10 Best Dog Food with Glucosamine in 2020

Mike PowellEdited by: Mike Powell
Abby TexasReviewed by: Abby Texas

Last Update:

As dog parents we all want our pets to be happy, healthy, and pain-free. Joint problems can affect dogs of all ages, sizes, and activity levels, and can be one of the most debilitating conditions for an otherwise healthy pup to suffer from.

Feeding your pet a kibble containing glucosamine can help immensely when it comes to preventing joint problems and keeping them content and active. 

Whether your pooch is showing signs of joint pain or you simply want to get ahead of possible future joint issues, choosing the best dog food with glucosamine should be an easier task after reading this article.

Product Name
Best Overall For Most Dogs
Best For Seniors
Best For Puppies
Rank
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Diamond Pet Foods Naturals Lite - Lamb & Rice - 30 lb
VICTOR Purpose - Senior/Healthy Weight, Dry Dog Food
ORIJEN Puppy Dry Dog Food for Large Breeds, Grain Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 13lb
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Our Rating 89 / 100
Our Rating 89 / 100
Pro 1
Very nice glucosamine and chondroitin levels
Great protein and fat levels for seniors
Super high-quality ingredient list
Pro 2
Good Omega fatty acid levels and protein
L-carnitine to promote a healthy metabolism
Good Omega fatty acid and glucosamine and chondroitin levels
Best Overall For Most Dogs
Rank
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Diamond Pet Foods Naturals Lite - Lamb & Rice - 30 lb
Rating
Our Rating 90 / 100
Pro 1
Very nice glucosamine and chondroitin levels
Pro 2
Good Omega fatty acid levels and protein
Custom Button
Best For Seniors
Rank
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
VICTOR Purpose - Senior/Healthy Weight, Dry Dog Food
Rating
Our Rating 89 / 100
Pro 1
Great protein and fat levels for seniors
Pro 2
L-carnitine to promote a healthy metabolism
Custom Button
Best For Puppies
Product Name
Rank
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
ORIJEN Puppy Dry Dog Food for Large Breeds, Grain Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 13lb
Rating
Our Rating 89 / 100
Pro 1
Super high-quality ingredient list
Pro 2
Good Omega fatty acid and glucosamine and chondroitin levels
Custom Button
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Sources researched
33
Sources researched
Customer reviews
20,000
Customer reviews
Hours spent testing
34
Hours spent testing
Products tested
10
Products tested

10 Best Dog Food With Glucosamine

1. Diamond Naturals Light Premium Dry Dog Food

Best Value For Money: Superb quality for the price

Diamond Pet Foods Naturals Lite - Lamb & Rice - 30 lb
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Overall Rating90%
Ingredient Quality85%
Glucosamine Levels90%
Other Useful Ingredients85%
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content85%
Affordability95%

PROS

  • One of the most affordable dog foods on the market at the moment, and is superb quality for the price
  • Good Omega fatty acid levels and protein although Omega-3 could be slightly higher
  • Very nice glucosamine and chondroitin levels
  • Added L-carnitine to keep your pet’s metabolism going as it should

CONS

  • Not suitable for active dogs

For pet parents who want to feed your dog healthy, high-quality food but can’t fork out the price of some of the top-of-the-range dog foods every month, this is an amazing option. Diamond Naturals are one of the most affordable dog foods on the market, and their ingredient list reads like any other high-quality, healthy, wholesome dog food out there. This one is guaranteed to make both pup and human happy – it’s easy on your wallet and easy on your dog’s stomach too.

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Impressive Quality For The Price 

Although they’ve chosen to use meat meal instead of real meat in this food, the list of what’s in it is loaded with good grains and superfoods, making it a great healthy choice. Brown rice, barley, oatmeal, and sorghum are all healthy, easily digestible, gluten-free grains that are generally very good for dogs and up the fiber content, which also keeps your pet’s metabolism running smoothly. 

Things like kale, chia seeds, blueberries, kelp, spinach, and papaya add a variety of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals to the mix, and are ingredients often found in the real top-of-the-range products. The protein is a little on the low side, but you really can’t fault the ingredients that go into this one. 

