The human health and wellness craze has definitely crossed over into the pet world! Now more than ever, pet owners are trying to do everything they can to ensure their pets are physically healthy and emotionally happy. For people who are interested in giving their pets (specifically dogs for this blog post) a bit of a “boost” in the form of supplements, vitamins, or additional nutrients, the information can be very overwhelming: everyone seems to have the next big, best solution and there are soooo many options available.
This week, we’re highlighting 3 commonly used supplements in the dog health market. If you need more information, or to create an individual plan for your pup, please be sure to consult your veterinarian! Also, according to the AKC, dogs who are fed a commercial dog food diet are unlikely to need additional supplements above and beyond what they’re eating daily; supplements are usually recommended for dogs who have deficiencies, specific health challenges, or are ageing.
Glucosamine - one of the most popular supplements purchased by dog owners, this is commonly used to support joint health. Veterinarians are divided in their opinions about the effectiveness of glucosamine. Most agree that many of the typical treats and chews on the market do not actually have enough glucosamine to make a difference, and that it’s very important to consult your vet before wasting time and/or money.
Fish oil - used to reduce inflammation and support joint health. There is general consensus that fish oils can be very powerful anti-inflammatory options, but the Environmental Protection Agency urges pet owners to investigate the presence of heavy metals in their supplements to make sure you’re not causing more harm than good.
Probiotics - just as they’re used for human use, probiotics support good gut and digestive health in dogs. These might not be necessary for day-to-day use in healthy dogs, but can be great supplements for dogs who are experiencing acute gut challenges or have unique digestive issues. Vets seem to agree that probiotic tablets or capsules that can be sprinkled on regular pet food are more effective that dairy-based options like yogurt or kefir.
The biggest takeaway here: in the dog supplement world, product type and quality makes a huge difference. If you’re purchasing a product to prevent a specific health concern or address a challenge your pet is facing, we recommend consulting your vet and doing thorough research before going to the nearest pet store and grabbing anything off of the shelf. These products can be pricey, especially if given long-term, so you want to make sure you really get your bang for your buck and give your pet the best products possible!
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