excellent choices for those who don’t like to work with either tablets or liquids. These can be mixed with food or dissolved in your pet’s drink. Either way, you’ll need to check the package directions.
  • Dog chews: Some manufacturers of supplements for dog joints design their products like dog treats, making them more palatable for pets. You no longer have to shove the pill down your pet’s throat.

10 Popular Dog Joint Supplements Ingredients and Their Benefits

two dogs jumping togetherBEAGLE OUTDOOR in summer

There are a variety of ingredients that are considered vital to improving the overall health of canine articulations while also alleviating any symptoms associated with such particular conditions. Here are ten of the most popular ingredients of joint medication for canines and what each does for your pet.

#1 Glucosamine

Glucosamine is well-regarded as one of the precursor molecules of glycosaminoglycans which are, in turn, a very important component of cartilage, the tissue that makes up the joints. Plus, glucosamine is a beneficial ingredient in forming and developing healthy cartilage. It can also help reduce the severity and extent of arthritis and may even help alleviate the pain associated with such conditions.

Typically, glucosamine is combined with chondroitin to help manage articular pain making it an equally effective arthritis medicine for dogs. It can also hasten the speed of wound repair and healing, which should come in handy if your dog has accompanying skin problems.

#2 Chondroitin

Physiologically, chondroitin is a very crucial structural element of cartilage. Its main function is to provide resistance against compression so that the underlying bone structure doesn’t get easily damaged. It has also significantly reduced the cartilage breakdown rate, giving the body sufficient time to repair and heal the damaged articular surface.

As we have already shared above, chondroitin is often combined with glucosamine, especially in the management of osteoarthritis. Together, these substances can alleviate articular pain while reducing the swelling associated with such inflammatory events.

#3 MSM

Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, is another popular ingredient in many dog joint supplements. It is particularly helpful in reducing signs and symptoms of inflammation which is often a hallmark of joint problems, particularly those affecting membranes. Its exceptional anti-inflammatory property is its ability to neutralize circulating free radicals that may aggravate any inflammatory condition, especially in the joints. MSM is also beneficial in the more efficient repair of cartilaginous tissues, providing sulfur to the critical building blocks of cartilage. This also leads to the more efficient production of collagen, a protein that is an important component of many tissues in the body like the skin and cartilage. Increasing the supply of collagen can also help improve these structures’ overall health and flexibility.

#4 Hyaluronic Acid

Joints are composed of two opposing surfaces of bones which, if not properly lubricated, can lead to increased friction and increased risk of damage to the articular surfaces. The lubricant for the joints is known as synovial fluid, and hyaluronic acid is a major component of this lubricant. Hyaluronic acid, or HA, is, thus, important in making sure that your dog’s joints are fully functioning with each movement that your pet makes. If there is insufficient synovial fluid in the joint capsule, moving will be a chore, if not painful. HA is also involved in tissue repair while improving the overall hydration and elasticity of skin structures.

#5 CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10, more popularly known as CoQ10, is a fat-soluble substance that resembles those vitamins. It is a well-known antioxidant that has been heavily marketed as a supplement for individuals with heart conditions. CoQ10’s antioxidant properties can help reduce inflammatory changes in the joints when used in veterinary medicine, especially in dogs.

This leads to more flexible articulations alleviating pain and improving overall physical mobility. It is often combined with Vitamins C and E, as CoQ10 has been shown to increase these two vitamins’ antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

#6 Turmeric

This Indian spice may not be at the top of your mind regarding canine joint health. However, numerous studies have pointed out that turmeric is one of the most effective medicinal herbs, thanks to its active ingredient, curcumin. As an ingredient in supplements for dog joints, turmeric works as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, skin protective, and anti-arthritic preparation. Studies show that its most potent property is that of an anti-inflammatory. This addresses many signs and symptoms of canine joint problems, such as pain, discomfort, swelling, immobility, or inflexibility. By reducing the inflammatory processes in the joints, dogs are able to move freely.

#7 Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

Known for their antioxidant properties, omega-3 essential fatty acids are just one of two types of polyunsaturated fats, the other one being omega-6. As an antioxidant, omega-3 fatty acid can help neutralize the action of free radicals in triggering inflammatory responses in the body.

This leads to the second benefit of omega-3 fatty acids in the reduction of swelling, alleviation of pain, and improvement of overall joint mobility in dogs with particular problems such as arthritis. While these should not be considered arthritis medicine for dogs, they can form an excellent backup to a myriad of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances that can help reduce the severity and extent of canine joint clinical manifestations. For great options, check out our review of the best fish oils for dogs.

#8 Vitamin C

One of the most important uses of Vitamin C in joint health is its ability to stimulate the increased synthesis and secretion of collagen. This protein is needed in the formation of the extracellular matrix. In other words, Vitamin C helps improve the body’s ability to produce collagen, which can further strengthen and improve the overall integrity of your dog’s joints, ligaments, bones, and tendons.

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid can also play a huge role in neutralizing free radicals, which, in turn, can help reduce the incidence of clinical manifestations of inflammation. It also repairs and maintains other connective tissues while slowing and preventing direct and indirect cellular damage. Technically, Vitamin C is a powerhouse substance with many health benefits, even to canines.

#9 Vitamin E

Like Vitamin C, alpha-tocopheryl or Vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant that can help in the prevention of inflammatory conditions in the joints of your pet dog. It has also been established that Vitamin E can help reduce the rate of cartilage destruction while promoting its repair. When used in combination with Vitamin C and CoQ10, the effects can be simply amazing for your pet.

