Our pets deserve the best. We want them to live long and healthy lives. We get worried if they sick and we fuss if we hear them crying. On the other hand, our pets have no way of really telling us out loud what they want; we can only rely on their body signals. They whimper when they are ill or wag their tails when they are happy. Sometimes they are happy but suddenly get ill and we go into this super helicopter parent mode to aid them. We try to feed them the right food and sometimes we try too much. We wonder, should we give supplements to our dogs?
What are Supplements For?
Giving supplements to dogs now a days is becoming very popular. A lot of pet owners want their pets to have shiny coats that grow beautifully like those we see in commercials. We also heard about supplements that fight aging bones and osteoporosis and arthritis. There is also a supplement for immune system and all that. But do our dogs really need these? Studies have shown that most dogs can get their needed nutrients from commercially prepared dog food. Reputable dog food normally contain everything that your dog needs. Giving your dog vitamins or supplements if not recommended by your vet can cause him more harm than good.
Be Careful with What You Give to Your Furry Friend!
Dogs have a different physiology from humans. Some supplements and medications that are good for us can actually harm them. One good example of this is garlic. Garlic can cause severe anemia in dogs that it can kill them. There are many substances that are tolerated by humans that dogs cannot one of them is grapes and raisins. These may give us anti-oxidants but can cause kidney problems in dogs. The best way to provide your dog with ample nutrients is to provide them with food that is complete and has all their needs.
So When Do I Give My Dog Supplements?
In general most vets do not recommend supplements. For shiny coats giving Omega-3 Fatty acids can be fine as well as fish oil. Some pets do need help from joint pain but never give him without consulting your vet. Calcium can build up if not given in proper dosages which can cause your dog to have kidney stones and bone problems. Water soluble nutrients like vitamin C and B vitamins are normally excreted when given in excess but excess vitamin can cause nerve issues. On the other hand, high vitamin A can be stored in his fat cells and may lead to bleeding, dehydration and heart problem. Vitamin E is also normally stored in the fat tissues of a dog and too much may cause neurological problems. Vitamin D can cause your dog to lose his interest in food, have weak muscles and cause bones have problems or become weak.
On the other hand, you vet may advise you to give supplements to your dog if you prepare his meal at home. Homemade meals may the number of nutrients that manufactured or scientifically tested food. Your dog may also be having some form of nutrient deficiency that can often be found through a blood test. The vet would prescribe how long he will need to take it. It is advisable to go back to the vet to check if he still need to continue the treatment. Over treatment may be bad for your pet.
Is it Really Needed?
Overall, supplements are not necessary for your dog to achieve a happy and healthy life. The supplements market for pets is a billion dollar industry that is normally geared towards siphoning money from unknowing pet owner who love their little furry friends and would do anything for them. Try to find a trusted veterinarian to consult with. Always remember that a dog needs proper care and checkups in order to know if he needs something or not.