Best Dog Food for Arthritis — Diets for Hip Dysplasia and Joint Issues

Arthritis will certainly slow your dog down!

Just like people, dogs tend to get a little stiff and creaky as they get older, usually because of arthritis.

A painful condition that occurs when cartilage in the joints starts breaking down. There are several forms of arthritis, but the most common one is osteoarthritis or wear and tear arthritis.

Your pup’s nutrition, like yours, must change to help your dog treat or manage the condition. 

But, there are so many dog food brands out there. So, you need to do a little research and exercise caution to find the best dog food for arthritis.

The Redbarn Naturals Chicken Pate Joint Health Grain-Free Canned Dog Food is our top pick for feeding dogs with arthritis. It contains natural ingredients tailored to your dog’s hip and joint health.

The Best Dog Foods For Arthritis Are:

ProductDetails
1. Redbarn Naturals Chicken Pate Joint Health Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

  • Contains high-quality chicken
  • High moisture content
  • Enriched with L-carnitine
  • Has high levels of antioxidants
  • Free of soy, wheat, corn, and grain
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2. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Mobility Support JS 23 Dry Dog Food

  • Sensitive digestion veterinary diet
  • High levels of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Enriched with omega fatty acids, EPA and DHA acids
  • Features nutrient-dense vegetable and fish oil
  • Great source of green-lipped mussels
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3. Dogswell Happy Hips and Sweet Potato Stew Recipe Canned Dog Food

  • Cage-free chicken is the first ingredient
  • Antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies
  • High levels of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • No preservatives, flavors, artificial colors, soy, wheat, corn, or grain
  • High moisture content
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4. Hill’s Prescription Diet J/D Joint Care Dry Dog Food

  • High levels of omega 3 fatty acids
  • Rich in glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Reasonable levels of fat and energy
  • High levels of L-carnitine
  • Contains eicosapentaenoic acid
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5. Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic, Mobility Weight and Joint Care Dry Dog Food

  • Clinically proven for hip and joint support
  • Enriched with fruits and veggies
  • High levels of omega 3 fatty acids
  • Weight control veterinary diet
  • Soluble and insoluble fiber
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6. Purina ONE SmartBlend Tender Adult Canned Dog Food

  • Real lamb is the first ingredient
  • Chunks in gravy food texture
  • Contains selenium
  • Supplemented with antioxidants
  • Helps with weight management
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7. Dave’s Pet Food Naturally Healthy Joint Formula Canned Dog Food

  • Water sufficient for processing
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally sourced from chicken
  • Flaxseed is packed with omega 3 and omega 6
  • Enriched with vitamin E and linoleic acid
  • Grain and gluten-free formula
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8. Blue Buffalo Weight Management + Mobility Support Dry Dog Food

  • Veterinary diet formula
  • Enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Contains EPA omega 3 fatty acids
  • Ideal levels of calories and fat
  • No grains, no artificial flavors, and no by-products
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9. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM Joint Mobility Dry Dog Food

  • High protein to calorie ratio
  • Enriched with glucosamine and omega 3
  • Contains vitamin E and ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • Higher fiber content
  • Great for the nutritional management
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1. Redbarn Naturals Chicken Pate Joint Health Grain-Free Canned Dog Food — Best Canned Dog Food

This is a premium dog food that combines nutrition and convenience. With a focus on quality, this diet only features the freshest ingredients to help your pup manage arthritis.

Specs

  • Contains high-quality chicken
  • High moisture content
  • Enriched with L-carnitine
  • Has high levels of antioxidants
  • Free of soy, wheat, corn, and grain

This joint health recipe contains dandelion greens, which is great because it contains calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, fiber, and amino acids.

The green-lipped mussels in this diet contain a special kind of fatty acid with potent anti-inflammatory properties in treating and managing wear and tear arthritis in dogs.

I appreciate the presence of coconut oil in the food, which is a good source of medium-chain fatty acids that help with weight loss to reduce strain on hips and joints.

Another good ingredient in this diet is the salmon oil, a great way to supplement your pup’s nutrition with omega fatty acids for joint support, immune health, and skin and coat health.

Pros

  • Vitamins and antioxidants boost the immune system
  • Potent anti-inflammatory properties help fight arthritis
  • Rich in coconut oil for effective weight management
  • Omega fatty acids support joint and immune health
  • High moisture content ensures your pup is hydrated

Cons

  • Low fiber content may result in soft stools
  • May not be economical feeding a large breed dog

Concluding Statement

Help your dog treat and manage wear and tear arthritis with the Redbarn Naturals Chicken Pate Joint Health Grain-Free Canned Dog Food.

