Similar to their human companions, pets are living longer and owners are seeking ways to pre-emptively support their pet’s health and bodily functions as they age. Whether you feed your pet good quality commercially prepared food, home cooked meals, or a combination of the two, pet dietary supplements can complement the diet and help maintain optimal health. A nutritionally balanced diet must take into account breed, age, weight, activity, general physiology and overall health. Even with high quality commercially prepared pet food, some worry that the processing, which keeps foods shelf-stable and bacteria-free, may reduce the nutrient value of the food. Though popular, preparing pet meals at home is a time consuming process that requires research and planning. It can be difficult to ensure your pet’s nutritional balance with a homemade diet, and nutritional imbalances can pose a threat to your pet’s health.
Nearly one third of dogs in the U.S. take multivitamin supplements daily. A multivitamin and mineral supplement can benefit overall health and support the immune system. Additionally, pet dietary supplements can be useful in fortifying the health of a young pet and can target issues that arise as pets age. If your pet is not doing well on the food you are using, consider making a change, and make sure your pet gets the essential nutrients necessary to thrive. For pets that are growing, aging, active, overweight, competitive, picky eaters or that have health challenges, supplements can help to balance the diet and provide those essential nutrients. And just like a supplement a person might take, pet supplements should come from a reputable supplier and should be well tolerated, safe and effective. It’s best to purchase supplements that are specifically manufactured for pets in order to confirm that:
- Ingredients are appropriate by age or condition
- The supplement avoids any ingredients that may not be suitable for pets
- The label provides the information to ensure accurate dosage
Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM for joint health – Although both younger and older dogs can develop joint problems, size and weight is most definitely a factor. While pets often hide pain, eventually an owner will notice the pet is having difficulties with formerly common or enjoyable activities. Glucosamine supports overall joint cartilage health and is useful for joint disorders, such as osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia. Chondroitin supplementation is useful for overall health support and is beneficial for older dogs with joint or mobility issues. MSM is well known for its joint health benefits, including decreased pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
Probiotics and fiber for digestive problems – Processed pet foods may not contain the beneficial microorganisms that support digestive health. Like their humans, pets can experience an improper balance of intestinal microbes. Supplementation with probiotics can restore a healthy balance and relieve irritated stomachs or digestive upset. Fiber supplements may be appropriate for dogs who suffer from constipation, diarrhea or other GI problems.
Omega-3’s for skin, coat and overall health – Essential fatty acids support healthy, shiny coats and help control inflammation and swelling resulting from itching, allergies or skin irritations. Fatty acids help to maintain healthy skin, promote a healthy functioning immune system, and support joint flexibility, brain function and heart health.
Immune support –The immune system plays a major role in the defense against illness and disease. Carotenoids, antioxidants and phytonutrients stimulate immune defenses, reduce oxidative stress, and aid the fight against cancer causing free radicals.
Stress relief – When you pet is stressed, he or she may appear overly anxious or depressed. You may notice a decreased appetite, lethargy or gastrointestinal issues. When other medical causes are ruled out, you can help by paying more attention to your pet, creating a safe zone where your pet can retreat and relax, and providing a well-balanced diet.
Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements for dogs and cats to support their health and wellness and enhance their quality of life:
Dog Gone Pain by American Biosciences – Specifically formulated to help support joint mobility and flexibility this product provides a blend of quality ingredients, including marine collagen, botanicals and enzymes, to help ease aches, pains and discomfort.
Joint Maintenance for Dogs by Dancing Paws – This protective formula, designed for active breeds or breeds prone to developing joint degeneration and soreness, provides specific support for long term joint maintenance in an easy to administer chewable wafer.
Advanced Skin & Coat Support by 3 Green Dogs – This premium dietary supplement was specially formulated to provide nutrients that support healthy skin, a beautiful hair coat and a healthy inflammatory response. Manufactured under strict federal cGMP guidelines, this superior formula is fortified with an enhanced, proprietary blend of green antioxidants, vitamins A, D, and E and EPA and DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Formula V1 Vet-Zimes by Ness Enzymes – This formula for dogs provides highly active, concentrated enzymes designed to promote optimal digestion and assimilation of protein, carbs, fats, fiber and other nutrients in support of overall wellness.
Formula V2 Vet-Zimes by Ness Enzymes – This formula provides digestive enzymes, plus the amino acid taurine, in a formula that helps cats assimilate food and properly use proteins, carbs, fats and fibers.
Immugen by Thorne Vet – This exceptional, comprehensive immune support formula is designed to provide vitamins, minerals, botanicals, glandulars, and other key nutrients to optimize immune system function in both dogs and cats. Non-GMO, vegetarian formula.
Calming For Small Dogs by Pet Naturals of Vermont – This advanced formula is designed to alleviate stress related behavior by supporting neurotransmitter balance and relaxation. Recommended for separation anxiety, vet or grooming appointments, boredom, traveling or fear related to loud noises.
10 Myths and Misperceptions About Homemade Dog Food. http://thebark.com/content/10-myths-and-misperceptions-about-homemade-dog-food?page=3
Essential Nutrients for Dogs and Cats. http://www.banfield.com/pet-health-resources/preventive-care/nutrition/essential-nutrients-for-dogs-and-cats-minerals