Dog Food Supplements
Just like humans, there are many reasons to enhance a dog’s diet with the use of dog food supplements, but as your dog’s caretaker you must be sure to do the proper research so as not to compromise your dog’s health.
Food supplements can be used in order to obtain the proper nutrients including vitamins and minerals in a dog’s diet and ensure a healthy pet. Factors such as your dog’s age, breed, level of activity and a host of other things will determine what types of dog health food supplements can be used and how frequently they can be given.
What is a Dog Food Supplement?
A food supplement for your dog is simply something given in addition to the regular diet. Generally speaking, this extra something is given to improve the health of your dog by providing some missing ingredient or nutrient not found in your pet’s every day dog food. For proper dog health, food supplements can improve the health of your dog, increase her lifespan, help her overcome a particular disease or ailment, provide her additional energy or a host of other similar reasons.
A large breed dog, for instance, has special health needs as the bones and joints undergo more stress than smaller dogs, thereby calling for some dog food supplements. Additional amounts of glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulfate provide benefits that promote healthy, strong joints. Additionally, a nutrient such as L-carnitine may help a dog stay lean which will in turn generate less stress on the bones and joints.
Does Your Pet Need Dog Food Supplements?
The need for a food supplement in your pet will vary greatly based on a host of factors. In this case, dogs are not all made the same and require different vitamins and nutrients. In fact, the same dog will need different supplements at different phases in her life. A senior dog, for example, who is experiencing the painful symptoms of arthritis will benefit from additional amounts of glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate.
Additionally, as dogs age they tend to develop problems digesting foods properly and a digestive enzyme supplement may prove beneficial. There are other dog health food supplements available for other types of dogs whether they be puppies, overweight, excessively shedding or fighting a specific disease. Certain breeds of dogs are also prone to problems or deficiencies not found in other breeds and may require the benefits of a dog food supplement.
Additional types of problems treated with dog food supplements include:
- digestive problems
- skin or coat ailments
- weight concerns
- calcium deficiencies
- periodontal care
Types of Dog Food Supplements
Dog food supplements come in a host of different varieties, shapes and flavors ranging from pills to liquids, dog treats and powders. A common dog health food supplement such as a daily vitamin can be found in either liquid form or a chewable tablet. If it is a liquid, it can be added to dog food, given orally or added to a little warm water.
A popular method of administering a dog food supplement is to produce a flavorful, chewable tablet that the dog will believe is a treat. Sometimes, health supplements for dogs are given daily whereas others are weekly or on an as needed basis. The type of dog food supplement and the frequency with which it is given will vary depending on the problem you are addressing.
Dog food supplements are obviously beneficial to your pet’s health and can help increase the lifespan of your dog and add to her comfort and enjoyment of life. Work with your veterinarian to help you identify the best supplement for your dog and enjoy the benefits of having a happy, healthy dog.