Determining which vitamins or supplements may be right for your pet doesn’t have to be a science experiment. Do a bit of research, chat with a vet, and give it a shot. Including supplements to your dog or cat’s regimen just might help your pet with a nagging ailment or prevent more time and money at the vet's office.
Common Supplements for Pets
Supplements and Vitamins are often given to pets with the end goal of keeping them well. Just like with any medication given to your cat or dog, consult with your veterinarian, as supplements can be toxic if dispensed incorrectly. Specifically, dogs are usually up and running round the clock; thus, they need foods that are enriched in dog vitamins and nutrients and can effectively cater to their needs.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin
If you or a family member suffers from arthritis or joint pain, you may have heard of the benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin. These supplements, which are made from shellfish and animal cartilage, may help to slow the progression of arthritis in dogs and cats.
Jenna Stregowski, RVT, says, “These products will not only ease acute pain but also work slowly to ease discomfort and slow disease progression.” She adds, “These supplements do not pose the same risks [of side effects] to dogs as many other pain medications.”
Fish oil for dogs and cats contains two essential fatty acids that can have several health benefits for cats and dogs. If your dog or cat is sensitive to pills, consider a water additive. Something like the Omega 3 K-10+ Supplement can be a great choice. This supplement can promote skin and coat health, reduce inflammation of the joints or organs, and possibly even help prevent the rapid growth of some cancers.
Puppies and kittens can benefit from the ability of fish oil to promote the good development of the eyes and brain. “Diet plays a huge role in the condition of your dog's skin,” says Stregowski. “Adding fish oil can be very beneficial for dogs or cats who suffer from itchiness.” Of course, this is as long as your pet isn't allergic to fish.
Moreover, you can use salmon oil for your pets. Salmon oil for dogs and cats can be beneficial in digestion, and it contains essential fatty acids like Omega 3 and 6 in the balanced proposition to ensure a healthy heart.
The diets of some pets, particularly those eating lots of table scraps, may not have all the vitamins and minerals they need. In such cases, your vet may recommend multivitamin and mineral pills, capsules, or liquids. Vitamin supplements can ensure good vision and promote healthy skin and coats.
Your pet may have increased vitamin needs when they’re very young, as they get older, during pregnancy, or when recovering from illness. For pet parents, not feeding their pet commercial food, which is usually enriched with the vitamins and minerals needed, may be crucial.
In the extreme hot or cold weather, your pet may need essential vitamins to better regulate their internal temperature and maintain a strong immune system. This is because the extreme temperature can make your pet sick, which symbolizes the inability of pets to adapt themselves to sudden an increase or a decrease in the temperature.
If your cat is overweight, Wellness Cat Food is the perfect food to help them slim down. It’s formulated with high-quality meat ingredients, which makes it extremely low in calories and fat. It also contains a unique blend of fiber, prebiotic fiber, and antioxidants that help improve digestion and support healthy weight loss as well as immune health.
Moreover, Wellness Core Dog Food is a great choice for dogs with food allergies. Unlike many other dry dog foods, it's free of grains, gluten, corn, soy, and artificial colors and flavors. Plus, it's made with high-quality ingredients you can trust so your furry friend will always be healthy.
Anyone who’s had a few pets will likely know that some dogs and cats have sensitive digestive tracts. Your pet may experience diarrhea, vomiting, or discomfort due to a poorly functioning stomach or intestines.
Probiotics can help by supplying your pets with the live cultures they need to promote bacterial balance, better digestive function, and even a stronger immune system. Stregowski adds ideas for probiotic alternatives: “The use of Yucca Schidigera for dogs, as well as Zinc acetate, and activated charcoal, are all thought to decrease the odor of gas (but not the gas itself).”
Milk Thistle and Milk bone treats
The botanical supplement silymarin, or milk thistle, is often prescribed by vets to aid dogs who have experienced liver damage. Such damage can result from infection, accidental poisoning, or as a result of medications used to treat heartworm or seizure. However, there are some foods that help ensure your pet can efficiently fight against liver-related issues.
Evidence suggests that milk thistle may aid in slowing the scarring effects of some liver diseases. Talk to your vet about appropriate doses, as these can differ dramatically.
Milk-Bone treats are a good source of calcium, which helps dogs build strong bones and teeth. These dog treats are a low-fat formula and perfect for active dogs who need to shed a few pounds or those who have a tendency to get overweight easily.
