What are dietary supplements for dogs?
Dietary supplements for dogs are fast becoming not just accepted and acceptable but also revered by lovers of our canine friends. We always want to go that extra mile to ensure our beloved dogs are as well taken care of as possible. How would we cope if we found out that one of our pets died because of an issue that could have easily have been solved with a supplement?
The fact is that a lot of commercially available pet food lacks the essential nutrients our pets need to stay happy and healthy. Common symptoms that we have all witnessed like upset stomachs and dogs scooting on their backsides to deal with irritations might have resulted from some sort a nutritional or digestive imbalance.
In an effort to fill this void of nutrients, it’s a good idea to consider giving pets vitamins and other supplements to help support the functions of their brains, their hearts, their kidneys, their eyes, and their livers. Supplements are especially designed to contain the sort of healthy minerals and antioxidants which help improve the overall health of animals including a dog’s skin and coat.
It cannot be stressed too often that pet owners should, as a matter of course, always consult with their veterinarians in order to determine if the pet in fact needs a supplement and whether it will benefit and how. Once satisfied this is the correct way to go, vitamin supplements are able to offer the following benefits for your dogs:
- Increased energy: If a pet is showing any signs of lethargy and energy loss because of a sickness or due to aging there are vitamin supplements that can benefit a dog’s heart, liver and kidneys as as the animal’s eyes and its immune system. These supplements are created in order to help promote the dog’s overall well-being and health. Senior pets in particular can benefit greatly from the administration of the correct vitamin supplements.
- Healthy coat and skin: By administering a supplement which contains a fish oil can significantly help with the improvement of skin health. Fish oil supplements can lead to smoother and shinier coats with no dandruff. Other additions to your dog’s diet – like Brewers Yeast for example, which contains biotin – are also able to enhance coat and skin health as well as reducing shedding.
- Stronger immune systems: Supplements can play a big role in helping to boost a pet’s immune system. This is important in helping any animal to ward off illness and diseases. To bolster a pet’s immune system and, while doing so, helping to improve the animal’s liver and kidney functions, consider giving your pet one of a range of specially prepared supplements. When a pet is suffering from one of the chronic illnesses, the veterinarian may recommend a supplement to improve the pet’s digestive health and help to support the animal’s optimal immune function.
Here are ten of what the dog experts regard as the very best dietary supplements for dogs:
1. Glucosamine for dogs
It is difficult for any of us pet parents to watch our dogs grow old and begin to slow down. However, the signs may actually be warning signs that our dogs are experiencing joint pains, which are what lead them to be unwilling to move around.
As we all know, factoring in regular exercise is important for the maintenance of healthy muscles, joints and bones, so our dog’s inactivity could be leading to even more joint and muscle stiffness and needs to be tackled.
Glucosamine is one of the best answers for this. It is a natural substance found in our pets’ bodies. The highest concentration is to be found in healthy cartilage. Our dog’s body’s glucosamine is what produces glycosaminoglycan. It is this that is used to help both form and repair body tissues like cartilage.
As our dogs age, the natural glucosamine production process in the body slows. Consequently, the dog’s body’s natural repair process slows down and eventually is bound to trigger joint pain and an increasingly uncomfortable stiffness. Ongoing wear and tear on the dog’s joints, along with the cartilage’s hindered repair time, is what leads to painful arthritis in dogs.
However, veterinarian research has found that by giving our dogs glucosamine supplements helps rebuild cartilage, and this can go a long way to helping restore our dogs’ joint functions and activity levels.
The benefits of glucosamine for our dogs are very many and varied. Glucosamine has:
- an anti-inflammatory effect that helps reduce a dog’s pain
- only very rare side effects
- restorative power to naturally help dog joints and increase their mobility
- properties to improve the lubrication in a dog’s joints
- potential to reduce or even eliminate the need for Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) that can have significant side effects that adversely affect a dog’s joint repairs.
Glucosamine is unquestionably the best supplement that both pet owners and vets agree has a beneficial effect for our dogs.
Glucosamine has also been used to treat osteoarthritis, although the benefits of this process have been disputed
Glucosamine is an amino sugar that is found naturally in shellfish fluid or it can be made in a laboratory. Glucosamine’s effectiveness if further enhanced when taken in combination with MethylSulphonylMethane, Perna canaliculus or buffered vitamin C.
2. Fish Oil for dogs
Omega 3 fatty acids are carbon molecule chains with single or double links. Essential fatty acids are those that have be added to the dog’s diet because they are not manufactured by the dog’s own body. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are both incorporated in cell membranes, but Omega 3 supplements are needed to reduce inflammation in a dog’s body when these membranes are not activated.
Omega 3 or fish oil supplements can easily be added to a pet’s food or given as a treat. The benefits include the promotion of a healthy coat and skin.
