Health supplements and similar wellness products have greatly increased in both acceptance and usage. Preventative medicine has become so culturally pervasive that even our canine friends are affected. Many owners have begun using pet vitamins to boost their furball’s fitness. Among other trends, glucosamine and CBD chews have become household names for treating dog health problems (glucosamine for joint mobility, CBD for anxiety relief). But are these solutions safe and helpful for dogs? Unsurprisingly, it depends.
- The first thing to know before giving your dog any kind of booster is that these products aren’t FDA approved. Unlike most human supplements, there is no governmental agency that regulates pet-related vitamins. While the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), ASPCA, and other organizations do conduct research on some of these products, uncertified supplements remain on the market. Like any misused drug, they can be very dangerous. Also, misconceptions relating to “organic” and “natural” solutions have caused problems in the past. Businesses have used these terms in a way to convince buyers about the safety of certain medicines, mainly that something “organic” means that it’s risk-free. Don’t fall for that trap. Be sure to use only the highest quality brands, and always double-check with your veterinarian before feeding them to your pet.
- Second, don’t give your dog vitamins unless it’s necessary! While businesses insist that supplements offer preventative benefits, there’s no strong scientific evidence behind these claims. There have also been instances where dogs react adversely to certain vitamins. If your dog is healthy and on a regular diet, especially one approved by your veterinarian, there is no reason to add more chemicals to the mix. If you’re concerned about your dog’s vitamin/mineral intake, consider moving to a premium pet food delivery service. They do a great job establishing a consistent routine with wholesome, nutritional diets. On the other hand, homemade and vegan diets can be detrimental to your pet’s health. Heavily consider switching from these diets and only use correctional supplements as a last resort.
- Third, choose the correct product and amount for your pet. Many owners don’t realize that their dog’s dietary needs change based on age. Puppies, adults, and senior dogs will all require different kinds of add-ons. For example, younger pups tend to need extra vitamin A, which relates to fetal development and organ function, while older dogs need extra vitamin B to improve brain function, energy levels, and cell metabolism. Also, obviously, only feed dog vitamins to dogs and cat vitamins to cats. In very specific cases, it’s possible that a supplement can help both species, but this is rare. This logic is also true for human supplements: don’t give your Flintstones Gummies (or any other multivitamin) to your pet; it can make them very sick. Once you have the correct supplement, be sure to use them according to your veterinarian’s prescriptions. More importantly, do not give your pet more than the prescribed amount. There’s a common misconception that increasing vitamin intake will yield healthier results that are not accurate. Instead, they’d have digestive problems or other negative symptoms.
What Are Some Suggested Vitamin Supplements?
Stick to the following suggestions when choosing a vitamin supplement, or talk to your veterinarian about different booster options:
- PetHonesty 10-For-1 Multivitamin is free of grain, corn, soy, artificial flavorings, and preservatives. It comes in a few different flavors and supports the skin, coat, joints, heart, digestion, and immune responses for dogs.
- Nusentia Probiotic Miracle contains six probiotic strains and helps dogs suffering from diarrhea, upset stomach, constipation, yeast overgrowth, bad breath, and itching and scratching.
- Revival Animal Health Oxy Mate Prenatal Vitamin has fortifying nutrients for both pregnant dogs and cat. The iron, folic acid, and zinc are particularly helpful for developing embryos.
- NaturVet VitaPet Puppy Daily Vitamins has all the ingredients required for growing pups, including several amino and fatty acids. As a plus, it acts as a breath freshener!
- VetriScience Laboratories Canine Plus Senior Multivitamin supports heart, liver, brain, and eye functions – all of which are particularly vulnerable for elderly pets.
- PetNC Natural Care Hip and Joint Soft Chews eases aches and pains from the hip and joint complications with glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM).
- Ocu-GLO Vision Supplement is for dogs that have age or illness-related eye problems. It is board certified and offers lutein for increased eye support.
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