Did you know that one in five dogs have (or will have) arthritis, and 65 percent of older dogs suffer from this painful disease? As your pooch moves into their golden years, they can become less active and energetic. Although many older dogs prefer a nice snooze instead of a run, their lack of mobility could be due to pain.
Glucosamine is a natural ingredient that can help your pup’s joint health and mobility. Food that is rich in this ingredient will help relieve arthritis pain and also help prevent the breakdown of joint tissue.
That being said, there are many dog foods that claim to be healthy and rich in glucosamine. Below, we have reviewed the ten best dog chows with glucosamine. We will share all the important info such as ingredients, vitamins, taste, and many other factors.
Don’t know much about this natural supplement? Not to worry, we have also provided some helpful info in the buyer’s guide below to give you all the details you need.
The 10 Best Dog Foods With Glucosamine
Diamond Naturals Glucosamine Dog Food – Best Value
|Primary Ingredients:||Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice|
|Caloric content:||3,400 kcal/kg, 347 kcal/cup|
This is a great option for dogs suffering from joint pain and owners who need an affordable option. Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food comes in chicken, egg, and oatmeal flavors that your dog will love. This kibble is available in bags of 6, 18, or 35 pounds and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The natural and holistic dog food is made in the USA with cage-free chicken and without corn, wheat, fillers, or artificial colors or preservatives. The food is also a staple of many senior diets. Further, it is easy to digest due to the probiotics, and is great for all sizes.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are both included in the formula to relieve arthritis pain and creaky joints. In Diamond Naturals dog food, chicken meal is listed as the second ingredient, but its high protein content suggests that it is of higher quality. It is also important to note that this is the only flavor of the senior diet, and dogs can get bored with eating the same thing every day just like we do. Aside from that, this is the best dog food with glucosamine you can buy.
Blue Buffalo Protection Dog Food – Best Overall
|Primary Ingredients:||Whitefish, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brown Rice|
|Caloric content:||3,619 kcal/kg, 377 kcal/cup|
As our top pick, we recommend Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food. It is an all-natural, holistic formula. Protein, carbohydrates, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are all present in healthy amounts. Cold-formed and concentrated with essential nutrients, the “life source bits” throughout the kibble will also benefit your pup. With brown rice, this food is available in fish, chicken, and lamb varieties. There are also bags available in 6, 15, and 30 pounds. The kibble is easy to chew and digestible, making it a tasty meal for all breeds and sizes.
In addition to real meat, Blue Buffalo includes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables as well as joint pain-relieving glucosamine. No corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors or preservatives are included in this formula. With this dry dog food, your pup’s immune system is supported, their coat is cared for, and muscles, bones, teeth, and joints are maintained. The product is made in the United States and is high in protein. As a whole, this is the best dog food you can get that contains glucosamine.
Instinct Raw Boost Glucosamine Dog Food – Premium Choice
|Primary Ingredients:||Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Salmon Meal, Chicken|
|Caloric content:||4,169 kcal/kg, 478 kcal/cup|
Featuring cage-free chicken, our premium choice is Instinct Raw Boost Dry Dog Food. Featuring easy-to-chew kibble bits along with freeze-dried chunks of real chicken meat, the formula is also grain-free. The ingredients in this natural dog food include protein, probiotics, omegas, and antioxidants. Additionally, it contains calcium, phosphorous, and natural DHA for brain and eye health. Furthermore, this brand promotes mobility by using both glucosamine and chondroitin. There are no grains, corn, soy, wheat, potatoes, or by-product meal in the Instinct formula, and it uses non-GMO fruits and vegetables. Bags are available in 4-pound or 24-pound sizes.
Besides being made in the USA, there are no artificial flavors or preservatives in this product. All breeds and sizes of dogs will benefit from this minimally processed food. One point to note is that the first ingredient listed is chicken meal, even though it is claimed to contain no by-products. Additionally, chicken meal contains glucosamine. The levels of this nutrient are good, but it is not listed as a free-standing nutrient. Also, this kibble is only available in one flavor.
