When is it Safe to Give Your Dog Supplements?

 

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

Three in five Americans are pet owners, and a vast majority consider their pet a crucial part of the family. It is amazing to see the extent to which we value our pet’s health and indeed, in some cases, vitamins can help with pre-existing conditions as well as in a preventive manner. If you would like to give your pooch a health boost and you’ve been considering vitamins, which should you give and do they really need supplementation?

A Healthy Diet is Key

For pets as for human beings, supplementation is not always necessary if they are consuming a sound, varied, biologically-appropriate diet comprised of quality proteins, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and other essential nutrients. If this is the case for your dog but you are interested in supplementation, it is always important to get the go-ahead from your veterinarian first. This is especially true if your dog has an existing health condition and you are worried about possible interaction between supplements and medication. You should also ensure any vitamins you do give are recommended, since poor quality supplements can be poisonous and/or they can contain very small amounts of active ingredients. The key is to make a real difference to your dog’s health so scrimping on quality isn’t a good idea.

Ubiquinol for Organ Health

Many supplements exist that can potentially help with specific organs. For optimal heart health, for instance, CoQ10 (ubiquinol) has many touted benefits, including improved heart health. Ubiquinol helps with cell growth and maintenance, and helps boost circulation. In addition to having heart benefits, it can also help prevent gum disease, boost digestive health, promote liver cell growth and repair, and generally aid all organs which require a big amount of energy – including the brain. Ubiquinol has also been found to help prevent cancer and scavenge the many free radicals that can cause disease.

Healthy Fats for a Shiny Coat

The modern human diet is often characterized by a skewed ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fats (i.e. we consume too much of the former and too little of the latter). The same can be true for pets. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are important for our pets’ heart and brain health, but they will also keep their coat shiny and beautiful. If you’d rather include these fats in their regular diet, feed them a little wild salmon or tuna (fatty fish) and if you add cooked foods to their kibble, cook dishes in extra virgin olive oil rather than sunflower or corn oil.

SAM-e for Healthy Liver and Cognitive Function

If your dog has liver problems, your veterinarian will probably prescribe SAM-e: a compound that is made naturally in the body and which cannot be found in food- SAM-e is used on humans to treat common mental conditions (including depression), back pain, and liver disease, but it has been used for many years to boost liver health in both dogs and cats. SAM-e has also been used positively to reduce pain caused by osteoarthritis.

Ubiquinol, Omega-3-rich oils, and SAM-e are just three supplements that are often used to boost pet health. It is important to run supplement use by your veterinarian, however, since many can be quite powerful and can have side-effects if taken at the inappropriate dose. Don’t forget to feed your dog top quality food made with quality produce; this will ensure his coat is shiny and abundant, reflective of his inner health and vitality.

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