For many people, a dog is an important family member. We want what’s best for them, from their veterinary care to their nutrition. Given that most of us supplement our own diets with vitamins and minerals, it makes sense that we would want to provide the same health boost for our beloved pets.
Dogs need specific vitamins and minerals, not necessarily the ones that work for humans. If you are thinking about supplementing your dog’s diet, it is important to do your own research, buy the best quality ingredients you can, and stay up-to-date with industry news and standards. While a balanced dog food should provide the nutrition that your pet requires as a puppy, you may find they need additional support with age.
As you care for your dog over time, you will notice their needs change with age. If they start to slow down, struggle with allergies, or have other ailments, you will likely want to support them the best way you can. Providing a balanced diet, regular veterinary care and plenty of attention is a good start. Be sure to use joint supplements for dogs that can provide targeted support where your furry friend needs it most.
So, what are the best supplements for dogs? If you’ve been wondering about which dog supplements to get, we hope this list provides a good starting point.
1. Fish Oil
Filled with heart-healthy fatty acids, fish oil is among the most popular supplements for dogs. Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to help reduce inflammation while improving the shine on your dog’s coat. Omega-6 fatty acids will help your dog’s skin retain moisture, which will reduce itching. For maximum health benefit, look for fish oil supplements that contain both DHA and EPA fatty acids.
Probiotics have far-reaching benefits for dogs. Just as they are known for their ability to help the digestive systems of humans, so too can they help your dog regulate internal discomfort caused by diarrhea, constipation or an upset stomach. Probiotics can also be useful in the battle against your dog’s bad breath, excess scratching, or even the overgrowth of yeast.
3. Stress Reduction Blends
For some dogs, a thunderstorm, the sound of fireworks, or the smoke alarm will send them into panic. Other dogs feel stress at almost any sudden sound. If your dog has known anxiety triggers or suffers from stress in general, look for a supplement that helps to calm their nerves. Typically, these products contain ingredients such as ginger, chamomile and even melatonin, to help calm your pup and help him or her rest more soundly.
4. Skin and Allergy Support
Allergies are common among dogs. While they most often appear as itching, either localized or general, symptoms can include the respiratory system as well, resulting in sneezing, coughing or wheezing. While some allergies will need to be treated by a specialized veterinarian, others can be helped with multivitamin support, designed to combat allergies. Look for products with apple cider vinegar, salmon oil and probiotics to help calm your dog’s immune system and provide relief.
Just as antioxidants are important to the health of humans, they are enormously beneficial to dogs as well. Antioxidants help cells to fend off and dispose of free radicals. The very nature of dog behavior (rolling in grass, licking almost everything) exposes them to more chemical and environmental risks than humans. An antioxidant supplement will help to eliminate toxins from their system and can even help to improve overall vision, reducing the risk of cataracts.
6. Joint Support
One of the most visible signs of a dog’s age appears in their movement over time. Aging hips and joints can slow a dog down and make him or her limp or limit their movement. To help your aging friend, look for supplements that contain a combination of ingredients designed to support joint health, including methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), chondroitin and glucosamine.
7. Immune Support
Pet owners often reach for immune support for their dogs when there is a resistant, underlying infection. Most immune supplements will contain a combination of prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants and other tools to help support healthy bacteria levels while lowering histamines. Some supplements contain additional support to help battle against arthritis, as well as viral and bacterial microorganisms.
Just as you might take a multivitamin to support your health, there are several multivitamins specific to dogs that can improve their overall wellbeing. A canine multivitamin will typically include vitamins A, K, C, D, E and a B-complex. A multivitamin can help keep your dog’s coat shiny and soft, it can help with overall immunity, gut, heart and skin health. If your dog has specific ailments — perhaps they need kidney support or suffer from joint pain — look for a multivitamin with the specific focus you need.