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10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health

Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs

When you look into your dog’s adorable face, you probably see him as the young, energetic dog you brought home from the shelter or as the cute and cuddly puppy you brought home. You will always see the best in your dog but, unfortunately, time is not always kind.

Just like you, your dog cannot escape the effects of time and age can wreak havoc on your dog’s body. Most dogs develop some degree of bone or joint degeneration as they get older, simply from everyday wear and tear.

For some dogs, however, bone and joint problems go much deeper and may require pharmaceutical or even surgical treatment.

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In this article, we’ll explore the subject of hip and joint health for dogs in greater depth. We’ll cover the most common hip and joint problems seen in dogs as well as their treatment options.

You’ll also learn what to look for in a dog food for hip and joint health and see our top picks for the best dog foods for arthritic dogs.

OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR DOG FOODS FOR ARTHRITIC DOGS

10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 2
  • An all-rounder formula
  • Rich in natural fiber content
  • Delivers precise blend of essential nutrients
VIEW LATEST PRICE →See Customer Reviews →
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 4
  • Carefully crafted by experts
  • Ideal for dogs with bone and joint issues
  • Impeccable flavor and quality
VIEW LATEST PRICE →See Customer Reviews →
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 2
  • With fresh, tasty turkey
  • Crafted from organic, natural ingredients
  • Fortified with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants
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The 10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs

The best dog food for joints and bones will feature a premium source of animal protein as the first ingredient, providing a bare minimum of 18% crude protein but ideally somewhere between 22% and 25%.

Your dog’s food should also contain digestible carbohydrates like whole grains with no fillers or artificial additives. You should also look for joint-supporting supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

Here’s our top pick for the best dog food for hips and joints:

IMAGE PRODUCT  
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 7
Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
  • Carefully crafted by experts
  • Ideal for dogs with bone and joint issues
  • Impeccable flavor and quality
Check Price Here!
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 8
American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  • An all-rounder formula
  • Rich in natural fiber content
  • Delivers precise blend of essential nutrients
CHECK PRICE ON CHEWY
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 9
Hill’s Prescription Diet Joint Care
  • Specifically made for joint care
  • High doses of chondroitin and glucosamine
  • With added L-carnitine to keep them in shape
CHECK PRICE ON CHEWYCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 10
Blue Buffalo Basics LID Formula Turkey & Potato Recipe
  • Fortified with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants
  • Crafted from organic, natural ingredients
  • A limited ingredient, grain free formula
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10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 11
AvoDerm Advanced Joint Health Chicken Meal Formula
  • Avocado is the key ingredients
  • Specifically made to support joint care
  • Formulated to promote excellent skin and coat health
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10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 12
Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Pacific Catch Recipe
  • 100% free of grains
  • Easy to digest formula
  • Made from salmon, whitefish and trout
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10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 13
VICTOR Performance Formula
  • Features a whopping 81% meat protein
  • Natural sources of chondroitin and glucosamine
  • Chock-full of vitamins and minerals
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10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 14
Now Fresh Large Breed Adult Recipe
  • Contains 20 natural superfoods
  • Protein-packed with deboned turkey
  • Provides optimal nutrient absoption
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10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 15
Stella & Chewy's Wild Red Chicken & Lamb Stew
  • Offers a whole-prey approach to diet
  • Low-carb, high meat formulation
  • Pumpkin provides the necessary fiber
CHECK PRICE ON CHEWYCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 16
Wellness Complete Health Senior Deboned Chicken & Barley Recipe
  • Supports numerous aspects of a dog's health
  • Has concentrated source of supplemental proteins
  • With easily digestible grains
CHECK PRICE ON CHEWYCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

What is the Best Dog Food for Hip & Joint Health?

