Why You Need to Be Careful In Selecting a Supplement for Your Dog
Dogs are among the most important and enriching parts of people’s lives.
It is natural that human concerns about nutrition and health have filtered into your dog’s world.
As supplements become increasingly prevalent in areas of preventative care and nutritional support, you must exercise due diligence before selecting a supplement for your dog.
Check Your Dog’s Diet
Too much emphasis placed on supplements can lead to unintentional neglect of your pet’s diet.
Supplements are sometimes helpful, but dogs should obtain most of their nutrients through whole food sources.
If your dog receives excess supplementary support, he or she can lose certain benefits of eating such as obtaining essential amino and fatty acids, improving dental health through chewing, accomplishing better digestion through a dietary fiber and fresh ingredients, and achieving better muscle condition through proteins and useable energy.
If your goal is to help your dog’s coat or skin, see if you can supplement with a particular food rather than reaching for a pill or capsule.
For additional information about what type of food your dog shouldn’t eat visit our post: Food Your Dog Should Never Eat
Synthetic vs Natural
Dogs Naturally talk about how synthetic vitamins are necessary for your dog’s diet.
Manufacturers add them to brand-name dog foods. Heating processes are used to manufacture commercial kibble and destroy many vitamins and nutrients.
With raw diets, there is a struggle to achieve proper nutritional balance without the addition of vitamins and trace minerals.
However, dogs benefit most if they can obtain as many nutrients as possible from whole food sources because of the limitations of synthetic vitamins.
First, a synthetic vitamin provides one micronutrient while food supplies an entire family.
Second, synthetic vitamins are not biologically active.
They lack the enzymes and other co-factors that optimize absorption and synergistic relationships with other nutrients.
Many synthetic compounds can perform only a few functions that natural vitamins from food can.
ASEA notes, multivitamins often don’t accurately distribute the nutrients through the body in the same way that taking in foods does.
This is why finding natural and whole sources in your supplements are so important.
Choosing a Good Supplement
The two questions about choosing the right supplement for your dog should be, “Is it safe” and “Is it effective?”
This, of course, comes after the decision of whether your dog really needs a supplement.
When you decide to add a vitamin, mineral, or another compound to your dog’s diet, you must research what is helpful for the condition, any toxicity concerns, and how much of the compound is necessary to achieve the desired result.
Supplements like chondroitin and glucosamine have few side effects but need fairly high doses to accomplish joint repair and preventative maintenance.
On the other hand, Iowa Veterinary Specialists warns that high doses of vitamin D and iron in human multivitamins can cause serious organ damage or failure in dogs.
You must learn how to read and analyze labels so you can make an informed decision based on the source of the compound, the amount of the active ingredient, and dosing regimen.
Use your veterinarian as an additional resource. A medical professional can advise you on the most optimal supplements on the market to address your dog’s condition.
Supplements for dogs can cover a large array of preventative and nutritional care. They can be especially helpful if you are careful about how and when you choose to use them.
Recommended post to Read: Do you Know the Benefits of Yogurt for Dogs?