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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Dog Supplements And Their Benefits

Dog Supplements and Their Benefits

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Premium pet foods that are designed for puppy growth and health maintenance supply all the needed vitamins and minerals to sustain normal growth, provided the puppy or dog eats it well. But at times, certain conditions like itchy skin or hip and joint stiffness require additional nutritional care. That's where supplements come in and a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and supplements are available. They come in the form of flavored pills, treats, liquids and powders. It is always best to consult a veterinarian before feeding any supplements to your pet.

Premium pet foods that are designed for puppy growth and health maintenance supply all the needed vitamins and minerals to sustain normal growth, provided the puppy or dog eats it well. But at times, certain conditions like itchy skin or hip and joint stiffness require additional nutritional care. That's where supplements come in and a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and supplements are available. They come in the form of flavored pills, treats, liquids and powders. It is always best to consult a veterinarian before feeding any supplements to your pet.

When should puppies and dogs be given a vitamin supplement?
Conditions when supplementation are recommended:

  • Pets that have been poor eaters or nutritionally deprived
     
  • Pets who have been sick or weakened from a recent illness
     
  • Pregnant or lactating (nursing) pets
     
  • Pets with metabolic diseases
     
  • Pets with special skin problems
     

Pets that have been fed table scraps or a poor quality pet food

Senior dogs and cats that have reduced kidney function lose B vitamins in the urine. In addition, the absorption of vitamins through the intestinal tract diminishes as the pet ages. A premium food designed for a senior pet is the best choice for delaying the onset of intestinal tract disorders.

Ingredients that may be found on product labels:

Acidophilus: Beneficial bacteria that normalizes digestive flora (aids in bringing the digestive system to its normal state). Can reduce problems with bloating, diarrhea, dry skin, dull coat and bad breath.

Antioxidants: This is thought to be the missing link in pet nutrition. Antioxidants help inhibit the oxidation process that occurs in the body during normal cell metabolism. It is believed that oxidation causes cells to become damaged.

Brewers yeast: Good source of proteins and B vitamins.

B vitamins: Useful in tissue repair or in stimulating a weak appetite.

C vitamins: Supports healthy bones, teeth and skin. Helps absorb iron and protects against free radicals.

 
Calcium: Deficiencies are common in lactating pets. A nursing mother can lose a third of her calcium supply. A supplement containing calcium can be beneficial. Calcium deficiencies are also common in cats that are only fed meat. Calcium can also slow bone and joint degeneration in older pets.

Cod Liver Oil: Another fatty acid. It should not be given more than twice a week. Excesses of it will cause diarrhea, interfere with digestion, and cause an excess of vitamins A and D in the system.

D vitamins: Supports healthy teeth and bones and enhances calcium absorption.

E vitamins: Supports natural resistance and promotes lung, heart and digestive tract health.

Fatty Acids: Deficiency in fatty acids causes skin and coat problems. Linatone and vitamin E are popular fatty acid supplements.

Folic Acid: Folic acid like vitamin B-6 and B-12 provide dietary support for the cardiovascular system.       

Garlic: This supplement has a long history of nutritional benefits. Garlic in an animal's bloodstream has also been known to be helpful for repelling fleas.

Ginger: Ginger supports healthy digestive tract function and helps prevent motion sickness.

Glucosamine & Chondroitin: Glucosamine and chondroitin support joint and cartilage health.

Glutathione: A potent antioxidant and supports the activity of vitamins C and E.

Huperzine A: Helps support memory retention.

Hyaloronic Acid: Important structural component of body tissues including the eye, and fluids surrounding the joints and collagen. Helps cushion joints and retain skin elasticity.

Iron: Essential to building blood and transporting oxygen.

Lactase: Aids in digestion of lactose.

Linatone: Fatty acid which can help the skin and give the pet a shiny coat. Helps with shedding, scratching and dull coats.

Lutein: Promotes eye health.

Lycopene: Antioxidant that protects against free radical damage.

Magnesium: Helps build bones, maintain teeth and muscle, nerve, skeletal muscle, heart and cell function. 

Melatonin: Aids in restful sleep

MSM: Helps support joint cartilage and is a dietary source of sulfur, an essential component of collagen.

Omega-3/DHA-EPA: Helps support cardiovascular system, supports joint health and aids in digestion.

Probiotics: Promote healthy digestion, support natural digestion, replenish healthy bacteria. 

Psyllium: Provides dietary fiber which aids in digestive health and helps support healthy cholesterol levels.

Pycnogenol: Antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage.

Senna: A natural laxative for relief of occasional constipation.

Shark Cartilage: Rich in calcium.

Spirulina and Barley Grass: Provides organic phytonutrients not found in pet food. Alternative for pets that like to eat grass.

Taurine: Essential amino acid required by cats. This is found in cat foods, but must be supplemented if the cat is fed table scraps or is fed dog food. A deficiency of this can lead to reproductive problems and blindness.

Tryptophan: Amino acid that promotes stress relief and sleep.

Turmeric: Provides antioxidant support.

Valerian: Promotes restful sleep.

Vitamin K: Necessary for blood clotting.

Zinc: Supports insulin production and natural resistance.

Please talk with your vet before starting your pet on a vitamin or supplement program.

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Comments

22 Mar 2011 11:43 am

georgeflint said:

That’s a good read about what pet owners should consider and explains why and when rather than mindless purchases and miscommunication with your pet.

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