BestForPets is reader-supported. Your purchases via our links may earn us an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Our Affiliate Disclaimer

The 10 Best Dog Foods For Arthritis

It is distressing to observe a dog with movement challenges, whether they are caused by hip dysplasia, arthritis, or other illnesses. Their innate tendency is to run.

However, the difficulty of mobility discourages them frequently. Approximately 25% of dogs will get arthritis at some time throughout their lives. The illness is especially prevalent in Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers. 

Controlling your dog's weight is one of the most effective strategies to mitigate the impact of mobility issues. It relieves his joints of the additional pressure added weight places on them.

This knowledge provides several opportunities for enhancing your pet's quality of life through dietary modification. Any trip to a pet store or online will reveal the abundance of options available. It is difficult to determine which option is the best.

Our guide will provide the information you need to make an informed decision. We will explore what makes a dog meal suitable when addressing these difficulties.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) will also give weight management advice for your dog. In addition to nutritious food, you will have a great strategy to alleviate your dog's suffering.

Our compilation of reviews will provide you with the knowledge necessary to choose the best dog foods for arthritis.


Cans of Purina ONE SmartBlend Classic Ground Entree for Dogs

Purina ONE SmartBlend Classic Ground Entree Canned Dog Food is the most cost-effective dog food for arthritis, hip dysplasia, and joint health. It is available in chicken or beef, both of which contain pork and egg as additional protein sources. It is a simple product with a simple list of ingredients.

Additionally, the dog food contains brown rice for digestive help. Additionally, it contains oat but none of the problematic grain alternatives, such as lentils. However, additional taurine, a crucial ingredient for heart health, is absent. The caloric content conforms to veterinarian recommendations for healthy weight control, the most effective form of joint health support.


  • Multiple protein sources
  • Reasonably priced
  • Minimal ingredient padding


  • No added taurine


Hill’s Prescription Diet Dry Dog Food Joint Care

Hill’s Dietary Supplements Joint Care Dry Dog Food is clinically proven to be useful for addressing these conditions. Therefore, a prescription from your veterinarian is required to acquire it.

The major source of protein in the product is chicken, while pig provides fat. As well as omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine, it has a number of substances that aid with mobility concerns.

The food is also a nonsensical formula with no extra human foods to increase its marketability. Additionally, the protein and fat content are acceptable. It has an acceptable amount of calories per cup for weight control.

There are just two sizes of bags, with no intermediate size. It weighs between 8.5 and 27.5 pounds. This dog chow is also rather costly in comparison to similar goods.


  • Excellent protein profile
  • Taurine augmentation


  • Highly costly
  • Lack of a bag of medium size


Joint Mobility Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Dry Dog Food

Minimum of 30% of the protein in Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Joint Mobility Dry Dog Food comes from a blend of trout, salmon, chicken, and egg. In addition to omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine, the product provides good nutritional assistance.

The latter is taller than the norm. Overall, there are somewhat more calories. However, it also implies that your dog will be satisfied for longer.

Similar to the prior product, this one is also rather pricey. Nonetheless, it is available in three sizes, making it cheaper. It is also devoid of peas, a component connected with cardiac problems. The meal is effective. Unfortunately, some dogs may find it too rich.


  • Excellent protein content
  • Addition of nutritional supplements


  • The high number of calories per cup


Hill’s Prescription Weight & Joint Care Dry Dog Food

Hill’s Weight & Joint Care Dry Dog Food. Food offers a two-pronged approach to joint health by addressing both weight control and joint health to prevent aggravating the disease. This product’s claims are supported by clinical data.

Chicken is the major protein source. Additionally, additional minerals such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are included. It also contains taurine for heart wellness.

The protein and fat levels, as well as the calories per cup, are satisfactory. It has sufficient fiber for digestive assistance, complementing the high protein content. On the negative side, the dish has an offensively pungent stench. It is available in three sizes, including an 8.5-pound bag for testing purposes. This is advantageous, considering the cost of the larger size.