  1. Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food
  2. American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
  3. Hill’s Prescription Diet Joint Care
  4. Blue Buffalo Basics LID Formula Turkey & Potato Recipe
  5. AvoDerm Advanced Joint Health Chicken Meal Formula
  6. Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Pacific Catch Recipe
  7. VICTOR Performance Formula
  8. Now Fresh Large Breed Adult Recipe
  9. Stella & Chewy's Wild Red Chicken & Lamb Stew
  10. Wellness Complete Health Senior Deboned Chicken & Barley Recipe
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1. Nom Nom Fresh Pet Food Delivery Beef Mash

Rating: 5/5

First 5 ingredients: Ground Beef, Russet Potatoes, Eggs, Carrots, Peas

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 17
Every meal is cooked on low heat, to preserve nutrients in an approved kitchen that even pass human standards. It is shipped to you fresh and will arrive at your door frozen.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 8%
Crude Fat 4%
Crude Fiber 1%

Whether your dog is getting up in years or simply struggling with some bone and joint issues, it pays to feed him the highest quality dog food you can afford. Many pet nutrition experts agree that fresh pet food is best and Nom Nom has your back!

Nom Nom is a fresh pet food delivery service that customizes one of their four recipes to your dog’s individual needs for protein, fat, and calories. Every recipe is made with premium-quality ingredients to maximize bio-availability and to ensure the quality of every bite.

Simply sign up on the website and choose your delivery plan then have fresh, premium-quality dog food delivered right to your door as often as you like.

We like how each meal is tailored and prepacked for your dog’s exact needs so there’s no more guesswork on the quantity or volume of food your pet needs each mealtime to achieve a healthy body weight. This is especially important for canines who are on a weight management diet.

And since the fresh food is customized, it is suitable for pups of all life stages and dog breed. Allergies and food sensitivities are also much easier to keep track of since you know precisely what goes into your pup’s food.

Pros:

  • Premium-quality ingredients in every recipe
  • Customized to your dog’s individual needs
  • Delivered automatically on your schedule
  • Prepared fresh from high-quality ingredients

Cons:

  • Significantly more expensive than average kibble

2. American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Rating: 4/5

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Rice Bran

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 18
Full of natural dietary fiber from sources like flaxseed, carrots, blueberries, oatmeal, brown rice and barley. Deboned chicken is the first ingredient, helping your dog maintain lean muscle mass.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 24%
Crude Fat 13%
Crude Fiber 6%

On top of being designed for affordability, the American Journey brand is very high in quality. We recommend this American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Protein First Formula for your dog’s joint health for many reasons.

This large and giant breed dog food recipe starts off strong with chicken (fresh and meal). These ingredients support your dog’s need for premium protein and also act as natural sources for joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.

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There are digestible whole grains like brown rice and barley, which also provide plenty of fiber for healthy digestion. You’ll find rich sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids such as chicken fat and fish oil as well to support your dog’s healthy skin and coat. Overall, this recipe provides 25% protein and 15% fat with 365 calories per cup.

It’s full of natural foods and no artificial ingredients. And since there is only a single animal protein source, pups who might be sensitive to meats other than chicken will definitely be able to keep their sensitivities in check.

Pros:

  • Highly affordable recipe
  • Real chicken main ingredient
  • Digestible whole grain carbohydrates
  • Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Chelated minerals

Cons: 

  • Contains some plant protein (pea protein)

3. Hill’s Prescription Diet Joint Care

Rating: 4/5

First 5 ingredients: Whole Grain Wheat, Whole Grain Corn, Flaxseed, Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 19
Enriched with chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine plus it contains controlled calories and added L-carnitine to keep extra pounds away.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 17%
Crude Fat 11%
Crude Fiber 12%

There are so many dog foods out there that it can be tough to make a choice. When you’re not sure what to do, a prescription food courtesy of your vet is best. Hill’s Prescription Diet comes from the same manufacturer of Hill’s Science Diet, which is known for its extremely functional and purposeful range of pet foods.

This particular dry dog food recipe is focused on improving a dog’s joint health and mobility by combining a carefully selected blend of nutrients, like omega 3 to nourish cartilages; L-carnitine for weight management; and glucosamine and chondroitin for alleviating pain and supporting joint health. 

The therapeutic food is clinically proven to improve a dog’s ability to run, walk, and jump in as little as 21 days, turning back time and helping canines become the highly active dogs they once were. Since weight is one critical factor in joint pains, this food helps keep the calories down to bring your dog’s weight to a more manageable level.

Pros:

  • Dogs have their mobility improved in as little as 21 days
  • Enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Controls calories with L-carnitine
  • Plenty of omega-3 fatty acids

Cons: 

  • Contains corn gluten meal and other low-quality grains
  • Protein is a little low

4. Blue Buffalo Basics LID Turkey & Potato Formula

Rating: 4.5/5

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Potatoes, Turkey Meal (source of Glucosamine), Pea Starch, Peas

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 20
This recipe features fresh turkey as the topmost ingredient and it is a novel source of animal protein. It is grain-free to reduce the risk for triggering food allergies and is highly digestible with the use of prebiotic fibers and probiotic supplements.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 20%
Crude Fat 12%
Crude Fiber 6%

If your dog has food allergies or a sensitive stomach, you might need to think twice about his diet. One of the best things you can do is switch to a limited ingredient diet (LID) because it contains fewer ingredients that have the potential to trigger a reaction.

You would also do well to choose for your dog’s diet a grain-free food that contains a single source of animal protein – one your dog hasn’t had before. One such recipe we recommend is this Turkey & Potato Formula for adult dogs by Blue Basics.

This dry dog food recipe features fresh turkey as the first ingredient. It also contains turkey meal which, in addition to being a concentrated source of protein, is also a natural source of glucosamine.

This recipe is grain-free to reduce the risk of triggering food allergies. It’s highly digestible ( prebiotic fibers and probiotic supplements), and it contains the brand’s proprietary LifeSource Bits, a unique and precise blend of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins to support your dog’s life stage needs, oxidative balance, and immune system.

Pros: 

  • Limited number of ingredients
  • Single source of novel animal protein
  • Natural sources of glucosamine
  • Highly digestible
  • Rich in omega fatty acids
  • Probiotic supplements

Cons: 

  • Could be higher in protein
  • May be too high in starch for some dogs

5. Avoderm Joint Health Chicken Meal Formula

Rating: 4/5

First 5 ingredients: Chicken Meal, Peas, Chicken Cartilage (Source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Pea Flour, Garbanzo Beans

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 21
Contains chicken cartilage to increase the level of joint-supporting nutrients for maximum benefit. It also contains plenty of healthy fats from chicken fat, avocado and flaxseed – this combination delivers a rich blend of omegas.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 30%
Crude Fat 12%
Crude Fiber 6%

If you’re looking for a recipe that is uniquely formulated for joint health for small to large breed dogs, this Avoderm Joint Health Formula is worth a try.

This dry dog food recipe features chicken meal as the first ingredient which, in addition to being a concentrated source of animal protein, is also a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin.

This recipe also contains chicken cartilage to boost the level of nutrients that support joint health for maximum benefit. This formula is free from grains, featuring digestible carbohydrates like peas, pea flour, and garbanzo beans.

It also contains plenty of healthy fats from chicken fat, avocado, and flaxseed – this combination delivers a rich blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and support a healthy skin and coat for your pal.

Pros: 

  • Natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Rich in premium animal protein
  • Digestible carbohydrates
  • Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Prebiotics and probiotics for digestion

Cons: 

  • Contains 3 kinds of legumes in the first five ingredients
  • Uses a lot of pea protein

6. Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Pacific Catch Recipe

Rating: 4.5/5

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Salmon, Salmon Meal, Whitefish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 22
This is a grain-free dried dog food which features real deboned salmon as the #1 ingredient. It also contains whitefish and trout for a protein-rich, poultry-free and easy to digest recipe your dog will rave about.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 34%
Crude Fat 16%
Crude Fiber 3.5%

Merrick is another brand that’s known among many pet owners for making quality dog food. Among its top products is its freeze-dried offerings that provide dogs of all life stages with all the nutrition of raw but without the inconvenience.

Perfect for dogs with joint and mobility issues who are also sensitive to poultry or other meat, this grain-free dog food recipe uses fish instead. It starts off with fresh salmon as the main animal protein, but is also supported by whitefish and trout for a much higher protein content.

It takes its fiber from potatoes and sweet potatoes. The fiber here keeps your furry pal’s digestive system functioning properly and helps his body absorb nutrients better. 

