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6 Best Dog Foods for Joint Health in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks 

Written by: Melissa Gunter

Last Updated on June 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

6 Best Dog Foods for Joint Health in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks 

dachshund dog eating from elevated bowlWatching your furry best friend suffer from any type of pain is heartbreaking for any pet parent. Unfortunately, for dog owners, it sometimes happens. Joint pain is an issue many dogs suffer from. While some breeds are susceptible to these issues, all dogs have the potential to have joint issues as they age. Luckily, you, as their pet parent, can step in and help them.

While following your vet’s advice when it comes to helping relieve your dog’s joint pain is the most important thing you can do, it’s also possible to aid them with the type of dog food you choose. This review is designed to help you choose the best dog foods for joint health available. Take a look at the ones we like and choose the one that is best suited for you and your four-legged best friend.

Disclaimer: The foods reviewed here were chosen because they have certain characteristics that might help with some of the causes or consequences of this medical condition. However, they are not a medical treatment or a substitute for medical treatment. Keep in mind that each medical case is different and what works for some pets may not work for others. Your veterinarian is the right person to advise you on the best diet for your pet’s individual case.

divider-dogA Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Chicken Recipe The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Chicken Recipe
  • USDA-grade chicken is the primary source of protein
  • Features fish oil for healthy joints
  • Promotes healthy immunity, skin, and fur
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Purina ONE Joint Health Formula  Purina ONE Joint Health Formula
  • Real chicken is the main ingredient
  • Includes fish oil and glucosamine
  • Highly digestible
  • Third place
    Hills Prescription Diet Joint Care Dog Food Hills Prescription Diet Joint Care Dog Food
  • Includes glucosamine, EPA, and Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Chicken is the main source of protein
  • Good calorie content
  • Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Recipe Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Recipe
  • Features healthy protein from main ingredient turkey
  • Includes omega fatty acids and fish oil
  • Promotes healthy growth and development
  • Royal Canin Joint Care Dry Dog Food Royal Canin Joint Care Dry Dog Food
  • Great for weight management
  • The formula includes collagen and chondroitin sulfate
  • Diverse protein sources
  • The 6 Best Dog Foods for Joint Health

    1. The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Chicken Recipe – Best Overall

    the-farmers-dog-full-recipe-packaging

    Main ingredients: Chicken, Brussel sprouts, chicken liver
    Protein content: 11.5%
    Fat content: 8.5%
    Calories: 590 kcal per pound

    Our choice for the best overall dog food for joint health is The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Chicken Recipe. USDA-grade chicken is the primary ingredient in this tasty, fresh dog food. You’ll also find great ingredients like Brussel sprouts and broccoli that are ideal for promoting better immunity, skin, and fur. When it comes to your pup’s joints, however, you’ll be pleased to know this food features fish oil along with other vitamins and minerals great for strengthening bones and aiding with healthier joints.

    Honestly, we’re quite pleased with The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Chicken Recipe. The only issue your dog may have is if they are a picky eater, they may not enjoy the Brussel sprouts or broccoli in the food.

    Pros
    • USDA-grade chicken is the primary source of protein
    • Features fish oil for healthy joints
    • Promotes healthy immunity, skin, and fur
    Cons
    • Veggies may not be a favorite of picky eaters

    2. Purina ONE Plus Joint Health Formula – Budget Buy

    Purina ONE Plus Joint Health Formula Natural With Added Vitamins, Minerals and Nutrients Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Real chicken, rice flour, chicken by-product meal
    Protein content: 27%
    Fat content: 12%
    Calories: 379 kcal per cup

    Our pick for the best dog food for joint health for the money is Purina One +Plus Joint Health Formula. This food is designed to be high in protein and able to provide healthy energy. Not only does this formula include fish oil and glucosamine to support better mobility and joint health, but it is also highly digestible and designed to promote a stronger, healthier heart. Real chicken is the main ingredient with all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your adult dog needs for healthy maintenance.

    Our only issue with this dog food is the calorie content. If you choose this formula for your adult dog, it is important that you keep them active and only feed the recommended amounts. This will help avoid issues with unwanted weight gain.

    Pros
    • Real chicken is the main ingredient
    • Includes fish oil and glucosamine
    • Highly digestible
    Cons
    • Food may cause unwanted weight gain

    3. Hills Prescription Diet Joint Care Dog Food

    Hills Prescription Diet Joint Care Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Whole grain corn, chicken by-product meal, flaxseed
    Protein content: 17%
    Fat content: 11%
    Calories: 353 kcal per cup

    Hills Prescription Diet Joint Care Dog Food features several ingredients to help your dog’s joints and mobility such as glucosamine, EPA, and omega-3 fatty acids. This formula is clinically proven to work, therefore you will need a prescription from your dog’s veterinarian to order it online. Chicken is the main source of protein found in this bag along with pork. With a well-balanced calorie content, you can also use this food for decent weight management which helps with your dog’s joints and overall health.

    While this is a great food for dogs with joint issues, it is quite expensive for such a small-sized bag.

    Pros
    • Includes glucosamine, EPA, and omega-3 fatty acids
    • Chicken is the main source of protein
    • Good calorie content
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Recipe

    Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Recipe

    Main ingredients: Turkey, chicken broth, chicken
    Protein content: 10.5%
    Fat content: 7%
    Calories: 425 kcal per can

    Our pick for the joint health of puppies is Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Healthy Growth Turkey & Potato Recipe. This wet food is packed with protein, mostly from Turkey, to help promote good muscle development. You’ll also find omega-3, omega-6, and fish oil that help your pup’s joints. This is especially good for large breed pups that are susceptible to joint and mobility issues. You’ll also be pleased to know this food is packed with vitamins and minerals to promote your pup’s healthy growth and development.

