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Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs with Arthritis

If you have an older dog and are looking for the best dog food for senior dogs with arthritis, you need to check out these 4 senior dog food brands today!

Impatient (like me)?  🙂

Jump directly to current pricing & more information about the best dog food for senior dogs with arthritis:

  1. Purina Veterinary Diets JM Joint Mobility Canine Formula
  2. Royal Canin Canine Mobility Support
  3. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility (large dogs) (small dogs)
  4. Victor Dog Food Senior Healthy Weight Management
When your best friend reaches his or her senior years, there’s a good chance that arthritis will come along for the ride.

One of the most common issues to affect older dogs (and humans) is arthritis.

Arthritis sets in when cartilage (the tissue that acts as a cushion between bones) wears away.

This causes swelling, inflammation, and (ultimately) pain in joints.

The dogs most susceptible to arthritis tend to be large breeds, like German Shepherds, Great Danes, and Rottweilers.  But smaller dogs with exaggerated physical characteristics,

Best dog food for senior dogs with arthritis - Dachshund

…..are also more commonly afflicted than your average canine.

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While there’s no sure fire way to prevent it from happening, there are things you can do to help your dog once arthritis sets in, including rest and medication, but nutrition can also play an important part in your dog’s treatment regimen.

What is the Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs with Arthritis?

It’s difficult to declare a single best food for your aging pup with arthritis, so we came up with a handful of top-notch arthritic-friendly dog food options for you.

Here are 4 arthritis-friendly dog foods – check them out, and maybe even test one or three to see if they pass your dog’s sniff-test.

1. Purina Veterinary Diet Canine Joint Mobility

Purina is one of the most recognized names in pet food, and their selection of veterinary diets come highly recommended thanks to the strict quality control that goes into manufacturing.

This food is packed full of things to help ease your dog’s arthritis and the pain associated with it.

Purina dog food logo

It’s a source of glucosamine, a supplement with anti-inflammatory properties and one most commonly recommended for dogs (or people) with arthritis, along with omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.

And since one of the most important ways to help your dog’s arthritis pain is to shed any extra pounds, this food’s high protein to calorie ratio means your dog’s nutritional requirements will be met while promoting a healthy weight, but for very obese dogs a lower calorie food may be preferred.

Be prepared for sticker shock. This high quality food comes at a high quality price, and Purina’s veterinary diets are one of the most expensive commercially manufactured dog foods.

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2. Royal Canin Canine Mobility Support

Another high quality veterinary food that can help with your senior dog’s arthritis is Royal Canin’s Mobility Support.

Royal Canin dog food logo

This food is also a source of glucosamine, although to a slightly lesser extent than the Purina offering, but it includes chondroitin, another supplement that helps make up the body’s cartilage.

With fewer calories, the Royal Canin food is probably more suitable for the typical senior dog that expends less energy and could shed some pounds to help ease joint pain.

Lower protein dog food diets are commonly recommended for animals with kidney disease, although depending on the severity of kidney issues, your vet may recommend a kidney specific diet.

This food is slightly cheaper than the Purina variety, but still on the high end when compared to pet store brands.

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3. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Healthy Mobility

Science Diet’s offering in the mobility food category is much more reasonably priced…

we’re talking about a third of the cost per pound

…and offers up glucosamine levels right on par with Purina, while including almost ten times the chondroitin that Royal Canin offers.

Hill's dog food logo

With the lowest protein levels of any of the foods, this may not be the best choice for relatively active arthritic dogs, but if your veterinarian is suggesting a lower protein diet due to early kidney disease, Science Diet would be the preferred choice over the more expensive offerings from Royal Canin and Purina.

Price (Small)     Price (Large)

4. Victor Dog Food Senior Healthy Weight Management

If you’re wary of big brand dog foods, Victor offers up a cheaper alternative.

Victor premium pet food logo

All of their foods are free of corn, wheat, soy, gluten, and grain by-products, which function primarily as filler ingredients, and trigger allergies in some dogs.

This beef based food has a moderate calorie count and protein content, making it a good choice for senior dogs that need to shed some weight. It’s got more glucosamine than any of the other foods, and more chondroitin than Royal Canin, but still significantly less than the Science Diet offering.

In terms of ingredients and allergies, beef certainly isn’t considered a novel protein (many dogs do have sensitivity to it), but if you know that your dog has an issue with wheat gluten, this food is a good choice for keeping arthritis and allergies at bay.

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The takeaway from these various foods can be a bit confusing.

They all offer some combination of glucosamine and omega-3s, but these ingredients are not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles, and while their helpfulness is widely believed, benefits usually take a while to be seen.

Additionally, the amount of food your dog would have to eat to actually obtain the recommended dose of glucosamine from any of these foods would be nearly impossible, and certainly result in obesity.

If glucosamine intake is part of your arthritis treatment plan, you’ll have to give your dog a separate supplement in addition to his regular food.

For this reason, our top recommendation goes to the Victor Dog Food, for containing comparable values of glucosamine, chondroitin and omega 3 fatty acids for a lower price than any of the other brands.

In this case, the cheaper price tag doesn’t indicate a lower quality of food, and Victor actually contains fewer filler ingredients and common allergens (minus the beef) than the other foods on our list.

Victor’s ratio of fats and proteins compared to calories is also more specifically formulated for weight maintenance, an important element of arthritis management.

If your dog has a beef sensitivity, I’d recommend trying the Science Diet food.

The two are almost identical in calorie counts, but the increased amount of fillers and carbohydrates in Science Diet compared to Victor mean that weight loss or healthy weight maintenance may be more difficult.

Did we miss your old boy’s favorite dog food that tastes great AND helps to ease his arthritic pain?

We’d love to hear your 2 cents in the comments below!

Best Dog Food for Senior Dogs with Arthritis

Royal Canin

4 Great Options!

(click to learn about each)

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  1. My toy poodle has been on Science Diet since she was a puppy, she is now 11 and has arithritis. For the past 2 years she has been eating Science Diet Mobility but recently she’s decided she doesn’t want it anymore. She refuses to eat it and will only eat chicken or turkey. I realize she needs the dog food, any reccommendations?

    • Hi Shelia…those dang picky seniors!

      If you have 2 seconds, we’d love to hear an update on what you’ve tried since you wrote in…and hopefully a recommendation for other senior pups out there!

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