Should Golden Retrievers Take Joint Supplements? [What You Need To Know!]

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As a Golden Retriever owner, you’re probably aware of how important it is to maintain healthy bones and joints in your Golden Retriever.

Golden Retrievers are particularly susceptible to joint issues including hip and elbow dysplasia, and arthritis.

Joint issues can cause discomfort and limit your dog’s mobility, ultimately affecting your Golden’s quality of life.

Many owners turn to joint supplements to help prevent and support their Golden Retriever’s joint health.

But, should Golden Retrievers take joint supplements? And if so, which ones are most effective?

Keep reading, as we discuss everything you need to know about joint supplements, and whether or not you need to add them to your Golden’s diet.

Should Golden Retrievers Take Joint Supplements?

Joint supplements can help support joint health and be used as a preventative of developing joint issues. But, not all Golden Retrievers will require joint supplements, it depends on your dog’s individual needs and circumstances. Golden Retrievers with existing joint issues, or those at risk for them, may find supplements beneficial in promoting joint health and reducing inflammation. It’s important to consult your vet to determine if joint supplements are appropriate for your Golden and to choose one that is safe and effective. Along with supplements, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight are all effective ways to support joint health in your Golden Retriever.

Benefits Of Joint Supplements For Golden Retrievers

A Golden Retriever walking on a field of grass.

There are many benefits that joint supplements may provide for your Golden Retriever, including the following:

  • Improved mobility & range of motion.
  • Reduced pain & inflammation in the joints.
  • Slower progression of joint degeneration (reduced joint wear & tear).
  • Enhanced joint lubrication & shock absorption.
  • May help protect and repair cartilage, which can help prevent further joint damage.
  • Certain supplements help support overall joint health & reduce the risk of future joint issues.
  • Can decrease the need to rely on pain medication & anti-inflammatory drugs.

In addition to the benefits listed above, joint supplements also contain certain ingredients that work together to support joint health.

Some common ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and omega-3 fatty acids, each have their own unique benefits, which we’ll discuss in the section below.

Common Ingredients Found In Joint Supplements

When it comes to joint supplements for Golden Retrievers, there are a variety of ingredients to choose from. Each ingredient has its own unique properties and benefits.

Common ingredients include glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, Omega-3 fatty acids, and green-lipped mussels.

We’ll look at each of these ingredients in further detail along with a few other commonly found ingredients below.


Glucosamine is a natural compound found in healthy cartilage, meaning your dog naturally produces glucosamine.

But, over time, your dog’s natural production reduces and becomes inadequate at preventing joint damage.

Supplementing with glucosamine is therefore beneficial, especially in dogs with arthritis.

Glucosamine is one of the most common ingredients found in joint supplements. It helps to support healthy cartilage and reduces joint pain and inflammation.


Another natural compound found in cartilage, chondroitin is often combined with glucosamine in joint supplements.

It may help support healthy cartilage, reduce inflammation, and help improve joint function.

When used together with glucosamine, the benefits may be greater than when used alone.

According to a study published in 2017, the use of glucosamine and chondroitin in dogs with osteoarthritis showed that glucosamine may provide mild anti-inflammatory effects, while chondroitin inhibits destructive enzymes in joint fluid and cartilage.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are ingredients that are found in pretty much all joint supplements, as they are generally the best starting point in supporting joint health.


MSM, short for Methylsulfonylmethane, is a sulfur compound.

This naturally occurring compound found in plants, animals, and humans, is often used in joint supplements for dogs, because of its potential anti-inflammatory properties.

MSM may help reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joints. It also helps support collagen production and helps improve joint mobility.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy fats that are commonly found in fish oils, flaxseed oil, and other plant sources.

They’re included in joint supplements because they may help to reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joints, and support overall health.

The most beneficial and studied types of Omega-3 for joint health are EPA and DHA.

The best sources of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids for dogs are found in marine-based supplements such as fish oil or krill oil.

Plant-based sources of Omega-3s like flaxseed oil, or chia seeds, don’t contain high enough concentrations of EPA and DHA to be beneficial for joints.

When choosing a joint supplement that contains Omega-3 fatty acids, it’s important to look for one that contains high concentrations of EPA and DHA. This will ensure your Golden gets the most benefit.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a natural compound that’s found in the body, particularly the joints and the skin.

Its role is to maintain joint health by lubricating and cushioning the joints.

As an ingredient in joint supplements, hyaluronic acid helps maintain healthy joints and reduces joint pain and stiffness.

It has also been shown to improve skin and coat health by retaining moisture and promoting healthy skin cell production.


Turmeric is a spice that’s often used in cooking. It contains a compound called curcumin which has anti-inflammatory properties.

It is often found in joint supplements, as it helps reduce joint inflammation, which in turn helps to reduce pain and stiffness.

Turmeric has also been shown to support liver health, promote healthy digestion, and have antioxidant effects.

Be sure to look for a joint supplement with turmeric that has high concentrations of curcumin. This way your Golden Retriever will get the most benefit.

Green Lipped Mussels

Green-lipped mussels are a type of shellfish native to New Zealand. They are packed with nutrients!

They are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid, all of which are beneficial for joint health.

As an ingredient in joint supplements, green-lipped mussels may help reduce joint pain and inflammation.

Some studies have shown that green-lipped mussels extract may also help improve joint mobility and flexibility in dogs with joint issues.

Also, they have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may benefit your dog’s overall health and well-being.

According to the American Kennel Club, green-lipped mussels supplement is safe for dogs of all ages, and when given at a young age, it can maintain healthy joints and delay the onset of arthritis.

Important to note is that the safe use of green-lipped mussels has not been established in breeding, pregnant, or lactating dogs.

This is the supplement that I give my Golden Retriever, Ellie. I have been using it as a preventative, and to support her overall joint health. I use it in powder form.


CBD (cannabidiol) is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. It does not contain THC (the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties).

In fact, most CBD products are derived from hemp, not marijuana.

CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit dogs with joint issues.

It has also been shown to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety in dogs.

Many dog owners have been turning to CBD products to help manage their dog’s joint pain and mobility issues.

Research on the benefits and effects that CBD has on joint health is still limited, as well as its safety and risks.

Before you consider a joint supplement that contains CBD, it’s important to talk to your vet to determine if it’s appropriate and safe for your dog’s individual needs.

These are just a few of the common ingredients found in joint supplements. It’s important to choose a supplement that is safe and effective for your dog’s individual needs. Always consult your vet before starting your dog on any supplement!

How To Choose The Best Joint Supplement For Your Golden Retriever

A Golden Retriever with a tennis ball in its mouth walking towards you on a beach.

With so many joint supplements to choose from, deciding on the right one for your Golden Retriever can be a difficult choice!

To help you narrow down the choices, here are a few helpful tips:

  • Look For High-Quality Ingredients: Choose a supplement that has proven ingredients to help with joint health, such as glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, hyaluronic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, and green-lipped mussels. Avoid products with fillers or artificial additives.
  • Consider Your Dog’s Needs: Different ingredients found in joint supplements address different needs and provide different benefits. Consider your dog’s age, health issues, and what you want out of a joint supplement.
  • Quality: Look for products that are made by reputable manufacturers, and be sure to check if they have been tested for quality and purity.
  • Form Of Supplement: Joint supplements come in a variety of forms like pills, liquids, chewable, and powders. Keep in mind how easy it will be to administer to your dog, and choose one that your dog will accept and easily take.
  • Research & Read Reviews: Check online reviews and product ratings, and do your research to compare the best products for your dog. You can also ask fellow Golden Retriever owners for advice.
  • Consult Your Vet: Before starting any supplement, be sure to talk to your vet. Your vet will be able to guide you to choose the right supplement based on your dog’s individual needs.

The above tips should help you make an informed decision about the best joint supplement for your Golden Retriever.

Top Recommended Joint Supplements For Golden Retrievers

Below are 3 highly-rated joint supplements that are recommended for Golden Retrievers:

1. Nutramax Dasuquin With MSM

Nutramax Dasuquin With MSM Soft Chews Joint Supplement For Dogs.

These beef-flavoured soft chews contain a combination of glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM, to help support joint health.

This supplement is veterinarian-formulated, using high-quality ingredients.

2. Cosequin DS Plus MSM

Cosequin Joint Supplement For Dogs.

This supplement is in chewable tablet form and contains glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and additional ingredients to promote joint health and support overall mobility.

Made by Nutramax, Cosequin is a high-quality joint supplement that is veterinarian-formulated.

3. Zesty Paws Mobility Bites

Zesty Paws Mobility Bites Joint Supplement For Dogs.

These tasty Mobility Bites by Zesty Paws contain glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and other natural ingredients to support joint health and mobility.

There are no artificial flavours, colours, or preservatives in this supplement, plus it comes in flavours that most dogs love bacon.

Natural Ways To Support Joint Health In Your Golden Retriever

Below we’ll look at some natural ways that you can support your Golden Retriever’s joint health. These can be done alongside joint supplements, or without.

  • Provide Regular Low-Impact Exercise: Regular exercise keeps your Golden’s joints flexible and strengthens the muscles. Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, and gentle games of fetch are best for dogs with joint issues.
  • Provide A Comfortable & Supportive Bed: A dog bed that provides plenty of cushioned support will help to ease joint pain and promote joint health. Many dog beds are designed for dogs with joint issues, such as orthopedic beds, as well as elevated beds to keep your pup comfortable and supported.
  • Add Joint-Friendly Foods To Your Dog’s Diet: Include some foods that are beneficial to your dog’s joint health. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon or sardines can help reduce joint inflammation. Antioxidant-rich foods like berries and sweet potatoes can help prevent joint damage. Foods rich in glucosamine like bone broth and chicken feet can help support joint health.
  • Consult Your Vet: Before adding or making any changes to your dog’s diet or exercise routine, be sure to consult your vet.

The following short video discusses a few more ways that you can help prevent joint issues and protect your dog’s joints:

Risks And Side Effects Of Joint Supplements For Golden Retrievers: What To Watch For

As with any supplement or medication, there are potential risks and side effects to be aware of.

While joint supplements are generally considered safe, and most dogs tolerate them well, some dogs may experience digestive upset or allergic reactions.

It is important to monitor your dog closely and consult with your vet if you notice any side effects of the joint supplement.

Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Digestive Issues: Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased appetite.
  • Allergic Reactions: Itching, swelling, redness, or hives, are common signs of an allergic reaction. Many dogs are allergic to certain ingredients in joint supplements like shellfish or glucosamine.
  • Interactions With Other Medications: If your dog is taking other medications or supplements, you will want to consult with your vet to make sure the joint supplements are safe to take alongside other medications.
  • Overdosing: Giving your Golden an incorrect dosage, or combining too many supplements can lead to overdosing. Always be sure to follow the dosage instructions based on your dog’s weight and age. Consult your vet if you need to determine the correct dosage for your dog.

FAQ About Joint Supplements For Golden Retrievers

A senior Golden Retriever walking towards you on a dirt path.

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions that owners have about joint supplements for their Golden Retrievers.

If you have any additional questions, please leave them in the comments section below.

1. How Do I Know If My Golden Retriever Needs Joint Supplements?

It is always best to consult your vet to determine if your Golden Retriever needs to take joint supplements.

Signs that may indicate the need for joint supplements include stiffness or limping after exercise, difficulty standing up, hesitating to jump or play, or a decrease in activity.

2. Can Joint Supplements Cure Joint Issues In Golden Retrievers?

No, joint supplements are not a cure-all to your Golden Retriever’s joint issues. They are only meant to help support joint health and help ease the pain and stiffness that goes along with many joint issues.

3. Can I Give My Golden Retriever Human Joint Supplements?

It is not recommended to give your Golden Retriever human joint supplements, without consulting your vet first!

The dosage and ingredients in human joint supplements may not be suitable for dogs and could be harmful.

It is best to choose supplements that are specifically formulated for dogs.

4. Should I Give My Golden Retriever Joint Supplements Even If He Doesn’t Show Any Signs Of Joint Issues?

It’s not necessary to give your Golden Retriever a joint supplement if they aren’t showing any signs of joint issues.

However, you can always discuss with your vet if it’s a good idea to use joint supplements to help prevent any joint issues down the road.

Older dogs, or those with a history of joint issues, may benefit from joint supplements as a preventative measure.

Incorporating natural ways to support joint health such as exercise, and a healthy diet can help to prevent joint problems in the future.

5. How Long Does It Take Until Joint Supplements Start Working In Golden Retrievers?

The time that it takes until joint supplements start working, will depend on a few factors such as the supplement being used, your dog, and the severity of your dog’s joint issues.

However, many supplements will take a few weeks to a few months for you to see any noticeable improvements in your Golden Retriever.

It’s important to be patient, and consistent with giving the supplement, and follow the dosage instructions recommended by the manufacturer or your vet.

Final Thoughts

Joint supplements can be helpful in supporting overall joint health in Golden Retrievers, especially as they age, or if they have a history of joint issues.

While they won’t cure your Golden’s joint issues, joint supplements with key ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM, have been shown to have positive effects on joint health and mobility in dogs, according to studies.

Natural methods of joint support like a healthy diet and regular exercise are important and beneficial, however, supplements can provide additional support.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to give your Golden Retriever a joint supplement should be made in consultation with your vet.

Does your Golden Retriever take any joint supplements?

Share your thoughts and comments below. I would love to hear from you!

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2 thoughts on “Should Golden Retrievers Take Joint Supplements? [What You Need To Know!]”

  1. My Golden Retriever Cliff has hip dysplasia and arthritis and is in a lot of pain if he doesn’t get his Librella injection medication. Luckily his elbow is not affected. But to prevent further degradation, I am looking for an affordable supplement, and “Zesty Paws” looks like a good choice for me at the moment, did it help your Golden? Also, swimming is a very good idea, thanks for that!

    • Hi Lizzy,

      Sorry to hear about the difficulties your Golden Cliff is facing.  Zesty Paws is a great supplement to further support your dog’s joint health.  Dogs love the taste and they are easy to give.  I know fellow Golden Retriever owners who use this supplement as a preventative, and they love it.  I personally use green-lipped mussels powder on my Golden Retriever as a preventative, as my dog has certain allergies, so she cannot take certain supplements that contain ingredients she is allergic to.  Swimming will certainly help your dog as well because it is less stressful on the joints.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.



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