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Best Dog Food for Arthritis In 2022: For Better Joint Health

Best Dog Food For Arthritis

Similar to us, humans, arthritis and hip dysplasia, as well as many other debilitating medical conditions, can be painful for dogs.

These ailments compromise their joint and bone health, mobility, level of comfort, and ultimately their quality of life. But as their pet parents, you can help manage your dog’s symptoms starting with your choice of the best dog food for arthritis.

This is a reality that dogs and pet owners should face together. While these health problems that cause joint and mobility issues are not exclusive to certain breeds – dogs that are older, overweight, or larger in size are more at risk of developing these conditions. Nonetheless, younger and smaller dogs can also suffer from these problems.

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What is Canine Arthritis?

In simple terms, canine arthritis is the inflammation of the joints that can cause pain, discomfort, and hardness.

Just like with us, humans, joints have the same functions in canines. Joints serve as the meeting points of bones and also serve as hinges that allow movement. Bones contain blood vessels and nerves and are made entirely of hard minerals.

Bone surfaces are highly sensitive and they are covered by a substance called cartilage, and connect with another bone. The human body contains several types of joints that mostly involve cartilage.

Cartilage is an “insulator” that helps protect bones from being struck as their surfaces rub each other. It is a living material that is composed of cells whose function is to provide lubrication and cushioning to joints.

For different reasons, over time, cartilage can become damaged, which can lead to inflammation and painful bone-on-bone contact that happens with every movement.

OUR TOP 3 PICKS FOR BEST DOG FOOD FOR ARTHRITIS

Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 2
  • Packed with protein
  • Crafted using carefully chosen ingredients
  • Fortified with omega fatty acids
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Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 4
  • Created by canine nutritionist
  • Made from fresh, natural ingredients
  • 60% off first order
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Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 2
  • A grain-free recipe
  • Poultry-free kibble
  • Made with real beef and sweet potato
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Causes of Arthritis in Dogs

The reasons dogs can suffer from arthritis are numerous. The aging of the dog will have measurable impacts on his joints and condition.

Over time, the cartilage is affected, and when it occurs, it won't function properly, causing inflammation and pain in contact with bones. Trauma and inflammatory conditions can affect joints and cartilage.

Canine osteoarthritis has been shown to be one of the most common causes of pain and discomfort in dogs regardless of their age and breed. However, arthritis is more common in senior dogs, which is also why it is also called “old age disease.”

Other causes and/or risk factors of canine arthritis include increased body weight and excessive exercise, dog breeds and sizes, stress, infections, diet or poor nutrition, hereditary, congenital abnormalities, and injuries.

Common Arthritis Symptoms in Dogs

A common sign of joint illness is stiffness or limping, favoring a leg, or shifting one’s weight from one leg to the other. Canines suffering from arthritis may also be having difficulty getting up and down after sleeping or resting.

Adult dogs with arthritis might walk without completely bending their joints until the stiffness is resolved. Arthritic dogs also resist jumping, climbing stairs, which suggests the presence of pain from doing things that they can normally do before.

Best Dog Food for Arthritis

IMAGE PRODUCT  
Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 7
Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  • Created by canine nutritionist
  • Made from fresh, natural ingredients
  • 60% off first order
60% Off First Order
Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 8
Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Formula
  • Real lamb as the #1 ingredient
  • Made without corn, wheat, artificial flavors or colors
  • Includes species-specific K9 strain proprietary probiotics
Check Price on Chewy
Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 9
Hill's Prescription Diet j/d Joint Care
  • Improves your dog's mobility
  • Excellent source of the Omega 3 fatty acid, EPA
  • Enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate
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Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 10
Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM
  • Great-tasting
  • Features a high protein-to-calorie ratio
  • Specially formulated for joint and cartilage health
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Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 11
Wellness CORE Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal & Chicken Meal Recipe
  • Packed with protein
  • Crafted using carefully chosen ingredients
  • Fortified with omega fatty acids, antioxidants & glucosamine
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Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 12
Royal Canin Maxi Aging Care Senior
  • With EPA, DHA and antioxidants
  • Helps support healthy bones and joints
  • For dogs over 8 years between 56 & 99 pounds
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Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 13
Hill's Science Diet Healthy Mobility Small Bites
  • A small kibble food
  • Support hip and joint health from day 1
  • Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin
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Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 14
Orijen Senior
  • First 5 ingredients are always fresh or raw
  • Crafted with 85% premium animal ingredients
  • Freeze-dried coated for a burst of raw flavor
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Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 15
Merrick Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe
  • A grain-free recipe
  • Poultry-free kibble
  • Made with real beef and sweet potato
Check Price on ChewyCheck Price on Amazon
  1. Ollie Fresh Pet Food
  2. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Formula
  3. Hill's Prescription Diet j/d Joint Care
  4. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM
  5. Wellness CORE Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal & Chicken Meal Recipe
  6. Royal Canin Maxi Aging Care Senior
  7. Hill's Science Diet Healthy Mobility Small Bites
  8. Orijen Senior
  9. Merrick Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe
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1. Ollie Fresh Dog Food

Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 16

Ollie is a fresh dog food delivery service that provides pre-portioned fresh food tailored to your dog’s nutritional requirements, activity level, allergies, and special needs.

