5 Best Supplements for Older Dogs with Arthritis – Keep Your Guard Dog in Shape!

As your guard dog ages, its joints experience wear and tear. Over time, arthritis will set in, which will cause lingering pain and discomfort to your pooch. In fact, about 22% of all joint diseases are due to canine arthritis. Instead of letting your dog suffer, you can boost their joint health with the help of supplements and regular consultation with the vet. If you’re looking for the best supplements for older dogs with arthritis, you can consider these five picks that I have below:

REMINDER: You should ask the opinion of the vet before giving any joint supplement to your dog.

VetSmart Joint
Supplement for Dogs
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Nutramax Cosequin
Joint Tablets
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Zesty Paws Senior
Advanced Mobility
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Soft Chews
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GOLD 3 Chews
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Joint problems in older dogs

Older dogs are highly susceptible to various health problems, including joint issues. One of the most common is arthritis, which could also occur prematurely to younger canines.

Arthritis occurs due to trauma and accumulated damage to the joints. As your dog uses its joints to walk, run, and guard your yard, the cartilage thins slowly. Over the years, the cartilage will be gone, which will cause the bones to rub with each other and the surrounding ligaments and tissues.

However, arthritis can also be developmental, which means your dog is born with a high predisposition to the condition. Large guard dogs like Bullmastiff and Rottweiler are prone to arthritis later due to their heavier bodies. Also, these dogs are active, which will take its toll on their joints.

On the other hand, small dogs can also acquire arthritis. Obesity and excessive physical activities will cause more stress to their small joints.

Just like humans, any dog can develop arthritis later in life. What you need to do is to have it diagnosed as early as possible. This way, you and the vet can work together to improve your dog’s quality of life.

What are the symptoms of canine arthritis?

Canine arthritis is easy to spot because its symptoms will always manifest physically. The following are some of the symptoms of arthritis you should watch out for. If you notice any of these on your guard dog, you must bring it to the vet for further examination:

  • Joint tenderness
  • Reluctance to walk or stand up
  • Swelling and pain on the affected joint
  • Stiffness of the joint
  • Weight gain due to lack of physical activities
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Pain when the joint is touched
  • Reduction in muscle mass on the spine and limbs

Take note that there also risk factors for canine arthritis. Poor nutrition will also increase a dog’s susceptibility to the condition as well as obesity.

Meanwhile, infections like Lyme Disease may also lead to arthritis if not addressed right away. Repetitive injuries and ligament tears will also add up to a dog’s risk of developing osteoarthritis.

Also, you should note that canine arthritis will not go away. Your dog’s condition will keep spiraling unless you do something about it. You can start with supplements, diet changes, and other recommendations from the vet.

Below are five of the best picks if you’re looking for joint supplements for your aging guard dog.

5 Best Supplements for Older Dogs with Arthritis


OUR TOP PICK: VetSmart Joint Supplement for Dogs
best supplements for older dogs with arthritis

Product Name: VetSmart Joint Supplement for Dogs

Product Description: If you're looking for the best supplements for older dogs with arthritis, the VetSmart formula is a good choice. This is made to restore mobility so your guard dog will continue to protect your home. It suits all life stages, so you can start caring for your pooch's joints and hips at an early age. Moreover, this Vetsmart supplement for dogs has 420 mg of glucosamine on each tablet, which is about 200% more than other options in the market. It's also packed with 210 mg of Methylsulfonylmethane that helps reduce joint pain and inflammation. Aside from that, MSM also promotes better coat health and fewer allergy symptoms.

Offer price: 19

Currency: usd

Availability: InStock

  • Formula
  • Flavor
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Value for Money


Aside from that, this joint supplement for arthritis has green-lipped mussel, sea cucumber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. It offers a healthy alternative to medication, not to mention that it also boosts your dog’s overall wellness. Take note that green-lipped mussel contains more joint-boosting nutrients than fish oil alone.

Each bottle of the VetSmart supplement contains 120 tasty 3-gram tablets. You should check the dosage at the bottle, which varies based on the dog’s weight. You can give this to your dog as a post-surgery regimen with the approval of the veterinarian.

Worried that it won’t work for your dog? Don’t fret because a 30-day refund guarantee backs the VetSmart Joint Supplement for Dogs. If you’re not happy with the results, you can send it back and get your money back.


