14 Best Dog Foods For Arthritis | Hip Dysplasia | Joint Health

By Kevin Myers | 2023 Update

✓ Reviewed by Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM

As a pet parent, I can say that there is nothing more relaxing than a walk with your dog. Playtime can make for some of the most beautiful memories of our lives.

Imagine how incomplete your life would be without that kind of quality time.

Unfortunately, this kind of life is a reality for parents of dogs with arthritis, hip dysplasia, or other joint and mobility issues.

It doesn’t have to be that way!

Despite conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia, you and your dog can still enjoy a wonderful, playful life. You need to manage the condition better.

And as I always say, food is a big factor when it comes to your dog’s health.

Today, I am going to share what I think are the 14 best dog foods for arthritis, hip dysplasia, and joint mobility issues.

Best Dog Foods For Arthritis, Hip Dysplasia, Joint Health

Top ProductsTop Ingredients
1. Blue Buffalo Jolly Joints Mobility Support Dog Food
(Best For Adults)
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Barley 
2. American Journey Protein & Grains Chicken & Vegetables Dog Food
(Best For Puppies)
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, Peas
3. Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+ Adult Formula 
(Best For Seniors)
Chicken, Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Soybean Meal
4. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM Joint Mobility Dry Dog Food
(Best Prescription Diet)
Brewers Rice, Trout, Salmon Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry By-Product Meal, Dried Egg
5. Purina ONE +Plus Joint Health Formula Adult Dog Food
(Best Budget Pick)
Chicken, Rice Flour, Whole Wheat, Soybean Meal, Whole Corn

1. Blue Buffalo Jolly Joints Mobility Support Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Oatmeal, 4. Brown Rice, 5. Barley 

Jolly Joints from Blue Buffalo is a one-stop solution for all types of dogs facing joint and mobility issues. It’s enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate — two chemicals that are vital for rebuilding cartilage and relieving the pain caused by arthritis. The food is made from wholesome ingredients like deboned chicken, oatmeal, and brown rice that build muscles and make your adult as energetic as a puppy.

Moreover, Blue Buffalo adds minerals and calcium to strengthen your dog’s joints and bone structure to return their lost mobility. Fish oil and EPA are also present to nourish your dog’s skin and support their cognitive health. Lastly, the food is completely free from artificial flavors and preservatives to sustain your dog’s jolly, happy, and active demeanor.


2. American Journey Protein & Grains Chicken & Vegetables Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Brown Rice, 5. Peas

Your puppy’s diet during their growth period determines the fate of their joints. That’s why we recommend American Journey’s Protein & Grains Puppy Food. It introduces glucosamine and chondroitin from an early age, so your dog’s joints do not suffer from excessive wear and tear. The food also contains calcium and phosphorus for stronger bones and hip/elbow joints that are less susceptible to arthritis.

As for the recipe, it is full of nourishing ingredients like deboned chicken to promote muscle growth and brown rice for all-day energy. It’s also fortified with DHA and ARA — nutrients present in mother’s milk — that are responsible for proper brain and vision development. Omega fatty acids and antioxidants nourish your pup’s coat and strengthen its immunity. Most importantly, the recipe is 100% free from wheat, soy, corn, and artificial additives to sustain your puppy’s digestive health.


3. Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+ Adult Formula 

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Rice Flour, 3. Corn Gluten Meal, 4. Chicken By-Product Meal, 5. Soybean Meal

Purina ONE’s SmartBlend formula is ideal for your large breed dogs about to enter their senior years. That is when the risk of developing joint or mobility problems starts to rise.

Not only does it contain glucosamine from natural sources, but it also has enhanced botanical oils that support mobility and provide energy. It is a delicious combination of crunchy kibbles and meaty morsels.


4. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM Joint Mobility Dry Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Brewers Rice, 2. Trout, Salmon Meal, 3. Corn Gluten Meal, 4. Poultry By-Product Meal, 5. Dried Egg Product

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Joint Mobility Formula is a prescription food that can make a world of difference for dogs with mobility issues, especially because of arthritis. The formula is normally used for seniors and adults with arthritis but is sometimes prescribed to puppies with similar concerns.

The formula contains all-natural sources of glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids. It offers balanced nutrition for all life stages. Since it is a veterinary diet, you need a vet’s authorization for purchase.


