The Best Dog Food For Arthritis
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Osteoarthritis or, as it’s usually called, arthritis, is a common problem in dogs, especially as they get older. Larger dogs can be especially prone to problems with their joints as they age.
However, some dogs can have problems with mobility due to arthritis starting at a young age. There is no cure for arthritis but changing your dog’s diet to a food that’s formulated for joint and mobility issues can often help improve his quality of life. So, let’s take a look at the best dog food for arthritis.
Compare Best Dog Food For Arthritis
1. Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
2. Hill's Prescription Diet Metabolic + Mobility Weight & Joint Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food
BEST FOR BUDGET
3. AvoDerm Joint Health Chicken Meal Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
BEST FOR SENIORS
4. Wellness Complete Health Senior Deboned Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food
BEST FOR ACTIVE DOGS
5. VICTOR Performance Formula Dry Dog Food
399 kcal/8oz cup
What is Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is a form of degenerative joint disease (DJD). Degenerative joint disease in dogs includes a number of different joint problems. Any joints can be affected. DJD is due to an inflammation of the joint that gets progressively worse as the cartilage deteriorates.
This breakdown can occur due to age, disease, injury, or repeated stress on the joint.
Once the cartilage begins to break down and there is no more cushion for the joint, there can be pain, bone spurs, inflammation, and a reduced range of motion. The joints most commonly affected are a dog’s legs and lower spine.
All dogs have some risk for osteoarthritis as they get older since cartilage will normally begin to break down with age.However, there are some other factors that can put your dog at risk of developing arthritis:
- Large and giant breeds are more likely to develop joint and mobility problems such as hip dysplasia
- Obesity increases your dog’s risk of developing osteoarthritis – added weight puts more stress on the joints
- Dogs that are older, from middle-age to senior, are more likely to develop arthritis than younger dogs
- Repetitive stress from some activities can lead to joint problems and arthritis; care should be taken with athletic events such as flyball and agility, for example. Even repeated jogging on a hard surface can produce this kind of stress
- Injuries that result in ligament tears or fractures can result in arthritis
- Some infections that affect the joints can lead to arthritis such as Lyme Disease
- Poor nutrition can lead to arthritis
- Dogs with poor conformation are more likely to have joint and mobility problems
- There can also be a genetic risk for problems like hip dysplasia
With all of these risk factors, including old age, most dogs do develop some degree of arthritis as they age. This doesn’t mean that they have to suffer or that their arthritis has to be debilitating.
Even senior dogs with mild arthritis can remain active. In fact, moderate exercise, keeping your dog at a healthy weight, feeding your dog good dog food for joint mobility, and the addition of joint supplements can do wonders to help your dog minimize the effects of arthritis.
What To Look For When Shopping For Dog Food For Arthritis?
If your dog is showing signs of having arthritis, it’s a good idea to get a diagnosis from your veterinarian. Your vet can determine if your dog is in pain and make suggestions about treatment.
There are many things that you can do to help your dog. One of them is feeding him a good dog food for arthritis. Most foods that can help dogs with arthritis are labeled for “joint care” or “mobility.”
You may also need to look for foods that have extra glucosamine and chondroitin added. These supplements are frequently recommended for dogs with arthritis or other mobility issues.
Things to look for in a dog food for arthritis include:
Good meat protein. Don’t shy away from foods that use chicken meal, lamb meal, or other named meat meals. These foods have plenty of good protein. Plus, chicken meal is also a natural source of glucosamine, a building block of cartilage.
Glucosamine supplementation (usually with chondroitin, too) is good for your dog’s arthritis; green-lipped mussel is another supplement that is often added to dog foods for joint support.
Foods with low to moderate fat. Dogs that are overweight or obese put extra stress on their joints which makes arthritis worse. If your dog has arthritis, it’s important for him to be at a healthy, lean weight.
Consider anti-inflammatory ingredients. Some sources recommend ingredients such as papaya, alfalfa, celery, and ginger which have a reputation for being good anti-inflammatory foods.
Avoid plants from the nightshade family in dog foods. These ingredients include potatoes (not sweet potatoes), tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. These foods contain solanine and are said to aggravate arthritis pain. However, according to the Arthritis Foundation, there is no scientific evidence to back up these claims.
Should you avoid foods with grains? Likewise, there don’t some to be any particular scientific reasons to seek out or avoid grains if your dog has arthritis. You can find good joint care/mobility dog foods with and without grains, according to your preference (and your dog’s preference, of course).
If you have a large or giant breed, look for foods formulated for their big size. These foods are often formulated with joint supplements and can help a dog with mild joint problems.