Contains green-lipped mussels

200% more glucosamine than other brands

30-day money-back guarantee


The tablets are prone to crumble


Nutramax Cosequin DS Chewable Joint Tablets

best supplements for older dogs with arthritis

For dogs requiring an extra dose of glucosamine, the Nutramax Cosequin DS Chewable Joint Tablets are a good choice. It’s formulated with 500 mg of glucosamine and 400 mg of chondroitin. This is blended with 5 mg of manganese for the best joint health.

The glucosamine of this supplement is extracted from shellfish, while the chondroitin is extracted from bovine cartilage. It’s an all-natural supplement that will help restore your guard dog’s joint mobility with regular intake.

As a double strength formula, dogs that weigh 10 – 24 pounds should only be given one tablet a day, which should be split in the morning and evening. I highly suggest you seek your dog’s veterinarian approval before giving this supplement to your canine.

Moreover, you can get the Cosequin joint supplement in 132, 250, 500, 650, and 750 count jars. It ensures that your dog will not run out of its joint supplement so it can keep guarding you home while you’re away.

Overall, this joint supplement is excellent in reducing swelling and pain among dogs suffering from arthritis. The good thing is that it doesn’t just kill the pain; it also delivers nutrition to your dog’s body to help regain its health.

  • 500 mg of glucosamine per tablet
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Helps increase joint mobility
  • You should ask the approval of the vet first to prevent side effects

Zesty Paws Senior Advanced Mobility Bites

best supplements for older dogs with arthritis

If you want a joint supplement that doubles as a treat, you should get the Zesty Paws Senior Advanced Mobility Bites. This treat is packed with 450 mg of glucosamine, 350 mg of MSM, 200 mg of curcumin, and 100 mg of chondroitin. It’s also mixed with green-lipped mussel, hemp extract, hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. So aside from boosting your guard dog’s joint health, it will also deliver more health benefits.

Moreover, this has a chicken flavor that most dogs will love. It also contains natural chicken meat, rosemary extract, flaxseed meal, and more. It’s a tasty treat that will give your dog’s joint a boost.

What I also like about this joint supplement is its Qmin+, a proprietary curcumin blend of Zesty Paws. It contains high levels of curcuminoid that supports the mobility of the hips and joints.

Aside from that, this Zesty Paws Mobility Bites has BioPerine. It’s another proprietary blend of black pepper that contains 95% standard Piperine. Lastly, it has hyaluronic acid that helps in the production of synovial fluid that cushions the joints.

This supplement doesn’t have any grains, soy, or corn ingredients. It’s also suitable for dogs with sensitive tummies and allergies to grains.

Each jar of this Zesty Paws supplement contains 90 chew treats. For larger dogs, you can give up to 3 chews a day.

  • Blended with Qmin+ and BioPerine
  • Contains 450 mg of glucosamine per chew
  • 99.9% purity
  • Picky eaters may not find this appealing all the time

Virbac MOVOFLEX Joint Support Soft Chews

Another soft chew treat that you can give your dog is the Virbac MOVOFLEX Joint Support Supplement. It’s made to combat signs of joint problems at the early stages.

This chew treat has 16 mg of hyaluronic acid and 10 mg of Boswellia serrata. It also contains 132 mg BIOVAFLEX eggshell membrane. All of these help boost your dog’s joints in the early stages of arthritis.

Aside from its joint health benefits, this chew treat is also made delicious. It has a chicken meal, dried chicken liver, and potato flour. If your dog has allergies to soybean, this supplement may not be a good choice since it has soybean oil. Anyway, the good thing here is that this supplement doesn’t contain shellfish, gluten, salt, and sugar.

Remember that you should only give one of these chew supplements a day on any dog breed or size. With that, the 60-count jar will last fairly long and provide results.

Moreover, many vets trust Virbac MOVOFLEX as one of the best supplements for older dogs with arthritis. It will help reduce the pain of the condition to improve your dog’s quality of life.

The good thing about chew supplements like this is that you no longer have to fight with your dog to administer it. Your dog will even beg for more since it’s tastier than a tablet!