Royal Canin Large Joint Care Dry Food – Vet’s Choice
|Primary Ingredients:||Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Wheat|
|Caloric content:||3,526 kcal/kg, 314 kcal/cup|
Large Joint Care Dry Dog Food from Royal Canin is our vet’s choice for providing optimal nutrition to large dogs with joint problems. The food is formulated with ingredients that help support joint health, including chondroitin. It also has chicken meal as a top three ingredient, so we are confident with all that ground-up bone in the mix, this food is high in glucosamine. Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine are both compounds that have been shown to be beneficial for treating osteoarthritis. Glucosamine is derived from marine shells such as lobster, crab, or shrimp, while chondroitin sulfate derives from the cartilage of animals such as cattle or sheep tracheas.
It also contains omega-3 fatty acids and collagen to help keep joints healthy and lubricated. On the negative side, this food contains a significant amount of corn and wheat, which are not suitable for grain-sensitive dogs.
Victor Performance Dry Dog Food
This next dog meal is an interesting one as it does not list a flavor. The Victor 2404 Performance Dry Dog Food is made with beef, chicken, and pork creating a medley of flavors that is not going to temp a food troubled pet.
Not recommended for smaller breeds, this formula contains both glucosamine and chondroitin to help support healthy bone and joint movement. That being said, this is not necessarily a meal meant for older dogs. In fact, the feeding guidelines are designed for high-performance pups that are not out in adverse weather. The reason for this is that in extremely cold temperatures, dogs will use fat stores instead of sugar for energy.
Naturally, Victor dog food is higher in fat and lower in protein. Although it does have many probiotics, prebiotics, and minerals, it does not have the correct blend that older pups benefit from the most. On the other hand, this is a gluten-free formula without corn, wheat, soy, and by-products.
Another drawback of this meal is that it contains ingredients such as yeast, vegetable oil, FOS, and tetrasodium which can make your pal ill. Perhaps due to these issues, it is harder to digest. Produced in the USA, unfortunately, this is not a natural formula.
- Not designed for older dogs
- Contains artificial ingredients
- Hard to digest
- No distinguishable flavor
- Not recommended for small breeds
- Contains probiotics and prebiotics
- Gluten-free formula
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Glucosamine Dry Food
|Primary Ingredients:||Deboned Salmon, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine), Peas, Pea Protein|
|Caloric content:||3,592 kcal/kg, 415 kcal/cup|
Our fourth pick is the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dry Dog Food. You can choose from salmon, duck, or chicken in this tasty dish. This formula is also grain-free, containing no corn, wheat, or soy. Furthermore, there are no artificial flavors, preservatives, or chicken by-product meals in this product. Alternatively, your dog will benefit from the natural ingredients that are packed with protein and carbohydrates. Additionally, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals are included, plus glucosamine and chondroitin. Those supplements are also derived from chicken meal in this formula.
Blue Buffalo is an easy-to-digest and eat dog meal that works for dogs of all sizes. Life source bits are a characteristic of this brand and are made in the USA. It is important to note, however, that this formula contains a high amount of peas and ingredients derived from peas, and there are some concerns about this ingredient and heart health.
Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Dog Food
|Primary Ingredients:||Lamb (Source of Glucosamine), Rice Flour, Whole Grain Corn|
|Caloric content:||3,972 kcal/kg, 380 kcal/cup|
Next on our list is Purina ONE SmartBlend Adult Dry Dog Food. With a high protein content, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, this kibble is also a natural formula. Some dogs enjoy a softer meaty morsel as well as the standard kibble bites. In addition to 15 and 27.5-pound resealable bags, you can also choose a 3.8-pound bag that comes in a four-pack for travel convenience. Formulated with real beef as the first ingredient, it is available in only one beef and salmon flavor. Further, there are no artificial flavors, preservatives, or poultry by-product meals.
However, you should be aware that Purina One contains corn, soy, and wheat. Except for that, the dual-bite kibble is great for pups of all sizes and easy on the teeth. The American-made formula is lower in omegas than other dog foods and may be harder for pets with food sensitivities to digest.
