While homemade meals and Kibble offer standard nutrition levels, your dog might need essential multivitamins or a health-enhancing probiotics boost. Learn everything you need about the best pet supplements and how to meet your dog’s nutritional needs.
Best Pet Supplements
Wondering, Are pet supplements bad for dogs? Here’s some food for thought.
Pet food is designed to meet the energy and nutritional needs of healthy dogs and cats, whereas supplements are formulated to meet medical and age-related needs for specific health conditions, like arthritis, allergy relief, anxiety reduction, and so on.
If you have an aging dog or a pet with health problems, here are the best pet supplements that can provide relief to your dog.
Humans, as well as dogs, have glucosamine in their joints. It is a crystalline compound or amino sugar that helps form cartilage. Its main purpose is to support the function of joints in the knees and the hip.
As a dog comes of age, this lubricant begins to deplete naturally, leading to mobility-related conditions and arthritis.
Glucosamine is a commonly prescribed pet supplement as it helps with the production of proteoglycans. This is an essential compound as it makes joints and connective tissues more resilient and healthy.
If your dog isn’t a big fan of syrups and tablets, don’t worry. Glucosamine supplements come in the form of chewable treats, easy-to-mix powders, flavored bites, and more.
Probiotic supplements make up for the loss of good bacteria by replenishing the digestive tract thereby restoring a clean and healthy gut.
Humans have been turning to yogurt for a natural dose of probiotics for a long time now. Why not add probiotics to your dog’s diet? After all, just like humans, dogs experience a depletion in healthy gut bacteria after health issues like diarrhea. Similarly, if your dog has experienced any kind of physical trauma or has undergone extensive surgery, post-operative medicines can cause imbalances in your dog’s microbiome.
Like with humans, probiotics are given to dogs to replenish their digestive tract. Even aging dogs who experience bouts of inflammation will benefit from probiotics as good bacteria will help relieve pain and soothe bowel irritation.
Probiotic supplements are available in pet-friendly forms like easy-to-swallow capsules, powders, tasty chews, high-protein, and dry Kibble. If you’re wondering which supplement brand is the best, we recommend Purina ProPlan FortiFlora for its powerful and effective ingredients.
Antioxidants are a vital addition to your pet’s diet as they protect against free radicals, the sources of which include environmental elements like UV rays, air pollution, tobacco smoke, pesticides, and food preservatives. Antioxidants also help boost your dog’s immune system and slow down aging. If you’re looking for antioxidants, you’re essentially looking for Vitamins A, C, and E, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Carotenoids, Coenzyme Q10, and Selenium.
Luckily, there are plenty of food groups such as berries, leafy vegetables, and grains that are packed with antioxidants.
Fish oil boosts cardiovascular health in humans, but this health supplement does a lot more in dogs. Fish oil is an abundant source of omega-3 fatty acids that can transform a dull and lifeless coat into a shiny and healthy one. In addition, fish oil also helps dogs battle skin allergies. Its anti-inflammatory properties soothe skin rashes, dermatitis, and other painful skin issues.
If you’re looking for the best fish oil with the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids, look for Salmon oil. Most fish oils are 100% fish oil, but some also constitute Vitamin E to ensure skin suppleness.
If the pungent smell of fish oil repels your dog, use soft gel capsules that are easily soluble in dog food. You could also supplement your dog’s diet with chewable, fish-oil-infused treats.
Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids lend several health benefits that impact your dog’s physical and mental wellbeing. Omega typically comprises eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These compounds strengthen your dog’s central nervous system and curbs inflammation.
Omega 6 contains linoleic acid, which is usually present in food like chicken fat. If you’re looking for that ultimate pet supplement to boost immunity and nourish your dog’s coat, find one that combines omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega supplements are easy to administer thanks to naturally-flavored Omega chews, quick bites, soft chews, essential oils, and fish oil sprayers.
ALSO READ: Canine Nutrition Tips to Keep Your Dog Healthy
Benefits of Supplements
Antioxidants such as coenzyme q-10, combined with vitamin c and e, prevents the early onset of cognitive dysfunction syndrome in older, adult dogs.
Do vets recommend vitamins for dogs? Yes.
If your dog gets its daily intake of vitamins from commercial dog food, it doesn’t need vitamin supplements. On the other hand, homemade and raw food diets call for an extra push in vitamins and other supplements to pack a punch, nutrition-wise.
So if you’re wondering, what supplements should I give my dog, we’d recommend discussing your pet’s needs with your vet.
Here are some reasons why supplements are good for your pet.
They Boost Energy
Since dogs age quickly and intensively, their energy levels drop drastically over time. If daily meals fall short, pet supplements can help boost energy and enhance your pet’s cognitive development.
Antioxidants such as Coenzyme Q-10, combined with Vitamin C and E, prevent the early onset of cognitive dysfunction syndrome in older adult dogs. If your pet is visibly weak and low on energy due to trauma or injury, pet supplements and essential vitamins breathe life into its heart, liver, kidneys, and other vital organs.
They Support The Immune System
Pet supplements like Omega-3 fatty acids support the immune system against severe problems like heart disease, inflammation, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and even cancer.
Pet supplements also effectively remove harmful pathogens that keep intrusive viruses and infections at bay and make sure your pet’s immune system remains intact and strong throughout its life.
They Promote A Healthy Coat
Taking care of your pet’s coat is as important as taking care of its diet. And with pet supplements, you can achieve both objectives. Whether it’s excessive shedding, hotspots, or bacterial infections, pet supplements like amino acids and vitamins like biotin benefit your dog’s coat in numerous ways.
Can I Add Supplements to Homemade Food?
Sometimes, adding supplements to homemade food is the simplest way to get your dog to consume them. Having said that, adding supplements to home-cooked food comes with certain rules, which, when followed to the tee, can benefit your dog’s health.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind.
*Refrain from overdosing. Even the best pet supplements can do more harm than good if you feed your pet too much of it. For instance, too much Vitamin A becomes toxic for dogs and cats.
*Key nutrients are lost if supplements are cooked at high temperatures. Make sure you add the supplements to food that’s already cooked and ready to serve.
*Don’t make the mistake of adding human supplements or vitamins to homemade dog food, as this can have adverse reactions. The best dog supplements for homemade food are tailor-made to suit specific canine or feline health requirements.
ALSO READ: Healthy Foods That Your Dog Loves
To Sum It Up
Pet supplements have become increasingly popular because they contain essential nutrients that most diets and meals fail to deliver enough of.
However, supplements are not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Every dog is different, and pet supplements are targeted toward meeting individual needs. We’ve covered the best pet supplements in this article, but you should always consult a vet before putting your pet on any of these dietary supplements.