  • Made delicious
  • Innovative shell membrane
  • Vet-recommended
  • Contains soybean oil (allergy issue)

NaturVet ArthriSoothe GOLD 3 Chews

My last recommendation for this roundup is the NaturVet ArthriSoothe GOLD 3 Chews. This supplement contains 500 mg of glucosamine, 500 mg of MSM, and 200 mg of chondroitin sulfate. It’s a powerhouse formula that will help restore your guard dog’s joint health and mobility.

Aside from that, this supplement is also mixed with 200 mg of green-lipped mussel, Vitamin C, calcium, zinc, and Vitamin E. If that’s not enough, it’s also blended with Indian frankincense and yucca extracts for added nutrition. This has hyaluronic acid, too, that supports the joint and hip structure of your pooch.

Overall, this supplement is a must-have for pet owners whose dogs are suffering from arthritis. You can also give this as a preventive regimen to dogs once they are at least 12 weeks old.

Each jar of this supplement contains 240 chews, which is more than enough to see results on your dog’s health. If you think it’s too much, you can get this in smaller counts of 40, 90, or 120.

Even vets recommend this on dogs suffering from arthritis. But to be sure, you can always ask your dog’s vet to guarantee that this supplement suits your pooch.

  • Packed with naturally extracted glucosamine
  • Suitable for dogs at least 12 weeks old
  • Clinically tested
  • Gets crushed easily, so be careful

How to choose a joint supplement for your dog

Each dog is different so are its nutritional needs. So when it comes to joint supplements, you should consider the following:


You’ll be surprised by how much canine joint supplements differ in terms of ingredients. Many manufacturers also have their proprietary blends promising to improve your dog’s joint mobility. The following are the most common ingredients you’ll find on many dog joint supplements:

Glucosamine. This is a naturally occurring compound that’s been proven to boost cartilage growth. As you know, cartilage is the cushion between your dog’s bones. When it thins, arthritis sets in. Glucosamine helps delay or at least manage it through its anti-inflammatory effects.

Chondroitin. You will usually see glucosamine paired with chondroitin. Also known as chondroitin sulfate, this substance fights off the chemicals that cause the bone cartilage’s thinning. So while glucosamine works, chondroitin acts as a layer of defense to prevent further damage on the joints.

Hyaluronic acid. Many joint supplements in the market nowadays are blended with hyaluronic acid. It’s a naturally occurring substance on the connective tissue of a dog’s joints. By boosting the supply of hyaluronic acid, your dog will have better joint mobility.

MSM. MSM or methylsulfonylmethane is a sulfur compound that serves as a preventive substance for the cartilage. It has natural anti-inflammatory benefits, which helps ease your dog’s discomfort.

These are the most common ingredients used on dog joint supplements, but you may find other additions like turmeric, curcumin, black pepper, and so on.

What about green-lipped mussels? If you’ve been browsing joint supplements for your dog, you probably noticed that many brands market theirs as having ‘green-lipped mussel’. This shellfish is actually a powerhouse source of glucosamine and chondroitin. It’s also rich in Vitamin C and E as well as antioxidants that boost your dog’s overall health.

You should also know that the ingredients in canine joint supplements are divided into two: active and inactive. Basically, the active ingredients are the ones that do the work in easing arthritis and joint pain. Meanwhile, inactive ingredients are for added palatability and carriers for the active ingredients.

✔️Tablet vs. chews

Another thing you should consider is the form of the supplement. Tablets are traditional, but it can be challenging to administer since you have to hide it on your dog’s food.

The solution here is a chew supplement. It’s masked as a treat with a delicious flavor. This way, it’s easier to give a dose to your dog. Your pooch will even want more.

Still, chew supplements have downsides, too. It’s moist and prone to molds if not stored well. Also, there’s no guarantee that your dog will like its taste.

In the end, it’s about what works for your dog and what you prefer.

✔️Consider your dog’s allergies

When shopping for any food, treats, or supplement, you should always check your dog’s allergies. An ingredient might trigger an irritation, which is something you wouldn’t want to happen on your dog that’s already suffering from arthritis. If you’re in doubt, you can consult with the vet for a proper diagnosis.

Aside from that, you have to take into account any lingering illnesses that your dog may have. You also have to ask the vet if a specific joint supplement is safe for your canine.