Ollie’s custom meal plans are delivered straight to your doorstep, and the package also comes with a welcome guide book, as well as a reusable dog food container and scoop.

They currently have four vet-prepared recipes that feature either beef, chicken, turkey, or lamb as the first ingredient, followed by organ meat. Obviously, turkey and lamb are ideal options for pups with allergies and sensitivities to chicken or beef.

Having whole meats for the first two ingredients of all the recipes, your dog is guaranteed to enjoy 35% to 44% of protein content that is important in supporting lean body condition and muscles.

What’s more, the recipes are also packed with antioxidant-rich superfoods like blueberries and cranberries that help reduce inflammation and soothe your dog’s arthritic pain.

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Additionally, the recipes also contain cod liver oil and chia seeds. These vital ingredients are important sources of omega fatty acids, which are not just helpful in supporting joint health, but also in promoting your dog’s healthy skin and coat, and maintaining a strong immune system.   

And have we mentioned that all the recipes are free from fillers like corn, wheat, and soy, artificial flavors, preservatives, or by-products? All their vet-crafted meal plans are also minimally-processed, and only feature human-grade ingredients that you can even eat with your pup in case you want to try.

2. Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Formula

Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 17

Diamond Pet Food, the maker of Diamond Naturals, was established in 1970 and prides itself as a family-owned company that makes great quality food for dogs that's easily accessible. They are especially known for using real pasture-raised lamb, which is also the number one ingredient in this recipe.

This large or giant breed dog recipe also contains real fruits and vegetables like kale, blueberries, coconut, and peas. And this nutritious recipe provides your canine friend with probiotic and antioxidant ingredients on all blends, helping him with his stomach sensitivities.

The formula also adds DHA for excellent eye and brain development. And it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, omega 3 fatty acids, and glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, which are vital for long term joint health and helpful in supporting your dog's mobility.

Diamond Naturals products are also available at many major retailers including Tractor Supply as well as independent feed stores in case you needed some or you just ran out of supplies.

3. Hill's Prescription Diet j/d Joint Care

Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 18

The company that started the commercial diet therapy is now offering dietary prescription products via your veterinarian.

You may also find them on Amazon or any large pet retailer's website. Simply provide your vet's authorization at checkout or at the counter.

This product contains nutrient-rich fatty acids, antioxidants, and natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin. This recipe can be used as the only adjunct to therapy for dogs suffering from mild to severe arthritis.

Owners could notice improvements in mobility within a few weeks or as little as 21 days.

4. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM

Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 19

Help your pup to stay strong and active with Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Joint Mobility formula. This canine formula is another prescription diet that you can try with your dog who is experiencing hip and joint issues, especially because of arthritis.

This great-tasting high-protein canine diet is specially formulated to support a dog’s joints and cartilage. Each nutrient-packed kibble is loaded with vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and glucosamine that help reduce inflammation and promote joint and cartilage health.

This dry dog food is paw-fect for all dog breeds and sizes, as well as life stages. And it also features a high protein-to-calorie ratio to help support lean body condition and muscle mass that can help prevent further mobility issues.

5. Wellness CORE Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal & Chicken Meal Recipe

Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 20

Keep your feisty buddy living his best life with Wellness CORE Original Grain-Free Diet.

This complete and balanced dry dog food features deboned chicken as its first ingredient, followed by turkey meal and chicken meal, which are the recipe’s sources of Glucosamine and Chondroitin, respectively.

This great-tasting kibble is specially formulated to be rich in protein to promote leaner body mass and muscle tone, whilst supporting your dog’s overall health.

It is also packed with carefully selected premium ingredients – not only limited to turkey, chicken, and salmon fish oil – but also real fruits and vegetables enriched with vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, probiotics, and antioxidants.

Made in the USA using only the finest ingredients, this grain-free dog food is also free from gluten, corn, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives, colors, or preservatives.

Its optimal blend of nutrients from natural sources is sure to support your dog’s joint health while keeping his overall wellness in prime condition.

6. Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Large Aging 8+ 

Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 21

Royal Canin is well-known worldwide as a premium pet food manufacturer. And one of their strong edge over their competitors is their comprehensive list of dog foods that meet the needs of canines of all sizes, ages, and dogs with certain medical conditions, including arthritis.

Royal Canine Maxi Senior Dog Food offers precise nutrition for large dogs aged 8 years and above. The recipe features an exclusive blend of antioxidants to promote your dog’s strength and vitality throughout his lifetime.

It also contains essential nutrients like EPA, DHA, glucosamine, and chondroitin that help prevent inflammation of the joints, promote healthy hips, and support dog joint health as years pass by.

What’s more, this formula features easy-to-chew savory and rehydratable kibbles ideal for a senior dog’s jaws. And it also contains easily-digestible proteins and a balanced supply of fiber to facilitate healthy intestinal transit and promote digestive health.

7. Hill's Science Diet Healthy Mobility Small Bites

Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 22

While larger breed dogs are more prone to developing arthritis over time as their weight adds pressure on their joints, it’s still a reality that smaller dogs can also experience joint and mobility issues.

Good thing that this particular product from Hill’s offers small breeds with bite-size kibbles ideal for their cute jaws.

More importantly, this dry dog food formula is packed with glucosamine and chondroitin from natural sources to help support your pup’s hips and joint health, and improve mobility within 30 days.

It also contains a balanced set of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids to promote strong bones in smaller breed dogs.

8. Orijen Senior

Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 23

Orijen Senior Grain-Free Dog Food features not just one but five raw or fresh proteins for its primary ingredients. This ensures that each bite of this tasty kibble is loaded with premium animal protein, and enriched with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids that help promote your senior dog’s joint health, mobility, and overall health.

This flavorful kibble is specially crafted to support healthy weight and lean muscle mass in senior dogs, which are both important not just in keeping their heart and other organs healthy, but also in maintaining their bone and joint health in tip-top shape despite the challenges of an aging body.  

9. Merrick Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato Recipe

Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 24

Treat your dog to a hearty grain-free meal each day with Merrick Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potatoes Recipe. This dry dog food formula always features deboned beef as the first ingredient, and it is guaranteed poultry-free, which makes it an ideal diet for dogs with food sensitivities.

This natural dog food is loaded with 65% proteins (60% of which comes from animal sources), and healthy fats – a combination that is well-crafted to support healthy weight and muscle tissues while keeping your dog’s energy level high.  

This grain-free dog food is formulated using leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin to maintain healthy hips and joints for active canines. And it also features leading levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that help promote healthy skin and coat.

What’s more, this recipe is gluten-free, and it is also devoid of corn, wheat, soy, and artificial preservatives. With every bite, you are guaranteed that your dog is enjoying nothing but superior nutrition that comes with great taste and high value for your money.  

Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 25

How to Choose the Best Dog Food for Arthritis and Joint Support?

Before giving your dog food to support their mobility, you have to talk to an orthopedic doctor or a veterinary nutritionist. They can determine the most appropriate dog food and the best brands for your pup. And they will likely be able to determine if your dog breed really needs an arthritis diet or not.

This is important because general veterinary practitioners are often less nutrition-oriented. Some veterinarians also get a few bucks when they suggest a brand of dog food. So, never fear to ask your vet a lot of questions. And it also helps to do your own research, and ask your fellow dog owners.

Generally, dietary habits can help treat your dog's arthritis and reduce joint pain. Sadly, choosing a good dog food formula can be challenging. Experts don’t really agree regarding the nutritional requirements that are appropriate for dogs as there are different dog breeds and sizes.

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Also, compared with human foods, there are lesser regulations that ensure the quality of ingredients used in pet foods and how these commercial dog food formulas are labeled. However, despite the inconsistencies and challenges, there are general guidelines that can help you choose your dog’s diet to support joint health and improve mobility.

First, it’s best to seek veterinary guidance so your dog can get a proper diagnosis. Large breeds, such as German Shepherds, Mastiffs, and Great Dane are all prone to developing arthritis. So, it’s important to pay extra attention to their joints starting when they are puppies.

Moreover, puppies, regardless of breed, have different nutritional requirements than adult dogs, and senior dogs. Hence, it also helps to choose a dog food that is appropriate for your dog’s life stage.

Additionally, part of the criteria in picking a good dog food option include:

  • It should contain essential fatty acids, such as omega-3s/EPA/DHA.
  • It should contain glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
  • Depending on a dog’s activity level and other factors, the protein content in the dog food should make up at least 18% to 30% of the pet food’s weight. Also, it’s best to find a dog where meat is the number one ingredient.
  • Depending on your dog’s weight, age, and activity level, the fat content in his food should also be between 5% to 20% of the dog food’s weight.
  • The fiber content should be between 3-4% of the dog food. Senior dogs may need slightly higher fiber content.
  • It should contain antioxidants.
  • You can also go for grain free dog food, especially if your dog is more prone to having a degenerative joint disease.  
Homemade Dog Food Recipe for Arthritic Dogs

Key Ingredients to Look for in Dog Food for Joint Mobility

A lean, healthy diet can help reduce arthritis symptoms in dogs. However, it's common for dogs not to have enough nutritious foods that can help prevent joint damage. Hence, specialty food products were developed to address joint issues, as well as joint movement, and help relieve inflammation and stiffness.