Fish oil is another supplement that is gaining momentum because it is regarded as great for joints and inflammation reduction. One other good thing about fish oil is that it has been recognised as a reliable and active supplement for dogs suffering with inflammation. It also supports the dog’s immune system.
3. Type II collagen for dogs
The Type II collagen supplement has been found to be among the best for tackling both arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis in its undernatured form. It can be bought in a store but can also be rendered naturally from the cartilage of uncooked chicken. It is one of just a handful of supplements that recent research has certified to be highly effective in dogs with joint problems.
While the dog’s body contains many types of collagen, in its hair, its skin and its joints, undenatured type-II collagen has been shown to have increased bioavailability. It works by assisting the body’s repair on a cellular level, and has been found to reduce pain and inflammation in joints better than alternative supplements.
4. Probiotics for dogs
A dog’s inability to put on weight is a common problem. Probiotics are among the best supplements to tackle the issue. The majority of dogs that find it difficult to gain weight are ones that suffer from digestive or intestinal issues most often caused by disease. Probiotics are among the best ways of solving the problem. They are found naturally in a dog’s body but can be introduced as supplements.
The balance of a dog’s digestive system can be upset by taking antibiotics, living in a stressful state due to a move or introduction of a new pet, adjustments to diet, inflammation, ageing and diseases. When “good” and “bad” bacteria’s sensitive balance is affected it is common for a pet to exhibit soft stools or even diarrhoea.
Those dogs that are regularly given prebiotics and probiotics have been found to experience much less digestive upset and demonstrate more regular, normal bowel movements. Although intestinal bacteria tend to be confined to just one area of the body, the bacteria exert powerful effects on the health of the whole body. So ensuring both prebiotics and probiotics are in a pet’s food or given as supplements is among the easiest ways to help a dog achieve its optimal health.
5. Multivitamins for dogs
Multivitamins are supplements to counter inefficient or unbalanced diets for our canine friends as much as they are for us. They are among the best high-calorie supplements for our dogs.
Research has found that Multivitamins always seem to work for dogs that suffer excessive weight loss. Indeed, one recent review showed that Multivitamins are among the most effective supplements that can be given to a dog who needs a large dose of calories.
It stimulates canines into craving for food that contains both calories and other essential nutrients
When our dogs are lethargic because of sickness or ageing, supplements added their food can improve their overall well-being. A lot of commercial dog food lacks essential nutrients, so vitamin supplements are able to help provide necessary minerals as well as antioxidants that support dog brains, hearts, kidneys, eyes, and liver functions. It’s important to check with a vet about whether or not a dog needs a multivitamin. If so, multivitamins help in a number of ways including:
- improving a dog’s energy levels
- helping maintain shiny coats as well as reducing shedding
- boosting a dog’s immune system
6. Digestive Enzymes for dogs
When a dog shows signs of having a less than healthy digestion, like tummy aches, excess gas, bad breath or vomiting it may because it needs a boost to its enzymes. Enzymes can dramatically improve a pet’s digestion encouraging the absorption of nutrients. Enzymes are almost magical. They are tiny protein molecules that are found in every living cell and as such are among life’s vital forces. Enzymes are responsible for many of the activities and functions associated with a dog’s energy production, its metabolism, as well as its ability to detoxify.
There are many benefits. here are some of them. Enzymes:
- Support the immune system
- Aid vitamins and minerals being absorbed when eating
- Promote healthy body weight
- Promote respiratory health
- Help reduce food sensitivities
- Aid cell growth
- Support healthy gums and teeth
- Maintain healthy cholesterol
- Reduce bloating, excess gas, constipation and heartburn
- Lessens skin irritation and excessive shedding
- Generate increased energy with better utilization of nutrients
- Remove toxins
- Promote comfortable movement of joints
The two types of enzymes that are most important to a dog’s well-being are the ones described as metabolic and digestive. Metabolic enzymes help the critical building and maintaining of a dog’s every cell, tissue, and organ. Digestive enzymes break down the food in a dog’s stomach and intestines.
7. Lysine for dogs
L-Lysine is an essential amino acid. It helps a dog’s body to produce the antibodies, the hormones, and the enzymes which boost the animal’s immune system. Lysine also aids calcium absorption, which is important for strong bones, and the production of collagen for healthy skin. Dogs with chronic viral infections have been found to respond very well to Lysine.
Lysine can be used to combat weight loss. But it is advisable to avoid harming a dog to get approval from a vet before administering Lysine to your pet. It is considered one of the best of the supplements when it comes to weight gain.
8. Antioxidant for dogs
When appropriate amounts of antioxidants are included in a dog’s food, they serve two very important functions:
- keeping food fresh
- keeping dogs healthy.