If you have a senior dog experiencing some mobility problems, consider a senior dog food. Some senior dog foods contain added glucosamine and joint supplements to help with arthritis. Many of these foods are also weight control foods so they are low in fat. They can be a good choice if your older dog needs to lose a little weight.
Along with choosing the best dog food for arthritis and adding some natural supplements, it’s important to encourage your dog to remain active.
Even if you and your dog simply take a short walk every day, a little exercise is good for his muscles and joints. Exercise is also a good way to help your dog stay at a healthy weight. Remember that arthritis cannot be cured but you can manage it.
The Best Rated Dog Foods For Arthritis
Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 20% Min
- Fat: 12% Min
- Fiber: 3.5% Max
- Calories: 318 kcal/cup
- Good sources of meat protein
- Low to moderate fat level
- No corn, wheat, or soy protein, no by-products or artificial flavors
- Glucosamine and chondroitin naturally sourced from lamb meal
- Reasonably priced
- Moderate protein level
The first ingredient is pasture-fed deboned lamb, followed by chicken meal. Made with non-GMO ingredients and no by-products, corn, wheat, soy protein, or artificial flavors. It contains glucosamine and chondroitin naturally sourced from lamb meal to help support healthy hip and joint function.
Available in a 30-lb and 40-lb bag.
Hill's Prescription Diet Metabolic + Mobility Weight & Joint Care Chicken Flavor Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 23% Min
- Fat: 13% Min
- Fiber: 15% Max
- Calories: 291 kcal/cup
- Clinically-proven to improve mobility in as little as 21 days
- Clinically-proven to reduce body weight by 13 percent in 60 days
- Works with your dog’s own metabolism using a unique blend of fiber from fruits and vegetables
- Improves your dog’s ability to walk, run, and jump again
- Requires a prescription from your veterinarian
- Very expensive
This is a veterinary formula which has been precisely developed to manage your dog’s weight and joint health. It’s been clinically proven to improve mobility in as little as 21 days; and to reduce body weight by 13 percent in 60 days.
This food works with your dog’s own metabolism, using a unique blend of fiber from fruits and vegetables. Contains high levels of omega 3 fatty acids. Chicken meal is the first ingredient.
Available in 8.5-lb, 15-lb, and 24-lb bags.
AvoDerm Joint Health Chicken Meal Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 30% Min
- Fat: 12% Min
- Fiber: 6% Max
- Calories: 368 kcal/cup
- Lots of protein
- Low to moderate fat content
- Lots of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate from naturally-sourced chicken cartilage
- Good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids; and uses California avocados and avocado oil
- Some of the protein comes from plant sources
It has low-moderate fat content. It’s quite high in protein content, though some of it does come from plant sources. This food also has a good balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Uses California avocados and avocado oil which are full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Available in a 24-lb bag.
Wellness Complete Health Senior Deboned Chicken & Barley Recipe Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 22% Min
- Fat: 10% Min
- Fiber: 4.25% Max
- Calories: 416 kcal/cup
- Good sources of meat protein
- Low fat
- Oatmeal, ground barley, and ground brown rice provide good sources of carbohydrates and fiber
- Weight control dog food
- No wheat, corn, soy, meat by-products, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
- Contains added glucosamine and chondroitin
- Reasonably priced
- Moderate protein level
This formula has deboned chicken and chicken meal as the first two ingredients. It uses oatmeal, ground barley, and ground brown rice as good sources of carbs and dietary fiber.
The food is low in fat and is considered a weight control dog food so if your senior dog needs to lose a little weight, this food could help. It also contains added glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. No corn, no wheat, no soy.
Available in 5-lb, 15-lb, and 30-lb bags.
VICTOR Performance Formula Dry Dog Food
- Protein: 26% Min
- Fat: 18% Min
- Fiber: 3.8% Max
- Calories: 399 kcal/8oz cup
- Made of 81 percent meat protein from beef, chicken, and pork meals
- A good choice for active and performance dogs
- Added glucosamine and chondroitin help with long-term joint health
- Made from gluten-free grains
- No corn, wheat, or soy; pea-free
- Very affordable
- Adult maintenance formula so it cannot be fed to puppies
Beef meal is the first ingredient and it also has chicken and pork meals. The recipe has plenty of meat protein. This food does have a higher fat content but since it’s made for very active/performance dogs, they should be able to work off the calories. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also added. Made from gluten-free grains.
Available in 5-lb and 40-lb bags.
Most dogs will experience some degree of arthritis. Making sure your dog maintains a healthy weight, engages in regular exercise, and eats a balanced diet can help him greatly. If pain management is required, your veterinarian can help.