If you’re a dog owner, you know that a dog is family. They are like your children! So if you would give your children supplements and vitamins, why wouldn’t you give them to your furry children as well?
We have created a list of the Top 10 Best Supplements for Dogs because we believe their health just as important as ours. They can’t tell us if they’re not feeling well, feeling tired, feeling sore, or have a belly ache, so it’s up to us to care for them and avoid these things all together. Our supplements are geared toward a few key health factors. They will improve the overall health of your dog, including their skin, fur, bones, muscles, teeth, eyes, immune system, and rate of aging. Some of the supplements can also be taken to avoid and treat specific diseases that dogs are prone to.
Glucosamine is definitely the most popular supplement in the veterinary world. You may have heard of it before. Humans take it too! It is most commonly used to treat joint pain. Glucosamine is actually a part of normal cartilage. Cartilage acts as a sort of cushion between bones and joints which reduces inflammation and pain. Without enough glucosamine, joints can become very sore and eventually damaged. Dogs move a lot – we all know this. Glucosamine will keep your active dog happy and healthy for years and years! It’s also very helpful for older dogs whose joints are suffering from a lack of cartilage or osteoarthritis. There is no age barrier!
Glucosamine can be bought alone but it is often sold in combination with chondroitin, MSM, or green-lipped muscle extract. The more the merrier, right? Glucosamine can be bought separately in tablet form at pet stores, from your veterinarian directly, or as an additive in dog foods.
Fish oil is also a widely popular supplement for animals. For humans, fish oil is taken for a long list of health benefits – including lowering blood lipid levels and preventing cardiovascular disease. However, dogs do not suffer from these two conditions that humans frequently suffer from. When it comes to dogs, fish oil is recommended for treating skin allergies. Fish oil supplements improve coat quality and can reduce the necessary dosage of steroid medications that are used to control itching.
Fish oil is also helpful when it comes to treating arthritis in pets. There have been many studies conducted in which fish oil is effectively used as a therapy for dogs with osteoarthritis.
When it comes to probiotics, there’s no difference between the need for humans and animals to take them. The bottom line is the same – probiotics keep immune system levels high and the digestive track healthy.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are actually food for dog’s health! Probiotics are commonly referred to as “good” bacteria. It’s an interesting concept, and it works! Probiotics are bacteria that should be promoted in the body. Bodies are actually full of bacteria; some are good, some are bad. Probiotics are definitely encouraged, they will keep your dog’s gut healthy!
All sicknesses and diseases start in the gut, so it’s very important to always keep that in mind. This is something that is often overlooked when it comes to humans. It’s especially overlooked in dogs. If they are not feeling well, they will start to feel tired and fatigued. A lack of exercise and a weak immune system will just be the start of your problems if this is the case.
Probiotics work in a few different ways. One way they keep dogs healthy is by introducing good bacteria when their bodies are in need. For example, after taking antibiotics for a sickness, their bodies lose “good” bacteria. They also work by keeping a proper balance between “good” and “bad” bacteria. This helps keep their insides in tip top shape regardless of their active, crazy, puppy lifestyle!
You probably take a multivitamin every morning, right? Why wouldn’t you toss one to your dog as well?
Multivitamins are a preventive health measure for dogs of all ages, breeds, sizes, and shapes. They aim to fill any gaps in a nutritionally imperfect diet. This doesn’t mean you’re not buying your dog the right food or you’re a bad dog owner. It just means that sometimes it’s difficult for dogs to get everything they need from their diet alone – especially if they’re a picky eater or often skip meals. Multivitamins are a simple and easy form of preventive health practice that humans practice every day and dogs should be given the same option! A dog multivitamin will contain all of the essential vitamins and nutrients to keep your dog at it’s A game. The ingredient list will often contain crude protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamins A, C, D, E, vitamin B12, folic acid, and more.
Lysine is an essential amino acid that is often recommended for a specific condition that many kittens suffer from, but it is also helpful for dogs. It is used to help your dog’s body produce antibodies, hormones, and enzymes that help boost the immune system which is never a bad thing! It is also helpful for maximizing calcium absorption and collagen production. Calcium promotes strong bones and collagen production is key for healthy skin. We love lysine and your pup will too!
Milk thistle is an herbal supplement which has quickly moved from alternative medicine to conventional medicine due to it’s powerful health benefits. The herbal supplement is made from a group of compounds called silymarin. Humans take milk thistle supplements to protect or treat the liver from possible damage due to toxins and infectious diseases. It is also used to for diabetes symptoms, and protect the kidneys from potential toxins. When it comes to animals, there is no specific evidence to support the exact diseases milk thistle fights. However, it is a good idea to give your dog milk thistle as a form of prevention against a possible liver disease, especially if your veterinarian suspects liver damage or issues.
S-adenosyl methionine (SAM-e):
SAM-e is a chemical that actually occurs throughout the body and initiates many different functions both inside and outside of the body. When it comes to dogs, SAM-e is primarily used to protect the liver from disease due to toxins (sometimes in combination with milk thistle!). It’s also effective for treating and reducing the symptoms of arthritis which is very common in pure bred dogs such as German Shepherds. The results of one clinical study showed SAM-e to be possibly effective for treating age related cognitive dysfunction in dogs. While this is just a possibility, it is so exciting!
Digestive enzymes are enzymes that break down foods to help the body maximize its nutrient intake. They are meant to speed up chemical reactions in the body in order to break down larger molecules and absorb all of the good particles that bodies crave! Both humans and dogs need digestive enzymes to keep digestive health in check. Raw foods contain the necessary enzymes to promote these functions but just like human food, most of those enzymes are destroyed during the production of the commercial dog foods. So unless you’re feeding your dog raw food every day, which isn’t very common, your furry friend probably isn’t getting all of the digestive enzymes he or she needs!
Coenzyme Q10 is a natural antioxidant that is synthesized by the body. It can be found in foods but is often taken in supplement form, for both humans and animals! Coenzyme Q10 is most commonly used to improve heart health. The list for humans is longer, but when it comes to dogs, the supplement is recommended for treating and preventing heart disease as well as age related cognitive dysfunction.
Azodyl isn’t the most common supplement but it sure is effective. The supplement is a mixture of probiotic organisms and prebiotics. Both of which are intended to support the growth of beneficial gastrointestinal bacteria! Azodyl is used for animals to treat kidney failure in dogs and other animals. The reason this works is because when you populate the gastrointestinal tract with bacteria, the nitrogenous waste that the kidneys typically remove from the body are broken down by the bacteria instead. This not only lowers the levels of these substances but also stops any symptoms of kidney failure.
Some of our favorite brands:
- Wholistic Pet Organics
- Vet’s Best
- Pro Sense