Dogs usually receive well-balanced diets and supplements should be used only if there is a deficiency in some nutrients in your dog’s diet. If you decide to give your dog dietary supplements without consulting with your Vet you may end up causing more problems than solving them.
These days food supplements are really popular for both humans and pets and we believe that it is extremely important to do your research and make sure what exactly you are taking or giving to your pet. Both you and your dog can have bad reaction or even an allergic reaction to any of these supplements so it would be a great idea to do an allergy test before you decide on exact food supplements. It also depends on what breed of dog you have, a Dogo Argentino needs more than a Miniature Poodle.
It is also important to know what supplements are for and that there is a specific reason why you would take them or give them to your dog. for example, a human or dog body has a limit on absorbing vitamins, and anything that is taken more than the recommended dosage will just be a complete waste. Your dog’s body will not be able to absorb them and most of the vitamin intake will just go through them without benefiting them whatsoever.
Food supplements can be vitamins, amino acids, minerals, fatty acids, and other substances delivered in the form of capsules, liquid, tablets, pills, etc.
These are the 4 most common supplements and what they are used for:
The biggest supplement for dogs in the world is glucosamine. It is sold as a stand-alone supplement or in combination with chondroitin, MSM, green-lipped mussel extract, and many other ingredients. It is believed that it helps with treating osteoarthritis.
Your dog might need this supplement if they have OA or have weak joints or bad hips. It works great for older dogs.
After glucosamine, the second most popular supplement for pets is fish oil. It isn’t quite clear how much exactly of which component is useful for which specific health conditions, and the question remains if eating fish is better than taking fish oil supplements, but there is good evidence that fish oil benefits in preventing cardiovascular diseases.
There isn’t much research on probiotics for pets, but there are some encouraging results that show some benefit of some products for acute idiopathic diarrhea in dogs. There are also huge problems with the unregulated market for veterinary probiotics. A study from 2018 found that the majority of products tested had inaccurate labels, with many not containing the number of species of organisms claimed on the label.
Multivitamins are widely described as a preventative health measure or as “insurance” for an imperfect and imbalanced diet. There is practically no research on the subject of multivitamin for pets. Commercial pet diets are nutritionally really well-balanced in a way that even better than most humans, so there is less reason to think a multivitamin would be necessary for your pets that are on these types of diets.
Different breeds may have different needs and supplement intake can also depend on their activity levels. An active breed such as a Belgian Malinois has different needs than an inactive English Bulldog.
Now you know the basics about food supplements and you can ask your vet for specific information about what supplements might be good for your dog.