  • Complete solution
  • Evidence-based outcomes


  • Includes pea fiber
  • Expensive


Royal Canin Large Joint Care Food for Dry Dogs

The Royal Canin Dry Dog Food for Large Dogs with Joint Care is another example of the manufacturer’s commitment to focused nutrition. This one is designed for large to medium-sized breeds. It contains many types of protein, including maize, chicken, and pig. The calorie count is sufficient to provide nutrition without excessive calories.

The cuisine has a reasonable amount of fat that falls well within the suggested range. It utilizes many ingredients, including chicken and fish. We like the variety of ingredients, which will prevent your dog from being bored with the food. It also contains rice, which is high on the list of foods that aid digestion. Healthy joints require both chondroitin sulfate and collagen.


  • Excellent fat content
  • Diverse sources of protein
  • Joint health assistance


  • Expensive


Dinner Morsels of Stella & Chewy’s Hip & Joint Boost Dog Food

Stella & Chewy’s Hip & Joint Boost Dinner Morsels has a problem with its identification. It markets itself as both a supplement and a full diet. The latter is pricey for only 13 ounces, as it is favored (oz). We dispute its marketing pitch as well.

We didn’t aware that dogs didn’t like gluten or soy. Additionally, the label advertises the health advantages of New Zealand mussels without providing any supporting research.

Positively, the diet contains several nutrients beneficial to joint health, such as glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids. If you feed your pet this food as a full meal, the high protein and fat level is troublesome. In addition, we were unsure about the effectiveness of some compounds, such as lavender, for dogs.


  • A respectable array of joint health-enhancing supplements


  • Unproven health claims for some substances
  • Expensive
  • Elevated fat content


Blue Buffalo True Solutions Dry Jolly Joints Dog Food

Blue Buffalo True Solutions Jolly Joints Dry Dog Food begins with affordable protein sources such as chicken, shrimp, and egg. The protein content, at 26%, and the fat content, at 15%, significantly surpassed the permissible levels. Even if it originates from high-quality sources such as flaxseed, the latter is at the top end of the spectrum.

We believe that this alters the advantages of these compounds. It also significantly increases the calorie count, which is a risk issue for dogs with limited movement. Additionally, it is grain-free, which is troublesome for certain breeds. The marketing message conveyed by the name is also a source of concern, since the product may not provide what it promises.


  • Diverse sources of protein


  • Grain-free
  • Expensive
  • High-calorie density

Buyer's Guide

Dog food that promotes joint health must accomplish two tasks. First, it must give enough nourishment and the appropriate quantity of calories for weight maintenance. Fortunately, it is one of the easiest and most effective strategies to treat these difficulties.

Second, it should have chemicals that enhance your dog’s movement and alleviate discomfort. Here are the guidelines for selecting the finest dog food for hip dysplasia, arthritis, and joint health.

Nutrient Content

It is crucial not to restrict your dog’s nutrition just because he needs to lose weight. Always provide him with high-quality meals to promote his general wellness. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) gives nutritional content guidelines for all life stages of dogs and cats. It is the starting point when deciding what to feed your pet.

The minimal nutritional needs for an adult dog, expressed as a percentage of the food’s weight, are 18% protein and 5% fat. The dietary profiles also provide vitamin and mineral recommendations, some with maximum amounts. Complete and balanced will indicate that a product fits these requirements.

Complete implies that everything that should be there is there and proportioned appropriately. Numerous businesses hire nutritionists with doctoral degrees to verify that their goods meet or surpass these standards. The AAFCO does not regulate pet food, to be clear. Instead, it collaborates with the FDA to create guidelines for the FDA’s enforcement function.

However, if a product achieves these requirements, you may be confident that your dog’s nutritional requirements are satisfied.


The caloric content per serving is the deciding factor. Here is where you may take an active role in addressing your dog’s mobility concerns and promoting joint health. Body condition is the best indicator of your dog’s weight.

Fortunately, it is simple to evaluate. One can feel the dog’s ribs when it is at the proper weight. If you observe him from above, you will see his waistline.

