In Canada, there are lots of innovative high quality joint supplements for dogs. While some 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 occurring 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. This also causes enzymes to be released that quickly affect the quality of the cartilage and also the joints. Feeding your dog 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 important for proper joint maintenance, and to prolong their mobility.

How Chondroitin Helps Dog’s Joints

Chondroitin is commonly found paired with glucosamine in joint health products for dogs, as it helps to maintain proper moisture levels in cartilage. This helps cartilage to stay elastic, which is important to prevent injuries. It usually comes from bovine cartilage, but can also come 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. Plus, it’s scientifically proven to greatly reduce joint pain in dogs.

How MSM Helps Dog’s Joints

MSM, also known as Methylsulfonylmethane, is a naturally occurring form of sulfur that comes 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. It 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 lubricates 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 as he runs, walks, and moves up and down. This ingredient comes from the cartilage of chickens and rooster combs. It has become very popular in recent years in joint supplements for both dogs and cats, and also for horses. 

What are the Best Joint Supplements for Dogs?

Myospet Canine Muscle Formula

This innovate new product is rapidly growing in demand across North America. It’s made with fortetropin, a unique ingredient made from fertilized egg yolks. Not only can it greatly improve joint health, but it is also clinically proven to increase muscle mass and to help expedite recovery from surgery or injury. It is made in North America.

It’s completely free from artificial ingredients, including dyes, preservatives, and flavours. This all natural product is unique in the North American pet marketplace, and is quickly growing in popularity due to significant results. In fact, it’s highly recommended by Veterinarians, dog trainers, and other pet health professionals.

 

Brad Pattison Hip & Joint Care Soft Chews

These innovative soft chews are quickly becoming a favourite amongst Canadian pet owners with dogs suffering from joint health and mobility issues. These soft and tasty chews are made with key active ingredients like glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin sulphate, hyaluronic acid, certified organic hemp oil, and more. In fact, they have higher concentrations of these vital ingredients compared to most joint supplements on the market. Plus, these soft chews include EPA and DHA from fish oil for an anti-inflammatory boost.

While a Canadian-owned brand, these treats are currently manufactured in the USA. This decision was carefully made to meet Brad Pattison’s exceptionally high standards for product quality. As a result, these soft chews are made in an FDA-registered facility; Good Manufacturing Practices compliant, compliant with the Food Safety Modernization Act, and is even a preferred supplier for the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC).

These cheese and bacon flavoured soft-chews make supplementing a breeze compared to powdered hip and joint supplements.  It’s quite uncommon to find this volume of active ingredients in treat form, making this product unique. They don’t have any ingredients from China, and it is evident that the ingredients in these treats have been very carefully chosen. This award-winning supplement delivers an impressive, easy to feed soft chew that dogs love. They are GMO free, poultry free, gluten free, and highly effective at relieving the symptoms of pain, inflammation, and joint discomfort. They are also great for cats, too!

Read our full review of the Brad Pattison Pet Wellness brand here.

Definite Formulas Quatro-Active

This is a new product on the Canadian marketplace, that was carefully designed by Ontario Veterinarians and Naturopathic Doctors. This all-in-one formula  optimizes joint health, and also works to improve skin and coat condition. It includes innovative ingredients like magnesium biglycninate, which works to reduce inflammation while promoting optimal health.

Quatro-Active has exceptionally high concentrations of methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM), chondroitin, and also includes two active forms of glucosamine. It comes in a powdered form that is easy to serve by simply sprinkling it onto your dog’s food. This formulation is free from any fillers, including corn, wheat, soy, dairy, or artificial ingredients.

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

Buy Bonnie & Clyde Joint Health Complex online in Canada from Canadian Pet ConnectionThis 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.

CBD Oil

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

35 Responses

  1. HI Brandon,

    I’m reaching out as I found your blog while trying to find the best dry dog food for my 10 year old golden doodle. He’s been on Blue Buffalo Basic’s Lamb and Potato diet for the past couple of years as he sometimes gets some skin irritation and we were trying to narrow down if it was due to food or external allergies. He’s recently started to limp after long days of activity, fetch, swimming, jumping off the dock and i’m wondering if switching foods to something more focused on a senior dogs diet along with ingredients to support joint health. Do you have a recommendation on dry dog foods you might recommend? FYI my vet provided a powder formula to add to his current food called DMac Joint Supplement. Could this be added to a more senior joint health focused food for enhanced benefit?

    1. Hello, James. Thank you for posting.

      To learn more about my highest rated Canadian-made dog foods, please check out my Top 22 Canadian Dog Foods 2022 Rankings.

      With regards to joint and mobility health, please have a look at my Top Joint & Mobility Supplements 2022 Rankings.

      If you have concerns your dog may have dietary allergies/sensitivities, I am happy to help you with that. Please feel free to email me at brandon@canadianpetconnection.ca. Thank you!

