Your dogs are beloved members of your family and you want the absolute best for them. In recent years, the pet market has exploded with supplements for dogs, leading to confusion among pet owners about proper dog nutrition and which additions are necessary for health maintenance. Many of these products are marketed with claims of miracle results and cures for any ailment. Here’s a list of the 3 most-common supplements recommended by veterinarians for dogs and when to use them.
Probiotics are naturally-occurring bacteria and yeasts that aid in digestion and gut-health. They have been shown through research to perform functions such as breaking down food, fighting harmful pathogens, facilitating vitamin absorption, and building immunity. Generally healthy dogs naturally maintain microbial balance in the gut. However, vets will often recommend a probiotic for a dog struggling with digestive problems such as diarrhea, irritable bowel or constipation as a result of malnutrition, illness or stress. There are a lot of probiotic supplements to choose from and they can be pricey, so make sure to research the best nutritional aid for your pet and take advantage of your ultimate pet nutrition coupons. New studies are on the horizon for the use of probiotics to treat other-than intestinal disorders, such as eye and skin ailments. So, keep an eye out for forthcoming exciting developments in the science of veterinary health.
2. Fish Oil
Fish oil is a very commonly recommended supplement for dogs. Made up of omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil is believed to enhance coat health and relieve allergies affecting the skin and coat. Many owners add fish oil to their dog’s daily routine for long-term health benefits like heart disease and cancer prevention, and others will use it sporadically to treat allergy flare-ups or momentary issues. Studies by veterinarians have shown effectiveness in reducing inflammation, leading to additional research into using fish oil for joint and heart health, with mixed conclusions.
The 3 types available on the market include natural triglyceride oil, synthetic triglyceride oil and ethyl ester oil. The American Kennel Club urges pet owners to consider their dog’s overall health, size and weight before supplementing with fish oil, as it can reduce the absorption of vitamin E when used alongside a grain-based diet, thus requiring an additional supplement.
3. Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate
Market research shows that the most commonly sought-out nutritional aid for dogs is a joint supplement. Glucosamine is an amino sugar derived from shellfish, and is believed to help build cartilage in joints by providing cushioning and lubrication. More than 80% of dogs over 7 suffer from pain resulting from arthritis. Because cartilage is worn down over time, vets often recommend this supplement for older dogs to improve mobility and relieve pain. Additionally, studies have shown that continuous supplementing with glucosamine chondroitin may help to slow arthritis progression over time. Ask your vet about a glucosamine supplement if your dog shows symptoms such as difficulty standing or sitting, an audible cracking or popping sound in joints, refusal to jump up into the car, favoring or lifting limbs, or limping. Work together with your vet to find the right supplement formula to help your dog feel better.
The pet industry is absolutely booming. Dog supplements are available over the counter in so many forms that make it very easy to administer doses to dogs throughout the day. If your dog is wise to pills and powders, there are also specially formulated treats, yogurts and chews containing vitamin and mineral supplements. However, don’t feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of puppy pills on the shelves in your local pet store. You don’t need all of them. The general consensus among veterinarians is that a stockpile of vitamin and nutritional supplements does not negate the need for a quality diet. You should focus on your dog’s nutrition and consult your vet if your dog is showing signs of illness or age that you think could benefit from additional nutrition.
About the Author:
Mia Morales is a loving wife and mother of twins from Colorado. She is a self-described “DIY addict”, and loves to decorate her house and office with her creations. As a mother, Mia is really passionate about health, nutrition, and what she puts in her body. When she’s not writing, you can find her playing with her little dog and kids. Who says moms aren’t superheroes?