Overall Rating – 4.9

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2. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Mobility Support JS 23 Dry Dog Food

If you’re looking for a premium dry dog food that offers high-quality ingredients to support hip and joint health, look no further than this diet from Royal Canin.

Specs

  • Sensitive digestion veterinary diet
  • High levels of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Enriched with omega fatty acids, EPA and DHA acids
  • Features nutrient-dense vegetable and fish oil
  • Great source of green-lipped mussels

This hearty meal contains highly digestible and palatable kibbles that are formulated with green mussels and enriched with antioxidants to boost a healthy immune system.

The diet is augmented with green-lipped mussels, which have great anti-inflammatory properties for reducing muscle inflammation and symptoms of osteoarthritis.

The omega 3 fatty acids help to ease inflammatory reactions in your pooch’s joints, while the EPA and DHA acids boost joint health.

Another good feature is the supplemental levels of chondroitin and glucosamine that provide anti-inflammatory effects for treating arthritis.

But the thing is, the bag rips easily and the texture and smell may not be suitable for picky eaters.

Pros

  • Great nutrition for a sensitive digestive tract
  • Superior anti-inflammatory properties for treating arthritis
  • Helps promote healthy kidney functionality
  • Antioxidant enriched to support a healthy immune system
  • Kibbles are highly palatable and digestible

Cons

  • Texture and smell may not be appealing for picky eaters
  • Bag rips easily

Concluding Statement

This diet is nutrient-packed to help treat wear and tear arthritis, boost the immune system, and promote the normal function of the digestive system.

Overall Rating – 4.8

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3. Dogswell Happy Hips and Sweet Potato Stew Recipe Canned Dog Food — Best for Hip & Joint Health

If you are looking for canned dog food that is specifically formulated for your pup’s hip and joint health, look no further than the Dogswell Happy Hips.

Specs

  • Cage-free chicken is the first ingredient
  • Antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies
  • High levels of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • No preservatives, flavors, artificial colors, soy, wheat, corn, or grain
  • High moisture content

This diet is crafted with caged free chicken, which is great because this lean meat provides your pup with lots of protein without a high-calorie count.

The nutrition is water sufficient for processing, increasing your dog’s water intake to help reduce strain on the kidneys and urinary tract.

This food contains incredible amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin, two important nutrients that help reduce inflammation and improve hip and joint health.

I appreciate the presence of flaxseed oil (a great source of omega 3 fatty acids) that helps to treat wear and tear arthritis as well as improve the overall immune health.

But this wet food is low in dietary fiber, which means it can lead to soft stools. Also, it may not be the best choice for improving dental health.

Pros

  • Lean protein sources help preserve lean muscle mass
  • Water sufficient for improved kidney and urinary tract health
  • Excellent anti-inflammatory properties for treating canine arthritis
  • Omega fatty acids support hip and joint health
  • Free of genetically engineered ingredients

Cons

  • May not be a great choice for dental health
  • Low fiber content may produce soft stools

Concluding Statement

This amazing canned diet from Dogswell Happy Hips is one of the finest options for managing and treating hip dysplasia in dogs.

Overall Rating – 4.8

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4. Hill’s Prescription Diet J/D Joint Care Dry Dog Food

Feeding your dog the Hill’s Prescription Diet J/D can help preserve healthy cartilage, reduce inflammation, ease aching joints, and improve mobility.

Specs

  • High levels of omega 3 fatty acids
  • Rich in glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Reasonable levels of fat and energy
  • High levels of L-carnitine
  • Contains eicosapentaenoic acid

This exceptional nutrition contains remarkably high levels of omega 3 fatty acids, which is great because they help reduce inflammation and ease aching joints.

It contains EPA (a fatty acid) that does a great job of blocking the enzymes that are responsible for destroying cartilage.

I appreciate the presence of l-carnitine in the J/D diet, considering that it is very effective at burning fat and help preserve lean muscle mass.

Another good thing about this diet is that it is rich in glucosamine and chondroitin, which control the synthesis of collagen and prevents destructive enzymes respectively.

But the Hill’s Prescription Diet J/D requires you to have a prescription or recommendation from your pup’s veterinarian.

Pros

  • Vital antioxidants prevent cell damage
  • Reduce inflammation and ease aching joints
  • High in EPA to support cartilage health
  • Effective at burning fat and preserving lean muscle mass
  • Nutrient-dense kibbles are highly palatable

Cons

  • Requires you to have a vet’s recommendation
  • Contains animal by-products

Concluding Statement

Although arthritis isn’t curable, it can be managed with Hill’s Prescription Diet J/D. This nutrition will undoubtedly improve your best friend’s life.