5. Eukanuba Adult Large Breed Dog Food

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Corn, 3. Chicken By-Product Meal, 4. Wheat, 5. Ground Grain Sorghum

Large breed pups are unlucky when it comes to joint and bone health. That’s why you need Eukanuba Adult Dog Food. It is formulated from the bottom up for large and giant-sized canines, with glucosamine and chondroitin to renew cartilage and reduce the risk of hip/elbow dysplasia. 

Protein is abundant in the recipe for muscle maintenance, and it’s fortified with DHA and vitamin E for improved cognitive and immune health. The food is also rich in carbohydrates and fats to keep your large pup charged for the day and has prebiotic fibers to ensure proper digestion. 


6. Purina ONE +Plus Joint Health Formula Adult Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Rice Flour, 3. Whole Wheat, 4. Soybean Meal, 5. Whole Corn

Keep your dog’s joints in optimal shape with the low-budget Purina One Plus Joint Health Formula. The food is specifically made for canines with hip/elbow diseases — it uses glucosamine to promote cartilage production and minimize joint wear. Omega fatty acids are also present to make your dog’s coat shiny and reduce joint inflammation.

As for the recipe, it’s loaded with nourishing ingredients like deboned chicken meat, whole grain wheat, fish oil, and dried carrots. Your dog will also receive vitamin A, vitamin E, and calcium, among other micronutrients, to develop sharper eyesight and stronger immunity. Every batch of Purina is made in US factories and guarantees the highest quality so you can confidently feed it to your pupper.


7. Dogswell Happy Hips Lamb & Sweet Potato Stew Canned Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Duck, 2. Chicken Broth, 3. Chicken Liver, 4. Chicken, Salmon, 5. Dried Egg Product

Dogswell’s Happy hip formula contains cage-free duck and is a delicious way to keep your dog moving without difficulty. This delicious recipe gives your dog good amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin for supporting joint health and contains chelated minerals, which plays a vital role in the effective absorption of nutrients. Since it is a canned formula, the extra moisture help keep your dog hydrated while they enjoy the stewy meal.

Dogswell’s Happy hip formula is free of grains and other common allergens that can increase inflammation or cause digestive issues for your dog. All of these reasons make it one of the best dog foods for arthritis, hip dysplasia, and joint mobility issues.


8. Nom Nom Turkey Fare

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Ground turkey, 2. brown rice, 3. eggs, 4. carrots, 5. spinach

Nom Nom Now is one of the few fresh food brands that offer joint-supplemented diets for canines. We highly recommend their Turkey Fare recipe for canines with hip/elbow abnormalities. You can also point out your pet’s joint problems in the questionnaire, and the Nom Nom’s expert nutritionists will fine-tune the formula according to their needs.

As for the food itself, Nom Nom uses the highest-quality ingredients like ground turkey, brown rice, carrots, and spinach to fuel your dog’s body. It’s also one of the best-tasting foods on the market and will make the pickiest canines drool. Even though it’s priced towards the premium end, the long-term benefits of Nom Nom are worth its price.


9. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility Small Bites Chicken Meal Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken Meal, 2. Brewers Rice, 3. Whole Grain Sorghum, 4. Brown Rice, 5. Whole Grain Wheat

Hill’s Prescription is one of my most trusted brands for dogs with health concerns. This particular healthy mobility recipe contains plenty of fish oil and other sources of glucosamine and chondroitin. It helps to keep your pup’s bones and joints strong and healthy.

It has a powerful blend of antioxidants, which helps to stem inflammation. Moreover: All these ingredients provide for healthy skin and a shiny coat.


10. Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet W+M Weight Management & Mobility Support 

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Salmon, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Pea Protein, 4. Powdered Cellulose, 5. Peas

Made from safe and natural ingredients, Blue Buffalo’s Weight Management + Mobility Support dog food is great for dogs with a not-so-active lifestyle and weight issues. Since these are two are the most common reasons behind joint and mobility issues, you will see a considerable improvement in your dog’s condition.

The formula can help your dog lose some extra pounds, so it is easier for its bones and joints. It is 100% grain-free, so it is good for dogs with a sensitive tummy. However, it is a prescription-only food and requires veterinary authorization.


11. VICTOR Performance Formula Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Beef Meal, 2. Grain Sorghum, 3. Whole Grain Millet, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Blood Meal

More meat protein makes VICTOR Purpose Performance a great option for dogs struggling to stay lean. That includes large breeds, but some smaller ones can also benefit from a protein-rich diet – especially when you see signs of joint problems and mobility issues. Aside from protein, the formula is also rich in glucosamine and chondroitin and is gluten-free.


