There is a common belief among most dog owners that feeding a dog on commercial dog food is enough for all the dog’s nutritional needs. This belief couldn’t be further from the truth. As much as commercial dog food contains many nutrients, your dog still needs some more nutrients for a long healthy life. It is important to feed additional supplements to your dog to give him a higher chance of living a long healthy life. There are several benefits of giving supplements to your pooch like boosting the immune system and enhancing cognitive functions. Let us look at the essential supplements that you should be feeding your dog.
Glucosamine is an amino sugar in the fluid around the joints. It is also the most popular supplement for dogs. The most common natural source of glucosamine is the shells of shellfish. Some labs also create artificial glucosamine.
As dogs get older, they deplete the fluid around the joints, and with time, you may notice an old dog will start showing signs of pain when walking or even develop a limp. Glucosamine supplements help regenerate the fluid in the joints and promote a healthy cartridge. Vets believe that glucosamine is useful in the treatment of arthritis and advise dog owners to feed it to their dogs especially if the dog is older than seven years.
Feeding glucosamine to a senior dog also helps with joint pain and improves mobility. A study in The Veterinary Journal in 2007 showed that feeding an older dog with glucosamine supplements improved mobility within 70 days of use. Dog owners have several options of introducing glucosamine to their dogs since the supplement comes in different forms. The most common forms of glucosamine are pills, powder, and treats. You can consult your vet first if you are unsure of which form to pick for your dog but in most cases, dogs will consume it in either form.
Probiotics are commonly referred to as the good bacteria and are one of the most potent dietary supplements for dogs. They usually exist in the gut where they assist in food digestion and act as the first line of defense against harmful bacteria.
Feeding your dog with probiotic supplements increases the friendly bacteria in the digestive tract where they assist in food digestion. They also boost the dog’s immune system and help fight off infections. Besides aiding in digestion and boosting the immune system, probiotic supplements are useful in treating diarrhea. They also treat other complications along the digestive tract. The supplements come in many different forms including pills, treats, and powder. A probiotic powder like Nusentia Probiotic Miracle is undetectable when mixed with food making it easy for dogs to consume.
Antioxidants play a crucial role in countering the effects of aging in dogs. Dogs tend to lose their memory and some cognitive functions as they age just like humans. They also become more prone to developing heart conditions. Feeding your dog on antioxidant supplements can counter and slow down these effects of aging. Antioxidants occur naturally in foods rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E. Alpha lipoic acid found in kidney and liver is also another natural antioxidant.
Most commercial dog food brands contain antioxidants. It is, however, necessary to add a little supplement to your dog’s diet especially if it is a senior dog. Dogs suffering from cancer can also benefit from antioxidant supplements. Regular consumption of antioxidants slows down cancer progression rate and help dogs cope with the symptoms. Antioxidant supplements come in the form of pills, powder, and treats.
As much as supplements are beneficial to the health of our furry friends, it is imperative to know that underlying conditions can cause your dog to have reactions to some of them. It is imperative to consult a vet before introducing your pooch to any supplements. The vet will carry out tests to determine if your furry friend has any underlying issues that may cause him to have an adverse reaction to the supplements. It is also advisable to feed your dog the right dosage for the best results.
As a dog owner, always steer clear of the supplement brands with claims that sound too good to be true. Supplements will not cure cancer or any other serious diseases like parvo. Any brand making such claims is just doing false advertisement, and you should not trust it. Some supplements can, however, make serious diseases such as cancer a little bit more bearable.
Avoid falling into the pitfalls of false advertising by buying from reputable brands. In case you want to try a new brand, make sure to do thorough research first before settling for one. Make sure the brand you choose has done clinical studies on the supplements. It also helps if they have certification from relevant independent organizations.
Another mistake to avoid when feeding your dog with supplements is thinking that human supplements are safe for dogs. Humans and dogs have very different digestive systems and nutritional needs. Some things that are safe for human consumption are poisonous to dogs. For example, garlic is perfectly safe for humans but very harmful when ingested by dogs. The same case applies to chocolate. The wise thing to do to remain on the safe side is to avoid feeding human food to your pooch. Ensure that whatever you feed your dog is specific to dogs. For an in-depth insight on vitamins and supplements we recommend you read the Natural Health Bible for Cats and Dogs. It is also a great guide to a healthy pooch