Here is my detailed guide to the best dog food with glucosamine in 2021.
For older dogs and certain breeds, you’ve probably heard that the glucosamine content of the diet is important. This compound, together with chondroitin, can prevent, slow down, or alleviate joint problems.
And which is the best dog food with glucosamine and chondroitin? You are in the best place, as I have collected ten suitable products for you. My favorite is the Merrick Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe, which contains 1200mg of glucosamine per kilogram.
You can read detailed reviews and other information about glucosamine needs in dogs and the best dietary sources in my article. If you are interested in the topic, be sure to read on.
What are the best dog foods with glucosamine and chondroitin?
- Merrick Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe
- CANIDAE PURE Senior Limited Ingredient Recipe
- Merrick Backcountry Freeze-Dried Raw Large Breed Recipe
- Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Real Chicken & Sweet Potato Senior
- Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
- VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight
- Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken & Rice Formula
- Royal Canin German Shepherd Adult Dry Dog Food
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Large Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
- American Journey Senior Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe
10 Best dog food with glucosamine
A glucosamine-containing diet is vital for some dogs. I will write about this later. But now comes the list of the best glucosamine-containing dog foods. You can choose any of these. It doesn’t hurt to ask your vet for an opinion.
Glucosamine content: 1,200 mg/kg
Merrick Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe is no coincidence at the top of my list. If you are looking for the best possible glucosamine-containing dog food for adult dogs, be sure to consider it. It’s the right option for any size breed.
Its high protein and glucosamine content has a good effect on the joints and regeneration of dogs. But the other ingredients are also very high quality.
The three main protein sources are Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Turkey Meal. Real chicken is very nutritious and well digestible.
Meals are sources of protein that contain not only meat but also other parts of the animal. Because of this, they are usually excellent sources of glucosamine and chondroitin.
Thus, this product can guarantee a glucosamine content of 1,200 mg/kg, which corresponds to about 545 mg/pound. In my experience, commercial dog foods don’t really contain more glucosamine than that.
But you may want to look at the other ingredients as well. The recipe contains very digestible wholesome carbs. Examples include Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, and Peas. From this, it can be seen that Merrick’s recipe is grain-free, making it a perfect choice even for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Fat sources like Sunflower Oil, Chicken Fat, and Salmon Oil make food delicious and contain plenty of useful omega fatty acids.
These fatty acids have a good effect on the health of the coat and skin, but they also have an anti-inflammatory effect. Therefore, I find these ingredients’ presence especially positive when looking for a recipe for my dog’s joints.
And it’s still not over here. The product contains other useful ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. Together, they make the most of your dog’s health and immune system.
Glucosamine content: 1,100.00 mg/kg
This product is for older dogs who already need to pay attention to their joints. The number of ingredients is limited, so even sensitive dogs’ stomachs can tolerate this grain-free food.
Also, it does not contain corn, soy, wheat, grain, or artificial additives. It provides only the best quality for your senior pooch.
Real chicken is a nutrient-rich protein source that contains all the amino acids needed to build and maintain muscle that an old dog may need.
Chicken Meal and Turkey Meal are also excellent sources of protein, in addition to glucosamine and chondroitin. This gives the product a glucosamine content of 1,100 mg/kg, which is quite good.
Sweet Potatoes, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, and Potatoes are well-digestible and nutritious sources of carbohydrates. They also have a high fiber content, which has a positive effect on digestion.
The main source of fat is Chicken Fat, which is delicious and healthy for dogs. I miss fish oil a bit from the recipe as a source of omega-3 fatty acids. However, the product’s total fat content is 10%, which is favorable for older dogs that need to pay attention to their weight.
The product contains a lot of added vitamins and minerals. These are the perfect foundation for the functioning of the immune system in dogs. Just like probiotics, which support overall health through the digestive system.
Glucosamine content: 1,200 mg/kg
The next member on my list is another Merrick product. This is no coincidence, as this brand seems to place a lot of emphasis on the glucosamine content of its products.
The food currently reviewed is made for large and gian
t breeds. This is most evident in the kibbles sizes that have been designed for these dogs. Freeze drying was used during the manufacturing process. This guarantees that the product can remain extremely fresh, tasty, and nutritious. Let’s see the ingredients!
The main protein sources are Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, and Salmon Meal. They are very nutritious and well digestible.
Besides, meals are extremely high in glucosamine. This gives the product content of 1,200 mg/kg of this important compound. There are other protein sources in the recipe, such as Duck, Lamb, and Chicken Liver.
The product is gluten- and grain-free and contains carbohydrate sources such as Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, and Peas.
They are excellent wholesome, and complex resources, full of energy and useful nutrients. Their good digestibility makes this recipe suitable for dogs with stomach problems as well.
