As dog owners, we of course want nothing but the best for our furry family friends to keep them happy, healthy and around for the long-haul and while looking to feed them on a Premium or Super Premium diet is a great start for all dogs – especially for those suffering from eczema, ear trouble or other sensitive skin problems or have allergies or intolerance to some foods; other dogs – like those that may suffer from arthritis among other conditions, may need a little extra help. This is where supplements for dogs can come in and benefit in comforting your companion.
If you are considering providing your dog with supplements, the first step you take should always be talking this decision over with your veterinarian. Not only can they help you devise the best possible supplement plan for your dog, they can also thoroughly educate you on the risks of feeding them too high a quantity of certain vitamins; for example, too many fat soluble vitamins can build up in their blood to toxic levels, making them extremely sick, while water soluble vitamins are quite safe for them to take. This is because too much of a single mineral has the power to interfere with their body’s ability to utilise other minerals, so having the discussion with your vet beforehand can really prevent unnecessary damage to your dog in the long-run.
When Does A Dog Require Supplements?
This will be different depending on your dog but in many cases, supplements are given to help the dog maintain nutritional balance, to help with achy joins or other ailments that your dog might face. For instance, your vet might recommend a multivitamin or supplement regimen for:
- The diagnosis of a vitamin or mineral deficiency in your dog
- If you notice your dog becoming sensitive with their skin or tummy
- A dog which is regularly fed a homemade diet, which is becoming increasingly popular among pet-owners
- A dog which loses their appetite due to illness
- A dog which suffers from a disease that has been proven to respond well to certain supplements
As mentioned previously, a dog can also be given supplements if they aren’t getting all the necessary nutrients from their diet, as a diet is their main source of all the vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats they need to live happy and healthy lives. For example, if you are feeding your dog on a raw food diet something like Vet’s All Natural Complete Mix will assist in providing a balance and if they seem to have an upset tummy, then a probiotic like MfM Intestinal Health Plus may assist in getting their digestive system back on track. Should you think they could benefit from something for their joints then Blackmores Paw Osteocare Joint Health Chews could assist. Again, however, if you think your dog would benefit from supplements, please consult your vet first to ensure you are doing the best for your dog.
How Do I Choose A Supplement?
After you’ve discussed adding supplements to your dog’s diet, there are a few important things you should look for when considering a supplement for your furry friend. Below is a checklist of things to help you make a supplement selection for your dog:
- Do thorough and advanced research on supplement brands and be sure to select only from those which have commissioned independent clinical studies of their products
- Search the packaging for a lot number; this will let you know that the company does their own quality control checks
- Look for independent certifications of the product and its contents
- Learn the scientific names for the ingredients you’re looking for, as many of the complicated names for these can sound or look alike on the label
- Make sure you choose a supplement that has ingredients in levels that will be effective as there are cheap alternatives that include the ingredients but are not effective
If you are worried you’ll choose the wrong one or are just still not sure of what to choose, either ask your Vet or contact a reliable re-seller that will be happy to help.
Advice and information provided in this article is intended to assist in keeping your dog happy and healthy. Please always seek professional veterinarian advice for any specific concerns.