  2. For all those looking for next level joint support and repair, look for products with green-lipped muscle (Perna canaliculus). It has been used in Chinese Medicine for centuries… the US market caught on years ago… Canada now has products with it. I used to order from the US as it was limited in Canada. Far superior to glucosamine-only products. Has antiinflammatory properties and gut benefits as well. Saved my dog from knee surgery (and many other neighborhood/ friends dogs the same fate as well), and he runs laps chasing his ball at the age of 14+.
    Best. Supplement. Going.

  3. Hi Brandon,

    I have an 8-year-old (turning 9 in Feb 2022) Boxer Husky mix. My vet recommended Flexadin Advanced and I am wondering if you could recommend something a bit less expensive in a daily chew?

    Tyia.

  4. Hi Brandon, I was wondering if I could give my dog Tri Acta Maximum Strength together with Thrive’s green lipid mussels, powdered formula, it just seems that the Tri Acta Maximum strength is not working on my 11 year old yorkie anymore, so I need something else to try!!

    1. Hello, Lise. Thank you for reaching out.

      Before combining any supplements, you should check with the manufacturer directly to get confirmation.

      You can contact TriActa here.

      Thank you!

  5. Such a great article – thank you! May I ask what you’d suggest for a 12 lb, 8 month old Maltipoo with luxating patella?

    1. Hello, Despina. Thank you for posting.

      What better place to start than #1? That is my top-rated joint health supplement.

  6. Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe this article needs far more attention. I’ll be returning to see more, thanks for the information!

  7. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been running a blog for? You make blogging glance easy. The overall look of your web site is excellent, as well as the content.

  8. Very efficiently written article. It will be useful to everyone who reads it, as well as yours truly :). Keep doing what you are doing – I will definitely read more posts.

  9. Hello Brandon. My 11 year old Bichon was just diagnosed with a partial tear in her left rear CCL. She’s been prescribed an anti inflammatory and rest for 4-6 weeks in the hope that the situation improves without surgery. Eight years ago she had surgery on the same leg for a luxating patella and I’m trying to avoid another long recovery at her age. Are there any beneficial joint supplements that you would recommend?

    1. Hello, Leslie. Thank you for your post. I am sorry to hear about your pooch. Recovery from these sorts of injuries is a long, arduous process. Thankfully, proper supplementation can make a world of difference.

      Brad Pattison Wellness Hip & Joint Soft Chews is the most potent joint and mobility supplement in Canada; it is my top recommendation. If any supplement is going to help, it will be this one, however the other products on this list are indeed very effective and may provide equivalent benefits.

      I hope you find this information helpful, Leslie. I am happy to help if you have any questions.

  10. Hi Brandon,
    I have a rescue dog, a retriever Havanese mix is a good guess, about 9 years old or older that has been in Canada since this past December. In the beginning he was walking slow and seemed to have a hard time laying down. I put him on Tri -Acta Maximum strength along with liquid Omega, both given twice daily. It didn’t seem to help him that much, I guess I thought that it would make him be able to walk farther distances, so he has been off of it for a couple of weeks now. I now notice that when he goes to lay down he does cry a bit as if in pain and he does walk even slower now. I will be putting him back on the Tri-Acta Maximum strength. My question is how long does it take to see any type of difference? I should also say that my dog spent about 5 years in a shelter and not getting a lot of exercise so I thought maybe he just needs to build up his muscles in his back legs but he hasn’t seemed to get any better. What else can I give him to help him be more comfortable? I can not give pills to him as he does not like people near his mouth so I prefer a treat or a powder to put on his food.

    1. Hello, Meaghan. Thank you for posting. I am happy to help.

      The first thing we need to do is get a better understanding of what problems your dog is experiencing; where is the discomfort coming from, and why. The vast majority of joint and mobility problems are a result of inflammation, so if we are able to reduce the inflammation, we should be able to reduce the symptoms to a degree. Tri-Acta HA is among the most effective non-pharmaceutical joint and mobility supplements on the market. Providing you are feeding the right dose for your pooch, you may start to see improvements in as little as a few days, however these supplement begin to perform their best after several weeks of continuous use; it is all about maintaining a state of saturation where the body has what it needs to support the areas that need help the most.

      In addition to a joint and mobility supplement like Tri Acta HA, or Brad Pattison soft chews, you may want to consider a high quality CBD oil like Bernie’s Blend.

      Please review my suggestions and let me know your thoughts. I am at your service if you have any questions.

      Thanks, Meaghan! 😀

  11. Hi Brandon,
    My dog’s vet has recommended we start her on a joint supplement, but I am having trouble making sense of all of the different ingredient levels, and would really appreciate your insight. So far I am leaning towards the Tri-Acta HA but I noticed that Grizzly Hip & Joint Support has a higher amount of chondroitin (about 150mg compared to the Tri-Acta 88mg) but a little less glucosamine (about 180mg). I’m not sure how much I should be prioritizing getting a product with a higher level of chondroitin or if the main goal is a higher level of glucosamine?
    Thank you! Danielle

    1. Hello, Danielle. Thank you for posting.

      Things can seem a little daunting when comparing supplements like these – you are not alone! I do not believe there is a universally agreed upon formulation favouring more glucosamine or chondroitin. Anecdotally, some prefer a glucosamine-heavy supplement, whereas others say chondroitin is the way to go. In my opinion, as long as you select a high quality product (which is any supplement on this list), I do not believe there will be a measurable difference in how these products perform. Providing you are following the dosage guidelines, and are being consistent with daily supplementation, you should see noticeable improvements across the board.