Salmon Meal, Chicken Fat, and Sunflower Oil ensure that this Merrick dog food has a guaranteed amount of omega fatty acids. This way, your dog will have his joints and his skin and coat healthy and beautiful.
The added fresh fruits and vegetables and vitamins, minerals, and probiotics contribute perfectly to the health of any canine overall.
Glucosamine content: 1,200 mg/kg
If you have an elderly small breed dog, be sure to consider this product. The small kibble size and crunchy texture of Merrick Lil’ Plates provide proper dental care.
Besides, it is gluten-free and grain-free and does not contain soy, wheat, and corn. Thus, dogs that are sensitive to these can also consume it.
The first ingredient is Deboned Chicken, which is a delicious and nutritious source of protein.
Other sources of protein are Chicken Meal and Salmon Meal. These two meals give the product a high content of 1200 mg/kg glucosamine and the same chondroitin amount. This is excellent news for older dogs, as their joints are in great need of these two ingredients.
The product also contains some plant proteins, but their amount is not very large.
Sweet Potatoes, Peas, and Potatoes are common sources of carbohydrates in good quality grain-free diets. This is no accident as they are easily digestible and contain plenty of useful nutrients.
Thanks to Salmon Meal, Chicken Fat, and Salmon Oil, your dog will not be deficient in omega fatty acids either. This is important because these fatty acids guarantee the skin, coat, brain, and joints and have an anti-inflammatory effect.
The added fruits, vegetables, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics typical of Merrick products can also be found in this recipe. So if you want a delicious and healthy diet for your old small breed dog with lots of glucosamines, consider this product.
Glucosamine content: 750 mg/kg
Large breed dogs usually need more glucosamine. This is because they are more prone to joint problems. Therefore, if you have a large dog, Wellness Large Breed Complete Health may be a good option for you.
Deboned Chicken is an excellent source of protein that is nutritious, lean, and well digestible.
Chicken Meal and Salmon Meal, which also contain glucosamine, add to the protein content. This gives the product a glucosamine content of 750 mg/kg, which is not the most attractive on this list, but still, a better performance than average commercial dog food.
The product contains healthy, wholesome grains such as Ground Brown Rice, Barley, and Oats. They contain a lot of fiber, minerals, and vitamins that are essential for health. Also, Peas are an additional source of carbohydrates, which is also common in good quality dog foods.
Chicken Fat makes the product delicious and energizes your dog. And flaxseed balances the omega fatty acids that are responsible for coat and skin health.
The recipe also includes many added vitamins and minerals as well as probiotics. Together, they work on your dog’s immune system. The result is long-term health in delicious dog food.
Glucosamine content: 800 mg/kg
Senior dogs sometimes need a recipe to help maintain a healthy weight. They may also need glucosamine for the health of their tastes.
VICTOR Purpose Senior Healthy Weight provides all of these. This recipe with gluten-free grains is a great option for elderly dogs of all sizes.
Beef Meal is a nutritious source of protein that contains not only vital amino acids but also glucosamine. The same can be said for Menhaden Fish Meal and Chicken Meal. Together, they increase the total glucosamine content of the product to 800 mg/kg.
Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Millet, and Grain Sorghum are grains that are well digested, nutrient-rich, and do not raise your dog’s blood sugar.
Fish Meal is a natural source of omega fatty acids, and Chicken Fat makes the food really tasty and nutritious.
The product also contains plenty of added vegetables, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. This makes it a complete, balanced, and healthy option on my list.
Glucosamine content: 750 mg/kg
This is another product for adult large breed dogs. The total glucosamine content is 750 mg/kg given by Chicken Meal. This is because meals also contain those parts of the animal that are rich in this compound. Examples are cartilage.
But of course, meals also contain adequate amounts of protein. Other sources of protein are Chicken and Egg Products, which have great bioavailability. They guarantee that your dog will get all the amino acids he needs to build and maintain muscle.
Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Ground White Rice, Rice Bran, and Grain Sorghum are very nutritious carbohydrate sources. If your dog’s digestive system does not have any problem with grains, this recipe is an excellent option.
Chicken Fat and Flaxseed contain vital fatty acids responsible for the health of dogs’ skin and coat. Plus, the taste of Chicken Fat is downright adored by all dogs.
The product contains adequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, fiber sources, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. This makes this recipe for Diamond Naturals surprisingly healthy.
Glucosamine content: 743 mg/kg
Royal Canin is a brand that also makes dog food for specific breeds. This product has been specially developed for the needs of German Shepherds.
Because these dogs are large and prone to joint problems, they need a lot of glucosamine. That’s why I put this formula on my list.
