7 Useful Supplements for Pets

By August 15 | See Comments

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You may have a vitamin regimen for yourself, but did you know that pets can also benefit from multivitamins and specific supplements? Pets on

homemade diets especially will likely need several supplements. Here are 7 options that can help your pet feel their best.

1. Fatty acids and vitamin B

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, found in fish oil, and vitamin B, are great for giving your pet a healthy skin and coat. Dull and flaky skin

is often lacking in the proper oils, which these supplements will remedy.

Fish oil for dogs and cats also acts as an anti-inflammatory, which can ease discomfort such as arthritis

pain, and some studies are even showing that fish oil can slow the growth of cancer!

2. Vitamin A

Vitamin A, found naturally in many protein sources like liver and dairy, is important for your pet’s vision. A lack of vitamin A can lead to problems like night blindness. Since most pet foods will have enough vitamin A, and too much can lead to coat and bone issues, talk to your vet about whether your pet would benefit for added vitamin A. Pets on a homemade diet may need it.

3. Glucosamine and Chondroitin

The supplements glucosamine and chondroitin

 are believed to be helpful for pets suffering from arthritis, just as they can be helpful for humans. These supplements, which come from the shells of shellfish and animal cartilage, can reduce 

arthritis pain in dogs and cats. Don't expect an immediate change, though -- these supplements work slowly over time to ease discomfort and to slow the progress of arthritis.

4. Antioxidants

Antioxidants can be useful for working dogs or very active dogs. Most multivitamins

include antioxidants. Antioxidants are thought to help prevent muscle damage, so they're great for dogs under physical stress.

5. Probiotics

These supplements can help boost micro bacteria ("good" bacteria) in your pet's digestive tract, and can aid digestion. Yucca schidigera or Zinc acetate can also help decrease the odor of pet gassiness -- could be a good choice if company is coming over!

6. Mineral Oil

Mineral oil can help with pet constipation

, but it should only ever be given mixed in with food. Simply giving the oil to your pet to swallow can cause aspiration pneumonia, a serious lung infection.

7. Milk Thistle Extract

This extract can be given to pets with liver disease, since it helps the liver to recover from imbalances. Be aware though that the full implications of long-term use haven't been tested, so it's not for healthy dogs or cats as a preventative. If your pet develops liver problems, ask your vet if milk thistle supplements for dogs can be helpful.

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