Milk-Bone dog treats are made from healthy ingredients that include a reasonable amount of salt, vegetables, grains, and meat. The company does not use any artificial flavors or preservatives in its products. These long-lasting treats won't crumble and break apart as quickly as some other brands on the market today.
Science Diet Food
Science Diet food has a high fiber content, which helps improve your pet's digestion. Many foods have lower-quality ingredients that don't provide as much nutritional value. This can lead to constipation and other digestive issues. Hill’s Science Diet cat food also has low-fat content, so you can rest assured that your cat will get all the nutrients he needs without excess calories or unhealthy fats.
Hill’s Science Diet dog food is a great way to help your dog shed extra pounds and maintain its current weight. Science Diet has all the right ingredients in all the right amounts to make sure that your dog stays fit and healthy.
Pet Supplements: Use Caution
Dogs and cats may not metabolize vitamins and other supplements in the same way, or at the same rate, as humans. A veterinarian should be consulted before you begin administering shots or giving supplements.
The wrong kinds of supplements in the wrong dosage can have side effects, both mild and severe. Additionally, some supplements could interact badly with medications your pet is on.
In addition, even though supplements may be needed during certain critical periods in your pet’s life (young or old age, during pregnancy or illness), extra caution should be taken during these stages of life. Your pet may be especially vulnerable to the negative effects of supplements when they’re at their most sensitive.
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Three Reasons to Start Giving Vitamins and Supplements to Your Dog
Pet owners often ask if it's OK to augment their dog's diet with vitamins and supplements. The answer is this: it's not necessary if you have a young and healthy pooch being fed quality food, but it is recommended for an aging or weak dog. Here are three instances where supplementation can work well for your pet.
Assist With Painful Joints
Your pet's joints face a lot of stress from jumping and running. For some dogs, this may translate into injuries and/or joint-related problems, including tears and osteoarthritis. There are two main types of joint problems: one is developmental, where the joint doesn't develop properly (Example: elbow or hip dysplasia); the other is degenerative or age-related (Example: arthritis), where ligaments deteriorate over time and cause instability.
Some breeds are more predisposed to joint issues than others. A high incidence of ligament disease has been observed in Newfoundland, Bernese Mountain dogs commonly suffer from elbow dysplasia, and Rottweilers often experience ankle and knee problems. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can provide much relief to your pet, helping alleviate the pain from osteoarthritis, promoting cell growth, and strengthening the joint tissues.
Talk to your vet about the best supplements for your furry companion's joint-related symptoms. It makes sense to get your pet started on supplements as soon as you observe signs of joint problems. These include problems going upstairs (hesitating at the foot of the stairwell), not running along with you as easily as he/she used to, or even having trouble jumping up the couch. In treating joint-related problems, you can be proactive in your approach by using joint supplements for dogs. These supplements have all the essential ingredients required for better joint health.
In addition to this, using diphenhydramine for dogs is a good choice for pet parents seeking healthy joints in their dogs. If you have any further questions regarding how this medicine works with your pet's health, please consult your veterinarian.
Helpful for Senior Pets
Just like how older adults need vitamins and supplements, so do aging pooches. They serve as a good adjunct to a nutritious diet and weight management. Commonly recommended supplements include Essential Fatty Acids, Glucosamine with Chondroitin Sulfate, and Probiotics.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids assist with brain function, protect the immune system, and reduce arthritic pain. They also keep your pet's coat nice and shiny. Glucosamine with Chondroitin Sulfate is known for its anti-inflammatory effect, which addresses the symptoms of arthritis in dogs. It also replenishes their body with nutrients essential to repairing damaged cartilage in joints.
Probiotics provide your pet with doses of 'good bacteria' that aid digestion, lessen the effects of stress, and help keep diseases at bay. Moreover, digestive enzyme supplements can help your pet to maintain better digestive health and give them the ability to relish their favorite food without any trouble.
Advisable for Sick Dogs or Those Who Are Not Getting a Balanced Diet
Vitamins and supplements are beneficial for dogs who're ill, under stress, or who are not adequately nourished. Vitamin B supplements are helpful when your pooch is sick. For an older pet suffering from oral disease and not eating enough, Vitamins like A, C, and E, can provide nutrients and protect against the normal aging process.
Moreover, as per the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), the regular use of probiotics will prove beneficial for a pet’s immune system.
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This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis, or treatment by, your veterinarian. It has however been reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Joe, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and graduate of Cornell University's program for Veterinary Medicine.