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Top Foods for Supporting Joint Health in Dogs: A Comprehensive Guide

by Lana Paws on February 02, 2023

Top Foods for Supporting Joint Health in Dogs: A Comprehensive Guide

Joint health is one of the important aspects of health that pet parents must pay attention to, especially if they have dogs who are more prone to joint conditions and senior dogs, though dogs of all ages and breeds could fall prey to these conditions based on their genetics, nutrition and overall health. 

As dogs age, their joints can become worn down, leading to conditions such as osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. These conditions can cause pain, stiffness, and limited mobility, making it difficult for dogs to perform everyday activities such as walking, jumping, and playing.

Maintaining healthy joints through proper nutrition, supplementation, exercise and weight management, can help delay the onset of these conditions and improve a dog's overall health and well-being.

It's important to monitor a dog's joint health and seek veterinary care if any signs of discomfort or joint issues arise.

Also read: Hip Dysplasia in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Also read: Senior/ Elderly Dog Care Tips

Also read: Arthritis in Dogs: Early Signs, Diagnosis and Treatment

Foods to add for better joint health in dogs

Foods rich in glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin, like salmon and sweet potatoes, can help support joint health in dogs. Adding omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oils, hemp seed oils, to a dog's diet can also help reduce inflammation and improve joint mobility.

A balanced diet that includes lean proteins and low-glycemic carbohydrates can also benefit a dog's overall health and joint function.

Here are a few easily available food recommendations to add into your dog's bowl to maintain and improve their joint health.

Chicken Feet

chicken feet for joint health in dogs

Chicken feet are a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin, two compounds that are beneficial for joint health. Glucosamine and chondroitin help support the health and function of joints by providing the building blocks needed to produce cartilage, which cushions the joints and reduces friction. By incorporating chicken feet and other natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin into a dog's diet, owners can support their dog's joint health and improve their overall well-being.

When feeding chicken feet to your dog, ensure they are clean and devoid of any harmful bacteria and parasites. Pet parents could opt for store bought dehydrated chicken feet or buy directly from a local source. If buying raw chicken feet, put them in boiling water for 30-45 seconds and remove them to ensure they are not cooked. We also like adding a pinch of turmeric powder to the boiling water.

Bone broth

bone broth for joint health in dogs

Bone broth is a nutritious and flavorful liquid that can offer several benefits for dogs. Some of the key benefits of bone broth for dogs include:

  1. Joint health: Bone broth contains compounds like glucosamine and chondroitin that support joint health
  2. Hydration: Bone broth can help keep dogs hydrated and provide them with essential fluids, especially during illness or hot weather
  3. Digestion: Bone broth can aid in digestion and help soothe an upset stomach
  4. Immune support: Bone broth contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help boost a dog's immune system and overall health
  5. Coat health: The nutrients in bone broth can improve the shine and texture of a dog's coat

It's essential to choose a high-quality, low-sodium broth that does not contain any harmful ingredients. 

Here is a simple recipe for making bone broth for dogs at home:


  • 1-1.5 kg of bones (chicken, buff, or pork)
  • 2-3 litres of water
  • 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • Vegetables such as carrots, celery, and half an onion and 3-4 cloves of garlic (optional though, low amounts of garlic and onions are safe and beneficial for dogs)
  1. Place the bones in a large pot and cover with water.
  2. Add the apple cider vinegar and let the bones soak for about 30 minutes to help extract the nutrients.
  3. Add any optional vegetables to the pot.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. The longer the broth simmers, the more nutrient-dense it will become.
  5. Strain the mixture to remove the bones and vegetables.
  6. Allow the broth to cool completely, then store it in the refrigerator or freezer.

It's best to use bones from organic, and hormone-free animals to ensure the broth is of the highest quality. 

Golden Paste 

benefits of golden paste for dogs, how to make golden paste for dogs

Golden paste is a mixture of turmeric, coconut oil, black pepper, and sometimes other ingredients, often used for its potential health benefits in both humans and dogs. Some of the potential benefits for dogs include:

  • Anti-inflammatory effects: Turmeric, the main ingredient in golden paste, has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce joint pain and stiffness.
  • Improved digestion: Coconut oil, another ingredient in golden paste, can help improve digestive function and reduce symptoms of digestive issues.
  • Better liver function: Some proponents of golden paste claim that the mixture can help improve liver function and reduce symptoms of liver problems in dogs.

Here's how to make golden paste for dogs:


  • 1 cup of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the turmeric powder and water. Whisk to combine.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes or until it thickens to a paste-like consistency. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
  4. Remove the saucepan from heat and let the mixture cool slightly.
  5. Add the black pepper and coconut oil to the mixture and stir until well combined.
  6. Transfer the golden paste to a glass container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


fish for health benefits for dogs

Fish can be a healthy and nutritious addition to a dog's diet.

Some of the benefits of fish for dogs include:

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids: Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and improve joint health in dogs.
  2. Protein: Fish is a high-quality source of protein, which is essential for muscle health and growth.
  3. Vitamin D: Fish is a good source of vitamin D, which helps regulate calcium and phosphorus levels in the body, promoting strong bones and teeth.
  4. Flavor: Fish can add variety and flavor to a dog's diet, making it more appealing and enjoyable.

Common types of fish that can be fed to dogs include salmon, rohu, catla, anchovies, trout, and whitefish. It's important to ensure the fish is cooked, as raw fish can contain harmful bacteria and parasites. It's also best to avoid feeding fish with high levels of mercury, such as tuna, to dogs.

Lean proteins

lean protein for health benefits for dogs
Lean proteins are a crucial component of a healthy diet for dogs, as they provide essential nutrients for growth, maintenance, and repair of the body's tissues. Some of the best lean protein sources for dogs include:

  1. Chicken: Skinless, boneless chicken breast is a lean and low-fat protein source that is easy to digest.
  2. Turkey: Similar to chicken, skinless, boneless turkey breast is a lean protein source that is low in fat and easy to digest.
  3. Fish: Fish such as salmon, trout, and whitefish are lean protein sources that are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can support joint health
  4. Eggs: Eggs are a complete protein source that is low in fat and easy to digest
  5. Lamb: Lean cuts of lamb, such as leg and loin, are a high-quality protein source that is low in fat and easy to digest

It's important to note that not all dogs enjoy eating all kinds of food and some may have trouble digesting them.

When introducing a new food or supplement to their diet, the best approach would be to do it gradually and in consultation with a canine nutritionist or a veterinarian (who understands the role of real, fresh food for dogs instead of recommending commercially available packaged dog food) who could draw up a personalized dietary plan for your dog based on their age, breed, and individual health needs.

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