In Canada, there is no shortage of unique and innovative joint supplements for dogs. And while many of them use new and promising ingredients to improve the process of joint repair, many of these ingredients are unproven. However there are four ingredients that any high quality  joint supplement should contain: Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, and Hyaluronic Acid.

How Glucosamine Helps Dog’s Joints

Glucosamine is a naturally occuring substance that is most commonly sourced from the shells of shellfish. It boosts natural repair of cartilage, which is the wet, spongy material found in between joints. It acts as a cushion between each joint, preventing bones from rubbing together.

When cartilage wears too thin, inflammation happens. Unfortunately, this also causes enzymes to be released which rapidly increase the degeneration of the cartilage, and in hand, also the joints. Providing your pooch with a steady supply of glucosamine helps to ensure the cartilage has everything it needs to repair and maintain itself.

Glucosamine is produced naturally in your dog’s body. However, as your dog ages, his natural glucosamine production slows down. This is why it is so common for older dogs to develop joint problems. Providing your dog with a natural source of glucosamine in their diet is imperative for proper joint maintenance, and to prolong their mobility.

How Chondroitin Helps Dog’s Joints

Chondroitin is commonly found paired with glucosamine in joint products for dogs, as chondroitin helps to maintain proper moisture levels in cartilage. In turn, this helps cartilage to stay elastic, which is important to prevent injuries. It is usually sourced from bovine cartilage, but can also be sourced from shark cartilage. Shark cartilage has not been proven to show any significant advantage over bovine cartilage for pets, however.

Like glucosamine, chondroitin has been shown to stop or decrease the development of inflammation in your dog’s joints. It has also been proven in extensive scientific trials to greatly reduce the pain associated with joint degeneration.

How MSM Helps Dog’s Joints

MSM, also known as Methylsulfonylmethane, is a naturally occurring form of sulfur, that derives from several processes involving phytoplankton. However, most commercial MSM is created through chemical processes in a laboratory or manufacturing facility. It has been proven to significantly decrease the pain associated with degenerating joints.

MSM is also used for a variety of other ailments, as it can have a significant, positive impact when treating things like diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease, neurological disorders, and more.

How Does Hyaluronic Acid Help Dog’s Joints

Hyaluronic Acid is naturally occurring in the body, and like other important compounds, natural production can decrease with age. It works to lubricate the joints, by binding with moisture to create a jelly-like substance. It then coats the joints to help keep them moist and malleable. This creates better shock absorption for your dog and he runs, walks, and moves up and down.

Hyaluronic Acid is most commonly sourced from the cartilage of chickens, and also from rooster combs. It has emergent in recent years as a star component in joint supplements for both dogs and cats, and also for horses.

What Joint Supplements are the Best for Dogs?

Tri-Acta by Integricare

One supplement that has been on the Canadian marketplace for almost 20 years, and continues to shine as the best joint supplement for dogs, is Tri-Acta. Manufactured by Integricare, this exceptional product is made with all of the above mentioned ingredients; glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and Hyaluronic Acid. There are no fillers, preservatives, or any unnecessary ingredients. Every ingredient is carefully sourced, too.

Tri-Acta is available in two different formulas: regular strength and extra strength.

Regular Strength Tri-Acta is made with glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. It does not contain hyaluronic acid.  This formula is most commonly used pro-actively, as a joint aid for adult pets or those who are in the early stages of showing joint mobility problems. Regular Strength Tri-Acta is designed to efficiently maintain collagen and connective tissues, promote healthy cartilage development, decrease stiffness and mild mobility problems, and also to protect the joint tissues in both dogs and cats.

Extra Strength Tri-Acta is the same great formula as regular strength, but it also contains hyaluronic acid. It is designed for cats, dogs, and also horses who are showing increased mobility problems to do joint degeneration, arthritis, and more. Unlike regular strength, it is also available in large bulk containers weighing 1 kg or 3 kg.

Extra Strength Tri-Acta is designed to expedite the formation of new, healthy cartilage in the joints. It effectively eliminates inflammation in the joints, which decreases pain and increases mobility.

Of all of the supplements on the market, Tri-Acta has consistently shined as an effective and reliable joint supplement for pets.

Bonnie & Clyde’s Joint Health Complex

This product just recently came onto the Canadian marketplace, however it is developed by a trusted brand with a healthy track record. Joint Health Complex is similar to Tri-Acta in that it is made with glucosamine and chondroitin. However, it also introduces two new, potent ingredients for promoting joint health: Collagen and Green-Lipped Mussel.

Collagen in this formula has been carefully sourced from free range cows in Argentina. It contains 18 different amino acids that form the building blocks for collagen production in the body. Collagen is the main component in your pet’s joints, so it’s great to see it making its way into such a high quality, all natural joint supplement.

The Green-Lipped Mussel in this product is sourced from New Zealand, and is the highest quality available on the marketplace. It contains ingredients that work to protect the joints, including glycosaminoglycans, special omega-3 fatty acids known as ETA, and also a unique kind of glycogen. It is very carefully dehydrated to retain all of its’ original benefits, too.

Joint Health Complex is free from fillers, binders, artificial dyes, or any other unwanted ingredients. It contains only the active ingredients that your dog or cat needs to build and maintain happy, healthy joints.


While CBD oil is not designed to repair joints, it can have a significant effect on the reduction of inflammation and pain. It is recommended to pair a good quality joint supplement with a CBD oil based product, as together they have maximum impact on your pet’s quality of life.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid that is found in both marijuana, and it’s sister plant, hemp. Most commercial CBD-infused pet products are made from the hemp plant. CBD oil safely and effectively reduces joint inflammation, and can be up to twice as effective as prescription medications. It is also an all natural product, and does not come with many of the unwanted side effects of prescription medications.

What Joints do Supplements Help?

It is commonly known that joint supplements can work wonders for pets suffering from joint pain in their knees and elbows. But joint pain can affect other parts of your dog’s body, too. This includes the shoulders, carpus, hips, and also the joints in between the vertebrae of the spine.

What Are the Symptoms of Joint Pain?

Joint pain symptoms in dogs can be tricky to spot at first. Because dogs are a pack animal, they tend not to show the symptoms of pain until they can no longer contain it. The initial symptoms include:

  • Decreased exercise
  • Less mobility, lack of interest in walking or running
  • Inability to jump or climb onto the couch, into the back of an SUV, etc
  • Difficulty climbing stairs
  • Limping, favouring one foot over another
  • Wincing when being touched on the back, or on any area that is sore


Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, and symptoms may vary from dog to dog. Cats suffering from joint pain will generally spend much more time on lower levels, rather than jumping up onto furniture or higher surfaces. They will often spend more time sleeping or resting than usual, as well.

What Dogs Breeds are Prone to Joint Problems?

While it varies from dog to dog, a general rule of thumb is that larger, more active breeds tend to be much more likely to develop joint problems. Certain dog breeds have a high genetic predisposition towards joint health problems, as well. Bernese Mountain Dogs, for example, are highly likely to develop joint problems in their hips and elbows. Rottweilers, as another example, are much more likely to develop joint problems in their knees and ankles.

If you are considering adopting a larger breed dog, whether an adult, senior, or a puppy, do your research into the breed first. Understand that potential joint health problems that they are likely to experience, and choose a good quality joint health supplement so that you can be proactive about their joint health.

Being aware of your dog’s health at all times is paramount. Oftentimes, dog owners do not introduce a joint health supplement until there is a need, and their pet is already in some state of discomfort. While introducing a high-quality joint health supplement at any time is a great idea, doing so after the fact is a reactive measure. Prevention is the key, here. Knowing your dog’s genetic predispositions, and factoring in their individual lifestyle will help dictate what joint-health measures are best to take.

About Brandon Forder

Brandon holds multiple certifications in pet nutrition, and has more than twenty-five years experience specializing in pet nutrition, behaviour, and healthy pet lifestyles. He has a passion for helping people become great pet parents. Brandon has written hundreds of informative pet-related articles for newspapers, magazines, web, and radio.

2 Responses

  1. Hello Brandon, our 2 year old Bohemian Shepherd had his front leg amputated after an injury from broken glass. Could you recommend any supplement to support his remaining leg joints, to prevent joint problems from the extra load on it? Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Zdenek, thank you for your question. I am happy to help!

      In my opinion, the best joint and mobility supplement on the market is Tri-Acta Maximum Strength. We have sold this product for many years, and anecdotally we receive a ton of positive feedback from our clients. Highly recommended!

      I hope that helps, Zdenek. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *