Wellness and fitness supplements like omega fatty acids and multivitamins aren’t just for us anymore. Now our dogs can reap many of the same benefits that we do with these products.
The Veterinarian Opinion On Giving Our Dogs Supplements
Just like doctors, vets have a wide range of views on the helpfulness of supplements.
Unlike us, our dogs’ diets are considerably healthier thanks to many commercial brands providing dog foods that meet the great majority of dogs’ needs.
However, like us, our dogs are experiencing increased obesity rates, with the majority of our dogs now overweight or obese.
This is creating new health problems on top of ones already commonly seen in dogs. And it’s when a dog is experiencing health issues that most vets are in alignment that supplements can help.
The majority of veterinarians hold the view that the average healthy dog probably doesn’t need to be on supplements of any kind — as long as they are getting well-balanced dog food.
However, they agree that Best Dog food supplement, like the ones below, can be incredibly helpful when helping a dog turn their health around.
Omega fatty acids, specifically, omega-3s, are one of the most researched supplements, with pretty much everyone agreeing that their range of benefits can help really improve the western diet.
The Western diet is full of meat from land animals and plants that are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, and while important, too many can upset the important balance between omega-3s and 6s.
Fish are rich in omega-3s, and this is why fish oil is the most popular way to supplement omega-3s. But what does the human diet have to do with our dogs, you ask?
Well, while many commercial foods are properly formulated, delivering the perfect blend of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, the snacks we give our dogs, especially our foods, aren’t.
Even the regular dog treat can often contain more omega-6 fatty acids than they need to.
Now, omega-6s, even when in abundance, are relatively harmless. But when their numbers significantly overtake omega-3s, the body creates excessive inflammation.
On top of that, if your dog’s diet is lacking omega-3s, their cardiovascular health can really take a hit.
Like in humans, veterinary research has found that supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids, like the ones found in fish oil, can help reduce inflammation, pain, swelling, help prevent blood, and improve heart, eye, and mental health.
Many of us take a multivitamin because we worry our diets are missing key vitamins and minerals. And when you’re a dog owner who takes a multivitamin, it’s pretty common to wonder if your dog should be taking one.
The truth is most dogs don’t need a traditional multivitamin because their basic food will provide them with all the vitamins they need. However, a traditional multivitamin can still be helpful for pets that are struggling with their diets.
That’s why companies like Innovet Pet are putting together multivitamins that include select ingredients that focus on supporting issues like joint, digestive, and mental health vs. loading them up with excessive amounts of vitamins.
To do this, they include ingredients like the next two supplements on our list, so how about we check them out?!
Created from the resin that grows on the leaves of cannabis plants, CBD oil is the non-intoxicating version of marijuana.
CBD products are designed to give you the many benefits of medical marijuana but without any of the high. They do this by being derived from hemp plants instead of marijuana plants, which are both cannabis plants.
Hemp plants don’t naturally produce notable amounts of the chemical THC like marijuana. This chemical is responsible for the euphoric high associated with them.
Then farmers purposely breed hemp plants that produce even less THC than normal, giving us plants labeled industrial hemp that are legally required to produce no more than 0.3% THC in the United States.
These plants are the ones legal CBD products are derived from, and because of their low THC content, they are legal to give to those under the age of 18 and our pets.
In fact, because of how CBD works, many simply give it to their pet for preventive health and daily wellness. Speaking of, how does CBD work?
CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a regulatory system whose main job is to…well regulate other regulatory systems, ensuring they are properly carrying out their important functions.
To keep it simple, CBD supports the endocannabinoid system in a similar fashion that the ECS supports regulatory systems like the immune and nervous systems.
Research is finding this incredibly helpful, and the reason CBD and other cannabis products are touted for helping with so many health conditions.
Unlike the immune system, the ECS doesn’t appear to have a regulatory system that supports it despite it often needing support, especially when it helps combat temporary and chronic diseases.
Mobility & Joint Support
Mobility support supplements typically feature several ingredients that help support your dog’s mobility in several ways, from reducing inflammation to supporting cartilage health.
Let’s take a look at the five most common ingredients you’ll typically see in mobility support supplements.
Glucosamine HCL – Naturally occurring in the cartilage, glucosamine is one of the building blocks of this tough tissue that cushions joints. Cartilage health is heavily affected by daily wear and tear and injuries, making it a key component that needs support when supporting overall mobility.
The other big reason glucosamine is supplemented is because it is not common in either our or our pet’s diet. Glucosamine is harvested from shells of shellfish or made in a lab.
Chondroitin – Similar to glucosamine above, chondroitin is another building block of cartilage and not something largely found in a pet’s diet.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are often included together to help slow the degeneration of joint cartilage, which is a hallmark symptom of osteoarthritis.
PurforMSM – Pure form of methylsulfonylmethane is a chemical found in the body that is essential in supporting proper cell structure and the defense against free radicals that damage cells.
Research also finds it can help repair connective tissue and support the immune system, reducing excessive inflammation that can cause swelling, pain, and further damage to mobility.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – If there is one thing that can likely help with excessive inflammation that’s often at the core of mobility and joint disorders, most vets agree it’s omega-3 fatty acids.
Full Spectrum Hemp Extract – Better known as CBD, while not as commonly found in mobility support aids like the ones above, it’s quickly being seen as essential in them for hip and joint support.
This is because CBD can help reduce pain, swelling, and excessive inflammation in the joints, along with promoting energy and a healthy appetite, which are often affected by poor mobility.
Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that is increasingly being supplemented due to its ability to help with certain heart conditions, like heart disease and high blood pressure.
The body naturally produces this antioxidant for cell growth and maintenance. In combination with meat, fish, and nuts, younger and middle-aged pets often have appropriate levels of COQ10 in their bodies.
However, levels of CoQ10 in the body decrease with age, putting older pets at risk. In some cases, you’ll find CoQ10 in mobility and joint support supplements because it may increase energy and physical performance — research is mixed on this, however.
CoQ10 should always be discussed with your vet before you give it to your dog. This is because while it may help some heart conditions, it may do nothing for others.
As well, one of the rare side effects seen with this antioxidant is interactions with blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin, making them less effective.
Two of the most common health issues dogs experience are issues with their skin and digestive problems, and this makes vitamin B a popular supplement for our fur buddies.
A Vitamin B-complex supplement usually includes Vitamin B1, B2, B6, and B12. The risk of toxicity is incredibly low with all of these B vitamins, with excess simply being excreted from the kidneys and released through urination.
Veterinarians are most likely to recommend vitamin B supplementation for older dogs and those that need help with skin, energy, and digestion support.
Our dogs are no strangers to digestive health problems, much to our disdain. From the odd things they eat outside to foods we give them that aren’t a normal part of their diet, the modern dog’s gut isn’t always a fun place to be.
Just like with our health, a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut is critical for health.
Not only can a bad gut cause poor absorption of nutrients, bowel issues, and discomfort, a poor microbiome causes inflammation in the gut that can affect the brain, causing mental stress and disorders.
Along with giving your dog healthy snacks like Greek yogurt and fibrous treats, you may want to talk to your vet about giving your dog probiotic supplements to support their gut if they are often experiencing digestion issues.
When looking for a probiotic aid for your dog, you want to look for two things. First, look for one that supplies the gut with several healthy active bacteria strains. Second, great probiotic aids often include prebiotic ingredients that help feed and nourish all the good bacteria in the gut.
All things considered, when you want to provide your dog with supplements and vitamins you can choose from these products. These ingredients are the best when it comes to supporting your dog with several issues.