Overall Rating – 4.7

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5. Hill’s Prescription Diet Metabolic, Mobility Weight and Joint Care Dry Dog Food — Best Dog Food for Hip Dysplasia

This diet works naturally with your dog’s unique metabolism, using a synergistic blend of ingredients and a unique fiber blend from veggies and fruits to help manage hip dysplasia.

Specs

  • Clinically proven for hip and joint support
  • Enriched with fruits and veggies
  • High levels of omega 3 fatty acids
  • Weight control veterinary diet
  • Soluble and insoluble fiber

This diet contains a synergistic blend of ingredients, which is great because they support hip and joint health and improve weight management.

I appreciate the fact that this diet is enriched with antioxidants (beta-carotene, lipoic, vitamin E, and vitamin C) to counteract inflammation.

The L-carnitine (a conditionally essential vitamin-like nutrient) in the diet that supports fat metabolism and weight reduction to reduce stress on the hips.

Contains high levels of omega 3 fatty acids and eicosapentaenoic acid, which reduce degradation of cartilage to improve mobility.

What I don’t like; however, is the large kibble size, which might be difficult for small breed dogs to chew comfortably.

Pros

  • Contains conditionally essential nutrients for weight management
  • Enriched with crucial antioxidants for counteracting inflammation
  • Great at reducing cartilage degradation to improve mobility
  • Takes merely twenty-one days to improve hip and joint support
  • High in fiber to support digestive tract health

Cons

  • Requires a veterinarian recommendation
  • Kibble size may be slightly larger for small breeds

Concluding Statement

This diet is a great choice for managing hip dysplasia, hip and joint support, weight reduction, digestive tract health, and overall wellbeing.

Overall Rating – 4.6

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6. Purina ONE SmartBlend Tender Adult Canned Dog Food — For Heart Health Too

Support your dog’s hip, joint, and heart health with the Purina ONE SmartBlend Tender Adult Canned Dog Food.

Specs

  • Real lamb is the first ingredient
  • Chunks in gravy food texture
  • Contains selenium
  • Supplemented with antioxidants
  • Helps with weight management

This diet is formulated with real lamb and brown rice, which is a great combination that offers your pup high-quality protein, essential amino acids, and vitamins for joint and heart health.

Essential vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin E, vitamin B-3, vitamin B-1, vitamin B-5, vitamin B-6, and selenium) are included to boost joint, immune, and digestion health.

I appreciate the presence of zinc in the diet, which supports structure as well as the function of cell membranes.

Another good feature is the liver, which is a great source of omega 3, especially eicosapentaenoic acid that is great for reducing symptoms of canine arthritis.

But spinach has high levels of oxalic acid that might prevent the absorption of calcium and possibly cause kidney damage.

Pros

  • Enriched with meaty protein for energy and lean muscle mass
  • High in vitamins and minerals for superior immune and heart health
  • Great for cell membrane structure and functionality
  • Highly palatable and digestible
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid helps fight canine arthritis

Cons

  • High levels of oxalic acid may cause kidney damage
  • Low crude fiber levels may lead to soft stools

Concluding Statement

If you believe in the power of real ingredients and great taste, then look no further than the Purina ONE SmartBlend Tender Adult Canned Dog Food.

Overall Rating – 4.6 

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7. Dave’s Pet Food Naturally Healthy Joint Formula Canned Dog Food

This food provides your furred friend with a consistently safe, premium quality natural food that features the highest quality ingredients available.

Specs

  • Water sufficient for processing
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin are naturally sourced from chicken
  • Flaxseed is packed with omega 3 and omega 6
  • Enriched with vitamin E and linoleic acid
  • Grain and gluten-free formula

This diet is formulated with chicken, which is great because it supplies your pup with high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin for supporting hip and joint health.

The flaxseeds in the recipe come loaded with omega fatty acids, which is great because they pack good anti-inflammatory properties to ease canine arthritis.

The flaxseeds also contain fiber for boosting digestive tract health and lignans for fighting cancer as well as improving cardiovascular health.

The diet is also enriched with vitamin E (a fat-soluble vitamin) and linoleic acid for supporting and maintaining a healthy immune system.

But the thing is, the added color in the recipe may not be suitable for sensitive or allergic dogs.

