Best Dog Food for Arthritis 2024

Written by Joe Holyoake

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 11/09/2023, edited: 01/22/2024

Best Dog Food for Arthritis 2024 image

The Wag! team conducts independent research and consults pet experts to curate our recommendations. This content is supported by our affiliate pet partners and we may receive a commission on the links provided.

There are some medical conditions that a vet can be confident in curing outright. Others, however, are chronic in nature and a full recovery can never happen — Arthritis in dogs is one of them.

If your dog is diagnosed with Arthritis, there are a number of things a vet will recommend to lessen the symptoms, slow the spread and maintain a good quality of life. Dietary changes are likely to be a key component of any treatment plan.

So what’s the best dog food for dogs with Arthritis? “Dogs with arthritis benefit from diets that include omega-3 fatty acids such as high-quality fish oils, as well as glucosamine, chondroitin, antioxidants and higher protein contents for healthy weight maintenance,” says Dr. Georgia Jeremiah, pet nutrition expert and one of Wag!’s veterinary consultants.

Recipes should be low in fat and high in protein to keep pets at a healthy weight — obese canines put more strain on their joints, thereby worsening the condition. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are two naturally occurring compounds that help with the healthy function of joint cartilage. It’s possible to buy these as separate supplements, but it can be a challenge to administer pills to some dogs.

Likewise, Omega fatty acids EPA and DHA — Eicosapentaenoic and Docosahexaenoic acids — are thought to soothe the clinical symptoms of Arthritis. It’s possible to find dog food recipes that have been supplemented with these, often in the form of fish or fish oil.

Here’s Wag!’s pick of the best dog food for Arthritis sufferers.



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Best fresh dog food for arthritis

A lot of praise has been showered upon the various fresh dog food companies that have emerged in the past few years and much of it is warranted in our opinion — especially when it’s concerning Ollie.

The way in which this company works is ideal for dogs with Arthritis. Before buying any meals, parents have to complete a short questionnaire about their pet. These answers allow the team at Ollie to work out exactly what the dog in question needs when it comes to nutrition and portion size.

With this information, a meal plan is put together containing food made from fresh ingredients and only lightly cooked so as to not lose any of the nutritional goodness. If an arthritic dog needs to watch their weight, lean proteins will be chosen, such as turkey or chicken.

The company also makes soft chews specifically designed to boost joint health, which contain glucosamine, chondroitin and turmeric — these can be added to your dog’s plan and given as a treat alongside meals.

Ollie Dog Food

Ollie Dog Food

Why Wag! Loves It

  • The personalized meal plans help keep your dog’s weight under control
  • The fresh ingredients and light cooking method make the food more digestible
  • The subscription model is convenient for busy parents
  • The choice of meals adds options for dogs that appreciate variety in their diet
  • The soft chews offer compounds for joint health in an easily edible form

Considerations & Concerns

  • The high price might place it out of reach for many parents (especially those with several dogs)
  • The food itself isn’t supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin (although the real meat used will contain some)
  • The benefits of fresh dog food have been exaggerated according to some critics

What Pet Parents Say About Ollie

“I adore this product!! You can see the veggies in the food. The packaging is phenomenal, super easy to open & store. My dog absolutely devours her Ollie food. I originally purchased this because my Pit Bull was going to be/now is 12 years old. I wanted her to slim down a little to ease her arthritis & future issues. I swear she looks forward to her Ollie breakfast every morning. Great product, keep up the good work!!”

“Rocky has pancreatitis, Lyme disease, arthritis, hip dysplasia and used to throw up every single morning from the pancreatitis and whimper all night from his hip problems. He has only thrown up one time in the last six weeks and he still has hip problems but he does not whimper in his sleep anymore. The extra money I spend on the dog food ends up balancing out perfectly by the money I’m saving from not having to take him to the vet once a month. And he loves it and eats every bite and then licks the bowl when he’s done.”

Read more reviews on Trustpilot.

Product image sourced from the OIllie website. Copyright Ollie Pets, Inc.

Orijen Fit and Trim

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Best dry dog food for arthritis

This recipe from Orijen ticks all the boxes when it comes to dog food for arthritic canines. Not only has it been formulated to make it easier for parents to keep their dogs at a sensible weight, but the ingredient list is overflowing with good stuff. 

A whopping 85% of the food is made up of animal-based components, be that meat, organs or cartilage — this is done to reflect what was in the diet of dogs’ ancestors. Real chicken is the first listed, but there’s also herring, hake and mackerel in the mix for those vital Omega fatty acids.

You might not spot glucosamine on the packaging, but it’s naturally found in meat and animal products, so you can be sure your dog will be ingesting enough of the compound for their joints.

Orijen Dog Food

Orijen Dog Food

Why Wag! Loves It

  • The protein levels are excellent due to 85% of the ingredients being animal-derived
  • The fat levels are reduced to encourage healthy weight management
  • The various fish ingredients provide DHA and EPA for your dog
  • The poultry and fish ingredients are whole, raw or dehydrated, rather than byproducts or meals
  • The grain-free recipe is good for dogs with an intolerance to those ingredients

Considerations & Concerns

  • The price is substantially higher than most other dry dog foods
  • The fact there’s only one flavor might be bad news for fussy canines
  • The recipe isn’t suitable for puppies or nursing dogs

What Pet Parents Say About Orijen Fit & Trim

“Bought Fit & Trim to keep my dog thin due to spinal arthritis. My dog likes the food [and] it satisfies her appetite.”

“My 10 year older springer/beagle was having joint issues in his back[,] hips and knees[,] and arthritis in his back. He was also gaining weight due to decreased activity. He’d try to play with my daughter’s 2 puppies and then spend 3 days completely immobile recovering. He ended up at the vet on pain meds and anti inflammatory meds. I decided to look into a different food for him. I was feeding him a “good” food but not specifically for his issues. 

“After a long discussion with the owner of my local pet food store I settled on [Orijen] Fit and Trim. The first [thing] I noticed is that he is soooooo exciting at mealtime now. The food actually has a fresh smell. After about a week I noticed him rolling around in the grass again. And [2 weeks on] he was able to jump up into the backseat of my Jeep to go for a ride. He’s running around playing with the puppies with no recovery time needed. And I can tell he’s lost some extra poundage. I’m singing the praises of this food to every dog parent I know!”

Read more reviews on Petco.

Product image sourced from Chewy. Copyright Mars Petcare US, Inc.

Blue Buffalo True Solutions Jolly Joints

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Vet recommended

As a general rule of thumb, dry dog food usually contains less fat than wet equivalents, which makes it a better choice if a parent needs to keep an eye on their pet’s weight.

That being said, there are wet meals made from leaner meats that can still fit the bill. Having sifted through the various options, we’ve come to the conclusion that the Jolly Joints recipe from Blue Buffalo is the best canned dog food for Arthritis.

“Blue Buffalo dog food products cater to different life stages, sizes, and breeds of dogs. They offer formulations containing limited ingredients, which may be beneficial for dogs with certain dietary sensitivities,” says Dr Georgia Jeremiah, pet nutrition expert and one of Wag!’s veterinary consultants.

What’s so good about this particular recipe? Well, not only is chicken good for Arthritis — what with it being a source of glucosamine and chondroitin — but the fish oil in the ingredient list brings some EPA into the mix as well.

The fact that all the ingredients are natural and there are no artificial preservatives or flavors to be found means parents can rest easy knowing their dog is dining on top-quality dog food.

Blue Buffalo Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Dog Food

Why Wag! Loves It

  • The brand is recommended by Dr Georgia Jeremiah, one of Wag!’s veterinary consultants
  • The first listed ingredient is real chicken rather than poultry meal or byproducts
  • The wet formulation might be easier for older dogs to consume
  • The fish oil contains EPA, which has anti-inflammatory properties for stiff joints
  • The high glucosamine and chondroitin levels are great for arthritic dogs

Considerations & Concerns

  • The fact there’s only one flavor option is unhelpful for pets with poultry intolerances and allergies
  • The company has been subject to dog food recalls in the past
  • The cost of canned dog food usually works out higher than bags of kibble

What Pet Parents Say About Blue Buffalo True Solutions Jolly Joints

“I have been giving this to my senior dog with arthritis since his knee surgery. It seems to be helping with the healing process.”

“Saw this on the shelf and decided to feed it to my boy who has arthritis after tearing two ACLs. After two weeks of eating two heaping spoonfuls of this a day, he started getting up faster, going up the stairs better, and has more energy than usual. I hope this soft food stays around!”

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Product image sourced from Chewy. Copyright Blue Buffalo Company Ltd.

Wellness Core Digestive Health Age Advantage

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Best senior dog food for arthritis

Although dogs can get Arthritis at any age, it’s a condition that more commonly develops later on in life. That’s why dog food recipes catered towards senior canines are often designed to alleviate the symptoms of Arthritis.

There are several reasons why we’ve picked out this dog food from Wellness from the pack. First and foremost, the guaranteed levels of glucosamine and chondroitin are extra-important when it comes to joint health. 

However, the food itself is also impressive. Not only is deboned chicken the first listed ingredient but the addition of prebiotic fibers and probiotic-coating aid with healthy digestion. The fat and protein levels are also well-balanced to keep dogs who no longer move around as much in svelte shape.

Wellness Dog Food

Wellness Dog Food

Why Wag! Loves It

  • The high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin are beneficial for healthy joints
  • The recipe has been designed with older dogs in mind
  • The first ingredient is real deboned chicken, rather than a poultry derivative
  • The protein and fat levels are conducive to keeping a dog at a healthy weight

Considerations & Concerns

  • The company has been subject to recalls in the past (although not since 2017)
  • The dry kibble might be challenging to eat for older dogs with weak teeth
  • The fact there’s only one flavor could prove unworkable for dogs with poultry allergies

What Pet Parents Say About Wellness Core Digestive Health Age Advantage

“My Picky dog pictured has always given me a hard time with eating. She used to be outback eating grass because of her upset stomach from low quality foods. Since switching her to a diet that was for her age and much better quality, her health has improved immensely! I don’t have to worry about a thing when it comes to her diet now. We even use the rewarding life treats along with the wellness shred toppers. No arguments here! We definitely will be trying more wellness products in the future.”

Read more reviews on Petco.

“We have been working hard to take the best care of our 15.75 yr old Black Lab, Reddwood. She got sick about a month and a half ago. The diarrhea, fatigue, and lack of extra energy were her only symptoms. Had her on a bland diet, then added probiotics, and literally felt helpless. The vet tested her and said she is fine, just an old dog. We researched Wellness, and purchased the core digestive health along with the treats. If she is in her end time, I want her to be happy. After three days on the food, she had healthy solid poops, more energy, and her trotting around and jumping on the couch is an added bonus! We are blessed to have her each and every day. Thanks wellness!”

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Product image from Chewy. Copyright Wellness Pet Company.

Open Farm Senior Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

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Vet recommended

Open Farm is one of those brands that pet nutrition expert Dr Georgia Jeremiah is always more than happy to recommend to parents requesting her advice.

“Open Farm dog food is formulated with high-quality ingredients and does not contain any artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. The company also prioritizes the use of ethically sourced and humanely raised ingredients, ” she says.

If you’re in the market for anti inflammatory foods for dogs with Arthritis, this is the recipe within the Open Farm collection to stock up on. The two main ingredients — real chicken and turkey — are natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, but additional amounts of these compounds have also been added to the recipe.

As well as that, there’s salmon oil in the mix for extra DHA and EPA, plus more Omega fatty acids from the herring meal and green lipped mussel. This puts it among the best dog food for joints that are a little stiffer than they once were.
Open Farm Dog Food

Open Farm Dog Food

Why Wag! Loves It

  • The main two ingredients — real turkey and chicken — are lean and great for weight management
  • The supplementation of glucosamine and chondroitin helps promote healthier joint cartilage
  • The brand is recommended by one of Wag!’s veterinary consultants, Dr Georgia Jeremiah
  • The grain-free formula might be easier for sensitive stomachs to tolerate

Considerations & Concerns

  • The company only has one flavor formulated for senior dogs, so variety isn’t really possible
  • The cost is markedly higher than other dry food products (although justifiably so in our eyes)
  • The dry kibble might be difficult to eat for canines with poor teeth

What Pet Parents Say About Open Farm

“Finally, humane dog food from sustainable farms! As a vegan, this dog food is super important to me. It is the only dog food on the market (that I’ve found) that has incredibly strict and measured regulations on the human treatment and life quality of the farm animals. In a perfect world my dogs wouldn’t require meat in their diet but they do… Added bonus: the sustainable farms that are sourced have a much lighter impact on the environment which is another perk. And my dogs love it!”

“I have a VERY picky Ridgeback that has fought me for over a decade on the types of dog food I give her. To this day she will still grab mouthfuls of dry dog food, spit it on the floor and individually inspect each kibble and maybe decide to eat them if she’s hungry enough. Not only is she [super] picky but she also sometimes has eye watering gas from the foods. I switched her to this wet and dry food 5 months ago, she eats it without concern and even though she does still have some gas it has no smell! She’s also more energetic overall which is a big difference from other foods I have given her in the past. I won’t give her anything but Open Farm foods now. It’s worth the money!”

Read more reviews on Consumer Rating.

Product image sourced from the Open Farm website. Copyright Open Farm.


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