There’s a nice ratio of animal protein to carbohydrates, which can help keep your arthritic dog at a healthy weight. And since it is packed with glucosamine and chondroitin, there’s enough supplementation to support joint health. 

Dogs tend to gravitate toward meaty food and the freeze-dried formulation and raw coating of the kibble can attract even the pickiest eaters. 

Pros: 

  • All the benefits of a raw diet without the mess
  • Freeze-dried formulation is attractive to picky eaters
  • Has a very high protein content
  • Poultry-free
  • Enhanced with guaranteed levels of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids

Cons: 

  • A little pricey
  • Has plenty of crushed freeze-dried kibble particles in each bag

7. VICTOR Performance Formula

Rating: 4/5

First 5 ingredients: Beef Meal, Grain Sorghum, Whole Grain Millet, Chicken Fat, Blood Meal Conventionally Dried

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 23
This recipe has 81% of meat protein that includes chicken, beef and pork meals. Contains supplemental glucosamine and chondroitin as well and is fortified with vitamins and chelated minerals.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 26%
Crude Fat 18%
Crude Fiber 3.8%

Whether your adult dog is highly active or just needs a little extra protein, this Victor Performance Formula is a great option. It features 81% meat protein from premium-quality ingredients like beef, chicken, and pork.

With chicken meal as a main ingredient, this dry dog food recipe contains natural sources of chondroitin and glucosamine to support your dog’s bones and joints. This recipe is nutrient-dense, featuring digestible whole grains like sorghum and millet with supplemental fiber from dried vegetables.

This recipe contains supplemental chondroitin and glucosamine and is chock full of vitamins and chelated minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. There are also probiotic supplements to ensure regular digestion.

Pros: 

  • Rich in protein and healthy fats
  • Digestible whole-grain carbohydrates
  • Rich blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
  • Probiotics for digestion

Cons: 

  • May be too high in fat for some dogs

8. Now Fresh Grain-Free Large Breed Adult Recipe

Rating: 4/5

First 5 ingredients: De-Boned Turkey, Whole Dried Egg, Potatoes, Peas, Potato Flour

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 24
A mouthwatering grain free formula with main protein source from turkey and supplemental sources from salmon and duck making it a protein-rich formula.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 26%
Crude Fat 18%
Crude Fiber 3.8%

Many large breeds suffer from hip dysplasia and joint issues, and this Now Fresh Large Breed Recipe is a great recipe to support that. It features deboned turkey as the primary ingredient with deboned salmon and duck as supplemental sources of premium animal protein.

It boasts of more than 20 natural superfoods to provide your pup with a nutrient-dense meal that is not dependent on artificial sources.

The presence of New Zealand green mussels provide chondroitin, while L-carnitine helps burn fat and keeps your pup’s weight at a healthy level.

It is also supplemented with vitamins and chelated minerals to ensure balanced nutrition with optimal nutrient absorption. 

Pros: 

  • Fresh turkey as first ingredient
  • Rich in omega fatty acids
  • Contains L-carnitine
  • Over 20 superfoods
  • Prebiotics and probiotics for digestion

Cons: 

  • Very expensive compared to average kibble

9. Stella & Chewy's Wild Red Chicken & Lamb Stew

Rating: 4.5/5

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Beef Broth, Pumpkin, Carrots

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 25
This high in protein food is made from multiple meat sources – shredded chicken and lamb, in a lip-smacking meaty broth.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 7%
Crude Fat 2%
Moisture 85%

One of the best pet food manufacturers of prey-rich formulas, Stella & Chewy’ Wild Red line offers dogs with arthritis and mobility issues with a protein-packed diet and a whole-prey approach. This particular canned food recipe makes use of meat, organs, and cartilage to create a nutrient-dense meal. 

It’s a low-carb, high meat formulation that mimics your dog’s ancestral diet so there’s no fear that your pet will easily put on the pounds. And because it uses up even animal cartilage, there’s a good supply of naturally-occuring chondroitin and glucosamine present.

There are no grains or potatoes. Instead, there is pumpkin to provide the fiber necessary to boost your pet’s digestive and gut health. 