Great Glucosamine & Chondroitin Levels  

The glucosamine and chondroitin levels are very decent, higher than some of the more well-respected foods on this list. They’ll be great for dogs of any activity level, and paired with the L-carnitine to promote healthy weight, your pooch should enjoy the benefits of strong, solid joints that are flexible and comfortable. 

2. Victor Senior Healthy Weight

Best For Seniors: Easily digestible

VICTOR Purpose - Senior/Healthy Weight, Dry Dog Food
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Overall Rating89%
Ingredient Quality89%
Glucosamine Levels89%
Other Useful Ingredients90%
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content88%
Affordability90%

PROS

  • Great protein and fat levels for seniors
  • Nice glucosamine levels
  • Average Omega-3, and added DHA
  • L-carnitine to promote a healthy metabolism

CONS

  • Only available in one flavour
  • Contains chicken further down the list – may not be suitable for those who are intolerant to poultry

The nutrient numbers in this food are perfect for seniors who may be slowing down a little in their activity level. Remember, seniors’ joints have been working for a long time, and may have more wear and tear than younger dogs. This food is nutrient-dense, easily digestible, and contains decent joint-strengthening stuff to keep your older guy or girl tough and joint-trouble-free. 

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Easy To Digest 

Beef meal is first up on the list, which serves the dual purpose of being high in protein and easy on the digestive system. There are a few other meat meals lower down the list (chicken, pork). There are a few good, healthy grains in there, including brown rice, millet, and sorghum. These are generally no problem to digest – there are no low-quality grains containing gluten in this food. 

Healthy Weight Formula  

This is a healthy weight formula for seniors, which doesn’t necessarily mean that you should only feed it to your pet if they’re already overweight. Remember, as a pup starts slowing down when they get older, they burn fewer calories and can pack on the pounds if they don’t keep getting enough exercise. Being a healthy weight formula and containing L-carnitine for regulating metabolism and energy expenditure makes this food a great choice for seniors. There is a nice splash of glucosamine in there, so your senior’s joints will be well looked after.

3. Orijen Puppy Large

Best For Puppies: High protein and fat levels

ORIJEN Puppy Dry Dog Food for Large Breeds, Grain Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 13lb
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Overall Rating89%
Ingredient Quality94%
Glucosamine Levels90%
Other Useful Ingredients90%
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • Super high-quality ingredient list
  • Good Omega fatty acid and glucosamine and chondroitin levels
  • Contains EPA and DHA for developing puppies
  • High protein and fat levels for growing pups

CONS

  • Somewhat pricier than others
  • No variety in flavours

You won’t find a more nutrient-packed ingredient list than in this food. It’s loaded with multiple protein sources, and healthy fruits and vegetables – no by-products, grains, or artificial ingredients. It has all a growing puppy needs in terms of nutrients and supplements, and you won’t go wrong feeding your little guy or girl this one from the start.

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Aimed At Puppies 

Puppies need certain things that adults don’t, including DHA (for the development of little puppy eyes and brain tissue). The protein and fat levels are also great for bouncy little pups, and a perfect calcium/phosphorus ratio helps their bones to grow strong but not too fast so as to become brittle and weak. 

Glucosamine for Puppies 

Some may wonder about the safety or risks of feeding young puppies food with glucosamine in it, but there are no indications that it shouldn’t be done. Especially for large breed puppies, it’s a good idea to start supplementing with joint-strengthening stuff from a young age, to give them the greatest chance of avoiding joint problems later in life. 

The levels of glucosamine and chondroitin in this food (600mg/kg) are pretty much in the middle of the range, which is a great number to begin with for puppies.

4. Zesty Paws Mobility Bites

Best Value For Money: Superb quality for the price

Glucosamine for Dogs - Hip & Joint Supplement for Dog Arthritis Pain Relief - With Chondroitin & MSM - Advanced Daily Natural Mobility Pet Soft Chews for Joints - All Canine Breeds & Sizes - 90 Count
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Overall Rating88%
Ingredient Quality85%
Glucosamine Levels90%
Other Useful Ingredients90%
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content90%
Affordability95%

PROS

  • Formulated specifically for hip and joint support
  • High levels of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) to promote joint strength
  • Contains kelp, which is an extra health boost
  • Fairly affordable as it contains 90 chews in a tub

CONS

  • Not suitable if you want a treat to increase calories (more a supplement than a treat)

If your pup is not getting enough glucosamine (and this should be determined by a vet, not by you), you can get them a glucosamine supplement to go along with their kibble. This one is a great option because it’s packed with joint-fortifying stuff and comes in 2 flavours so your pooch feels like they’re getting a treat instead of being given medicine.