If you are opting for a chew supplement, avoid one with too many grains since it’s notorious as allergens among canines.

✔️Mind the dose

Although joint supplements don’t require a vet’s prescription, you should still follow the dosage indicated on the label. This will prevent over-consumption that may have adverse side effects on a canine.

You should make it a habit to read the label. This will save your dog from potential health problems that may end up in emergency vet visits.

✔️Know the company

While the supplement’s brand doesn’t dictate its efficiency, it will give you an idea about how well the product is made. For example, I’d rather get a supplement from Virbac, VetSmart, or NutraMax because these companies have been in the industry for years. They are trusted and reputed as a pet brand. Compare that to a shady brand with poor labeling, and you’ll know what I mean.

Tips in caring for a dog with arthritis

Arthritis is a life-long condition, so you have to care for your dog 24/7. While it can cause discomfort, you can do something to improve your pet’s quality of life. The following are some of my recommendations:

  • Reduce the dog’s physical activities. Arthritic canines shouldn’t be exerting too much physically. For exercise, you should explore low-impact alternatives like walking or hydrotherapy.
  • Time for retirement. If your dog has been guarding your home for years, it might be time for them to retire. Arthritic dogs don’t have the same energy, so forcing them to chase after intruders at their condition isn’t acceptable.
  • Consider a supplement. While a supplement will not cure your dog’s arthritis, it will help a lot in delaying the condition’s progression. It will also allow your dog to live a full life with less pain.
  • Consider therapy. Guard dogs with arthritis will do well with therapy. It can help regain the mobility of their joints as well as the lost muscles on their legs and spine.
  • Give the dog a comfy bed. Arthritic dogs need ample support on their joints to disperse the force as they lie down. You should get an orthopedic dog bed so your dog will get a restful sleep without taxing their joints too much.
  • Manage the pain. Canine arthritis is painful and can lead to aggression if not addressed. You should look for ways to alleviate the pain through vet-prescribed NSAIDs and pain killers.
  • Coordinate with the vet. Aging dogs need vet care now more than ever. Make sure that you talk to the vet regularly for proper advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I help my dog with arthritis?

A: You have to reduce the stress on the dog’s joint. Instead of letting the dog jump off elevated surfaces, you should get a ramp instead. Aside from that, you should also keep your dog’s nails short, so it won’t dig through their paws, causing more pain. You can also ask the vet for the best supplements for older dogs with arthritis. This will help restore the lost nutrients on the joint, but remember that it’s not a cure.

Q: Is turmeric good for dogs suffering from arthritis?

A: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the joint pain of your dog. However, turmeric alone isn’t enough to alleviate the suffering of your pooch. You also have to make lifestyle changes to reduce the stress on their joints. Arthritis is a life-long condition, so you have to care for your dog more than ever.

Q: What does a dog with arthritis not eat?

A: If your dog has arthritis, you should avoid giving it any high-grain food like wheat or soy. Also, processed foods are no-nos because it increases your dog’s blood sugar level that will result in inflammation. This will make arthritis worse for the canine. As much as possible, look for food with high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin.

Q: Should you walk a dog with arthritis?

A: For dogs with arthritis, controlled exercise is necessary. Gentle and slow walks are much better than agility drills or other high-intensity exercises. Anything that will force the joint to hold weight must be avoided. Still, you should find ways to get your dog moving to prevent obesity, a condition that makes arthritis worse. 

Q: Does arthritis shorten a dog’s life?

A: Many dogs with arthritis can live full and long lives. What you need is to manage the symptoms so the pooch won’t suffer from the pain. With the help of a vet, you can plan a new lifestyle for your arthritic dog so it can still have a good quality of life.

Q: Are NSAIDs good for dogs with arthritis?

A: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs help alleviate the pain due to canine arthritis. It’s also effective in reducing swelling. However, it should never be used long-term because it will have dangerous side effects to canines as much as it has to humans.

Final words

The best supplements for older dogs with arthritis will help ease your pet’s suffering. However, you should remember that it’s only a supplement and not a cure for your dog’s condition. Life-long care and regular visits to the vet are essential to managing the symptoms of canine arthritis.

Is your dog suffering from canine arthritis? Share your experience with us in the comment section!