So your veterinarian has suggested that your dog has joint problems and possibly arthritis, and needs to start taking some medication for it. He’s suggested giving joint supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin, and you cringe at the idea of having to go through all that hassles of finding a good supplement, and then there’s the trouble of administering it to your dog. Well, there’s good news for you as there are quite a few dog food companies that include these ingredients to their dog food. Giving your dog these dog foods saves your time and effort as you know your dog gets some glucosamine and chondroitin from their food without you having to tussle with your dog while trying to give him his supplements.
Besides, giving dog food containing glucosamine and chondroitin means that you don’t have to count tablets or measure powders to give your dog their supplement every day. Most dog foods provide your dog with as much glucosamine and chondroitin as they require for optimal joint health. These foods are especially beneficial if you have an old and grumpy dog because the food helps them enjoy life once again after eating this food. Old dogs have a higher tendency of suffering from arthritis, especially if they are obese as it places pressure on the joints. These pressure on the joints, in turn, degenerate cartilages to lead to pain, inflammation and reduced mobility.
How glucosamine and chondroitin helps your dog
Chondroitin and glucosamine can help improve your dog’s joint health if used together or separately.
Glucosamine is naturally produced in your dog’s bone cartilage. Its main function is to help lubricate your dog’s joints and absorb shock. It is the cartilage that prevents any possible rubbing of joint bones which can inflict pain and lead to damaged bones because of the two bones meeting at the joint. The glucosamine that is found in dog foods and other supplements is either chemically synthesized or derived from shellfish hard shells.
Chondroitin is naturally manufactured in the cartilage of animals, and is necessary for the joint’s hydration and optimal health. It also prevents joint enzymes from destroying and degrading cartilage. Chondroitin used in these supplements and dog food is sourced from the cartilage of cows or chicken, or at times even from the cartilage of a whale or shark. The source of the chondroitin doesn’t really affect its effects much. However, it’s only the ecologically concerned who care and worry about it’s origin. Now you know why your dog needs glucosamine and chondroitin for joint pain relief, it’s time to find out more about the dog food options you have for your dog. There are lots of brands out there producing foods with not only glucosamine and chondroitin but also necessary proteins, fats and other active ingredients like MSM and hyaluronic acid.
So you will find this buying guide, which includes reviews of the top 5 dog food brands containing glucosamine and chondroitin both helpful and valuable at helping you make your choice.
What to look for in dog food with glucosamine and chondroitin
You get what you pay for, and this applies to your dog food too. While dog food is available at various rates, it’s not always necessary that the cheapest option available is poor in quality. And it’s not always that the most expensive option is the best for your dog. You need to buy your dog food with glucosamine and chondroitin wisely by checking these variables, which includes making sure the food, is within your budget. Dog food is not a one-time purchase, so if it agrees with your dog, you should be able to afford to feed him the same food for a long time to come.
Glucosamine and chondroitin
This is obviously the most essential ingredient you should look for in the dog food as you are looking for food that will help improve your dog’s joint pain and stiffness. Obviously, the higher is the concentration; the better it is for your dog. Make sure it contains sufficient glucosamine and chondroitin for your dog. The dog food’s label lists out the components, and your veterinarian will be able to assess how much of these supplements your dog requires every day. Divide the required everyday dosage into three meals, as you will be typically feeding your dog at least thrice a day. Make sure that your dog gets enough, and not too little or too much of both supplements through his three meals of a day.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 works well with glucosamine and chondroitin at promoting healthy cartilage and joints. And it usually comes from fish oil and is a welcome ingredient in your dog’s supplemental dog food.
This is the most impotent ingredient the dog food should contain unless you are looking for something vegetarian. It’s not enough if his food contains glucosamine and chondroitin. It should also contain the required proteins for healthy muscle growth and maintenance.
Look for something with real meat as the main ingredient as it’s the main source of protein for your dog, and not the fillers and meat by-products listed on cheap dog food labels. Meat is an animal’s skeletal muscle, heart, oesophagus, diaphragm and oesophagus tissue while meat by-products are non-rendered parts of an animal like lungs, blood bone, brain and kidneys.
While meat should be the main ingredient, it shouldn’t be a grain, vegetable or tuber. Many manufacturers add corn because it’s cheap but it has very low protein content and nutritionally poor. With dogs being omnivores, it’s only in extreme conditions like a bad allergy should they be fed a vegetarian diet. Don’t change the food you give your dog if you think they have an allergy without consulting your veterinarian.
Easily digested dog food is better for your dog if they have a sensitive digestive system. So look for something with more fibre and probiotics as they help regulate the digestive system by making the food much easier to digest.
This is an important nutrient that helps develop strong and lean muscles needed for healthy joint health and maintenance.
Calcium not only helps build strong bones but also strengthens your dog’s teeth.
Many people tend to overlook this important feature. Kibble size is important because large breed dogs prefer larger kibbles. Bigger kibbles are not only easier for them to eat and also helps reduce the accumulation of tartar on the teeth. Consequently, small breed dogs are better fed dog food containing glucosamine and chondroitin in the form of small kibbles. No point spending money on the best dog foods if your dog eventually can’t, or doesn’t enjoy eating his food.
