As concerned pet parents, we want to make sure that our dogs are get all the nutrition they need. After thorough dog food analysis, we usually pick the food with the most nutritional value. However, there are so many nutrients dogs need that we may look to supplement their diet with dog supplements. Further, if your dog is very active, dealing with a chronic or short term illness, or simply getting older, you might want to consider introducing a supplement to help bolster their health. There are a range of dog supplements on the market so it is important to learn about what’s available and the possible benefits before introducing them into your dog’s diet.
Look To Your Food First
Before introducing your dog to a supplement diet, you may want to consider simply changing their food. If you take the time to read online food reviews and expert dog food analysis, you may be able to easily transition your dog to a food with a more complete profile before having to invest in expensive supplements. The best place you can find if your dog is getting the full range of nutrients they need is on the guaranteed analysis. The guaranteed analysis should not only list the fiber and protein, but the range of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. You can also look at the ingredients list and read about what nutrients each ingredient is providing. However, if you feel that even with a top quality dog food, your dog isn’t receiving the full nutritional profile, then you can look into supplementation.
Consult With Your Veterinarian
Before making any dietary changes, you should always consult with your veterinarian first. If you are thinking about adding supplements to your dog’s diet, your veterinarian will be able to tell you if you’ve picked the right supplement, the most effective way to introduce the supplement, and any benefits or risks associated with supplementation. Also, if your dog is diagnosed with any chronic or temporary illness, you can consult with your vet about what kinds of supplements could potentially help or harm your dog and how to include them in their diet. Once you have your veterinarian’s advice, you can begin introducing supplements to your dog.
Most Popular Supplements For Dogs
There are several dog supplements on the market. Some help with overall health and some target specific problems. Here is a list of the most popular dog supplements on the market:
- Daily Vitamins: Daily vitamins are balanced daily vitamins made specifically for the nutritional needs of your dog. Daily vitamins usually come as treats that you can feed your dog. However, there are some that you mix directly into your dog’s food and others that you need to insert into a pill pocket treat.
- Joint Support: Joint support supplements help deliver nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin to support your dog’s overall joint health. Joint support supplements are great for older dogs, overweight dogs, active dogs, and large breeds that often have joint issues. Joint support supplements usually come as dog treats but are also available as pills that you can put in their food.
- Skin And Coat Supplements: Skin and coat supplements are good for improving the lustre and overall health of your dog’s skin and fur. These supplements can also help with excessive shedding and bad skin odors. They are usually made with omega fatty acids or brewer’s yeast and are good for all dogs. Skin and coat supplements come as treats, pills, and also liquids that you can mix into your dog’s food.
- Digestive Health: Digestive health supplements support the digestion of your dog. These are great for older dogs, dogs with chronic illnesses that give them diarrhea or constipation, and for dogs with sensitive stomachs or allergies. Digestive health supplements are typically made with pre- and probiotics. They can also contain fiber. Usually digestive health supplements come as flavored pills but you can also find them in liquids.
- Immune Support: Immune support supplements help strengthen your dog’s immune system which benefits their overall health and well being. Immune support pills usually have a balance of essential vitamins like A, C, and E, minerals like selenium and zinc, and herbs like astragalus, reishi, and green tea. These are great for dogs with chronic illnesses or dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors or interacting with other dogs. They usually come in an edible pill.
- Heart Health: Heart health supplements help support and strengthen your dog’s cardiovascular health. Heart health supplements also often overlap with skin and health supplements because they rely on the same primary ingredients. They are made with omega fatty acids usually from fish oils. Heart health supplements are great for older dogs and breeds with congenital heart disorders. They usually come as a liquid but you can also find them as treats.
- Calming Aids: Calming aids help reduce your dog’s anxiety, stress, and can even be effective with aggression problems. Calming aids are naturopathic so there are no dangerous chemicals. They usually are made with a balance of vitamins and minerals and chamomile and tryptophan. Calming aids are not a daily pill but are instead good to give your dog when they are facing a stressful situation like separation, travel, or storms.
These are just some of the main dog supplements on the market. There are other supplements that support bladder and urinary tract health, eye care, brain development, thyroid support, and even appetite stimulators. Many pet owners have seen a lot of success with these supplements, so they are a great thing to consider adding to your dog’s diet. However, as with any dietary changes make sure to consult with your veterinarian before starting them on any of these supplements.