Pros

  • Highly palatable and easily digestible
  • Great anti-inflammatory effects for easing joint pain
  • Lignans fight cancer and support immune health
  • Soluble vitamins improve the overall immune health
  • Omega fatty acids boost hip and joint health

Cons

  • Added color may not be suitable for allergic dogs
  • May not be convenient for picky eaters

Concluding Statement

If you are looking for a diet that will help your furred pal fight wear and tear arthritis during this COVID-19, look no further than Dave’s Pet Food.

Overall Rating – 4.6

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8. Blue Buffalo Weight Management + Mobility Support Dry Dog Food

A grain-free diet, that is formulated for weight management, digestive tract health, and joint and mobility support.

Specs

  • Veterinary diet formula
  • Enriched with glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Contains EPA omega 3 fatty acids
  • Ideal levels of calories and fat
  • No grains, no artificial flavors, and no by-products

The main ingredient in this amazing canine nutrition is deboned salmon, a great protein source for energy and lean muscle mass preservation.

Salmon is also a good natural source of omega 3 fatty acids, nutrients that help ease the symptoms of wear and tear arthritis, and support skin and coat health.

Another good thing about this food is that it is packed with joint health-promoting nutrients, including glucosamine, chondroitin, EPA, and DHA.

But the thing is, this diet is a little bit pricier compared to other similar foods, and it is prescription-only food. 

Pros

  • A great choice for overall weight management
  • Helps preserve lean muscle mass in senior dogs
  • Enriched with lots of joint health-promoting nutrients
  • No animal by-products, making it safe for allergic dogs
  • Kibbles are delicious, palatable, and easily digestible

Cons

  • Slightly pricier compared to similar foods
  • Quality control may differ from one bag to another

Concluding Statement

A great diet for weight management and joint health. Not to mention that it doesn’t contain any traces of genetically modified ingredients.

Overall Rating – 4.6

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9. Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM Joint Mobility Dry Dog Food — Best for Cartilage Health

To look and feel her best while struggling with arthritis, your furred companion needs the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM Joint Mobility Dry Dog Food.

Specs

  • High protein to calorie ratio
  • Enriched with glucosamine and omega 3
  • Contains vitamin E and ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
  • Higher fiber content
  • Great for the nutritional management

This nutrition has a high protein to calorie ratio, which is great because it promotes the loss of body fat to reduce strain on the hips and it also preserves lean body mass.

The Purina Pro Plan diet is enriched with fish oil (a great source of omega 3 fatty acids) and contains high levels of DHA and EPA, which help reduce inflammation in joints.

It is enriched with glucosamine for improving the smooth functioning of joints, strengthening bones, and reducing inflammation.

Another good feature is the presence of vital antioxidants, including vitamin E and vitamin C that helps defend your furred pal’s body from free radicals.

But the thing is, the kibbles might be a little bit dry for picky eaters.

Pros

  • Great for burning fat to reduce strain on joints
  • Does a great job of preserving lean body mass
  • Omega 3, DHA, and EPA reduce inflammation in joints
  • Rich in vital antioxidants for fighting free radicals
  • Highly recommended by vets, researchers, and nutritionists

Cons

  • Kibbles may be a little bit dry for picky eaters
  • Contains animal by-products

Concluding Statement

If you are looking for an innovative nutritional blend for managing your pooch’s arthritis, look no further than the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets JM Joint Mobility Dry Dog Food. 

Overall Rating – 4.4

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Buying Guide: Things To Consider When Looking For Dog Food For Arthritis

It is always wise to talk to your pup’s veterinarian before choosing a dog food made for dogs with wear and tear arthritis.

Here are a few important things that I urge you to consider during your search for the best dog food for arthritis.

Weight Management Diet

The main goal of any diet that you choose in treating canine arthritis is achieving and maintaining the ideal weight. This will ensure that there is no strain on your pal’s aching joints.

The best weight-loss diets are based on calorie restriction, but this doesn’t mean a restriction of other important nutrients.

Different age groups require different levels of calorie cutdown. But, research supports the use of diets with higher fiber and lower fat to increase satiety.

Should I reduce protein levels in my dog’s food? To prevent loss of lean muscle mass or lean body mass, your furred friend requires increased protein levels.

But, the quality of protein in canine weight management nutrition appears to be more important than the quantity.

The quality of protein in a canine diet depends on its amino acids. This is so since protein is usually broken down into its constituent amino acids.

Using diets crafted to ensure adequate amounts of essential amino acids are met has shown promising results.

The higher the biological value of a protein, the less the amount that is needed to meet all of your dog’s essential amino acid needs.

Few naturally occurring sources of protein have amino acid compositions that your dog needs.