When determining the so-called magic amount of calories per day for a pet with a chronic health problem, there are several variables to consider. Obviously, the activity level of your dog is a major factor.

The environment also influences how much he will require. A dog who spends the day outside in chilly weather will require more calories than a dog that spends the day on the couch.

There is also the dog itself. A spayed or neutered animal will require fewer calories than an entire animal. Age and breed also have factors. Utilizing a calorie calculator, such as the one offered by the Pet Nutrition Alliance, is an effective method for estimating your dog’s dietary requirements.

You must know the present and optimum weights of your pet. The tool will produce a daily calorie intake recommendation, split down into meals and treats.

Other Ingredients for Healthy Joints

In addition to vitamins and minerals, your dog may benefit from other components. Among the most common are glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and omega-3 fatty acids. Also useful for fostering good skin is the latter. Remember that it takes time for these additions to take effect. It might take up to two weeks before you see results.

A definite dosage doesn’t exist yet. Nonetheless, the majority of research and evaluations suggest at least 475 milligrams (mg). We recommend examining the guaranteed analysis printed on the packaging. Some manufacturers may claim that their products promote joint health, yet include just trace levels of these compounds.

A Note Regarding Grain-Free Dog Food

It is difficult to find grain-free dog food when selecting a diet for your dog. Nevertheless, it may not be the best option for your cat. Veterinarians have seen an increase in occurrences of dilated cardiomyopathy in recent years. This condition impairs the cardiac function of your dog. Despite being curable, cancer can occasionally be fatal.

The worry is giving pets a diet devoid of grains. This has led the FDA to investigate the relationship between these foods and this ailment. Unfortunately, most instances have been diagnosed in breeds that are also the most susceptible to arthritis. We suggest that you discuss this with your veterinarian.

Selecting Dog Food

The most important factor to consider when selecting dog food is that it provides a balanced diet with an adequate quantity of calories. Numerous brands highlight the usage of whole meats in their cuisine.

It is often the first component listed on high-quality product labels. However, do not be deceived by the substance. Everything in the cuisine is listed by weight, with the heaviest ingredients mentioned first.

Whole meats are nutritious sources of protein, but they also contain a great deal of water. Not necessarily inferior are dog feeds containing by-products or meals. Some are more nutrient-dense.

You will also find an abundance of human foods in the ingredient list, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries, and a variety of other delectable-sounding items. However, this does not always imply that they are healthier, at least from a nutritional aspect. Many include trace amounts of these foods. Their main objective is to sell you the stuff, not your pet.

Soggy or Dry? That is the Problem

Wet versus dry dog food is typically a question of personal choice. Some individuals find the odor and appearance of canned foods repulsive. Others like the practicality of kibble. Both are reasonable justifications for selecting one over the other. However, many pet owners combine the two since dry food is typically less expensive than wet food.

It is vital that you monitor the amount of food your pet consumes at each meal, regardless of the product you pick, especially if your dog already has an obesity problem. Consider the following argument for canned goods.

You are aware of the exact amount you are giving him each time. You also know how many calories he consumes daily in order to successfully manage these situations.

If you prefer dry food, we recommend that you do not provide your pet with free access to kibble. It will be more difficult for him to maintain a healthy weight without knowing how much he is consuming.

We recommend leaving his meal out for around 30 minutes. Then, retrieve it. Thus, you will know exactly how much he is receiving, and he will learn to eat quickly.


BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hope this article has made navigating the best dog foods for arthritis. On the value side of the ledger, the Purina ONE SmartBlend Classic Ground Entree Canned Dog Food received top grades for its high protein content and short ingredient list. Its strength is its capacity to regulate your dog’s weight with tasty food. This is the single most important thing pet owners can do to promote joint health.

No one enjoys seeing a dog suffering. Although mobility limitations are sometimes unavoidable, you may assist make your dog more comfortable by managing his nutrition. We advise keeping track of your dog’s weight from day one. It will aid in preventing issues with more severe implications as he ages.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


Rated 0 out of 5
0 out of 5 stars (based on 0 reviews)
Very good0%

There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.

Related articles