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Best Supplements for Arthritis in Dogs

As the years go by, your playful pup might not be as energetic or as active as before. Aging is inevitable for everyone, even our beloved canine companions, but that doesn’t mean they have to suffer through some of the most common age-related complications. Osteoarthritis, more commonly shortened to arthritis, is a degenerative joint disease that is not only irreversible but also worsens with age.

Arthritis is common in older dogs, and while we still don't have a cure for this ailment, we do have bone and joint supplements to help ease the effects and pain it causes. However, there are so many products on the market that finding the right one for your canine companion can be difficult. Let's take a closer look at how arthritis affects dogs and the supplements that can help them.

How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Arthritis?

Arthritis can cause pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving. If you are concerned your dog might be experiencing early signs of arthritis, pay attention to how your pet moves, especially when getting up or lying down.

Here are several common warning signs your dog might have arthritis:

  • Difficulty standing up or sitting down: Arthritis can make it difficult for your dog to get up or sit down. You may notice your dog taking longer to get up or lying down more slowly and carefully than usual.
  • Stiffness: Arthritis can cause stiffness in your dog's joints, especially after sleeping or resting for long periods of time.
  • Reduced activity: If your dog is less active than usual, it could be a sign of arthritis pain. Your dog may be less interested in going for walks or playing.
  • Limping or favoring one leg: If your dog is limping or holding one leg up, it could be an indication of arthritis pain. However, this could also be the result of a recent injury or torn muscle.
  • Loss of muscle mass: Arthritis can cause your dog to lose muscle mass, especially in the affected limb.
  • Irritability: Your dog may become irritable when experiencing arthritis pain. The animal may snap or growl when touched in certain areas or become more reclusive.

If you notice any of these warning signs, it's important to take your dog to the vet for an examination. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage the symptoms of arthritis and improve your dog's quality of life.

What Is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a term used to describe inflammation in the joints. It can affect nearly any living creature with a skeletal system, including humans, dogs, and cats. Arthritis is a progressive deterioration, meaning that it gets worse over time, and is most common in elderly animals.

Since there is currently no cure for arthritis, it's important to slow the rate of inflammation with supplements and joint medications early. Doing so can help to improve your pet’s quality of life and prevent the condition from worsening.

In dogs, arthritis is usually caused by the degeneration of joint cartilage, which can result from age, genetic predisposition, or injury. As the cartilage wears away, the bones in the joint can rub against each other, causing pain and inflammation.

The other common type of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disorder that can affect dogs. Rheumatoid arthritis is more likely to affect middle-aged and younger dogs, while osteoarthritis is more common in elderly canines.

Treatment for arthritis in dogs may include medications, joint supplements, weight management, exercise, and physical therapy. If you suspect your dog may have arthritis, it's important to consult with a veterinarian. This practitioner can perform a physical examination and may recommend X-rays or other tests to confirm the diagnosis and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Which Dog Breeds Are Most Susceptible To Arthritis?

According to the American Kennel Club, approximately 20% of dogs in the United States are affected by arthritis. While it is more common in older dogs, young dogs can also be affected, especially those with genetic predispositions.

The AKC also notes that certain breeds are more susceptible to arthritis, including:

  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Golden Retrievers
  • German Shepherds
  • Rottweilers
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs

What Are the Best Joint Supplements for Dogs With Arthritis?

Supplements for dog arthritis typically contain ingredients intended to support joint health and reduce inflammation. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to find the best option. While we recommend listening to your veterinarian, here are some common ingredients found in dog arthritis supplements and how they work:

  • Glucosamine: Glucosamine is a natural compound found in joint cartilage. It can help rebuild and repair damaged cartilage and improve joint function.
  • Chondroitin: Chondroitin is another natural compound found in joint cartilage. It helps keep joints lubricated and can reduce inflammation.
  • Methylsulfonylmethane: MSM is a sulfur compound that can help to reduce inflammation and pain. Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oil and can help reduce inflammation and support joint health.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties.

Supplements for dog arthritis are not a cure, but they can help manage the symptoms of arthritis and improve joint health. It's important to choose a high-quality supplement that contains effective ingredients and to consult with a veterinarian to find the best fit for your dog’s needs. Every dog and breed is unique and may require different treatments and supplements for the best results.


Antinol for dogs is a concentrated daily joint supplement formulated with a blend of Omega-3s and other fatty acids that are known to aid in enhanced joint comfort and mobility. The main ingredient in Antinol is PCSO-524 derived from green-lipped mussels.

With over 15 separate clinical research papers giving Antinol positive reviews, it’s not surprising that this medication is widely prescribed by veterinarians. Clinically proven to support joint health in 90% of pets, Antinol has also been shown to improve the ease of mobility while decreasing discomfort. Most pet owners see a difference in just days, but improvement may take up to a few weeks based on the severity of the condition.

Here are some of its key features:

  • Supports joint health and comfort
  • Supports healthy cartilage
  • Beneficial skin support
  • Safe for long-term daily use
  • No known side effects
Flex Soft Chews

Flex joint supplement for dogs contains many of the active ingredients used in arthritis relief. Proven to help dogs with arthritis get back on the move and enjoy playtime, Flex soft chews provide superior joint support and aid with flexibility over time; however, they do not work instantly. It can take up to two months to fully see an increase in your pet’s flexibility and mobility, but the results are worth the wait.

This comprehensive and full-strength nutritional supplement contains:

  • Glucosamine HCL
  • MethylSulfonylMethane
  • Creatine Monohydrate
  • Antioxidants: Vitamin E, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and Grape Seed Extract
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins and minerals

Duralactin is an immuno-nutritional aid for the management of chronic inflammatory and musculoskeletal conditions in dogs. Duralactin Canine contains patented dried milk protein that promotes and supports healthy and normal inflammatory responses. This medication is for managing long-term inflammatory conditions and can help diminish the need for steroids and NSAIDs.

  • Ideal for long-term use and high-risk pets
  • Use alone or with other therapies
  • Non-prescription
  • Helps support normal activity and wellness
  • Made for older pets over 7 years of age

How Do I Care for a Dog With Arthritis?

Caring for a dog with arthritis can involve several steps to help manage the symptoms. You can improve your elderly dog’s quality of life by managing your pet’s weight, providing a comfortable environment to sleep and rest, and encouraging special exercise routines to promote mobility. Refrain from pushing your pet too hard since over-exertion can cause additional pain or discomfort. Joint supplements and pain medication can also help your dog feel good and full of playful energy. Most importantly, be sure to give your dog lots of love and attention.