12. Hill’s Prescription Diet j/d Joint Care Chicken Flavor Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Wheat Flour, 2. Whole Grain Wheat, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Dried Tomato Pomace, 5. Rice

If your dog has severe mobility issues or you’ve got deep pockets, we highly recommend buying Hill’s Prescription Diet Joint Care Dog Food. The company claims that your dog will become visibly more active and energetic within 21 days of switching to the food. It’s supported by glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which are crucial for building cartilage and reducing joint wear. 

Losing weight can also improve mobility, which is why the company adds L-carnitine to metabolize excess fat in your canine’s body. Omega fatty acids and EPA are also included in the formula to reduce joint inflammation inhibiting your dog’s daily activities. Best of all, the food is suitable for all sizes — even extra small and giant breeds!


Buyers Guide

There is a lot you need to know when buying food for your dog with arthritis, hip dysplasia, or any other joint issue. Arthritis can be of many types, and mobility issues can have many causes.

Always seek a vet for a proper diagnosis. Dietary changes will only work best when paired with the right medicines, supplements, and management plans. Some of the supplements that can enhance joint and bone health include:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin
  • Methyl-sulfonyl-methane (MSM)
  • S-Adenosyl-L-methionine
  • Vitamin C
  • Duralactin
  • Creatine

Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and creatine are commonly found in prescription and non-prescription dog food for joints and mobility.

Let’s take a look at other ingredients you may find.

Ingredients to Look for

You need to go for ingredients that can heal inflammation and increase the amount of glucosamine and chondroitin. Omega-3 fatty acids are another essential that need to be in good amount. These are the ingredients to look for:

  • Wild-caught Fish: Fish is a great source of fatty acids that enhances mobility. It also has anti-inflammatory properties. However, always look for the wild-caught variety instead of farm fish. Salmon, herring, and sardines are your best bet.
  • Superfoods: Superfoods such as blueberries and cranberries are powerful antioxidants. They can reduce inflammation and make your pal’s life much manageable with arthritis or joint pain.
  • Bone-in Meat: Look for meat with cartilage linings such as oxtails or poultry neck. This kind of bone-in meat can be very beneficial for joint repair and healing.
  • Green-lipped Mussels: Green-lipped mussels are also superfoods and they contain lots of glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid, and Omega-3s.

Weight Issues and Joint Problems

Dogs that are overweight or heavier breeds are more likely to develop joint problems and arthritis. It is important to control your dog’s weight through a low-fat diet. Weight management dog food is a good preventive measure. Keep your dog lean and give them regular exercise. Even for dogs who have already developed the disease, light exercise regularly can help them manage pain and mobility.

Now that you know of how you can pick the best dog foods for arthritis, hip dysplasia, and joint mobility issues, let’s continue with more of my top picks.


FAQs

Like any other disease, joint and mobility issues can also leave pet parents with a lot of questions. I’ve tried to answer some of the most commonly asked ones here. Do check them out before moving on to the buying guide I have prepared.

How do I know my dog has arthritis or joint problems?

Look for signs of joint problems such as limping. Your dog will seem uncomfortable when moving or changing positions. A change in activity level can also signal arthritic changes, as can biting at the affected areas.

Can arthritis shorten my dog’s life?

Arthritis can have a cascading effect on your dog’s quality of life. They can become less active, and consequently, gain weight. And so, if you don’t manage their condition, arthritis can shorten your dog’s life span. However, if managed and treated properly, you can counter the effects of arthritis. Many dogs develop arthritis early in their lives, but proper treatment and diet allow them to live happy and healthy lives.

Can arthritis be painful for dogs?

Animals feel pain just like we do. Having problems with joints or bones is as painful for them as it is for us. Your veterinarian can come up with a proper treatment plan to make their lives as pain-free as possible.

Can I walk my dog with arthritis, hip dysplasia, or joint problem?

Yes, most vets encourage short walks and low impact exercises to prevent cramps and sprains in dogs with arthritis, joint problems, and hip dysplasia. However, you need to make sure you aren’t exhausting them with too much activity.

Which dog breed is more susceptible to arthritis and joint issues?

All breeds are susceptible to these issues. Large breeds like Labradors, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Saint Bernards are among the usual suspects. However, smaller breeds like Daschunds and Basset Hounds commonly face joint issues as well.

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