Pros: 

  • Pumpkin for fiber instead of potatoes or grains
  • Uses a whole-prey approach
  • Meat-rich but low in carbs
  • Low in calories
  • Full hip and joint as well as skin and coat support

Cons: 

  • Stew is soupy

10. Wellness Complete Health Senior Deboned Chicken & Barley Recipe

Rating: 4/5

First 5 ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Ground Barley, Ground Brown Rice

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 26
Crafted specifically for senior dogs. Because it’s made for older pets, the formulation contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support aging joints, taurine to keep the heart healthy and green tea for fighting free radicals.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 22%
Crude Fat 10%
Crude Fiber 4.25%

If your dog’s joint problems are related to his age, this Wellness Complete Health Senior recipe could be the right dog food for him.

This recipe is formulated to support numerous aspects of your dog’s health including his bones and joints, his digestive health, his skin and coat health, and his immunity. It features fresh deboned chicken as the main ingredient with chicken meal as a concentrated source of supplemental protein and glucosamine.

This formula contains digestible whole grains like oatmeal, barley, and brown rice which work with supplemental fibers to ensure regular digestion. It is rich in healthy fats from chicken fat and flaxseed, providing the optimal balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

The recipe is developed without the use of any GMO ingredient, meat by-product, or artificial preservatives, fillers. What it does have are probiotics, beta carotene, taurine, antioxidants, and all the joint support seniors need.

Pros: 

  • Deboned chicken first ingredient
  • Highly digestible whole-grain carbohydrates
  • Rich in healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Nutritionally complete and balanced
  • Has probiotics

Cons: 

  • May be too high in calories for some dogs
Get 75% off your first order  

Choosing The Best Dog Food For Arthritic Dogs

If you want to know how to help a dog with bone and joint health problems, your veterinarian is the best resource. Your veterinarian will be able to take your dog’s symptoms and perform necessary tests to identify the cause of his pain.

As pet parents, we should never assume that we know what is going on with our dogs when it comes to complex issues like joint pain. You also don’t want to delay treatment because if you don’t act promptly, the underlying issue could get worse.

On top of following your veterinarian’s advice in treating canine arthritis, hip dysplasia in dogs, or other musculoskeletal issues, you may want to switch your dog to a healthy diet with glucosamine and chondroitin.

These are powerful joint-supporting nutrients than can be found in natural sources. The best dog foods are ones with supplements included for bone and joint support. It doesn’t matter what kind you choose, whether canned food or dry dog food. All of these dog foods will still provide for your pup’s basic nutritional needs but will be formulated with key benefits for long term joint health.

If you are into cooking, check out the homemade recipe below, it is especially designed for an arthritic dog.

Homemade Dog Food for Arthritis Recipe 

Here are some things to look for in the foods for joints and bones: 

  • High-quality protein. Protein should be the foundation of any proper diet and should come from high-quality animal sources. Look for ingredients that include bone (like chicken meal) because it also contains cartilage as a natural source of glucosamine.
  • No low-quality grains or fillers. Low-quality grains and fillers like spelt, wheat, and soy can make joint inflammation worse and they provide very limited nutritional benefit.
  • Rich in omega fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids do more than just support your dog’s skin and coat, they also help him maintain healthy joints and connective tissues. You can usually find these in ingredients like wild caught fish, fish oil, and plant oil, nuts, and so on. Or they can be added by the brand. 
  • Joint supplements. Any dog food made for joint support will include glucosamine and chondroitin as joint supplements, but it’s better to look for natural sources as well, like green-lipped mussels.
  • Senior formula. If you’re really not sure where to look for a dog food to support your dog’s bone and joint health, consider a senior dog food formula. These are specially formulated to support the health of your aging dog, often with a focus on good joint health.

You can’t protect your dog from the passage of time, and joint issues are more of an eventuality than a possibility. When your dog starts to slow down, it is on you to talk to your veterinarian to diagnose the issue and to find the proper form of treatment.

The Most Common Hip & Joint Problems in Dogs

It is completely normal for your dog to slow down with age, but if your dog’s movement changes suddenly or significantly, it might be a sign of a problem. Dogs can develop bone and joint problems at any stage of life, regardless of dog breed. Some breeds are more prone to these issues, of course, but it can happen to just about any dog at any time.

