So Fido’s skin is itchy, he’s beginning to sport a limp after a long run or there is a general lacklustre in him that is noticeable. As an owner, you’re very tuned into what your dog’s behaviours are and what they should be. A balanced diet is often key to the ongoing health of your pup, but despite that, you’ve become aware that maybe you should be adding that little something extra to their diet. Here’s our take on dog supplements.
Does my dog NEED supplements?
The first step should always be a proper diagnosis and this should always be done with your vet. Guesswork with supplements can have some very severe consequences for your dog especially in the case of calcium, phosphorus etc. So, it’s important that you get to the bottom of what’s ‘missing’ and then start adding it to their diet.
Don’t Discount the obvious – start with a balanced diet
Before reaching for supplements remember that a diet is an essential component to ensure your dogs ongoing health. It may be worth investing in your dog’s diet more. We’ve written a tonne of articles [bloglink] and have a product ‘Dig-In Fresh’ [link] that will help you start this journey.
Good nutrition is the cornerstone for your dog’s health, you should always have a look at the ingredients in your dog’s food to see what it contains. Most dog foods contain specific ingredients that have been specially fortified and formulated to give canines all the nutrients they need, but, certain age groups or dogs with specific health issues may need that little something more.
Is Dig-In a Dog supplement?
Dig-In isn’t necessarily a supplement, more of an addition to your dog’s meal routine that, in many circumstances, negates the need for dog supplements. At its most basic, Dig-In is a prebiotic. Prebiotics are good for dogs (and people) due to their ability to create a friendly environment for good stomach bacteria to flourish. With a lot of owners investing in dog probiotics, it is super important to remember that prebiotics is what allows your dog’s stomach to host that introduced good bacteria in the first place.
Popular supplements for dogs and why they might help?
Glucosamine is an amino sugar that is found naturally in the fluid around the joints to help build cartilage. Glucosamine is taken from the shells of shellfish and can also be made in the laboratory. There is some evidence that suggests that glucosamine for dogs is effective in treating arthritis. [Source: AKC]
The second most common supplement given to dogs is fish oil. Fish oil for dogs contains omega-3 fatty acids that are thought to improve coat quality and shine and alleviate skin allergies. There has been some research into whether fish oils are useful in treating arthritis, heart health, and joint health, but results are mixed. [Source: AKC]
Antioxidant supplements for dogs are thought to counteract some of the effects of aging, such as memory loss and cognitive dysfunction. They’re also used as a treatment for heart disease in dogs and to reduce inflammation. Found in substances like vitamins C and E, antioxidants protect the body from free radicals, potentially harmful molecules that can damage cell membranes and even cause cell death.[Source: AKC]
Probiotics for dogs have also become popular supplements. Probiotics live naturally in the body in the form of yeasts and live bacteria that aid with digestion and intestinal health. As a supplement, they’re used to treat diarrhea and other digestive problems. Probiotics come in several forms, including some yogurts, capsules, chews, powders, and in some dog food formulations. [Source: AKC]
Supplements may be a welcome addition to your dog’s diet but should only be considered if you’re following veterinary advice. For the majority of dogs, though good nutrition and a balanced diet is the ideal start point.
Looking for some inspiration for an unparalleled healthy dinner try Dig-In Fresh.