Joint supplements for dogs


Joint supplements are given to try to improve joint health in dogs who have arthritis or are likely to develop it. They are given by mouth as a liquid, tablet or capsule and are also added to some pet foods.

There isn’t any proof they help every dog, but your vet may suggest trying them if they feel that they could be useful.

Joint supplements can be safely used alongside medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other pain relief. Joint supplements can be purchased from our online PDSA Pet Store.

How do joint supplements work?

It is thought that joint supplements might help in the following ways: 

  1. Natural anti-inflammatory action - to soothe stiff joints.
  2. Keep joint fluid healthy - to help your pet move around more easily.
  3. Feed cartilage - cartilage is the smooth surface that covers the bones within a joint. It is thought that joint supplements help joints stay strong by keeping the cartilage healthy. 

It is worth noting that joint supplements aren't effective in all dogs.

When to use joint supplements 

Speak to your vet if you think that joint supplements may be helpful for your dog. Here are some situations for which they may be helpful:

Dog with arthritis

Joint supplements can be used to try to keep joints as healthy as possible and slow down the progression of arthritis. Your vet may advise starting joint supplements at the very first sign of arthritis in your pet. If your pet is painful due to arthritis, joint supplements can be safely used at the same time as anti-inflammatory and other pain relief medications.

Older dogs

Older dogs are at risk of arthritis so joint supplements can be used to try to prevent it from developing.

Dogs that have had a previous injury

Injuries, joint problems or infections increase your dog’s risk of arthritis. Joint supplements can be used to try to slow down the progression of arthritis in these dogs.

Working dogs

Working dogs are at a high risk of developing arthritis due to the amount of exercise they do. Joint supplements can be used to try and keep their joints as healthy as possible throughout their life.

Joint supplements for dogs

PDSA Vet Care Joint Supplements

Side effects

There are no major side effects associated with joint supplements. They can be given very safely over a long period of time.


Joint supplements often have lots of different ingredients, the most common are listed below:

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Beta Glucans
  • Green Lipped Mussel
  • Omega 3
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Manganese
  • Turmeric.
Published: June 2018

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Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst