an illustration of a running dog

Joint health is very important for dogs because it can directly affect their mobility, comfort and quality of life, and let's be real – it's the majority of their personality type. A doggo relies on their joints to be flexible and have a range of motion to run, jump, play and, most importantly, enjoy life with us!

"Did someone say walk?"

Do you have a feeling that your dog may have joint issues, but you are just not 100% sure? Check out Dr Nicole's article: Arthritis in Dogs: Tips and Tricks for Prevention and Management, where she helps you spot the early signs of arthritis in pets and provides practical advice to help you manage it.

How do I prevent joint issues for my dog?

Arthritis is common in dogs; Dr Nicole says that 20% - 35% of adult dogs and 80% of older dogs have arthritis(2). So, preventing joint issues in dogs is essential to ensuring their long-term health and wellbeing. Here are some steps you can take to help prevent joint problems:  

an illustration of scales to represent weight management

Weight Management:

First things first: a healthy weight!(3). Maintaining your dog's weight is super important. If you are unsure what the ideal shape your pet should be in, you can check out our Healthy Weight Guide and do the Knuckle Test! It has also been shown that slimmer dogs have less arthritis and a longer life expectancy!(1).

"What Shape is your Pet?" weight guide infographic

an illustration of ingredients and raw pet food

Feed them a Nutritional Diet:

If you are thinking, “my dog is showing signs of painful joints, what can I do?”, or you’d simply just like to implement every preventable option possible, well don’t worry! You've come to the right place because Big Dog Pet Foods has the perfect solution for you.

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition, so you will need to avoid a diet high in carbohydrates and sugars and instead find a diet with high anti-inflammatory properties(2).

Our Nourish Nutrition range offers a scientifically formulated Joint+ Support recipe. Packed with various anti-inflammatory and omega-3 rich ingredients, such as turmeric, green-lipped mussels and Tasmanian salmon, to support healthy bone and joint issues. This recipe may also aid in reducing swelling, supporting joint repair and pain management.

Our Tasmanian Salmon provides great nutrition for dogs of all ages. Omega-3s have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and are an important addition to the diet, as it reduces the inflammation in the joints. Tasmanian Salmon is also great for overall health, wellbeing, healthy ageing, and a healthy cardiovascular system.  

Our Sensitive Skin is another great option as it has premium nutrition for all dogs, also targeted to those susceptible to joint issues for its omegas, anti-inflammatories and is boosted with a supportive herbal blend. This recipe is also available in a 2kg roll.

Wellbeing provides supportive nutrition as this recipe is high in omegas and anti-inflammatories. It's also low in fat for dogs that need to lose weight to reduce the pressure on their joints.

In saying this, our Core Range of raw food recipes all contain fresh Tasmanian salmon. We also put crushed raw bone in every recipe because of its great source of high-quality and absorbable calcium for our pets! Calcium is the building block for our pets' teeth and bones and is of critical importance in healthy growth and development, especially in young animals. When fully grown, calcium continues to play an active role in normal health and wellbeing, including muscle function.

The best part is, providing a balanced and nutritional diet to your dog will not only help with inflammation it will also help with maintaining a lean body.

However, if your dog is overweight, we still recommend consulting with your veterinarian or holistic veterinarian to devise a safe weight-loss program.

Adding Additional Supplements:  


We were adding Turmeric to our recipes long before it became cool. Today, we all know that Turmeric has an amazing compound called curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory property. Read more about this cool ingredient here.

If you give Turmeric in the correct quantity and strength, curcumin can help block inflammation, assisting with pain management and decelerating the arthritis process. And guess what! Our Sensitive Skin recipe already includes Turmeric. But if you want to give more, we recommend consulting with your trusted Vet or animal health professional.

Appropriate exercise:

What is life without a bit of movement! We know not everyone loves it... and will do anything to get out of it.

But the majority of dogs love movement, and when a dog is happy, we are happy! Most importantly, movement can help with mobility and keeping them at a healthy weight.  

an illustration of a lady walking her sausage dog

You can go:

  • Running
  • Swimming at the beach or lake (the most fun place on earth – according to a lot of dogs)plus swimming is great for their joints!
  • To the park to play Frisby,
  • Signup for an Agility Training class.
  • Play tug of war. (We bet your dog will win).

The options are endless! Adult dogs require around 30-60 minutes of exercise each day. Some active breeds will need aerobic exercise daily, which may be an extra 30 minutes or more. Here are some more types of Physical and Mental Exercises for your dog.

However, it is important to remember that if you have a puppy, you need to be extra cautious and gentle with them. It is crucial to avoid promoting prolonged and repetitive exercise sessions, such as jogging together, as their bodies are still growing.Depending on their breed, the growth plates in their joints may not fully fuse until they reach 12-24 months of age. It is necessary for this fusion to occur before your dog can safely accompany you on a run. By following this precaution, you can help prevent future skeletal issues like hip dysplasia and arthritis as your dog grows older.

an illustration representing vet check ups

Regular Vet Checks:  

This is an important one. Sometimes we can't detect the early signs of arthritis or joint pain in our dogs, as we see them daily and may not notice small changes in their movement. Whereas an outsider, may pick up on these signs straight away, especially a health professional and particularly because dogs do not show pain the way we do. Try doing twice-yearly check-ups with comprehensive examinations for early diagnosis and treatment planning. If caught early, there may still be time before there is irreversible joint damage(3).

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1)    Arthritis Managementand Prevention. Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Colorado State University.,-Arthritic%20elbow%20joint&text=Attaining%20and%20maintaining%20a%20lean,and%20a%20longer%20life%20expectancy!
2)    Arthritis in Dogs: Tipsand Tricks for Prevention and Management. Dr Nicole Rous.
3)    5 Ways to Prevent DogArthritis. PETMD.