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
|Primary Ingredients:||Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum|
|Caloric content:||3,569 kcal/kg, 319 kcal/cup|
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food is available in chicken meal, brown rice, and barley flavors in 4, 15, and 30-pound bags. Within 30 days, the formula claims to improve your pooch’s joint health. There is no added glucosamine or chondroitin in the formula of this pooch meal, but the brand uses EPA from fish oil. This is a great ingredient, but without supplements, it will not be as effective.
However, Hill’s dog food does contain minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins C and E. Plus, it contains no artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors. In contrast, you will find grain, soy, and corn in the ingredients. The first item on the list is chicken meal, which is a good source of glucosamine. Finally, this dog food contains more carbohydrates and fat than other brands.
Dogswell Happy Dog Food With Glucosamine
In our last spot, we have the Dogswell 12313 Happy Hips Wet Dog Food With Glucosamine. This chow comes in either chicken, lamb, or duck, and you can only purchase a 13-ounce 12 pack. The only one of its kind on our list, this meal is a wet canned option.
Made with real meat with fruits and veggies, there is no corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. As a grain-free option, there is also no rice, gluten, BHA/BHT, or ethoxyquin. What’s more, the formula is lower on protein and higher in sodium.
All that said, this formula is 82 percent moisture which means it is mostly water. The first ingredient is water “sufficient for processing”, as well. Unfortunately, that leaves the nutrition value of this meal on the low side. Furthermore, the glucosamine is the last ingredient on the list indicating it will have very little effect on your pup’s joints.
Some other concerns you should be aware of are the debate on where the food is made, which is unclear. Also, Dogswell dog food is known to cause gas and diarrhea. It is not easy to digest, and to be Frank…or Fido in this case, dogs typically just don’t like it. Overall, this is our least favorite option for dog food with glucosamine.
- Glucosamine is the last ingredient
- Hard to digest
- The formula is mostly water
- Lower on vitamins and nutrients
- High in sodium
- Low on protein
- No contains artificial ingredients
NUTRO Natural Choice Dry Dog Food
|Primary Ingredients:||Chicken, Chicken Meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), Whole Grain Barley|
|Caloric content:||3,569 kcal/kg, 319 kcal/cup|
Vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are included in NUTRO Natural Choice Dry Dog Food. The dog food is available in 15 or 30-pound bags, and it is cooked in the United States. No GMO ingredients are used in the natural kibble, which promotes cognitive and immune health. In addition to being made with farm-raised chicken, this dog food contains no corn, soy, wheat, or chicken by-product meal. Glucosamine and chondroitin are provided by chicken meal in this formula, as we have explained with other options. Additionally, this food contains yeast as well.
Some pets may have difficulty digesting this food, although there are no artificial preservatives or colors. Lastly, although NURTO advertises a non-GMO formula, they do mention the possibility of cross-contact with genetically modified materials.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Food with Glucosamine
Important Things To Know About Dog Food With Glucosamine
If you are on the hunt for healthy dog food for an older pet, glucosamine is a great ingredient you should consider. This supplement has been proven to not only help lubricate the break-down in their joints, but it can also stimulate the growth of the missing tissue.
If looking for that one ingredient was the only thing you had to worry about, you could literally take this list and run with it to the nearest dog food aisle. Unfortunately, there are a lot of other aspects of your pup’s cuisine you should be familiar with if you want to ensure they are consuming the most healthy and nutritious meals.
In this day and age, research has come to the point where we could write a book on “terms” you should know about pet food. Luckily, people have already done that, so we are only going to share the most important ones with you:
- Lid Senior Diet: This is a fairly simple one. A Lid diet is simply a limited ingredient diet; meaning it uses the least amount of items in the formula to reduce sensitivities and increase nutrition.
- Non-GMO: Non-GMO ingredients is something you have probably heard of already. All it means is that organisms (like food ingredients) have been left to evolve naturally without any help from us. This is important because GMOs that are in food have had a gene implanted into them from another species. This can change the traits, nutrition level, and toxicity of that food.
