Turns out, supplements aren’t just for body builders or serious athletes. Both humans and canines (and really every living being) can benefit from taking a little extra vitamin to help boost their health and immune system, so let's talk a bit about pet supplements and why you may want to consider including them in your Fido's diet.
First of all, it's likely that if your dog is in a perfectly healthy condition and is being fed exactly the right amount of dog food, vitamins and minerals, then he probably doesn’t need supplements. However, we as owners know that sometimes our dogs’ diets miss a few key elements, and filling in those gaps with some yummy extras is a good idea.
You should be aware that if your dog already has a prescription diet (perhaps he needs to lose or gain weight or has some other dietary needs), the supplements may already be in his food.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to talk with your veterinarian before giving your dog any pet supplements.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, as the old cliché goes. Too much of certain supplements can actually be detrimental to your dog's health. Your vet will be able to quickly tell you whether or not the additional supplement you have in mind is a good idea.
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Disclaimer: this article and the information within it are not intended as a health advice. We are not health professionals, so please do your own research and consult with a professional vet before deciding on using any of these dog supplements and vitamins.
Why Your Dog Needs Pet Supplements
Commercial dog food tends to lack more essential nutrients than other dog food diets. In most cases it is easy to make up for this with a few key pet supplements. You need to be sure that what you’re giving your dog is good for him and from a reputable source. Some supplements on the market have more artificial additives than healthy vitamins and minerals.
Below in the next section, I’ll offer product suggestions as to what to buy, but again, do a quick check-in with your vet before giving your dog anything. Not because the supplements might be toxic, but just because you want to make sure that your dog needs them.
If you’re worried about overdoing the vitamins, just remember that too much of a good thing can turn bad. I’ve created a list of the eight top supplements that will make a difference in your pet’s health if you (and your vet) decide your pet will benefit from them.
Quick Tip: Don’t combine a bunch of different pet supplements because that will likely be overkill and could do more harm than good.
Keep in mind that these are just the most highly recommended canine supplements, and I am not vouching for any of them. I did not take into consideration any of the testimonials on the manufacturers' websites because those people are likely getting paid to say positive things.
However, everyday consumers did provide great feedback on these products and believe that they work well for their dogs. I am simply passing the information on to you and sharing the health benefits of all of these supplements with readers. It is up to you and your veterinarian to choose the best health plan for your pet.
Top 5 most popular dog supplements and vitamins on Amazon:
- Grizzly Salmon Oil All-Natural Dog Food Supplement
- Nutramax Cosequin DS PLUS MSM Chewable Tablets
- Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM for Large Dogs
- Glyco-Flex III Soft-Chews for Dogs
- Nutramax Denamarin Tabs for Large Dogs
* The above top 5 picks for most popular dog supplements and vitamins are based on Amazon’s Best Seller rankings [August, 2015].
8 Superb Pet Supplements for Your Dog
In no particular order, the first on the list is made by a brand called Infinite Pet Supplements. The product is called Infinite Natural Hip and Joint Supplement for Pets. It contains a veritable laundry list of awesome ingredients, including glucosamine, organic turmeric, and chondroitin.
Glucosamine is great for easing the pain of dog arthritis and helping strengthen joints. Turmeric reduces inflammation, and chondroitin is also helpful for arthritis, as the substance is often found in the cartilage surrounding bones.
These supplements are made by a business that is small and family owned and that prides itself on making natural, healthy dog vitamins. The ingredients in Infinite Natural Hip and Joint Supplement are recommended by veterinarians. If your dog is elderly or suffering from some sort of painful joint condition like osteoarthritis, this supplement may prove itself to be very helpful.
The second supplement on my list is Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet Soft Gels. It is derived from wild anchovies and sardines and contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote joint, heart, brain, skin, and eye health.
The fish oil comes from the two aforementioned sources, meaning that it is naturally derived and not synthetic. This product is recommendable if you have a dog that has allergies, because the fatty acids in this soft gel help reduce the inflammation that so often comes with allergies.
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Along this same Omega-3 trend, the Amazing Nutritionals Omega-3 Chews contain the same fatty acids that promote brain, skin, and eye health. The tablets are bacon and liver flavored so your dog won’t have to be tricked into eating them. Not only do these chews contain omega-3, they also contain omega-6 and omega-9 oils, both of which pack a punch in battling joint pain and rheumatoid arthritis.
Another supplement to check out is the Doggone Best Products Advanced Joint Supplement. This supplement contains glucosamine and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), both of which are used to reduce inflammation and joint pain.
Dogs, especially elderly ones, can suffer from hip dysplasia, a degenerative issue that can be extremely painful for them. Even if your pet isn’t prone to these joint and bone issues, you should still look into having them take a supplement like this one as a preventative measure.Pet Naturals Skin + Coat Supplement focuses on strengthening your dog’s outer protection. Made of a blend of veggies such as alfalfa, kale, kelp, and dried carrots, this supplement has Vitamin E, Omega 6, Omega 3, and Vitamins B1, B2, and beta-carotene.
This natural pet supplement has minerals in it that come from flax seed such as calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, and others. This powerful mixture makes your pet’s coat sleek and shiny and helps make their skin smooth, healthy, and itch-free.
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Also by that same company is Pet Naturals Hip + Joint Supplement, which contains a formula geared towards promoting healthy joints and bones in your dog. This is recommended for not only elderly and geriatric dogs, but also for retired working and sport dogs. It can be taken as a preventative measure as well to strengthen joints and fight off any inflammation.
The next supplement on my list is a bit different when it comes to form. Grizzly Salmon Oil comes in a liquid form and is made of 100% pure salmon oil sourced from wild Alaskan Salmon. The oil is in a pump bottle and contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid.
It also contains antioxidants found in salmon. Because the extraction process is so gentle, the salmon oil doesn’t lose any of its nutrients; also, it contains Rosemary Oil that serves as protection against nutrient erosion. This supplement is as natural as it gets and promotes a healthy immune system, cardiovascular system, and skin and coat health.
The final pet supplement that I want to share is the NuPro Dog Supplement. It is veterinarian recommended and made with human-grade ingredients, meaning that human standards are applied to the making of this supplement (as opposed to animal standards, which are much lower).
The NuPro Dog Supplement contains enzymes, amino acids, fatty acids, and other minerals, all in their raw forms. The formula is excellent for small and large breeds of all ages and provides the extra nutrition that commercial diets lack.
Choose wisely and don't mix
Every owner wants to see their pet healthy and happy. When given the option, most pet owners would want to help prevent their dog from having any type of pain, and pet supplements like these are a great way to do just that.
After talking to your vet, consider adding one of these natural supplements to your dog’s diet. Remember, these are just a few of the most popular supplements on the market. There are many options and your vet may have a better suggestion.
As you can see, many of these pet supplements have the same ingredients and many of the same health benefits. It may be safe to give your dog two different products, say a bone and joint supplement and a skin and coat supplement, but you need to be very careful not to overdo it.
If you do a little research, consult with your veterinarian and know the ingredients in your dog's food, you'll be able to select the supplement(s) that will best fill the nutritional void in their diet and meet their health needs as well.
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