    The only issue we find with this puppy food is the price. For pet owners who are on a budget, it may be best to use this food along with a healthy dry kibble. Also, keep in mind that this food is grain-free. Before placing your pup on a grain-free diet, speak with your veterinarian to determine whether it is necessary.

    Pros
    • Features healthy protein from main ingredient turkey
    • Includes omega fatty acids and fish oil
    • Promotes healthy growth and development
    Cons
    • Expensive

    5. Royal Canin Joint Care Dry Dog Food

    Royal Canin Joint Care Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Corn, chicken by-product meal, wheat
    Protein content: 24%
    Fat content: 13%
    Calories: 314 kcal per cup

    Another better option dog food for joint health is Royal Canin Joint Care. This food is formulated for medium and large dogs. Unfortunately, larger dogs are known to suffer from joint pain. Chondroitin sulfate and collagen are added to this food to help support healthier joints and free your dog of pain. You’ll also find a diverse protein source inside the bag, helping keep your pup interested in the food. The calorie content is also lower when compared to other joint health dog foods which help maintain weight and lower the stress on joints.

    While we feel this dog food is a great choice to promote healthier joints, it can become quite expensive for pet parents.

    Pros
    • Great for weight management
    • The formula includes collagen and chondroitin sulfate
    • Diverse protein sources
    Cons
    • Expensive

    6. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Joint Mobility Dry Dog Food

    New Project Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM Joint Mobility Dry Dog Food

    Main ingredients: Brewer’s rice, trout, salmon meal
    Protein content: 30%
    Fat content: 12%
    Calories: 401 kcal per cup

    Purina Pro Plan Joint Mobility Dog Food is another great pick for helping keep your dog active and free of joint pain. Featuring glucosamine, omega fatty acids, and other supportive nutrients, this food features a high protein content mostly from trout, chicken, salmon, and eggs. You’ll also be pleased to know this food is pea-free which promotes a healthier heart.

    As with many joint health foods on this list, this food is quite expensive. Luckily, there are several bag sizes to choose from. You’ll also notice it has a higher calorie content than others which could pose issues with weight management if not closely monitored.

    Pros
    • A great mix of proteins
    • Includes supportive nutrients such as glucosamine and omega-fatty acids
    • Pea-free
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Slightly higher calorie content

    divider-dog

    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Dog Foods for Joint Health

    What should joint health dog food do for your pup? Most importantly, any food you feed to your pet should provide them with the nutrition they need to stay healthy and active. This also means it should help promote a healthy weight for your dog considering obesity can put more strain on your dog’s joints. Dog food designed for healthy joints should also include ingredients that help alleviate your dog’s pain and help with their mobility. Now that we’ve shared our picks for the 7 best dog foods available for your pet’s joint health, let’s take a closer look at the things we considered when making our choices. This will help you better choose which food is best suited for your dog.

    Nutrition

    As we previously mentioned, proper nutrition is crucial no matter what type of dog food you feed your pet. If you’re unsure of what your dog needs, there are a few ways you can learn. First, speak to your veterinarian. They are your primary source of information when it comes to the well-being of any pet. You can also choose to check out the AAFCO or Association of American Feed Control Officials’ recommendations. They supply full guidelines for both dogs and cats.

    Weight

    Your dog’s weight is a primary factor when it comes to joint health. An overweight dog is going to feel more pain in their joints than a healthy dog. This is due to carrying the extra pounds.

    Of course, there are several ways you can help your dog when it comes to managing its weight. Keeping them active is one. A dog needs daily exercise. The other is by choosing a dog food that not only provides the proper nutrition but has the right calorie content. As we all know, puppies and growing dogs need more calories considering how many they burn in a day. As your dog ages, they slip into the maintenance phase of their lives.

    This is where calories should be watched closely. As your dog slows down a bit, packing on the pounds can be dangerous to their overall well-being. A dog with an ideal weight will suffer less when it comes to joint pain, arthritis, and other ailments.

    Ingredients

    With any dog food, ingredients are a big factor. This is especially true when you’re choosing a food that is designed for a specific issue. For dogs suffering from joint pain, the proper vitamins and minerals are important, but there are other ingredients you should be checking for on product labels. These include omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate.

    Dog Breed

    Large dog breeds seem to suffer from joint issues more than any others. This is due to them carrying around more weight and body mass. If you’re the parent of a large breed dog, it is best to start early when it comes to ensuring their joints are taken care of. On our list, we included a puppy formula that would be ideal for this. Also, if you have a breed that is prone to issues, speak to your veterinarian about supplements and other ways you can help.

    a Brindle Bullmastiff dog
    Image by: Jen Dunham, Shutterstock

    Wet or Dry Dog Food

    The wet or dry dog food debate will rage on for eternity. In all honesty, it is up to you which of these you feed your dog. Luckily, when it comes to the foods we covered in our review, most of them can be purchased in either form. No matter which type of food you prefer feeding your pet, the important thing to remember is portion control. Feeding your pet the proper amounts of food will keep them healthier and promote better weight control.

    divider-dog

    Final Thoughts

    For the best overall dog food for joint health, The Farmer’s Dog Fresh Chicken recipe provides the needed nutrition, calorie content, and ingredients your dog needs. For well-balanced food at a great price, Purina One +Plus Joint Health is an excellent option. If money is not an issue, the prescription kibble by Hill’s Science Diet provides the ingredients and taste your dog will love.

    Puppies will enjoy both the flavor and benefits provided by Blue Buffalo’s Baby Blue Growth Formula. If you’re looking for the right dog food to keep your pup’s joints healthy, these options will leave both you and your pet happy with your choice. We hope these reviews help make your decision a little easier.


    Featured Image Credit: marialevkina, Shutterstock

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