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Healthy Ingredients 

These little things are laden with plenty of stuff that will help toughen and cushion your pup’s joints. Glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and yucca extract are listed on the bottle as the main joint-related ingredients, which means your pooch will be getting a much more concentrated dose of glucosamine that is sure to taste good and have a great effect on their health and mobility. 

5. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food

Premium Option: Contains good glucosamine and chondroitin levels

american-journey-1

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Overall Rating87%
Ingredient Quality90%
Glucosamine Levels90%
Other Useful Ingredients80%
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content90%
Affordability85%

PROS

  • High levels of protein and fat
  • Very good Omega-3 fatty acid level
  • Good calcium/phosphorus ratio to keep bones strong
  • Contains good glucosamine and chondroitin levels

CONS

  • Has some hidden chicken ingredients down the list, so may not be suitable for pets who have allergies or intolerances to poultry

This food is fairly limited ingredient, although it’s not specified as being a limited ingredient food. This is a good thing, as it means fewer foods for any possible intolerances to react badly too. The only thing that may be a problem for some is the chicken fat and chicken meal, but this is likely to affect only a few. The glucosamine levels are great and coupled with a high level of Omega-3s and a great calcium/phosphorus ratio, makes for our premium pick when it comes to the best dog food with glucosamine. 

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Healthy Nutrient Levels For Most Dogs 

With 32% protein and 14% fat, this food would work very well for dogs who are moderately to highly active. It’s also great for dogs of all ages – it has a dose of DHA in there which would be super for puppies and seniors, and the glucosamine levels would be helpful no matter how old your pooch is. 

The fantastic Omega-3 fatty acid content comes from a mix of deboned salmon, salmon oil, and flaxseed, and is higher than many other foods. This is super as glucosamine and Omega-3s work really well together to create healthy joints. 

Joint-Strengthening Properties 

In addition to glucosamine, chondroitin, and Omega-3s, this kibble contains DHA (which is, technically, another Omega-3 fatty acid), and has a great calcium/phosphorus ratio. Menhaden fish meal is a great source of glucosamine. The protein levels also keep muscles strong which will help stabilise joints. 

With 600mg/kg of glucosamine and 500mg/kg chondroitin, this food will be helpful for pups of all ages, sizes, and activity levels to keep joints tough and shock-absorbent.

6. Canidae Pure Real Dry Dog Food

Best For Sensitive Stomachs: Fewer food intolerances

Canidae PURE Grain Free, Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Lamb, Goat and Venison Meals, 24lbs
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Overall Rating87%
Ingredient Quality90%
Glucosamine Levels90%
Other Useful Ingredients85%
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content90%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Leading levels of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Limited ingredient formula means fewer food intolerances
  • Variety of flavours available
  • Great omega fatty acid levels

CONS

  • Slightly pricey
  • Some contain chicken, some contain potato – you will need to check carefully if your fluff is sensitive to a particular ingredient

This range of foods contains a nice selection of flavours and formulas to cater to every pup who has a sensitive tummy. Some dogs are sensitive to specific ingredients, so there are chicken-free options, and potato is another intolerance-culprit, so there are potato-free options too. 

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High Glucosamine Levels In All Flavours 

This number varies quite a bit depending on the flavour, but whatever you choose, your pup will be getting a leading amount of glucosamine in their system with this kibble. Some contain up to 1400mg/kg of glucosamine, while other contain around 400mg/kg but a higher level of chondroitin. Either way, this food is fantastic for pups with sensitive stomachs who need a good dose of glucosamine too. 

High Omega-3 Levels 

The same is true for the Omega-3 levels – they differ vastly depending on the flavour. No matter which flavour, though, the levels are good and will work really well in conjunction with the high glucosamine numbers. 

