Are Canine Supplements a Doggy Do or a Doggy Don’t?
Popping a multivitamin every morning can help you to maintain your wellness, but what about man’s best friend? Should you look after your dog’s wellbeing with a canine supplement as well?
Just like in humans, vitamins and minerals are essential components of a doggy diet. In your pooch’s body, vitamins and minerals help to regulate his heartbeat, boost the ability of the circulatory system to deliver nutrients to his body, and govern his neural activity. But, if high-quality dog foods are specifically formulated to deliver all the nutrients dogs need to stay healthy, why do manufacturers produce so many different dog dietary supplements?
Some tail-waggers have special needs, such as a weakened immune system, and so supplementation can be a smart choice. Various people attest to the fact that their dogs have overcome chronic diseases, or experienced relief from certain symptoms, with the help of canine supplements. Supplementation can also be used as a preventive measure against future health problems, but you should consult your little mongrel’s vet beforehand because some advise against supplementation if your dog’s diet is nutritionally complete. This is due to the face that certain vitamins, minerals, and herbs given in large doses may be harmful to some dogs.
However, processed commercial dog food has lost much of the nutrition present in the original ingredients, and so some vets do advise supplementation as an important safeguard against deficiencies. This is because some deficiencies are too minor to detect, but could still eventually lead to chronic health problems. As long as you administer the supplements according to the directions on the label, these vets argue that supplementation is a safety net and will not hurt dogs.
At present, dog supplements are not closely regulated, and so you should inform your vet before starting your mutt on a supplementation programme, as he or she will have more access to the latest doggy news and advice. Make sure you buy your supplements from reputable manufacturers, and adhere to animal specifications. This means never giving your dog a supplement packaged for a human or for a different type of animal, or vice versa, because when it comes to small animals, accurate dosage matters. Finally, remember to treat herbs and supplements like any other medication or dietary change: if your dog experiences any sudden change in health or behaviour, consult your vet immediately.