Joint problems can be a cause for worry for pet parents. This is because both large and small dogs are prone to joint problems like hip dysplasia, arthritis, joint deterioration and other serious conditions.
The diet of a dog plays a large role in preventing as well as combating these joint issues. How can you pick the best dog food for joint? This review will cover the ingredients, effectiveness and more to help you choose the best dog food for joints.
- Top 5 Dog Food for Joints
- What to look out for the best dog food for joints
- What are some ingredients to look for
Top 5 Dog Food for Joints
1. Blue Buffalo Life Protection
This dry dog formula is made in the U.S by Blue Buffalo Company. It also contains the All Blue Dry recipe that the company is known for.
The dry recipe is a dog food formula that is made from natural ingredients. It is also enhanced with the brand’s proprietary Life Source Bits. These kibbles are enhanced with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which can be beneficial for senior dogs.
The Blue Buffalo Life Protection dry dog food contains delicious fruit, high-quality meat, whole grains and garden vegetables.
Also, it contains glucosamine which may make it ideal for dogs with joint problems and overall mobility. The formula is also filled with omega 6 and 3 fatty acids that promote a shiny coat in dogs.
The kibbles remain natural as they are processed at a low temperature compared to other ingredients. This helps preserve their potency and prevent degradation of the nutrients. It may be ideal for larger breeds because it contains L-Carnitine for lean muscle development.
The formula also contains chondroitin and calcium for healthy joint and bone development. It does not contain wheat, chicken by-products, soy, preservatives or artificial flavors.
- Contains Life Source Bits
- Contains real meat, whole grains and fruits
- Made with L-Carnitine, glucosamine and omega 6 and 3 fatty acids
- Organic product
2. Wellness Core Grain Free
The Wellness Core dog food is ideal for large breeds as it may help with skeletal and joint support. It contains chondroitin and glucosamine that help support the joints.
The formula is also filled with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation as well as omega fatty acids that support joint and skin health.
The Wellness Core dog food is grain free and this helps prevent common inflammation in the dog’s gut due to gluten. It also has no soy or corn content. This food uses high-quality protein to ensure that the dog gets the right amino acid. It does not contain by-products that inflame the dog’s digestive system. The formula also contains the WellFlex formula that supports the joints and prevents degradation as time passes.
It may be helpful for maintaining the proper weight, staying healthy and encouraging the pet to stay active as he ages. It is made in the U.S and the ingredients are all locally sourced and organic.
The product is quite expensive, but its features may help keep the dog healthy and prevent expensive vet bills. However, it comes in different sizes to fit different sizes of pets according to their needs.
- Contains special WellFlex formula for the required joint support.
- Ideal for large breeds
- Corn, soy and grain free formula
- Contains antioxidants
3. Nutro Ultra Small Breed
Most senior dogs have specific nutrition needs that help them to maintain a healthy joint and weight.
This formula is a bit different from the ones mentioned above as it may be ideal for smaller breeds such as Yorkies, Corgis, Pomeranians and Miniature Schnauzers. It contains chondroitin and glucosamine, two crucial ingredients that offer support for joint. Also, it has three protein sources that provide amino acids.
The Nutro Ultra Small Breed dog food uses lamb, chicken, and fish in its ingredient list.
All these ingredients supply a nutrient dense formula which supports high energy levels while preventing weight gain. The essential fatty acids content helps cushion the joints, keeps minds fresh and enhance the quality of the coat and skin.
It doesn’t contain any artificial flavors or preservatives. It is also free from soy, gluten, and corn that may trigger allergies. The fiber balance is appropriate to ensure that the small dog absorbs nutrients and maintain weight.
The formula comes in a 4-pound bag and is also pricey.
- Made from three protein sources
- Specially formulated for weight control and energy needs of senior dogs.
- Provides joint support
- Offers inflammation control
4. Zesty Paws Mobility Bites
The Zesty Paws chews are specially made to improve joint mobility. This formula is a blend of rich ingredients that may nourish your pet. Some of the key ingredients include vitamin E, chondroitin, glucosamine and flaxseed meal.
It also has a good taste like duck for picky dogs. The chews also make an appetizing treat. The Zesty Paws Mobility Bites contains glucosamine and this ingredient helps reduce and prevent pains, inflammation, sores and other arthritic issues.
The ingredients in the product are organic and may provide the best joint support as well as hip support that dogs need. Some of them include the famed glucosamine e,
All the ingredients used in this product are natural ones and they provide the best hip and joint support that your dog really needs. These ingredients include glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and yucca extract.
All of the ingredients mentioned are essential for joint and hip health. They also promote a healthy heart while enhancing the immune system of the pet. The mobility bites are also made in the United States. The facilities are FDA registered, NSF and GMP certified as well.
- Natural ingredients
- Tasty for picky pets
- NSF and GMP certified
- Offers support for joints
5. Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food
This dog food contains natural and essential ingredients for dogs. Its mix of deboned chicken, antioxidant-rich veggies and fruits, barley and vegetables may ensure that your pet gets all the required proteins. It also offers other nutrients such as carbohydrates and vitamins. The Wellness Complete dog food also has a good taste for dogs that are picky with food.
The formula contains chondroitin and glucosamine that has been proven to help maintain the dog’s joint health. Also, it is ideal for senior dogs as well as small breed dogs.
The kibble sizes are also smaller to enable the dog to eat it with ease. Also, the food may provide the dog with enough calories to maintain a healthy weight by the smaller portions.
It is made in the U.S and doesn’t contain any corn, soy, wheat, meat by-products, artificial flavors, colors or even preservatives. It may work as both a preventative measure as well as a treatment for joint issues like arthritis. Also provide the right nutrition while keeping the pet’s coat and skin healthy due to its salmon oil, flaxseed, and omega fatty acids content.
- Contains chondroitin and glucosamine for proper joint health
- Made to meet the nutritional demands of a small dog
- Keeps the skin and coat shiny and healthy
- Ingredients include real chicken, fruits and veggies.
- Doesn’t contain ingredients that can irritate the dog’s stomach.
What to look out for the best dog food for joints
Before picking out good dog food for your dog, there are so many things you should consider. They include:
The dog’s breed
Large dog breeds such as Mastiffs, Great Danes, Great Pyrenees and German shepherds are prone to bone and joint issues. This is because of the extra weight that they have to carry around. If your pet is one of these, he could benefit from foods that offer joint care. In the same vein, mixes of the breeds above may also be prone to the problems but have less genetic diversity.
The dog’s age
Remember that dogs of ages have different needs. Puppies have different nutrient needs from senior and adult dogs. So you should also take this into consideration when picking the best dog food for joints. This implies that you need to pick one that suits all stages of their lives. However, some dog foods are ideal for all life stages and it is usually indicated on the label.
Large breed puppy formulas work differently as they control the weight and growth to promote a slower growth rate. If pups grow too fast, they may develop more issues with their joints and bones. Also, consider how some breeds burn more calories than others.
Is kibble enough? How can you supplement the feeding?
There are some good dog formulas for joint health, and they are necessary for improvement in mobility and good health. However, some dogs require extra anti-inflammatory drugs especially if they have joint pain from arthritis or deterioration. You do not want your dog to be in pain from joint issues, but some vets question how much painkillers can be used on dogs. This is because it may encourage more activity than necessary for the age and condition of the dog. Always ensure that there is a proper balance.
Does your pet need joint support supplements?
With a good dog food for joints, you may not need supplements at all. However, if you have a picky dog or one that has special needs, you can add supplements to the existing food brand. This would give you a chance to customize the amount of joint supplement that the dog is getting.
If your dog has been diagnosed with joint or hip problems like arthritis, inflammation, or cartilage loss among others, you can combine the best dog food for joints with extra supplement. This could provide extra pain relief for joint issues.
Also, if you have any of the breeds mentioned earlier, you can start giving them foods that contain glucosamine and chondroitin even though there are no physical symptoms of pain. It can go a long way to prevent many types of joint issues in the future.
What are some ingredients to look for
When it comes to picking the best dog food for joints, some ingredients are essential while others are completely prohibited. Some include:
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
As a supplement, glucosamine helps with restoration of cartilage as well as the production of cartilage. It does this by working as the building block for proteoglycans which attract and also retain water. This water aids in the production of cartilage and collagen. Chondroitin, on the other hand, is a structural element of the cartilage. This supplement helps relieve joint pain from arthritis and other bone issues. It is a bit like glucosamine because it works as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory for your dog. It is also sourced naturally from animals.
Barley, Rice, or Grain free
Wheat, corn and soy are common ingredients that can worsen inflammation in many cases. Some of them are also unsafe because of the high concentration of insecticides used on them before they are harvested. Barley or white rice may be a healthier choice in some cases if your dogs have no allergic reaction to them. If you’re not sure if your dog would react negatively to grains, then you can cut it out entirely.
To determine which dog food is grain free, you need to read all labels as it is clearly stated most times.
For joint problems in dogs, omega 3 fatty acids are excellent. Pets aren’t the only ones that can use fatty acids for healthy joints, humans can do so as well. The supplements that contain fatty acids are sourced from fish such as salmon and the green lipped mussel. They are filled with nutrients which help maintain the connective tissue, healthy cartilage to offset the impact of hip dysplasia and arthritis.
Our bodies cannot make omega 3 fatty acids, and this is why it can only be gotten from supplements. You can also opt to add these essential fatty acids to your dog’s food by increasing seafood intake. Homemade food is an option, but in the absence of this, add salmon, and other high-quality protein from the sea to the existing dog food.
These are different from fatty acids as they are found in protein. They are called the building blocks of life and this makes them crucial in pet food. Just like fatty acids, the amino acids help build muscle, maintain healthy cartilage and strengthen bones.
Finding the best dog food for joints is easy when you know what to look out for. Some crucial ingredients must be present in the food to help prevent and treat joint issues. The clear winner of the roundup is the Blue Buffalo Life Protection dry dog food. It stands out because of its extra provision of nutrients through the Life Source Bits. It also has an extra ingredient called L-Carnitine to strengthen joints.