- “Meal”: When you see something called “chicken meal” or “beef meal” listed on your pet food, it indicates all the parts of the animal that were not designated for human consumption except blood, hooves, hide trimmings, hair, manure, stomach, and rumen contents. These parts are then rendered (boiled down to separate water and fat) and turned into a solid.
- Holistic: You may be wondering why this term is here as most people know what it means. If you do not, basically it describes anything that is beneficial to your (or your pets) total health including metal, as well as, physical well being. We bring it up here because the AAFCO and the FDA do not regulate the use of this word. Pet brands can essentially use this term to describe almost any type of food. Also, the term “natural” has the same issue.
- “By-Product”: This is the non-rendered parts of the animal minus the meat for human consumption (if there was any). This can include almost any part of the animal in almost any condition.
- “By-Product Meals”: This term is a combination of the two ingredients above. It is “by-product” that has been rendered.
Meal vs. By-Product: What It Has To Do With Joint Health
Many pet consumers don’t know the difference between “meal” and “by-products”. Many people become disgruntled on their pet’s behalf if a pet food indicates there is no chicken by-product meal, yet chicken meal is the first ingredient.
The Essential Difference
As we have stated above, there is a difference between meal, by-product, and by-product meal. In general, by-products and by-product meals are not good for your pet. Meals, on the other hand, are a topic of debate. Just keep in mind, meal is everything from the animal that is not approved for human consumption minus a few “parts”. It can still include bones, beak, feet, organs, etc.
Depending on the manufacturer, or even the batch, meals can have different nutritional values as it can be comprised of different things. For example, It could be mostly bone. Also, rendering is essentially over-boiling, which can kill a lot of vitamins. Finally, even if the label says “no by-product meals”, it does not mean there are no “meals” or “by-products”.
How Glucosamine Fits In
So, what does this have to do with joint health? As we pointed out in the reviews above, glucosamine is the essential supplement that helps with joint pain and promotes the growth of the tissue between your pup’s bones.
So, here’s the kicker. Glucosamine is not naturally found in food. It is a chemical found in the body, in shellfish, and chicken bones and feet. Do you see where we are going with this?
In short, if a pooch food indicates chicken meal as the source of the glucosamine, the “meal” is going to be primarily bones in order to get the glucosamine at a good nutritional value. More often than not, the chicken meal will be used in all of their traditional formulas, as well. Keep in mind, rendering boils out nutrients, too.
Tips When Shopping
Now that you have the terms down pat, there are a few other ingredients you should be aware of to keep your four-legged friend healthy.
- Fish Oil: This piece of the puzzle is an omega-3 fatty acid EPA. It is an anti-inflammatory that can help with joint pain. That being said, it is usually not enough for severe arthritis and works best in conjunction with glucosamine and chondroitin.
- Chondroitin: This is a supplement that does the same thing as glucosamine. The only difference is the latter has an easier time absorbing in the body. Chondroitin has been proven to work better in conjunction with another joint healing ingredient.
- Yeast: Last, but not least we have yeast. This ingredient can cause an excess of gas in your pet’s stomach causing the restriction of blood flow to other organs including the heart and brain.
- Peas: This may seem like another odd one, right? Peas have some nutritional value, but not as much as other ingredients that are more beneficial for your pooch. That being said, what you want to look for is an abundance of pea ingredients like peas, pea flour, etc. Unfortunately, the FDA has recently linked the consumption of too much of this food to heart disease (DCM) in canines.
In conclusion, feeding your dog food with glucosamine can help keep their joints healthy and pain-free. It is important to do your research to find the best food for your dog, as not all brands are created equal. Other nutrients also play a role in supporting joint health, so be on the lookout for fish oils and chondroitin also.
Our top choice overall of food with glucosamine is Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Dog Food as it is an all-natural, holistic formula packed with “life source bits.” If you’re on a bit of a budget, Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food comes in chicken, egg, and oatmeal flavors, and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
If you have any doubts or reservations, be sure to talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions about adding glucosamine to your dog’s diet.