7. Blue Buffalo Freedom Dry Dog Food

Best Low-Protein: For pups who need a low-protein diet

Blue Buffalo Large Breed Freedom Grain Free Chicken Recipe Dry Dog Food, 24-Pound
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Overall Rating86%
Ingredient Quality85%
Glucosamine Levels90%
Other Useful Ingredients90%
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content85%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Lower in protein than most for pups who need a low-protein diet
  • High-quality ingredient list
  • Great levels of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Contains L-carnitine and EPA for an extra joint-strengthening boost

CONS

  • Even the non-chicken flavours contain some sneaky chicken ingredients further down their list, so be careful if your pet is sensitive to poultry
  • Slightly on the pricey side

Kidney and liver problems can strike any breed and any age, and one of the simplest changes you can make that will help your pup live a healthier and more comfortable life is to change their diet. If your dog’s vet has recommended a low-protein diet to take some strain off the body, this one is a fantastic option to keep your dog’s protein low but still get all the joint-strengthening benefits they’ll need to keep fit and strong.

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Premium Quality Ingredients 

Regardless of which flavour you choose, you’ll find an ingredient list packed with only the best quality stuff. Real meat comes first, and is followed up by some real veggies. A couple of fruits make an appearance too, making this a well-rounded food that contains all of the important things your pooch needs in their diet. 

It’s grain-free and has nothing artificial in it, which is also super helpful when your pup needs a low-protein diet. The less hard work your pup’s system has to do to digest the food, the better, and both the liver and kidneys play an important role in digestion. The quality of ingredients here makes it easy on your dog’s body. 

Great Joint-Strengthening Additions  

This dog food not only contains great levels of glucosamine and chondroitin (700mg/kg and 550mg/kg respectively), but you’ll also find a lovely Omega-3 fatty acid number (0,75%). The addition of EPA (0,1%) ups that just a little. Omega-3 is usually quite a bit less than Omega-6 on a guaranteed analysis list, but it’s the one that really works well with glucosamine to keep joints as strong as they should be. 

Another great thing to see is L-carnitine. It helps regulate metabolism and promote healthy energy levels, which in turn helps keep weight at a healthy level. This is essential for dogs who may suffer from joint issues – the less extra pressure put on their joints, the better.

8. Acana Singles

Best Limited Ingredient: For less chance of allergies and intolerances

ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food, Duck & Pear, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free
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Overall Rating86%
Ingredient Quality90%
Glucosamine Levels90%
Other Useful Ingredients85%
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content85%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Limited ingredient for less chance of allergies and intolerances
  • Good glucosamine level in each flavour
  • Good Omega-3 fatty acid counts in each
  • All flavours contain DHA and EPA

CONS

  • Doesn’t contain chondroitin in addition to glucosamine

A limited ingredient diet can be recommended by a vet for various reasons, but it can also be a super idea to feed your fluff from the start to avoid any chance of food interactions or the development of allergies and intolerances. This range provides 5 flavours, all of which contain roughly the same amount of glucosamine and Omega-3 fatty acids.

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Single Source Protein 

Each flavour contains only the protein that is advertised on its packaging. It may come in various forms, such as real meat, meat meal, and organ meat, but they all come from the same source – if it says turkey, there is only turkey. This is great because if your dog has an intolerance of one particular meat, it’s very easy to avoid that ingredient. There are no hidden meat ingredients – if it says one thing, you can be sure it only contains that meat. 

High Glucosamine Levels  

Turkey & Greens, Duck & Pear, and Pork & Squash contain 800mg/kg of glucosamine, while Lamb & Apple and Beef & Pumpkin contain 500. Both of these numbers are good and will do a lot to help your pet’s joints stay tough. The calcium/phosphorus ratio on all flavours are great for strong bones, and the Omega-3 levels are great too. EPA and DHA are also present, adding even more Omega-3 to the mix. You can feed this to your pup knowing that their health will be improved and their joints will be fortified. 

