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.
A Quick Look at Our Favorite Picks of 2021:
|Best Overall||Blue Buffalo||
|Best Value||Diamond Naturals||
The 10 Best Dog Foods With Glucosamine:
1. Blue Buffalo Protection Dog Food – Best Overall
Starting with our favorite pick, we have the Blue Buffalo 32 Life Protection Dry Dog Food. This formula is all-natural and holistic. It contains healthy levels of protein, carbohydrates, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Your pup will also benefit from the life source bits throughout the chow that has been cold formed and concentrated with essential nutrients.
This food is available in fish, chicken, or lamb all with brown rice. You can choose from a 6, 15, or 30-pound bag, as well. This is a tasty meal for all breeds and sizes with an easy to chew kibble, plus it’s easy to digest.
Blue Buffalo uses real meat as its first ingredient followed by whole grains, fruits, and vegetables along with joint pain relieving glucosamine. What you will not find in this formula is chicken (poultry) by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors or preservatives.
This dry dog food is designed to support your pup’s immune system, care for a healthy coat, and keep muscles, bones, teeth, and joints strong. It is high in protein and manufactured in the USA. Overall, this is the best dog food with glucosamine you can get.
2. Diamond Naturals Glucosamine Dog Food – Best Value
If you are looking for an affordable meal that will help your pooch with their joint pain, this is the option for you. The Diamond Naturals 418843 Dry Dog Food comes in a chicken, egg, and oatmeal flavor that pups love. Available in 6, 18, or 35-pound bags, this chow is full of vitamins and minerals including antioxidants.
Made with cage-free chicken in the USA, this holistic and natural dog food is processed without corn, wheat, fillers, and artificial colors or preservatives. It is also a lid senior diet staple. What’s more, the probiotics make it an easy to digest choice, and it is great for all sizes and breeds.
To relieve arthritis pain and creaky joints, the formula is packed with both glucosamine and chondroitin. Easy to chew, the Diamond Naturals dog food lists chicken meal as the second ingredient, however, the protein level points toward a higher quality ingredient.
Beyond that, as dogs can become just as dissatisfied with eating the same thing every day as we do, you should note this is the only flavor the senior diet is available. Otherwise, this is the best dog food with glucosamine for the money.
The Instinct 769949658320 Raw Boost Dry Dog Food is our next option that also features cage-free chicken. A grain-free meal, the formula is comprised of easy to chew kibble bits with freeze-dried chunks of real chicken meat.
This natural dog food packs a punch with protein, probiotics, omegas, and antioxidants. It also has calcium, phosphorous, plus natural DHA for brain and eye health. What’s more, this is another brand that uses both glucosamine and chondroitin to help your pup’s mobility.
The Instinct formula does not contain any grain, corn, soy, wheat, potatoes, or by-product meal, and it uses non-GMO fruits and veggies. You can choose from a 4-pound or 24-pound bag. Made in the USA, you will also not find any artificial ingredients such as flavoring or preservatives.
Minimally processed, this is good dog food for all breeds and dog sizes. The only concern of note is the claim of no by-products, yet chicken meal is the first listed ingredient. Furthermore, the chicken meal is the source of glucosamine. It is not listed as a free-standing nutrient, however, the levels are good. Finally, this chow only comes in one flavor.
4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Glucosamine Dog Food
The Blue Buffalo 840243105373 Wilderness Adult Dry Dog Food finds its way to our number four spot. This is a tasty dish that comes in salmon, duck, and chicken. As another grain-free meal, you will not find any corn, wheat, or soy in this formula. There is also no artificial flavors or preservatives, plus no chicken by-product meal.
On the other hand, your pooch will benefit from the natural ingredients that are full of protein and carbohydrates for energy. You will also find omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. Not to mention, the glucosamine and chondroitin. It is important to note, however, that this formula also uses chicken meal as its source of those supplements.
Beyond that, Blue Buffalo is easy to digest and eat dog meal that is great for all sized breeds. The dog food is made in the USA and contains the life source bits that are customary to this brand. Be aware, though, this formula contains a high amount of peas and pea-based ingredients and yeast.
5. Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Dog Food
Our next dog cuisine is the Purina ONE 17800183345 SmartBlend Adult Dry Dog Food. Another natural formula, this chow is high in protein, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. It features two different textured bites; a standard kibble bit, and a softer meaty morsel that dogs seem to enjoy.
You can choose from a 15 or 27.5-pound resealable bag, or you can pick up a 3.8-pound bag that comes in a four-pack that is convenient for traveling. Available in only one beef and salmon flavor, the formula is made with real beef as the first ingredient. What’s more, there are no poultry by-product meals, artificial flavors, or preservatives.