The first ingredient is Brewers Rice, which is a well-digested source of nutrient-rich carbohydrates. Other carbohydrate sources include Brown Rice and Oat Groats.
The second ingredient in the product is Chicken By-Product Meal. This is not considered the best source of protein, but it does contain a lot of glucosamine. This, in turn, has a positive effect on the joints of dogs.
Another source of protein is Pork Meal, which also contains a lot of this useful nutrient.
The recipe features fat sources like Fish Oil and Vegetable Oil, which give a very well-balanced fatty acid profile. This way, you can be sure that your dog’s skin and coat will also be healthy.
The overall health is ensured by the added amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Glucosamine content: 700 mg/kg
This Blue Buffalo product is a Large Breed formula for adult dogs. As usual from the brand, it does not contain wheat, corn, soy, or artificial additives. So let’s see the ingredients.
Deboned Chicken and Chicken Meal mainly provide the 22% protein content. The latter is a great source of glucosamine. There’s also Pea Protein in the recipe, but only a few.
Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Pea Starch, Peas are sources of carbohydrates that provide your dog with energy throughout the day and contain plenty of useful nutrients.
Flaxseed, Chicken Fat, and Fish Oil balance the omega fatty acid content of the product. These fatty acids are essential for the perfect health of your dog’s skin and coat.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals. This is aided by the so-called LifeSource Bits, a special blend developed by veterinarians and animal nutritionists.
If you want a healthy product for your big dog, this recipe from Blue can be an excellent choice.
Glucosamine content: 600 mg/kg
If you are specifically looking for a diet for senior dogs, be sure to consider this product from American Journey. One of the great benefits is that it contains medium-chain triglycerides that help with brain function. Let’s look at the other ingredients.
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal give the product a 30% protein content. This way, you can be sure that your old dog is getting all the amino acids it needs to maintain muscle mass and regeneration processes.
Besides, meals contain a lot of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are good for joint health.
Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Chickpeas, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, and Tapioca Starch are excellent carbohydrate sources. They provide long-lasting energy and contain a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Chicken Fat is a delicious source of fat. Flaxseed is also a useful resource because it balances the omega fatty acid profile of the recipe.
Omega 3 fatty acids have many benefits, such as skin and coat health. Coconut Oil, on the other hand, contains the above-mentioned medium-chain triglycerides.
That’s not all. The product has a lot of positive effects on health due to the added vitamins and minerals. Be sure to consider it!
What is glucosamine, and why do dogs need it?
Glucosamine is a compound consisting of various amino acids and sugars. Its job is to keep dogs’ joints and cartilages healthy. Cartilage allows the bones not to collide or injure each other during movement.
However, as dogs get older, the condition of the joints and cartilage of dogs deteriorates, and they may become thinner. This can lead to extreme pain and even osteoarthritis, among other things.
When cartilage is damaged, the body releases enzymes that further worsen the condition. Therefore, there is a need to rebuild cartilage, in which glucosamine can help a lot.
Glucosamine is found in its natural form in the body of dogs, but it can also be taken in through food or dietary supplements.
Glucosamine not only acts as a lubricant for joints but also has a natural anti-inflammatory effect. For this reason, be sure to consider purchasing a product that contains this valuable compound.
And when should you start giving your dog glucosamine? The sooner, the better. As soon as your dog enters late adulthood, you may want to buy glucosamine-containing dog food to prevent or delay joint problems.
However, you should be aware that high glucosamine intake is not equally recommended for all dogs. I will write about this in detail later.
It is not a good idea to wait for your dog to develop arthritis. This is because pain can reduce the level of activity, which increases the chances of developing obesity. Obesity is common in older dogs with joint problems and can cause additional health problems.
Additional supplements, such as chondroitin and MSM, further increase the effectiveness of glucosamine.
Why Do Dogs Need Chondroitin?
Chondroitin, like glucosamine, is found in the cartilages and joints of dogs and helps keep them healthy. This compound helps relieve the symptoms of joint pain and arthritis.
If you have a senior or aging dog, you may want to buy food that includes this supplement. Together with glucosamine, it is even more effective. However, it is worth noting that most foods that contain glucosamine also contain chondroitin.
Excellent sources are connective tissues, bones, cartilage, etc. You may want to check the dog food of your choice to see if these two valuable ingredients are listed on the packaging.
Is glucosamine supplementation recommended for all dogs?
My short answer is no. For larger breeds, extra glucosamine is very beneficial because their joints and ligaments generally receive a higher load.
But some dogs do not benefit from a high glucosamine diet. Examples are dogs suffering from certain diseases, such as Von Willebrand’s disease or Hemophilia A.
Glucosamine increases the clotting time, which has a negative effect on the condition of dogs with such diseases.