9. Orijen Original Adult Dry Dog Food

Best For Active Corgis: Biologically-appropriate food for active dogs

ORIJEN Dry Dog Food for All ages, Original, Grain Free, High Protein, Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 13lb
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Overall Rating85%
Ingredient Quality90%
Glucosamine Levels85%
Other Useful Ingredients85%
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content85%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Has some chicken-free options
  • High in protein and fat, great for active large breeds
  • Good Omega fatty acid levels
  • “Biologically-appropriate” food for active dogs

CONS

  • Somewhat expensive compared to some others

This dog food range from Orijen comes in three different flavours – Original, Regional Red, and Six Fish. The Original contains chicken, which is great for some dogs and not for others. The other two contain no chicken and have slightly different protein and fat levels. No matter which flavour you choose (or your dog chooses), the ingredients are fantastic quality and this kibble is loaded with as much good stuff as they can fit in there. It’s great for large breeds who get enough exercise during their day. 

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Different Flavours, Different Nutrients 

The Original flavour contains the most glucosamine and chondroitin of the three (600mg/kg), with the Regional Red containing 400 and the Six Fish, 300. When it comes to Omega-3 fatty acids, though, Six Fish tops the rest with a lovely 1,8% – very close to the 2,1% Omega-6. It also contains EPA and DHA, which ups that Omega-3 number even more, making this top of the pops in the Omega fatty acid department. 

The other flavours contain decent Omega-3s (0,8% for Original, 1% for Regional Red), and in conjunction with the higher glucosamine levels in these two, still perform the same function as the higher level Omega-3 food. 

Biologically Appropriate Nutrition 

These foods are geared towards providing natural nutrition – like your pet would have eaten in the wild before dogs became domesticated. This means that there’s a host of healthy, all-natural stuff in it, and nothing that you wouldn’t find in nature. This means that your pup will be getting only good stuff packed into each bite of this food – nothing artificial, and everything natural and well-rounded. 

10. Wellness Complete Health Small Breed Dry Dog Food

Best For Small Breeds: Good protein and fat levels for small breed pups

Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Small Breed Dog Food, Turkey & Oatmeal, 12-Pound Bag
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Overall Rating85%
Ingredient Quality90%
Glucosamine Levels85%
Other Useful Ingredients80%
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content90%
Affordability80%

PROS

  • Good protein and fat levels for small breed pups
  • Very good Omega-3 fatty acid level, one of the highest
  • Specifically aimed at small breeds
  • Smaller kibble size than average

CONS

  • Does not contain different flavours
  • Slightly expensive in comparison to some others

It may not seem logical for small breeds to need glucosamine, as they are so tiny their joints can’t possibly take a lot of strain. The fact is, though, that many little dogs are prone to hip and knee dysplasia, and the chances of this problem can be greatly diminished by a supplemental dose of glucosamine in their kibble. Of course, if your little guy or girl is carrying some extra weight, this also means some extra wear and tear on their joints. 

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Aimed At Small Breeds 

The nutritional value of this food is right in the zone for small breeds, with 28% protein and a great fat level of 16%. These little dogs usually need a higher than average amount of fat, as its quickly expended as easy-to-metabolise energy. The calcium/phosphorus level is perfect, and will also help keep the chances of joint dysplasia to a minimum. 

It’s all-natural and has smaller sized kibbled than usual, to cater for little mouths. If you have a small breed that is susceptible to joint problems, this food will not only be tasty and healthy for your pooch, but will help keep their bones and joints stable and flexible. 

Higher Than Average Omega-3  

While Omega-6 is always the higher of the two, the Omega-3 can be significantly lower. In this case, though, while the Omega-3 level is still lower than the Omega-6, it’s much less so than usual, at 2% (with the Omega-6 level being 3%). 

The glucosamine and chondroitin levels are lower than some others, at 250 and 200mg/kg. This isn’t a problem for little fluffs, though. Their joints are smaller than the large breeds!


Testing Protocol & Criteria Used For Evaluation

Criteria 1 – Ingredient Quality

Regardless of how your pet’s health is, the quality of the ingredients that go into your dog’s food is paramount. You will never get great health results with a food with bad quality ingredients – it’s just not going to happen. 