Artificial colours and preservatives
It’s always better to avoid dog food containing artificial flavours, preservatives and colours. They do more harm than good to your dog’s health.
Dog’s age and reproductive status
You have to choose your dog food based on your dog’s age and overall health as puppies and lactating mothers need more calories while senior dogs need fewer calories. Even active dogs need high-calorie foods while the lazy ones need fewer calories. There are also some dog food brands with glucosamine and chondroitin which are not suggested for pregnant and nursing dogs, and for puppies. You have to buy your food based on your dog’s energy requirements too. While some brands formulate their foods based on dog breeds, most only differentiate between small and large breeds. The main difference here is the kibble size, so make sure you buy food that your dog can safely and comfortably eat.
Nutritional adequacy statement
The dog food’s nutritional adequacy statement is usually listed with the rest of the food’s nutritional information. It usually states that the food provides complete and balanced nutrition for your dog. Look for the AAFCO statement at the back as its proof of the food’s nutritional value.
Now that you know more about choosing the best dog food with glucosamine and chondroitin for your dog, these reviews of the top dog foods in the market today should help you finalize your choice.
Top 5 reviews of dog food with Glucosamine and Chondroitin
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food is another product of the US-based Blue Buffalo Company and is made of the same proprietary All Blue dry recipe. This dry recipe is a two-part dog food formula made from the finest natural ingredients and enhanced with their proprietary Life Source Bits. These are kibbles which are enhanced with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals which senior dogs especially need to help them maintain their health. It’s one of the best dog foods in the market with real, high-quality meat and delicious fruits, garden vegetables and whole grains. It contains glucosamine for quality joint health and overall mobility, along with Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids that give your dog a shiny coat with balanced, healthy skin.
The kibbles are processed at a lower temperature than other ingredients. This is to help preserve the kibbles’ potency and to prevent any possible degradation of nutrients. This dog food is better for large breed dogs and contains extra L-Carnitine for lean muscles, calcium and chondroitin for healthy bone development and joints. Blue Buffalo Life Protection formula does not contain any chicken by-products, wheat, soy, artificial flavours or preservatives.
• A product from US-based Blue Buffalo Company
• Made using proprietary All Blue dry two-part recipe
• Contains real meat, fruits, vegetables and whole grains
• Fortified with glucosamine, L-Carnitine and Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids
• Does not contain any artificial flavours or preservatives, wheat, soy or chicken by-products
• Kibbles enhanced with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
• Complaints of diarrhoea in some dogs
• Some dogs start panting and complaints of increased thirst and urination
2. Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food
It’s a family owned and operated US business that produces Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food. It is the family’s aim of providing dogs with only complete and holistically nutritious food that leads to their producing foods containing only 100% natural ingredients from sustainable and trusted sources. This is why their foods do not contain any filler like wheat or corn, or any artificial flavours, colours or preservatives.
This dry food formula is available in a number of varieties, all enhanced with superfoods like kale, chia seeds, blueberries and pumpkin for your dog’s optimal nutrition. The protein source in these dog foods may be pasture raised lamb or beef protein, wild caught salmon or cage-free chicken protein. Diamonds Natural dog foods also contain selenium, vitamin E and Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.
They are all essential for our dog’s energy requirements and better and healthier skin. Diamond Naturals Real Meat Recipe also contains Glucosamine and chondroitin, which is helpful and needed for supporting your dog’s joints and cartilages. All of the dog food ingredients are sourced from trusted and sustainable spots around the world. The food contains proprietary K9 Strain Probiotics that is specifically tailored to suit your dog’s optimal digestive support and immunity. It helps because these probiotics help restore any imbalance in your dog’s GI tract caused by antibiotics, infections, stress or something your dog ate, and help bring their digestive and immune system back on track.
• Contains powerful antioxidants phytonutrients like blueberries for better immunity and lifestyle
• Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for optimal joint support
• Flaxseeds, chia seeds and fish contain omega fatty acids essential for healthy skin
• Maintains a healthy digestion system with its blend of soluble and insoluble fibre and proprietary K9 Strain Probiotics
• Manufactured by a family-owned and US-based company
• Can trigger diarrhoea in some dogs
• A bit expensive in some places
3. EUKANUBA Adult Dry Dog Food
As the name suggests, Eukanuba adult dry dog food is carefully formulated to meet your adult dog’s nutritional needs. It is enhanced to provide your dog with 100% complete and balanced nutrition to ensure his peak nutritional performance.
Real lamb is the main ingredient of the dog food which is rudimentary for helping your dog maintains strong lean muscles. In addition to this rich protein source, Eukanuba dog food is a topical balance of fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals that help keep your dog ready and energized throughout the day.
The lamb and rice recipe is devoid of any filler but does contain added calcium that’s necessary for supporting your dog’s healthy and strong bones. It’s additional naturally sourced glucosamine and chondroitin play an important role in supporting your dog’s healthy joints. To top it all, the dry food also boasts of optimal levels of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids that go a long way at promoting your dog’s healthy skin and radiant coat. In addition to all this, this premium adult dog food comprises of a specialized fibre system that’s made of natural beet pulp and prebiotic FOS. Prebiotics are essential for promoting the absorption of nutrients in the body and to help support your dog’s healthy digestion.
• Specially formulated to meet your adult dog’s nutritional and energy needs
• 100% balanced nutrition for optimal performance
• Contains real lamb that helps give your dog lean muscles
• A perfectly balanced food with sufficient carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals
• Doesn’t contain any fillers
• Contains calcium for strong bones
• Contains sufficient Glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints
• The omega 3 and 6 fatty acids give your dog a radiant coat
• Has a specialized fibre system with natural beet pulp
• Prebiotics support a healthy digestive system
• Complaints of receiving sealed in poorly sealed condition
• Complaints of some dogs vomiting and passing blood from the rectum
4. Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Mobility Dry Dog Food for Joint Health
If you notice your dog to lately avoid stairs or seems to be ‘lazy’ as he prefers lying down instead of standing or sitting, it may be because of joint pain and not laziness. Hill’s Science Diet Healthy Mobility Dry Dog Food for Joint Health may provide the solution here for your dog with its balanced, easy-to-digest nutritional food. Instead of feeding your dog ordinary dog food, this premium dog food that’s enhanced with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids help improve your dog’s mobility problems within a month of its continuous consumption.
Science Diet Healthy Mobility dog food also contains natural glucosamine and chondroitin that is vital for supporting your dog’s cartilage and joint health so that he can maintain a healthier, happier and more active life. The dry dog food also contains a clinically proven antioxidant blend, with vitamins C and E, for improved body immunity. This dog food is, in fact, the most preferred choice of most veterinarians, who in fact feed their own dogs with it. Hill’s Science has more than 220 pet nutritionists and veterinarians constantly working hard at improving their food product quality. Hill’s Science dog foods are all manufactured in the United States, to ensure your dog gets the best quality food. The dog food even comes with Hill’s 100% Satisfaction Guarantee where you get a full refund or replacement if, for some reason or the other, you are unsatisfied with it.
• Does not contain any artificial colours, preservatives or flavours
• Contains natural glucosamine and chondroitin for improved joint health
• Gives results within 30 days of continual consumption
• Contains antioxidants and vitamins C and E for improved body immunity
• Has a 100% money back guarantee if unsatisfied
• Recommended by veterinarians worldwide
• Made in the US by more than 220 nutritionists and veterinarians
• Not meant for pregnant and lactating dogs or puppies
• Too big morsels that some senior dogs find difficult to chew
• Complaints of vomiting and diarrhoea in some dogs
• Complaints of some dogs gaining weight
5. Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food
Dogs, like humans, need special care as they grow older. They need to eat specialized food that complements their changing body needs. And this is where Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food comes in. This is dog food containing all the natural, authentic and essential nutritional ingredients your aging dog needs for optimal everyday health, and to remain in good shape. Its blend of deboned chicken, barley and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, makes sure your dog gets the required proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins his body requires. And all this is in a guaranteed great taste that your dog will enjoy eating.
The added glucosamine and chondroitin in the food helps maintain, and perhaps improve your dog’s joint health. This food is not meant for just any senior dog but is specially formulated for small breed dogs with its smaller kibble size that your dog can easily eat with his small mouth. Besides, the food provides your dog with sufficient calories to help maintain a healthy body weight through the smaller portions they consume. Wellness Complete Health products are manufactured in the USA by a family-owned company and are backed by their guarantee. This dog food also does not contain any wheat, corn, soy, meat by-products or any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
So no matter if your dog already has arthritis or if you want to give something as a preventative measure, then Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food ensures your senior, but the small dog gets the nutrition his body requires. It also helps keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy, thanks to the flaxseed, salmon oil and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in it.
• Made in the USA by a family owned company
• Contains glucosamine and chondroitin for optimal joint health
• Specially formulated and sized to meet a small dog breed’s nutritional and eating needs
• Keeps your dog’s skin and coat healthy
• Produced using real chicken, barley and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables
• Contains no wheat, corn, soy, meat by-products or artificial colours, flavours or preservatives
• Complaints of differences in packs bought online and at local stores
• Complaints of dogs suffering from diarrhoea
If you are worried about your dog’s failing mobility and find feeding him supplements rather difficult, then you can solve both problems by starting to feed your dog enhanced dog food with glucosamine and chondroitin. Just make sure you choose and feed your dog the right food because there are some brands meant for only small or big breeds and some aren’t safe for pregnant and nursing dogs and puppies.
Consult your veterinarian before starting or changing dog foods, and don’t expect any overnight miracles. Your dog’s body needs at least a month to respond to these supplements and for you to see some improvement in your dog’s joint health and mobility.