When looking for dog food for arthritis, look for one that contains the following beneficial components:

Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids can help with the joint problems of your dogs. Joint supplements containing fish fatty acids are rich in nutrients that support healthy cartilage and connective tissue and reduce the effects of joint arthritis and hip dysplasia. Omega-3 fatty acids are important and must be taken from your dog's diet as their bodies can produce them from scratch.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Glucosamine helps in the repair and maintenance of damaged bone. It accomplishes this by acting as an anchor of the proteoglycans, the glycosylated proteins that attract and retain water and help in collagen and cartilage production for healthy skin.

Chondroitin is a cartilage structure; so, chondroitin could relieve joint pain. Just like with Glucosamine, animals are the natural sources of Chondroitin, with the highest level coming from cows and pigs.

Together, glucosamine and chondroitin act as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that relieves joint pain and discomfort in dogs.

You can search for green-lipped mussels in the ingredients of your dog’s kibbles or wet food, as these are rich in glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and omega-3 fatty acids.

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Amino Acids

Amino acid is found within proteins and is the main building block of life. That is why it's important that your pets have good sources of high quality protein. Amino acids can help develop muscles, maintain healthy cartilage, healthy joints, and strengthen bones.

Rice, Barley or Grain-Free

Corn, rice, and soy may cause and even exacerbate inflammation, and there's also the issue that they are heavily sprayed by herbicides and pesticides. While rice or barley isn't 100% organic, they're a healthier choice for dogs.

Most dog food recipes using rice or barley are less concerned with reducing the price. Price differences may be minimal, however, the difference in the wellbeing of a dog may be significant.

Many pet owners opt not to feed their dogs grains to prevent the possibility of these ingredients affecting their dogs in the long run. Also, some dogs are allergic to grains; so, grain-free dog food is an ideal option.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants are important to your dog’s diet as they don’t only improve their overall health, but also reduce their joint pain by controlling inflammation. Some of the powerful antioxidants that dogs can eat include blueberries and cranberries.

Best Dog Food for Arthritis In [year]: For Better Joint Health 26

How to Prevent and Treat Arthritis in Dogs

Diet and exercise are key elements of a healthy body and mind. Food therapy has been proven to have an importance in helping treat or prevent osteoarthritis in dogs, provided that arthritic dog food formulations are used.

Keeping your dog healthy can lower his risks for arthritis or other joint problems, so veterinarians often suggest dietary modifications for your dog to reduce these problems.

Although some nutrients have been shown to promote mobility and joint health, studies show there are ways that you can help keep your dog healthy. Several studies have revealed that dog body weight can be associated largely with canine hip dysplasia.

Hence, it's important that your dog maintains a healthy body weight to avoid mobility issues in the future. Apparently, pets gain weight by over-feeding and lack of exercise. And once it happens, the extra weight can add pressure on his bones, thereby increasing his chances of developing arthritis and other ailments.

In addition to a healthy and appropriate diet for your arthritic dog, it’s also best to consult with your veterinarian to discuss with him your pup’s mobility issues and other concerns.

It is crucial to get in contact with your dog's veterinarian to discuss his mobility issues. Your vet can recommend a variety of foods that help relieve arthritis and joint pain, the inclusion of routine exercise, preventative measures, and so on.

Many dogs require multiple treatments to relieve their discomfort and mobility. While scientific methods are normally recommended, consulting a holistic veterinarian is also a great option for your arthritic pet.

Final Thoughts

Giving your dog joint-health-friendly kibbles is just one part of your pup’s overall joint care routine. Nonetheless, before giving any special diets to your dog, it’s best to consult your local veterinarian for proper assessment and diagnosis. You’d want to be sure that any new food that you add to your dog’s diet is going to be good and safe for him.

Additionally, as a loving pet parent, it’s also important to commit to regular checkups and to switch dog foods properly.

Commit to Regular Checkups

All breed dogs suffering from hip injuries can certainly benefit from a regular check-up by their vets. It is advisable to have a healthy dog checked at least once a year. However, if you notice your dog limping or having trouble getting up or down, then, it's best to consult veterinary guidance as soon as possible.

Switch Dog Foods Safely

Whether you are transitioning your pup to a grain-free, prescription, or senior dog diet, the general rule is the same and that's to complete the switch within a week.

It's important for your pup’s health that he is accustomed to the ingredients that are present in this new dog food. This allows your pup to have a safe and easy transition without experiencing stomach pain or causing mess around the house.

If your dog doesn't adapt well to the new food, you can try another brand, or before doing so, you can also ask for your vet's expert advice to make sure that there is no underlying problem.

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