With so many choices, which is the right one? A Vet gives their opinion.
By Justyne Yuen-Lee
We all want what’s best for our dogs. As much as we love the extra excitement and cuddles we get when we have a treat in our hands, we also want to nurture them with healthy food. A walk through the supplement aisle, however, is an exercise in confusion as every package claims to be good for your dog’s health. So, it’s always important to do your research and know exactly what a dog needs to support good health.
Whenever you’re considering altering your dog’s diet or supplements, consult your vet first.
Dr. Ernie Ward, an internationally renowned vet and officially “America’s Pet Advocate”, gives five supplement recommendations that he thinks all dog owners should know about:
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
DHA and EPA, the fatty acids, act as powerful brain fuels for dogs, cats, and people. Fish oil and Algae oil are the best sources for Omega-3 fatty acids for dogs.
- Improve learning
- Preserve memory and cognition
- Aid eyesight and nervous system
- Help combat inflation
- Help treat arthritis, allergies and skin conditions.
Talk to your vet to know exactly which dosage is right for your dog since these vary according to age, weight, diet, and medical condition (if it applies).
Glucosamine is a big one that is hyped in pro-supplement circles. Advertisements abound on social media and TV, but Dr. Ward warns that with hype comes hoax. So, while Glucosamine has its benefits for dog joints, it’s important to find a trustworthy brand.
The best way to ensure this result is to look for the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) seal. Then research the brand to make sure it’s reputable and gives evidence to support the efficacy of its product. And, as always, talk to your own vet for suggestions.
Dogs and humans need a little help with the tummy trouble and probiotics is the way to go. Probiotics help improve digestion, immunity and also prevent diseases. Dr. Ward suggests a veterinary formulation with at least 1 billion Colony Forming Units (CPUs).
Probiotics help dogs who are stressed, undergoing anaesthesia or have chronic GI problems.
4. S-Adenosylmethonine (SAMe)
If you have a senior dog, SAMe would benefit your dogs as they age. SAMe is used in dogs who have liver disease, cognitive decline, and arthritis. Humans use SAMe to improve mood, and depression and Alzheimer’s symptoms. Dr. Ward recommends only using special veterinary formulations that are proven to be adequately absorbed into your pet’s body.
This supplement is used for weight loss, heart disease and to support brain function in dogs. If you think your pet may benefit from L-Carnitine, ask your vet to check for hypothyroidism first as the supplement has a potential to impair thyroid function.
Finally, Dr. Ward warns against inadvertently overdosing your pet on a preferred supplement. There is “too much of a good thing” when it comes to supplements. Over supplementing can cause problems in other parts of your pet’s body. This is why having your veterinarian’s approval and advice is key!
Which supplements does your pup need?