5 All-Natural Supplements For Dogs
Like humans, our furry pets need a well-balanced nutrition to live healthier and longer lives. Unfortunately, like us, your dogs aren’t capable of producing all of these essential compounds, hence the need for consuming vitamin-rich foods.
Ideally, all of these needs should’ve been provided by the nourishment from the food we eat. But it’s not every day that our pets have access to these foods, which is where supplementation comes in.
One of the most effective ways to ensure that your dogs get the right amount of these essential vitamins is to know the most important types of vitamins and minerals our fur babies need in order to boost their health. In choosing the best nutritional supplements for your dogs, look for the presence of these compounds:
One of the most popular all-natural supplements for dogs is glucosamine, a compound that’s naturally present in your dogs’ joints, cushioning them against impact and preventing the joints from rubbing against each other. Glucosamine works two ways–it helps protect the joints and aids in building cartilages. Glucosamine is typically sourced from shellfish or synthetically produced in the laboratory to be sold as supplements.
In younger dogs, glucosamine can help improve mobility, making running and playing with your dog seamless. This supplement may later contribute to the prevention of arthritis in dogs. As a degenerative disease, arthritis wears away the cartilage in the joints, making basic movements extremely painful. A 2007 study showed that a glucosamine supplement aid pain and increased mobility over a month of treatment.
Glucosamine supplements come in many forms–capsules, powders, and as dog treats. It’s often mixed with chondroitin sulfate, another naturally occurring compound found in the bone and cartilage tissues.
- Fish Oil
Fish oil bursts with essential fatty acids such as Omega-3, which is believed to be effective in improving cardiovascular health, boost your dog’s coat health, as well as reduce skin allergies. In humans, the Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug sourced from fish oil. Its aim is to reduce triglyceride levels and alleviate the risks of heart attack and stroke.
A study suggests that fish oils also reduce inflammation, which may be beneficial in reducing the incidence of seizures, meningoencephalomyelitis, and other similar inflammatory diseases that may develop in your pets.
Despite its benefits, your dog can’t organically produce Omega-3 fatty acids, hence the need to source them from food or supplements. Some Omega-3 supplements are mixed with turmeric to boost immunity, moisturize the skin, and relieve all types of allergies. If you’re thinking about the plausibility of giving turmeric to your dogs, learn the facts here.
The chemical reactions from metabolizing food generate free radicals, which contain electron-deficient oxygen. These free radicals steal the electrons from the body’s healthy cells, especially when our dogs get sick or are exposed to poisonous substances and stress. When free radicals successfully take away electrons from the cells, it can damage the cells. When antioxidants are introduced in our body and that of your pet’s, free radicals are weakened and cells are repaired.
Antioxidants are found in supplements that are rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, Selenium, and Coenzyme Q10 for dogs. In humans, CoQ10 has been used as a supplement for the treatment of various health conditions. Few studies reveal that this compound can help lower blood pressure, lessen the risks of heart attack, and Alzheimer’s disease. However, more studies are needed to support these claims.
In dogs and people, antioxidants are perceived to have anti-aging effects, including cognitive problems and memory gaps. Some pet owners swear by the effects of antioxidants in helping treat heart disease and minimizing inflammation.
With these same benefits believed to be applicable to dogs as well, it’s no wonder why some dog parents rely on these supplements to keep their dogs healthy.
More and more people are taking probiotics for gut health, and so should pets. Probiotics refer to the friendly microbes, composed of bacteria and yeasts present in the gastrointestinal systems of all animals. They’re responsible for aiding the digestion process and the maintenance of intestinal health.
Maintaining gut health is said to be one of the keys to maintaining overall well-being. It’s believed that those who take probiotics are able to produce essential nutrients needed to combat disease-causing organisms and augment the immune system. When probiotics are damaged or destroyed, our pets may suffer from diarrhea and upset stomachs.
Probiotic supplements benefit dogs in the same manner that they benefit humans. They help increase the good bacteria in the gut. In the immediate terms, it helps the digestive tract break down food better, therefore nutrient extraction becomes more efficient. Probiotics may likewise prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that make your dogs sick.
Supplements of this type may come in the form of chewables, yogurts, drinks, capsules, and powders.
Like us, our beloved pets need their daily dose of multivitamins to support their overall health. While a balanced diet can get some or most of these nutrients, complementing these nutrients is critical to make sure that your dogs get the ideal doses. Besides, our pets cannot get all these recommended vitamins from their normal food consumption. Additionally, some of the vitamin content integrated into most ready-to-eat dog meals break down and disappear in the cooking or preparation processes.
Before feeding your dog with multivitamin supplements, take time to consider these essential vitamins for your four-legged companions:
- Vitamin A – for better vision, improved immunity, and overall growth
- Vitamin B1 or Thiamine – for carbohydrate metabolism and energy facilitation
- Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), and B12 – aids in the proper functioning of your dog’s enzymes
- Vitamin B6 – responsible for multiple processes such as better immune response, nervous system functions, production of glucose, red blood cell generation, and hormone regulation
- Pantothenic Acid – helps with metabolism and energy regulation
- Folic Acid – facilitates your dog’s production and proper use of proteins, including amino acid metabolism
- Vitamin C – boosts the immune system and a great source of antioxidants
- Vitamin E – for boosting cell functions, metabolism of fats, and anti-oxidative functions
- Vitamin K – helps with blood clots and the production of proteins, which is important for bone health
If your dog exhibits normal behavior for its age and breed, doesn’t show any symptoms of sickness, and you believe that they’re getting the essential vitamins and minerals mentioned earlier, your dog may not need supplementation.
If you decide to push through with the use of nutritional supplements, discuss with your veterinarian first to find out the best nutrients your dog needs. Once your vet comes up with some recommendations, look for a reputable company with science-backed claims about the efficacy of their products. Read the label properly to ensure that your fur babies are getting the amount they need.