Demographic factors associated with joint supplement use in dogs from the Dog Aging Project. Academic Article uri icon


  • Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most prevalent age-related chronic conditions that afflict companion dogs, and multiple joint supplements are available to prevent or treat OA, though the efficacy of these treatments is controversial. While the demographic factors that are associated with OA diagnosis are well established, the factors that are associated with joint supplement use are not as well studied. Using data collected from the Dog Aging Project, we analyzed owner survey responses regarding joint supplement administration and OA diagnosis for 26,951 adult dogs. In this cross-sectional analysis, logistic regression models and odds-ratios (OR) were employed to determine demographic factors of dogs and their owners that were associated with joint supplement administration. Forty percent of adult dogs in our population were given some type of joint supplement. Perhaps not surprisingly, dogs of older age, larger size, and those that were ever overweight were more likely to receive a joint supplement. Younger owner age, urban living, owner education, and feeding commercial dry food were associated with a reduced likelihood of administration of joint supplements to dogs. Interestingly, mixed breed dogs were also less likely to be administered a joint supplement (OR: 0.73). Dogs with a clinical diagnosis of OA were more likely to receive a joint supplement than those without a reported OA diagnosis (OR: 3.82). Neutered dogs were more likely to have a diagnosis of OA, even after controlling for other demographic factors, yet their prevalence of joint supplement administration was the same as intact dogs. Overall, joint supplement use appears to be high in our large population of dogs in the United States. Prospective studies are needed to determine if joint supplements are more commonly administered as a preventative for OA or after an OA clinical diagnosis.

published proceedings

  • Front Vet Sci

altmetric score

  • 9.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Hoffman, J. M., Tolbert, M. K., Promislow, D., & Dog Aging Project Consortium.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Hoffman, Jessica M||Tolbert, M Katherine||Promislow, Daniel EL

publication date

  • January 2022