      I hope you find this information helpful, Danielle.

  12. I have a 120 pound Borzoi who was recently diagnosed with arthritis in his back and hips. I will order the Tri-Acta HA. How would you suggest administering it. At the moment he is not eating a lot.

    1. Hello, Shelley. Thank you for posting.

      There are a few ways you can administer Tri-Acta HA. One of the most popular methods is mixing the powder with a small amount of high quality canned dog food. You can also consider using peanut butter, or any other tasty food that encourages your pooch to eat. Canned food is great because the powder mixes in very well, and you can mix up the formulas to keep your dog’s interest piqued.

  13. Hi-My 6 year old rotweiller is showing signs of stiffness in one hip. He sometimes squeals when he gets up from a lying position. I want to give him the best support with the best ingredients. What would you recommend? He likes to be active.

    1. Hello, Pat. I am sorry to hear about your dog’s condition. If you are looking for the highest quality joint supplements on the market, then this list is your best resource. I am confident in saying all the products on this list are highly effective in improving joint and mobility health. Start at the top 🙂

  14. Hi Brandon, is there dosing instructions for Bernie’s Blend CBD Oil and Tri-Acta?
    My Lab is 6 yrs old and he is hesitating to jump up (into car, on bed, or couch etc), but otherwise full of energy so I am thinking he may have hip/joint pain or inflammation. I have a vet apt in 2 weeks time but figure it can’t hurt to start him on these.

    1. Hello, Lindsay. Thank you for your questions. I am happy to help.

      From the information you have provided, it definitely sounds like your pooch is experiencing some joint and mobility discomfort. I am very confident in products like Bernie’s Blend and Tri Acta H.A. for supporting joint health.

      With regards to dosages, these are some guidelines to follow:

      Tri Acta H.A.: A 75-100lb dog would need 3 grams per day.
      Bernie’s Blend 1000mg: A 75-100lb dog would need 0.75-1ml per day.

      In addition to those products, I would also give strong consideration to the Brad Pattison Hip & Joint Care Soft Chews.

      I hope you find this information helpful. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you, Lindsay!

  15. Hi Brandon,
    Looking to try CBD Oil on my Goldren Retriever to help with the pain (already taking the Tri-Acta). Do you have a suggestion for a good one within Canada to order?
    Thanks!

  16. Hi Brandon

    I have an 11 year old golden. She has never been a active dog but is up for a good game of tag. Lately she has been slowing down, not as active and is having a hard time jumping on the bed or in the car. I know we should have stated something sooner, I Would like to give her some relief now before she is in pain. What would you recommend? She weighs around 70 lbs.
    Looking forward to your reply.
    Happy holidays
    Todd

    1. Hello, Todd. Thank you for taking the time to post your questions.

      My best recommendation is to go with Tri-Acta HA. This phenomenal product will improve joint and mobility health.

      Please let me know if you have any further questions.

  17. Hi,
    We have just moved from the UK to Canada. Our Boxer has arthritis in her back leg. We were giving her a supplement called Yumove Plus. Could you recommend something similar that we can get for her in Canada.
    These are the ingredients:
    250mg Glucosmine HCl
    180mg Green Lipped Mussel (containing natural Chondroitin)
    20mg N-Acetyl-D-glucosamine
    12.5mg Vitamin C
    3mg Manganese
    2mg Hyaluronic Acid
    1mg Natural Antioxidant
    0.5mg Vitamin E

    Thank you

    1. Hello, Emma. Welcome to Canada!

      My best recommendation for a joint health and wellness supplement is Tri-Acta HA. I am confident this supplement will provide the relief you are looking for.

      I hope you find this information helpful!

  18. Hi Brandon
    We just got our new rescue pup who is approximately a year old and has mild hip dysplasia
    Can you confirm if Cosequin (from Costco)is sufficient for her
    Also the vet is recommending a dog food with a glucosamine supplement added
    She has recommended Purina with glucosamine but we feel Purina is inferior and prefer higher end Canadian brands like Acana
    Do you have any recommendations ?
    Thanks
    Joanne

    1. Hi Joanne, thank you for your questions. I am happy to help you.

      While Cosequin is a popular joint supplement, in my opinion, Tri-Acta HA is a superior product. Both Cosequin and Tri-Acta contain similar ingredients like MSM, glucosamine, and chondroitin. However, Tri-Acta HA also contains hyaluronic acid which helps in the development of bone and joint cartilage.

      Cosequin will certainly improve your dog’s joint health, however in my opinion, Tri-Acta HA is the most effective non-pharmaceutical joint health supplement on the market.

      I am happy to help if you have any further questions, Joanne.

  19. 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.
    Zdenek

    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.

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