If the ingredients in your pup’s food are of high quality, you can expect to see an improvement in their health, energy levels, and general wellbeing. This means you’ll expect to see a real meat (or meat meal) as the first ingredient on the list, followed by healthy carbs (these include gluten-free grains and fruits and vegetables). Healthy fat sources are also essential. There should be no mention of animal by-products, or vague terms such as “animal fat”, instead of an identified ingredient.

Criteria 2 – Glucosamine Levels

This is obviously the key ingredient in a list of the best dog food with glucosamine. The levels can vary dramatically, from about 200mg/kg to well over 1000mg/kg. 

The level you choose to feed your pet will depend on a few things – your pup’s activity level, weight, and progression of joint problems. It’s always a good idea to check with your dog’s vet before choosing a food with glucosamine, to make sure the one you’re leaning towards is suitable for your pet. 

Considering every food we’re reviewing here will contain glucosamine (albeit in varying amounts), we’ve given each one a high rating for this particular point. The food will get a slightly higher number if it’s paired with chondroitin, and slightly lower if not, or if the level is lower than average. Each food here already beats one without glucosamine, though!

Criteria 3 – Other Useful Ingredients

While a nice dash of glucosamine will definitely put your pooch at an advantage over those not getting it, if they’re already suffering from join or bone-disease, or are prone to it, there are a few other additions that can be of immense help in keeping these diseases at bay. 

The calcium/phosphorus ratio is an important thing to keep an eye on, and it should be a minimum of 1:1, or a maximum of 2:1. Most higher quality foods do stick to this, as it’s part of being AAFCO certified. This is essential for building strong and healthy bones. L-carnitine is a great supplement to find in these foods too, as it helps regulate metabolism and keep energy levels and weight healthy. This is critical for keeping extra strain off of joints and bones. We’ve decided on this number by what else is on the guaranteed analysis list.

Criteria 4 – Fatty Acid Content

Omega fatty acids are super good for strengthening cartilage and keep joints flexible and well-lubricated. They have a host of other properties too, so a high level of these is a fantastic sight on a dog food label. Omega-3s are the better kind for this sort of thing, so a great level of Omega-3 fatty acids is something we’ve looked for here. 

We’ve also made sure these fats come from healthy sources. No low-grade, unidentified fats are acceptable – it’s no use giving your dog something that will help one thing but create more problems along the way.

Criteria 5 – Affordability

You may assume that a food containing this joint-fortifying supplement costs quite a bit more than average. Don’t worry, that’s not necessarily the case. 

While a high-quality dog food is likely to cost you a bit, and there are some more expensive options on the market, getting your pup some supplemental glucosamine doesn’t have to mean a decline in your savings. There are plenty of options that are right on par with the average non-glucosamine dog food, and some that are even of higher quality and lower price. 

This is always an important criteria, because we believe that keeping your pet healthy can be done without damaging your bank account. It’s just a matter of finding the sweet spot between quality and price, and we’ve covered that for you in this article too.


Questions & Answers

What exactly is glucosamine?

You don’t need to worry that you’ll be pumping your pet full of chemicals here – glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance in your dog’s body, and is found mostly in healthy cartilage. It produces something with a long name that helps your pet’s body form and repair tissue. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory too, so it helps keep the joint strong and prevent pain and stiffness. 

Supplemental glucosamine is often only thought about in the case of senior pups whose natural production of glucosamine has slowed down and is no longer effectively repairing and strengthening cartilage. It’s a great idea, though, to feed it to dogs of all ages because it just provides a nice boost of joint-reparation and strengthening.

Does glucosamine need to be paired with chondroitin to be effective?

If you’ve done any research into and comparisons of dog food with glucosamine, you’ll most likely have noticed that some contain only glucosamine, while others contain glucosamine and chondroitin

Chondroitin is a similar substance to glucosamine, and performs the same functions – building and repairing tissues. They complement each other very nicely when it comes to being effective for repairing and strengthening joints, but it’s not essential for them to be together to be effective. 

Glucosamine on its own will have a good effect on your pet’s joints, as it provides just a little boost that their body will be grateful for. Seeing the two of them on a dog food package is great, but if you only see one, you can still be sure you’re getting a nice little helping hand when it comes to keeping joints tough. 

