When you take your daily supplements, do you ever wonder if there are dog supplements on the market? The next big question that probably pops up is should you give your fur baby one, too? The answers are yes, and (usually) yes! The health of your pup is your top priority, and ours, too!
When it comes to supplements for dogs and puppies, there are a lot out there, so how do you know what is the best for your furry friend?
Well, since no two dogs are created the same, neither are supplements. Read on to find out what dog supplements are, what to look for when finding the best option for your dog, why your dog may need supplements, and some dos and don’ts when it comes to giving them to your dog.
What Are Dog Supplements?
Supplements are made to provide vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, minerals, and other nutrients, in an easily digestible pill or chew, to provide nutrients they may not get enough of in their daily diet.
This is true for humans and dogs alike. Just like you may take a daily vitamin supplement to help support overall health, this is the same for our four legged friends. The difference is these supplements are specifically made for dogs.
What To Look For in a Dog Supplement
Just typing in dog supplements into Google can leave you feeling quite lost. Similarly to supplements for people, there are many options out there with different levels of quality.
Not only is quality a major difference in some brands, but the specific use of each supplement can be different. Watch for signs that the supplement you've chosen is not harming your pet. Look out for stomach upset and diarrhea; this can cause dehydration and may be a sign that the supplement isn’t meshing well with your dog
Just like you expect the best quality ingredients for your human family members, your furry family members deserve the same.
When looking for dog supplements, make sure the ingredients are as natural and clean as possible, with little processing. Buying from companies that are open about the ingredients and offer scientific proof of their products can always provide more peace of mind.
Read the labels and look for ingredients like folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, amino acids, proteins, probiotics and digestive enzymes, fish oils, and omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. Notice many on this list are similar to the vitamins we would look for in our own supplements.
There are also supplements specifically designed for different body parts or functions and some for the general health of your dog.
When selecting what is right for your dog, look at what they may need. Are they older? They may need more joint support. Are they super active? They may need recovery support. Whatever they may need, there is an option out there for them.
Let’s be honest, no matter how perfect a supplement is for your dog's health, if they don't like the taste, it’s not doing anyone any good, because they won’t eat it or it will be a hassle every morning to get them to swallow it.
When you are looking for a supplement that meets all of the quality standards and specific uses, make sure you check the reviews for taste. A good-tasting treat will help make your life easier, as well as give your dog something to look forward to.
When Are Supplements Important?
While feeding your dog a well-balanced, commercially processed dog food will provide all of the nutrients your dog needs, there are some instances where a supplement may be beneficial.
Homemade Dog Food
Making the decision to make your own dog food rather than buying commercial dog foods can be a great one. You are reducing the amount of processed foods your dog is consuming, and you get to control the quality of the ingredients used. Use meats such as chicken and liver but watch for beef and products containing wheat. The latter are two known allergens in dogs.
One downside to homemade food is your dog may not be getting all the nutrients they need daily. You can offset this by finding a whole food, high quality, daily multivitamin.
Most dogs like to run and jump and play the occasional game of fetch, but some of our dogs have a more extensive exercise regime. Some dogs help hunt, have competition events, or go on long hikes, and they need more than just basic dog food.
Supplements specifically made to help with recovery are a great option here. These supplements can help your furry partner get back on their feet quickly, for your next adventure together.
It's never fun to see our pets in pain, especially joint pain that can cause your dog to whimper when doing the most basic activities.
Joint supplements are a great way to give your dog the extra nutrients they need to reduce inflammation and regain range of motion. Joint care is especially helpful for large dog breeds and our elderly dogs.
If your poor pooch is scratching all day and night, there may be an allergy behind the itching. A supplement with quercetin can help alleviate the itching by helping to reduce inflammation.
Talking to your pup's vet about the reasons behind the itching is always a good idea, but if it is allergies that are the culprit, your first option, before a prescription, could be a good quality allergy supplement.
Gut health is all the rage these days. Supporting a healthy gut in people is important for immune health and mental health. The same is beginning to be learned about gut health when it comes to our canine friends. Supporting the health of your dog's gut can help support their overall health.
Just like people, a healthy weight in dogs is also important for overall health. Gaining weight or losing weight can both be a sign of an issue with digestive health. A healthy gut means your dog is digesting their food and the nutrients are getting absorbed into their body. Supporting a healthy digestive system through supplements can give your pet just what they need to be the healthiest version of themself.
A Word of Caution
Supplements can be a great way to boost the health of your dog, but if you have any questions you should talk to your vet first. If your dog is on any prescription medicine, make sure to talk to your vet about any supplements you would like to add to your dog's daily routine.
Never give your pet human supplements. Even though your dog may need the same vitamins as you, they will need them in different doses. Purchasing supplements specifically created for dogs will ensure you are getting the right dosing for your pet.
Supplements can be a great addition to your four-legged family member’s health routine. They can help with overall health, joint health, and recovery, among other things. Supplements for dogs should always be specifically manufactured for dogs, as dogs have their own nutritional needs that are different from people.
As with anything new, if you have questions or begin noticing symptoms, you should always reach out to your veterinarian or consult a veterinary nutritionist, especially if your dog is on any prescription medications.
Next time you are giving out the family supplements, don't forget Fido’s! We all deserve the healthiest life, dogs and humans alike.
At WINPRO Pet, our goal is to ensure your pet has healthy skin. We’ll help keep your dog healthy and full of energy so you can have a lifetime of adventures together.
Non-controlled, open-label clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of a dietetic food on pruritus and dermatologic scoring in atopic dogs | (nih.gov)
7 Vitamins Your Dog Needs for a Healthy Life | American Kennel Club (akc.org)