Recent studies in the US have shown that 1 out of every 3 dogs are given supplements to combat a variety of issues. While the market for these supplements seems to be growing as the number of obese, unhealthy dogs increase, experts seem to be undecided on the matter. If you're still on the fence about dog supplements, here's everything you need to know about them:Do dog supplements work?
The studies on this are inconclusive. There are many that may work, others don't. For example, Glucosamine-chondroitin supplements given to older dogs or dogs with arthritis seem to work while supplements that have fatty acids help your dog's coat shine. On the flip side, there are studies that contradict the effectiveness of glucosamine-chondroitin supplements. Both the approving and rejecting studies had small, sample sizes and cannot be taken as facts.Does my dog need supplements?
Supplements are mostly recommended for older dogs with problems. Vitamins that help with inflammation are recommended for dogs with joint pains. However, healthy dogs that have a good, balanced diet do not need supplements for daily living. Most commercial dog foods already have supplements in them. If you give your dog homemade meals, then supplements might be necessary but always consult a vet before administering them.Are supplements dangerous?If your pet already has a balanced diet then supplements can have negative effects. This is because excess minerals and vitamins from the supplements could lead to various health problems. In some cases the problems might be severe and induce problems in the skeletal system, blood vessels, and muscles. It is always recommended to visit your vet before adjusting to a supplement schedule.Should I visit a vet?
In short, yes. Remember that supplements are not stand alone medications and cannot be used to treat diseases and serious illnesses. Owners also can't detect underlying causes for symptoms. For example, a weak coat could be an indicator of a variety of skin and hormonal problems. Supplements are not the solution for this. As such, if you suspect that something is wrong with your dog, always visit a vet first.How do I pick the right supplement?
Before purchasing supplements make sure you do your research and pick the right ones for your dog. Once you know what you want to buy, look at brands that have done their research in that field. Pick brands that have a proven track record and always look at the ingredients before purchasing. If a brand's claims are too good to be true, they probably are. Don't fall for tall claims as they might cause serious problems like cancer. One last point to remember is that human supplements are not to be given to dogs as they might have vastly different experiences.