How much glucosamine should my dog be taking?

While the answer to this question does depend on a variety of things, including age, activity, and other health conditions, the generally accepted dose is 20mg per pound of bodyweight per day. This is why the varying levels of glucosamine in different dog foods is really not a bad thing – you can choose something quite specifically for your pet, based on size, weight, and exercise. 

It’s always a good idea to consult your dog’s vet before going ahead with supplementation, as the condition of their joints can also have an effect on how much they should be taking. The vet may recommend a higher dose, which could mean separate glucosamine supplements in addition to a glucosamine-rich food.

What should dog parents look for in the best dog food with glucosamine for their pup with arthritis or joint problems?

Of course, the addition of glucosamine (and possibly chondroitin) is the number one thing to look for, but there are a few other things to keep an eye on that can benefit your pooch with joint problems. Make sure that the food contains the right amount of glucosamine for your pet, firstly – this can be a little tricky,  because you’ll need to mathematize how much your pup should be getting daily, as well as how much would be in the helping you feed them. Bear in mind that you won’t necessarily be feeding your pup a full cup, which means the number you see on the package may not be accurate for what your pooch is getting in. 

You’ll also need to make sure the ingredients are of high quality, although if you’re choosing a dog food off of this page, you can rest assured that your furry friend will be getting only the best quality. A whole meat source is fantastic as ingredient number one (meat meal is also a good choice), followed by healthy, easy-to-digest carbs, which include gluten-free grains (minus corn!) and fruits and vegetables. Healthy fats are also imperative, as Omega-3s play a big part in keeping joints lubricated and flexible. 

Other great things to see on an ingredient list are l-carnitine, vitamin A and E, and a calcium/phosphorus level that falls within AAFCO standards (although if a dog food is on the shelf, it should be within those).

What are the signs and symptoms of joint problems in dogs?

Joint problems can show themselves in a few different ways, but if you see your fluff struggling with one of these then the chances are good something is not right with their joints. 

Your dog will likely feel stiffness and pain in their joints, which will lead to signs that you can see. Decreased mobility, especially in the affected limb, is a sure sign that something is bothering your pooch. This can be limping or, in severe cases, lameness in the limb (inability to use the limb). 

If your pet suddenly starts walking differently to how they used to, they could be favouring one limb in an attempt to take pressure off another. Do some observing and see if your pooch seems to be limping or favouring another leg, as this will give you an indication of where the problem lies. 

Swelling or tenderness around joints is another sign that your dog is struggling with a problem. This could be something like a twist or sprain, but if there is no apparent cause, and if it carries on past when it should have healed, it could be something more along the lines of degenerating joints.

Do I have to buy a dog food with glucosamine or can I buy glucosamine supplements?

It’s totally up to you whether you buy a dog food that contains glucosamine or try glucosamine supplements. Both are effective, but your choice will most likely depend on the preferences of your pet and how much glucosamine they’ve been recommended by a vet. 

Some glucosamine supplements come in the form of tablets, which your pet may not enjoy taking, or may simply refuse (even when the pill is camouflaged by a treat). Some are chews, which may be easier for your pooch to eat but the taste may not be to their liking. If you can get past those two and get your fluff to eat the tablets or chews, then go for it. 

If not, a food with extra glucosamine in it is a great idea, as they won’t even realise they’re getting supps in with their regular kibble. It’s not necessary to feed them both, unless they need a dose that you can achieve with only one – but it’s important not to assume or calculate this yourself. Check with your vet before supplementing with tablets and food. The majority of pups will only need one, and it’s up to you and them which works best.

Is it okay to give a puppy glucosamine?

There is no hard and fast rule about what age a dog should be before supplementing with glucosamine, but many puppy foods out there to contain it. Usually, it’s accepted that dogs with a tendency towards hip and knee dysplasia can benefit from glucosamine supplementation from a very young age. This goes for small and large breeds who are prone to joint issues, and there’s not much info out there on potential side effects or risks. 

From our research, it’s all right to give your pet a diet that is supplemented with glucosamine, no matter their age, size, or health. Just be sure not to double up on glucosamine-supplemented food and tablets unless it’s been explicitly recommended by a vet.