#10 Selenium

It may not be as popular as other micronutrients like sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Still, selenium has been proven to be particularly important in the more efficient remodeling and regeneration of damaged cartilage. This leads to stronger cartilaginous tissues and, in turn, healthier joints.

When Should I Start Giving my Dog Joint Supplements?

Traveling with a dog. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever stands on a rock on a lake in the background of mountains. Healthy lifestyle

The time to give your dog joint supplements depends largely on their age and breed. Some dogs suffer from joint issues early on in life, and those breeds can be given joint supplements from as early as one year old. At 12 months, your dog stops growing, so you can safely give them preventative and helpful supplements like joint supplements that contain Glucosamine.

Any dog breed known to develop joint issues, such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, inflammation, and the like, would benefit from starting joint supplements once they turn a year old. These breeds include:

This is not an exhaustive list. As you can see, there is a huge mix of small and large breeds of dogs here.

Can a Dog Overdose on Joint Supplements?

It is possible for a dog to overdose on joint supplements, depending on what ingredients the supplement contains. Some supplements contain things like Yucca Root, which many dogs are sensitive to. Dogs with sensitive digestive systems may also struggle with supplements, so we would advise erring on the side of caution and consulting your vet before giving your dog any new supplements or changing their diet.

For dogs, the symptoms of overdosing on supplements may include:

Too much Glucosamine can be toxic to dogs.

Are There Any Other Risks That You Should Be Aware Of?

Be aware of the upper dosage limits for the size of the dog to which you are giving a joint supplement to. Though a large dog may benefit from a maximum strength dose of 1000mg Glucosamine, a Toy breed dog may find that too much. Always slowly introduce new supplements into your dog’s diet by halving the suggested dose for your dog’s weight. All supplements have a suggested dose on their packaging – never exceed it.

Always check with a veterinarian before giving any supplements of any kind to your dog. They’ll be able to tell you whether your dog will benefit from the supplement and whether or not it’s safe for your dog to take.

Your dog is less likely to overdose on the Glucosamine or Chrondroitin in joint supplements than they are to overdose on the other ingredients. Watch out for excessive levels of zinc, and Vitamin D, which can be more harmful if an overdose occurs.

Dog Joint Supplements Conclusion

Man's hand giving cute small black and white dog medicine, pills for arthritis.

Canine joint problems are a great concern for many dog owners as it affects their pet’s level of comfort and mobility and significantly impair their ability to bond and socialize with their masters and other dogs. Giving them the right joint supplement should help prevent the rapid deterioration of their articular health while promoting optimum mobility and overall quality of canine life.


  1. Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, Dietary Supplements for Pets, Clinical Nutrition Service

Frequently Asked Questions

Dogs genetically predisposed to developing joint issues will almost always benefit from joint supplements. Your dog would also benefit from joint supplements if they have been injured in the past and now struggle with inflammation from that injury. Your vet may also recommend putting your dog on a joint supplement, but many of the supplements provided by veterinarian practices can be quite pricey.

When trying your dog on a new joint supplement, don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t start working immediately or show results in a few days. Most supplements need time to start working in a dog’s body, so you can expect improvements in your dog’s joints anywhere from two to six weeks after the first dose.


As long as your dog is benefitting from the joint supplement they’re taking and isn’t having any adverse reactions to the ingredients, you should be able to keep your dog on that joint supplement for as long as you want to. There’s no harm in your dog taking helpful supplements, provided they aren’t overdosing on them or taking one with potentially toxic ingredients.

The side effects of Glucosamine toxicity or overdosing on Glucosamine include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stool
  • Nose Bleeds
  • Lameness
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting

These may also occur in dogs that are sensitive to ingredients in the Glucosamine supplement, including sensitivity to Glucosamine itself.

This fully depends on your dog’s weight, but it’s roughly 15 to 30mg per kilogram of body weight. For example, a 30lb dog should have a minimum of 200mg and a maximum of 400mg. You might need to play around with the amounts to find the best level for your pet, but it’s best to follow the product packaging advice.

Once you’ve started being taken by your dog, joint supplements should be given to your dog every day. Any joint supplement worth buying for your pup will tell you exactly how much and how often to give your dog the product. Typically, this will be something like 1 to 2 chewable supplements per day, depending on your dog’s weight. This obviously varies for liquid and powder supplements.

Not at all! MSM is an extremely safe ingredient for your dog to have in their supplements. Interestingly, it has the same toxicity level as standard tap water, and even humans would need to consume a solid 3 pounds of straight MSM to see any side effects.

Veterinarians often recommend Cosequin for senior dogs because it can provide great health support in a dog’s later life. Unlike standard joint supplements, a dog doesn’t need to be on Cosequin for a long time. The recommended period for taking this supplement is four to six weeks in the first instance and never any longer unless your dog’s vet gives you the go-ahead.

Both of these products are joint supplements for dogs made by Nutramax Labs. While Dasuquin contains ASU, Cosequin does not, which is the only major difference between the two. ASU is a unique ingredient added to Dasuquin because it helps reduce cartilage by reducing inflammation and preventing cartilage degeneration. ASU standards for “Avocado and Soybean Unsaponifiable”. It’s an extra that is created from avocado and soybean oil.

  1. Esther Diaz
    Jan 30, 2017

    I’m not really into dog before, not that I hate them it’s just my mother and father was not really into it maybe that’s why I never thought of it when I was young. But ever since my boyfriend had one even at my workplace we have a cute dog. I’m starting to think about getting one. I prefer the big ones haha!. Knowing the right supplements for them is a big help, thank you for sharing this informative article. Now I have more idea about different kinds of supplements to buy for soon to be a dog owner. 🙂 Keep it up!

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