That being said, you should note that the Purina One food does contain corn, soy, and wheat. It is also another option that uses chicken meal as its source of glucosamine. Other than that, the dual-bite chow is easy on the teeth, and great for all sized pups.
Crafted in the USA, we want to point out that the formula is lower on omegas than other dog foods, and it can be harder to digest for those pets with food sensitivities.
See: Best Dog Food for Labradoodles – Our top picks!
6. NUTRO Wholesome Dry Dog Food
Next, we have a chicken and brown rice or lamb and brown rice formula that contains both glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health. The NUTRO 10157646 Wholesome Essentials Dry Dog Food contains vitamins, minerals, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
You can purchase this dog food in a 15 or 30-pound bag, and it is cooked in the USA. Promoting cognitive and immune health, there are no GMO-ingredients in the natural chow. This dog food uses farm-raised chicken, plus it contains no corn, soy, wheat, or chicken (poultry) by-product meal.
As we have pointed out with other options, this formula uses chicken meal to provide your pup with glucosamine and chondroitin. You should also note, there is yeast within this food, too boot. Further, although there are no artificial preservatives or colors, the hard cheerio-like bits can be hard to digest for some pets.
Finally, although NURTO advertises a non-GMO formula, they do specify a claim of “Trace Amounts Of Genetically Modified Material May Be Present Due To Potential Cross Contact During Manufacturing.”
7. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
The Hill’s 9239 Science Diet Dry Dog Food is up for review. Available in a chicken meal, brown rice, and barley flavor, it comes in a 4, 15.5, or 30-pound bag. Recommended for smaller dogs, the formula claims to improve your pooch’s joint health within 30 days.
We want to point out that this pooch meal does not contain glucosamine or chondroitin in its formula. The brand uses EPA from fish oil instead to relieve pain. Although this is a great ingredient, it is not as effective without the supplements (more on this later).
That being said, the Hill’s dog food contains its fair share of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamin C and E. It is a natural chow made in the USA, plus there are no artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors. On the other hand, you will find grain, soy, and corn in the ingredients. Not to mention, chicken meal is the first listed item. Lastly, this dog food is higher in carbohydrates and fat than other options.
8. Nulo Senior Grain Free Dog Food
If your pup is partial to trout, the Nulo Senior Grain Free Dog Food with sweet potato may be right for you. This is a grain-free formula that does not contain corn, wheat, soy, white potato, tapioca, egg, or chicken protein.
With this dog food, you will find a higher concentration of meat protein and lower carbs. That being said, there is yeast and chicken fat listed on the ingredients panel. Plus, the cuisine is harder to chew and digest for a lot of four-legged friends.
The Nulo comes in a 4.5, 11, or 24-pound bag and does not have artificial ingredients. The chow is made in the USA with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and vitamin C and E. You will also find glucosamine and chondroitin within the mix.
You want to note that this food is better for smaller breeds, and it is lower in antioxidants than other similar options. Also, the one flavor is not always a favorite of picky pooches.
9. 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.
10. 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- “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.
- “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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
If you have made it through to the bottom of this article, you are now a master of glucosamine pet food, and your aging furball will thank you for it! Finding the right food can be hard with so many different options, but having some solid knowledge behind you will keep your pet mobile for longer.
Need a grain-free food for your pooch? Not to worry, we have you covered here, as well. Check out our guide to the best dog foods in the grain-free arena.
We also get you are busy and eager to play with your pup, so we like to make things as simple as possible. With that in mind, we recommended the Blue Buffalo 32 Life Protection Dry Dog Food. This healthy meal is packed with all the goodness your pal needs.
If you need a cost-efficient option, try out the Diamond Naturals 418843 Dry Dog Food that will satisfy your need for healthy food, as well as satisfy your ankle bites palette.
Featured Image Credit By: josephfrazz, instagram
- A Quick Look at Our Favorite Picks of 2021:
- The 10 Best Dog Foods With Glucosamine:
- 1. Blue Buffalo Protection Dog Food – Best Overall
- 2. Diamond Naturals Glucosamine Dog Food – Best Value
- 3. Instinct Raw Boost Glucosamine Dog Food – Premium Choice
- 4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Glucosamine Dog Food
- 5. Purina ONE SmartBlend Dry Dog Food
- 6. NUTRO Wholesome Dry Dog Food
- 7. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food
- 8. Nulo Senior Grain Free Dog Food
- 9. Victor Performance Dry Dog Food
- 10. Dogswell Happy Dog Food With Glucosamine
- Buyer’s Guide
- Tips When Shopping