The situation is similar for diabetes, as glucosamine is a sugar-based nutrient. So do not buy dog food with a high glucosamine content if your dog has a blood-clotting disease or diabetes. And most importantly, ask your vet first.
You should know that there are toy breeds that are at higher risk of developing diabetes. Such breeds are, for example, the Shih Tzu or the Chihuahua.
How much glucosamine do dogs need?
According to research, an average dog needs about 20mg of glucosamine per pound of body weight per day. So for a large 100-pound dog, that means 2 grams.
For dogs with joint problems, this number may be even higher. Ask your veterinarian for advice on the exact dose.
In my experience, most commercial dog foods are nowhere near as high in glucosamine. So an average kibble will almost certainly not be able to provide your old dog with the nutrients it needs.
It is vital that you always read the ingredients and the guaranteed analysis of a product carefully. If needed, you can also buy a glucosamine supplement in addition to the usual kibble.
But I would rather suggest you choose a dog food that is very high in glucosamine. In my list, I have tried to collect products that meet this condition. Raw treats also contain a lot of glucosamine so that you can use them as a topping, for example.
Best sources of glucosamine and chondroitin
There are many natural sources of glucosamine that you can safely combine with kibble. Examples of such dishes are chicken legs, green mussels, trachea, pigtail, beef trachea, shellfish shells, beef knuckle bones, bone broth, and of course, the cartilage of animal bones.
These are very much loved by dogs and are part of the so-called whole prey diet. In dog foods, meat meals are high in glucosamine as they usually also contain these parts of the animal.
Meat by-products can also contain a lot of glucosamine, but their quality is uncontrollable, so I don’t usually recommend them.
One of the best sources of chondroitin is animal cartilage. That’s why it’s worth including this in your dog’s diet.
Don’t forget the other ingredients either. If you choose a diet for your elderly canine, this is especially true. The protein content should be at least 20-22%, and all ingredients should be natural. Avoid artificial preservatives, dyes, flavor enhancers.
Frequently asked questions
In Addition To The Guide Above, You Are Sure To Have More Questions. Here Are Answers To Some Of The Most Commonly Asked Questions About This Topic.
What food is high in glucosamine?
The best sources of glucosamine are animal bones, tendons, marrow, and cartilage. But there is plenty of this useful nutrient in mussels and fungi. There are also glucosamine supplements, which are usually extracted from the shells of mussels.
Can I feed my dog human glucosamine?
Human glucosamine supplements are just as effective for dogs. However, you should definitely choose a product that is not flavored. A sweetener called xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Other sweeteners can also harm them.
Does glucosamine really help dogs?
There is much debate about the effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin. There are not many clinical trials on the subject yet, but the initial results are encouraging. Some studies confirm that glucosamine and chondroitin supplementation help the condition of dogs with osteoarthritis. Most veterinarians recommend these supplements.
Is too much glucosamine bad for dogs?
Some say any amount of glucosamine can be taken and cannot be overdosed. However, many dog owners have reported adverse side effects as a result of extremely high glucosamine intake. Symptoms of toxicity may include nosebleeds, bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and lameness. Supplements from unreliable sites can also contain a lot of lead, which can also have many negative consequences in the long run.
At what age should you start giving your dog glucosamine?
There are dog breeds that are more prone than average to joint problems. Examples of such breeds are Dachshunds, French Bulldogs, German Shepherds, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers. It is advisable to switch to a high glucosamine diet in these dogs when they turn one year old. Otherwise, prevention is paramount for all dogs.
How long does it take for glucosamine to work in dogs?
It is important not to expect an immediate effect from glucosamine supplementation. With the right dose and consistent use, we can expect improvement in our dog’s condition after about 4-6 weeks.
How quickly should I switch my dog’s current food to a product high in glucosamine?
If you have found the perfect food for your dog, it is perfect! However, it would help if you did not switch immediately. Introduce the new diet to your pooch gradually. The digestive system of dogs prefers consistency, and a sudden shift can have negative consequences. Mix more and more of the new food into the old food day by day. The full switch should not take place in less than a week.
My final verdict
Above a certain age, it is almost essential to have the right amount of glucosamine and chondroitin in a dog’s diet. The same is true for most large breeds who are prone to joint problems.
In my article, I collected the best high glucosamine dog food. The best of these is the Merrick Real Chicken + Sweet Potato Recipe.
With a glucosamine content of 1,200 mg/kg, this product ensures the joints’ health in dogs. Also, it is grain-free and contains plenty of nutrient-rich ingredients that support overall health.
Of course, I am also happy with the other products to take them into account when choosing. And remember, you may want to consult with your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet.