Dogs Arthritis – Choose The Best Food To Suit Your Petfin

Dogs Arthritis – Choose The Best Food To Suit Your Pet

Osteoarthritis is a common condition that affects approximately 25% of dogs across all ages. As dogs are living longer, it is increasingly likely that every dog owner will face the issue of osteoarthritis at some point. The good news is that there are ways to manage the pain and improve the quality of life for dogs with this condition. One important aspect of managing osteoarthritis is proper nutrition. In this article, we will explore the role of nutrition in dogs with osteoarthritis and discuss the best food choices to alleviate their symptoms and support their overall health.

The Impact of Nutrition on Dogs with Osteoarthritis

Nutritional science has shown that pet owners can significantly impact the quality of life and daily activities of dogs with osteoarthritis by carefully choosing appropriate nutrient profiles. The right nutrition can help reduce inflammation, manage weight, and support joint health. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to determine the specific nutritional needs of your dog based on their age, weight, and overall health condition.

The Role of Weight in Osteoarthritis

Weight management plays a crucial role in the management of osteoarthritis in dogs. Research has revealed that excess weight contributes to the inflammation and pain associated with osteoarthritis. The fat (adipose tissue) that accumulates in overweight and obese dogs secretes inflammatory and pro-inflammatory hormones, worsening osteoarthritis symptoms. Therefore, it is essential to address weight issues in dogs with osteoarthritis.

Normalizing Weight and Body Condition

The first step in managing weight in an overweight or obese dog is weight normalization. This involves focusing on normalizing body condition rather than solely reducing the number on the scale. The goal is to help the dog burn fat and preserve or build muscle. Your veterinarian can prescribe a specific nutrient profile and a daily portion to achieve this goal. To determine if your dog is at a healthy weight, there are several visual cues to look for:

  • When viewed from above, a well-defined waistline should be visible.
  • When viewed from the side, there should be a tucked-up abdomen.
  • The ribs on the sides of the chest, just behind the shoulder blades, should be easily felt (not seen).

A lean body condition is preferable for dogs with osteoarthritis. The target body condition score should be 3/5 or 5/9, depending on the scoring system used by your veterinarian.

Nutritional Strategies for Dogs with Osteoarthritis

Once your dog has achieved a lean body condition, several nutritional strategies can help alleviate osteoarthritis symptoms and support their joint health.

Clinically Proven Diets

Several commercially available diets have been clinically proven to support dogs with osteoarthritis. These diets are designed to provide optimal nutrition while managing weight and supporting joint health. Your veterinarian can help you choose the best diet for your dog.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA, has been shown to provide joint support in dogs with osteoarthritis. These fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and can help reduce joint pain and inflammation. It is important to ensure that the level of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet is high enough to positively impact the joints. One option is to supplement the chosen ration with a triglyceride form of omega-3 fatty acid that is easily absorbed. Consult your veterinarian to determine your dog's appropriate dosage and source of omega-3 fatty acids.


Glucosamine can be beneficial for dogs with osteoarthritis. It is a natural compound that supports the health of joint cartilage. Glucosamine can help reduce inflammation, improve joint mobility, and alleviate pain associated with osteoarthritis. It can be given as a supplement or added to diets formulated for joint support. Remember that dogs with seafood allergies may have an allergic reaction to glucosamine products. Your veterinarian can recommend the appropriate dosage and form of glucosamine for your dog.


Chondroitin Sulfate helps dogs and humans with non-infectious degenerative arthritis symptoms. It does not cause adverse effects like nausea, vomiting, adrenal gland damage, or GI distress. Additionally, it is both shellfish and gluten-free, making it a safe supplement for dogs.

Chondroitin, the primary structural component of healthy cartilage, supports your dog's hard tissue (bones and cartilage) and soft tissue (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) when taken weekly due to its unique combination of elements.

Managing Osteoarthritis with Multiple Diseases

Many older dogs with osteoarthritis may also have other concurrent diseases, such as heart disease, chronic kidney disease, or liver disease. It is important to address these conditions while managing osteoarthritis. Fortunately, therapeutic nutrient profiles are available that can help manage multiple diseases simultaneously. Your veterinarian will work with you to prioritize your dog's nutritional needs and select the most appropriate nutrient profile.

Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in managing osteoarthritis in dogs. By addressing weight issues, providing essential nutrients, and choosing the right diet, you can alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis and improve the overall quality of life for your furry friend. Please consult with your veterinarian to determine the best nutritional approach for your dog, considering their age, weight, and any additional health conditions. With the right nutrition, you can help your dog thrive and enjoy a more comfortable and active life despite osteoarthritis.