Dog nutrition supplements are similar to human ones in the role they play towards ensuring a healthy balanced diet for your pet.
Even though buying processed foods for your puppy has all the necessary nutrients it may need in its diet, vital supplements like multivitamins will provide your pet with any missing nutrients.
Today, there are many kinds of dog nutrition supplements available, each having a specific function. For example, some of them are good for small pups while others are determined by the weight of the dog. The major benefits of supplements include:
- Providing minerals that promote your dog’s healthy coat, skin, vision, and nails for both small and large ones.
- Boost your pet’s immune system by giving it energy and vitality.
- Encourage both muscle and bone growth.
- Promote your pet’s dental health and eliminate bacteria that may cause bad breath.
- Promotes circulation of blood for your puppy giving it protection against free radicals and reducing pain and soreness in case of any sustained injuries.
Understanding your dog’s nutritional needs
There are six essential nutrients vital for your dog’s healthy living. They include; Water, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fats, and minerals. Individual one will, however, need varied levels of some of the listed essential nutrients.
To understand your dog’s nutritional requirements you must know its age, level of activity, any health-related problems and genetic concerns to help you pinpoint the food necessary for it. Most dogs will not need supplements until they age or only in the case of a special genetic disorder.
Factors to consider when buying your dog’s nutritional supplement
Before deciding on whether to include supplements on your puppies diet you must always consult your veterinary first. Your vet will advise and may help you pick the right one for your dog. But there are so many choices available in the market and finding the right brand can be overwhelming. However, picking your dog’s supplement should be done the same way you pick your dog food.
Avoid foods with artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors. Also, avoid foods with too much salt and added sugar. You can read more about shopping for the right supplements on most available pet magazines.
Safety when picking the right brand of supplements for your dog
Nutrition ones are not as regulated as a prescription. Finding a good manufacturer can be a challenge when you are starting. It is important to buy all of them from trusted manufacturers that have been FDA approved and have no reported incidences of recalled ones. Also, check the credibility of the manufacturers based on product reviews from satisfied users.
Dangers of administering supplements to your dog
There is always a danger in giving your puppy more nutrients than its body needs. This can happen when you do not monitor its diet. Most of the nutrients are already found in your dog’s healthy balanced diet and adding supplements may cause harm. For example, excessive calcium is harmful to dogs, especially large breeds, as it may lead to skeletal problems. Excessive Vitamin A harms its blood vessels and leads to dehydration and joint pains. Vitamin D also harms its bones and may lead to loss of appetite.
They can sometimes interfere with the medication for your dog and should not be taken together with prescription medications without consulting your vet. This is because they will instigate changes to your pets body and your vet should be able to identify contraindications on the ingredients found in your pets supplements.
Administering supplements to your dog is challenging because you can never be sure how much was ingested and how much of them was left in the bowl. The downside is that in case of any side effects like stomach ache, your beloved pet will never tell you.
Do supplements work?
This is still a gray area and there is not much scientific evidence to support any argument.
Clinical trials are very rare and most supplements have not been tested for long term effects on animals. However sufficient knowledge and benefits of fatty acids and fish oil supplements are known to reduce inflammation.
Antioxidants like Vitamin C and E are also quite effective in reducing inflammation and helping aging dogs that may have developed memory problems. Used correctly, they will improve your pet’s health and boost immunity.