Benefits and Uses of Dog Supplements

 

A healthy, balanced diet should always be a priority in keeping your dog’s health in check. If that is not the case, these dog supplements can help keep your dog healthy.

By Guest Blogger, Sherryn De Voss

Pets are part of our everyday lives. They provide us with companionship and emotional support as well as reduce our stress levels and a sense of loneliness. And in return, as responsible pet owners, it is our job to ensure our furry companions’ health and welfare by providing them with nutritious food, proper housing, and care.

One significant factor which affects the wellbeing of every dog is nutrition. According to vets, a well-balanced dog diet should include highly digestible proteins, fruits, and vegetables, which all consist of nutrients necessary for your pet to live a healthier and longer life.

However, food alone might not meet all your dog’s health requirements because certain nutrients may either be absent or in insufficient quantities in their diet. In fact, some of these nutrients may also play a big role in maintaining your dog’s overall health in case of an illness that can be managed with such dietary supplements.

Therefore, here is a list of the five most common dog supplements which are beneficial for your dog’s health and can help you adjust any deficiencies in its diet.

Melatonin and lignans

Unfortunately, dogs can be susceptible to severe or chronic health conditions that require more specialized care. One of these conditions includes Cushing’s disease, which is caused by a tumor in the pituitary or adrenal glands, and it is prevalent in 80-85% of dogs. While food plays a major role in alleviating this illness’s symptoms, supplements such as melatonin and lignans for dogs can also help along the way.

In fact, this powerful combination helps restore your dog’s hormonal balance and reduce the symptoms of hair loss and skin irritations, which are some of the most common symptoms of Cushing’s disease in dogs.

Probiotics

Another supplement that plays a major role in maintaining your dog’s health and prevents the development of various diseases, especially those related to the gastrointestinal system, are probiotics. They are live microorganisms that promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your pet’s colon and maintain their digestive health. For example, if your dog shows signs of an upset stomach such as vomiting or diarrhea, probiotics can help alleviate such symptoms.

Moreover, this dietary supplement provides other secondary benefits for dogs, such as taking care of obesity, mood disorders, better skin and coat appearance, reduction of allergies, and bowel function regulation.  

Fatty acids

Fatty acids are healthy additions that are hard to find in dog foods, but they provide many nutritional benefits for your dog’s wellbeing. Omega-3 and omega-6, which are found in fish oil, are some of the most important ones.

For example, omega-3 provides support for dry, flaky skin in allergic pets and reduces inflammation symptoms in the body caused by potent stimulators called cytokines. This further leads to a shinier, healthier-looking coat.

Omega-6 is most useful for promoting cell growth and boosting your dog’s immune system. This fatty acid is especially beneficial for older and at-risk dogs that have been exposed to harsh health conditions.  

Multivitamins

Most dogs are provided with a well-balanced diet that includes vitamins and minerals necessary for your dog’s overall health. However, sometimes their diet may lack some important nutrients, and for that reason, you should go for multivitamins to adjust these deficiencies.

Some of the most essential vitamins that your dog needs on a daily basis include:

  • Vitamin A for growth, fetal development, immune system, and cell function
  • Vitamin B for metabolizing carbs, hormone regulation, and proper nervous system function
  • Vitamin C to fight off free radicals and reduce inflammation and cognitive aging
  • Vitamin D for healthy bone growth and muscles
  • Vitamin K for activating clotting and building bone proteins

Photo by Petfinder

Joint supplements

Your dog’s joints also must be taken care of because they determine whether you have a healthy and playful pet. Therefore, to keep them functioning properly, you are going to need joint supplements. In fact, there are joint supplements that nourish healthy dog joints, prevent damages, as well as help damaged joints recover.

For example, glucosamine is a supplement often used after surgeries to bring a dog’s health back on track naturally. For the benefits to start showing, this supplement must be given over a prolonged period of time. When administered properly, glucosamine leads to less strain, friction, and pain, which may be felt by your dog.

Overall benefits of dog supplements

Provide essential nutrients

While complete, nutritious food is one way of providing your dog with essential vitamins and minerals, some of these may be lost during the heating or cooking process. For that reason, dog supplements can adjust any deficiencies found in your pet’s diet, boost its immune system, and reduce the risks and symptoms of various severe or chronic diseases.

Improve skin and coat

Skin irritation and potential hair loss are two of the most common symptoms of severe health conditions. In order to alleviate such signs, coat-specific supplements can prevent the onset or spread of a certain

Enhance cognitive development

The implementation of supplements in your dog’s diet can also improve its cognitive function over time. Such supplements are, in fact, antioxidants that prevent the development of cognitive dysfunction syndrome usually present in aging pups. Therefore, the use of vitamins and coenzyme Q-10 can slow down cognitive aging and keep your dog alert at all stages of life.

Final thoughts

A healthy, balanced diet should always be a priority in keeping your dog’s health in check. However, if your pup is fighting off a harsh health condition or needs an immune boost, dog supplements can certainly come in handy. The only thing to remember before giving your furry companion supplements is to consult with your vet to give you all the information about the benefits and uses of each supplement as well as its proper dosage. In any case, refer back to this guide to help you along the way and provide your pup with the best possible care.

For more great dog-related resources, including dog-training consulting services, set aside some time to receive dog blogs by Acme Canine.
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