Most practical sources of dietary protein may contain an excess of some essential amino acids and a slight deficiency of other requirements.

Lean meat is usually considered the best protein source. This type of meat is free of bones and any excess fat.

If feeding turkey or chicken, the skin must be removed as it can be a source of excess fat. Generally, lean meat includes white meat from chicken or turkey.

Joint Health-Promoting Ingredients and Nutrients

Apart from a weight management diet, the next important consideration is joint health-promoting nutrients.

These nutrients have anti-inflammatory properties that are crucial in managing canine arthritis.

Here are the key ingredients I urge you to look for in a diet:

Glucosamine

When necessary, most veterinarians will simply recommend a glucosamine supplement to be taken daily.

But, switching to a diet that supports hip and joint health and feeding a supplement at the same time can easily knock your furred friend’s system off balance.

But, many veterinarians and canine nutritionists; nowadays, recommend glucosamine-rich foods instead of supplements.

This nutrient has incredible anti-inflammatory properties that help to maintain healthy cartilage in dogs with arthritis.

Chondroitin

This is a naturally occurring nutrient that has proven to be very effective at treating symptoms of osteoarthritis or wear and tear arthritis.

It is a natural anti-inflammatory that protects joints from harmful enzymes.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

They are important nutrients found in the best dog food for arthritis. The most popular source of omega 3 fatty acids is fish, but some dog parents may claim that fish can be high in mercury.

Well, that’s a legitimate concern, if you are feeding your pup large predatory fish.

Most dog food companies use salmon fish, which is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids with very low mercury content.

You can also consider diets with flaxseeds, chia seeds, or walnuts. Another great omega 3 fatty acid source is fish oil or flaxseed oil.

You should also know that there are important fatty acids that must be present in a given source of omega 3, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and linoleic acid. They are great for joints, heart, immune, and brain health.

Green-Lipped Mussels

Green-lipped mussels as food supplements offer excellent nutrients. They are high in amino acids, chelated trace minerals, and enzymes.

Green-lipped mussels contain a special kind of fatty acid with great anti-inflammatory properties in treating canine arthritis.

They also help strengthen bones and prevent the development of wear and tear arthritis.

Dandelion Greens

Another great ingredient that can help boost the overall health of your pup. Important nutrients in this ingredient are calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

This ingredient boosts immune health, strengthens bones, and protects against heart disorders. 

Superfoods in Dog Food

The presence of fruits and vegetables in your dog’s diet is necessary. But you need to know which ones are the most beneficial.

Fruits are a good source of potassium, which supports kidney and heart function. These superfoods are full of antioxidants and vitamin C, which help to support as well as strengthen the immune system.

Some special superfoods, such as apples are low in calories and high in fiber, making them ideal for weight management.

They are also rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, which is essential for maintaining healthy bones as well as tissues. They also help to keep your dog’s teeth clean.

Dry, Semimoist, or Canned Food

Dry dog foods have low moisture content and are usually made up of palatable and digestible kibbles.

Dry kibbles are effective in fighting plaque and tartar accumulation in your dogs’ teeth. When choosing a dry dog diet, always consider the freshest bag of food.

Then, consider the size of the kibbles. A small breed dog will be better off with small kibbles, while a large breed dog will be more comfortable munching large kibbles. 

Semi-moist dog diets contain about fifteen to thirty percent water and include frozen or fresh meat, cereal grains, and simple sugars as the key ingredients.

The ratio of dry to wet ingredients in this type of food can vary substantially but generally ranges from 4:1.

Semi-moist foods; however, contain meat by-products and dairy products, which might not be suitable for allergic and sensitive dogs. 

High in moisture content, canned canine foods are usually prepared to be nutritionally complete. Water content may vary from seventy-four to eighty percent.

Canned foods contain high amounts of meat or meat by-products. Canned wet foods are normally low in artificial flavors and colors.

They are suitable for pups with tooth loss or dental problems. But they are low in fiber and may lead to soft stools. 

Final Thoughts

The winner of this roundup is the Redbarn Naturals Chicken Pate Joint Health Grain-Free Canned Dog Food. Great joint health nutrition that contains natural ingredients.

It is the best option for treating wear and tear arthritis in canines because it has high levels of glucosamine, chondroitin, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants.

Most dog parents may prefer dry dog foods, but this canned dog food will surprise you with its high water content, lean protein source for preserving lean body mass, and the incredible levels of joint health-promoting nutrients.

The diet is also great for weight management, heart health, and overall well being of your furred friend.

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