For dogs the health benefits of antioxidants are that they:
- Play an important role in maintaining a pet’s health by countering any effects of damaging free radicals.
- Maintain strong immune systems throughout a dog’s life.
- Help dogs who suffer from allergies inducing coat and skin problems. They also have been shown to promote immune system activity in young animals before vaccination has been implemented.
Antioxidant supplements are most often used for aging dogs as a protection against joint problem. It is also used for the treatment of some other ailments that come with aging. These antioxidants are found in foods or treats that contain vitamins E and C. It can also be gotten through some other elements like Coenzyme O10. This is one of the best dog supplements with joint.
9. Milk thistle for dogs
Dogs, like the rest of us, have to deal with toxins day in and day out. Toxins are everywhere, in food, in water, and in the air. They cannot be escaped and our dogs have livers that are used to filter these toxins from the blood.
The liver works so incredibly hard at filtering all these toxins, it is prone to suffering serious damage
The several causes of liver damage range from viruses and bacteria through drugs and toxins, to free radicals and inflammation. They can all wreak havoc and can lead to signs of disease or damage like loss of appetite, sudden unexplained weight loss, symptoms of jaundice, increased lethargy, dark urine or pale gums.
Milk thistle is a species of flower from the Aster family that comes from the Mediterranean areas of Europe along with North Africa, as well as the Middle East. The plant’s seeds and roots have been used medicinally for more than 2,000 years.
Conventional science has now recognised milk thistle as having significant health values. The three important chemicals isolated from the plant are:
Combined they are known as silymarin, which has recently been advocated for use in pets. It can be used in dogs along with other animals including cats and horses, to help tackle liver or kidney damage and a range of other ailments including:
- parvovirus recovery.
Research indicates that the extract from milk thistle prevents damage to the liver, and also helps to repair it. It is a powerful antioxidant, that can help flush toxins out of a dog’s system.
In addition to treating and preventing liver disease, Milk Thistle also helps tackle:
- Kidney disease
10. S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) for dogs
S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is a popular supplement for humans which has recently been used in dogs to preserve and fortify their liver function. SAMe is a naturally synthesized molecule found in cells throughout the body and formed from amino acid methionine. It is very important to liver cells.
SAMe increases the amount of glutathione that occurs naturally in the body. This glutathione is a very potent antioxidant which protects liver cells from cell death and toxins. Supplements containing SAMe have been shown to enhance liver levels of glutathione, which in turn helps protect and maintain a dog’s liver function, especially in animals suffering from liver disease. Food will decrease the absorption of SAMe, so it should be given to a dog on an empty stomach.
It is possible to obtain S-adenosylmethionine over the counter but it should not be administered unless under a vet’s supervision and guidance. S-adenosylmethionine is used as a supplement to tackle liver disease in dogs. It is common for SAM-e to be complemented by the use of milk thistle. SAM-e has been found to work for countering shedding when used with milk thistle. When choosing to administer supplements to our dogs we really must consult a vet. Our vets are better informed about the anatomy of your dog and will therefore be able to diagnose what sort of supplement our pets can tolerate.
Some dogs have been known to develop a harmful response to supplements, so the best way to help our pets is to inform our vet before giving supplements. It is important not to fall for claims that sound too good to be true. Supplements simply are unable to cure cancer, parvo virus, or any other serious diseases. The supplements we obtain should be those that are manufactured by reliable firms and sold by trusted retail stores or pet shops. It is even more advisable to buy from stores that major on selling supplements as these will be better able to give us the best brands of any supplement we want.
Never use supplements which are meant for either humans or dogs. Humans are wired differently from animals. So, supplements meant for human consumption may well be disastrous when given to pets like dogs and cats.
If you want to help your dog tackle any joint issues it may have, or the dog is an extremely choosy eater and you aren’t at all sure whether they are obtaining the nutrients they need from the food that you are feeding then dog supplements and vitamins could be the valuable resource you need to help keep your dog as happy and healthy as he or she deserves.
Top rated dog supplements and vitamins that are mentioned above have a great capacity for improving the quality of life for all your dogs and giving them all the nutrients and health that they need and you want for your furry friends and family members.
There are any number of reasons you may want to consider dog supplements and vitamins. It may be that you dog has some sort of ongoing health problem such as a skin issue or a joint issue with which you would like to help them. Or your veterinarian may have recommended a dog supplement or vitamin to help your dog cope with the symptoms of aging. Alternatively, your dog may be a very young puppy and needs help growing rapidly and coping with its leaps and bounds.
Whatever your reason for choosing dog supplements or vitamins, if your vet recommends them or approves their use when it comes to your pet, the chances are that using any one of these recommended supplements and vitamins will give you the results with your dog for which you are looking. You will quickly see how much improving your dog’s nutrition is helping it. And it will be very happy about that!