Does Your Dog Need Multivitamins or Other Wellness Supplements?
Groceries, pharmacies, and other kinds of stores usually dedicate lots of space to nutritional supplements and multivitamins for people. More recently, you can spot the same trend in local and online pet product stores. In fact, you'll find everything from anti-anxiety and arthritis-relief chews to Multivitamin Bites dog treats.
As a pet parent who wants to help your dog enjoy the best life possible, you may have wondered if you also need to provide extra vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the form of pet supplements. Find out how to improve your dog's diet and which supplements your dog might need.
DO DOGS NEED MULTIVITAMINS AND OTHER SUPPLEMENTS?
The American Kennel Club suggests concentrating first on buying high-quality, nutritionally-complete, and balanced dog food to supply most of the nutrition your pet needs. They also suggest picking out food that's designed for your dog's stage in life.
For a couple of examples:
- Puppy chow provides plenty of calories and fat for healthy growth, but too much fat for adults.
- Food for large breeds may contain less calcium to reduce the risk of growing too quickly and developing hip dysplasia later in life.
- In contrast, food for seniors may contain less fat but could include more antioxidants and other nutrients that can help delay symptoms of aging.
Why supplement a healthy diet?
Even with a relatively healthy diet, some dogs may still benefit from extra supplements. In particular, certain kinds of pet owners might especially need to consider adding vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to their dog's diet.
- Dogs with specific medical concerns: As an example, the essential fatty acids in fish or krill oil may help support immune systems, relieve pain from arthritis or injuries, and even help protect healthy hearts.
- Dogs with dry coats and skin: As another example, a study published on the National Institute of Health website found 60 percent of dogs treated with biotin for dry skin and coat conditions were completely cured and another 31 percent showed improvement.
- Dogs with deficiencies: Multivitamins can help dogs that didn't get adequate nutrition because of low-quality food or a disease. Also, some health conditions block full absorption of essential nutrients.
- Dogs on homemade diets: Pet owners may prefer to make their dog's food, either because the dog suffers from lots of food allergies or simply because that's the pet owner's preference. Supplements can provide extra nutritional insurance.
- Dogs with irregular or poor appetites: While many dogs eagerly bolt down their chow, some apparently healthy dogs may eat a lot of food one day and then not appear to have much of an appetite on another. Other pets may not eat well because of digestive issues, limited mobility, or other health problems. In this case, supplements fill in nutritional gaps.
HOW TO BUY HIGH-QUALITY, SAFE SUPPLEMENTS FOR YOUR DOG
People and dogs need a lot of the same vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients; however, humans and their pets don't need them in exactly the same proportion. Also, some common ingredients in human supplements, like xylitol, can harm dogs. Best of all, high-quality vitamin supplements for dogs come in canine-friendly flavors that your pets will enjoy as a treat.
Just like pet parents, dogs need the right nutritional balance to maintain health. High-quality food provides a great start. Just like people, it's not always easy to consume a perfect diet. Supplements can provide extra insurance against deficiencies and illnesses.
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