10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 27

Bone and joint issues can affect any of the bones and joints in your dog’s body, but the hips seem to take the biggest beating. After hip problems, the joints in the shoulders, knees, and elbows are the most frequently affected. Some dogs also develop joint problems in the spine.

The first step in diagnosing your dog’s bone and joint problems is to identify the symptoms and report them to your veterinarian. Here are some of the most common symptoms of joint pain in dogs:

  • Limping or lameness
  • Favoring one leg over the others10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 28
  • Hopping while running
  • Holding one leg off the ground
  • Moving stiffy or slowly
  • Having difficulty laying down or getting up
  • Unwilling to walk or jump
  • Excessively licking the joint area
  • Noticeable swelling
  • Whining or whimpering
  • Changes in behavior such as aggression

You know your dog well, so any of these changes should be immediately recognizable. Even if you don’t know what’s causing your dog’s symptoms, you know him well enough to notice a change.

Always report changes in movement and behavior to your veterinarian because it if is a bone or joint problem, prompt treatment gives your dog the best chance for recovery.

The most common bone and joint problems in dogs include the following:

Hip Dysplasia – This condition is characterized by a malformation in the hip socket. Because the bone doesn’t fit properly into the joint, it can slip out of place and cause pain and inflammation. Changes in behavior, limping, and whimpering are common signs of hip dysplasia in dogs.

Osteoarthritis – Typically seen in senior dogs, osteoarthritis is caused by natural degeneration of once healthy joints due to normal wear and tear. The most commonly affected joints are the elbows, shoulders, knees, back, and hips.

Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD) – Though this condition most commonly affects the shoulder joint, it can affect the hips as well. It is caused when the smooth cartilage on the surface of a joint develops abnormally, creating a separation from the underlying bone that causes issues.

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease – This condition has no known cause but it is characterized by disintegration of the hip along with bone and joint inflammation. It also involves spontaneous degeneration of the head of the femur.

Panosteitis – A common condition, panosteitis is the result of inflammation on the surface of the dog’s long bones. It is sometimes referred to as growing pains.

Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD) – Also caused by rapid growth, hypertrophic osteodystrophy is a self-limiting problem that often resolves itself though, in rare cases, it can cause permanent damage and deformation.

Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs

On top of providing your veterinarian with information about your dog’s symptoms, you should be prepared for additional testing. In most cases, your vet will want an x-ray to check out the condition of your dog’s bones and joints.

Depending where the symptoms are localized, he may x-ray one or both hips or take scans of his entire body. Once your vet has all the information, he can make a diagnosis.

Breeds That Are Highly Prone to Hip & Joint Issues

Though bone and joint problems can affect any dog at any age, some breeds are more highly prone. Large-breed dogs have a higher risk for these issues, as do dogs who have a high BMI. Bone and joint problems are even more likely to occur in large and giant breeds who grow too rapidly as puppies and those who exercise too vigorously at a young age.

Here are some of the breeds most highly prone to bone and joint issues: 

Talk to your veterinarian at the first sign of pain in your dog’s joints or bones. Your vet will be able to perform the necessary tests to diagnose your dog’s specific issue at which point you can start discussing treatment options for hip dysplasia and arthritis pain relief.

Conclusion

When it comes to treating a dog for bone and joint issues, there are several options. In some cases, pain management is all that is needed, and it can help improve the dog’s mobility and quality of life. Some dogs may need a little extra help from corticosteroids to reduce inflammation in addition to relieving pain.

It also helps if you can keep your dog’s weight at a more manageable level. Excess weight puts extra stress on the affected parts of your dog’s body and may damage the cartilage of the joints. A low-calorie diet may be advised by your vet to keep your pupper at a healthy weight for his size.

For other dogs, more in-depth treatment is needed. Supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin can be beneficial and there are injections your vet can administer to help lubricate the joints. Some pets even find that Chinese acupuncture helps.

In addition to treating your dog’s underlying condition, you may also want to switch to a dog food with glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. Take what you’ve learned here to start shopping around or simply choose one of our top picks above. Best of luck to you and your dog!

10 Best Dog Foods for Arthritic Dogs: For Healthier Hip & Joint Health 30

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