It’s no secret that dogs need nutrition to stay healthy. But how do you know if your dog needs supplements? We’ll walk you through the basics of canine nutrition and when it makes sense for your pooch to get some added vitamins and minerals.
Different Ways to Supplement Your Dog’s Diet
The current global supplement market size is worth $1.9 billion, and there are many different ways that you can supplement your dog’s diet, depending on the prescribed diet or your own homemade recipe. Some dogs may need supplements to help with joint pain, allergies, digestive issues, and more. There are many different types of dog supplements, including:
Fish oil – Good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which helps with skin and coat health. It can be given in capsule form or added right to food as a treat. If you choose this method, make sure that the fish oil has been tested for mercury content, as some brands have been found to contain high levels of this toxin.
Glucosamine/Chondroitin – Helps promote joint health in aging dogs by preventing the breakdown of cartilage.
Digestive enzymes – Helices break down food from the intestine before it enters the bloodstream.
Probiotics – Helps maintain healthy gut flora, which supports immune function.
Vitamin C – Provides an antioxidant effect on immune cells and aids in healing wounds faster than normal.
The timing of when you give your dog supplements is important, but it’s not all that complicated. In general, you can give them whenever you want. But if your dog has joint issues and is on a good quality diet, then supplementation may be unnecessary. If this is the case for your pet, it’s best to consult with their veterinarian and provide the supplement from a trusted source like PetCareRx.
With that being said, there are a few times when it makes sense to include nutritional supplements in their routine:
- Morning: Before they eat breakfast
- Midday: Before they eat lunch
- Evening: Before they go outside
Schedule A Vet Appointment
Schedule regular vet appointments to evaluate whether your dog may be having issues with their joints and discuss what supplements the vet recommends. You can also ask if they recommend any dietary changes that might help improve the health of your pet’s joints.
If there are no obvious solutions, try adding some supplements on a trial basis and monitor how the dog responds.
When to Add a Joint Supplement?
If your dog is on grain-based food, it’s good to consider adding a joint supplement. The reason? Grains like wheat and corn have been known to cause allergies and digestive issues in dogs. If your pup doesn’t have any known grain allergies, then you can feel free to feed them grain-free dog food (which is better for their health).
However, if your pup does suffer from allergies or digestive problems due to eating grains, stick with grain-free food products until they can heal enough that their system can handle those ingredients again.
What to Add Instead?
Here’s another thing to consider: while glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are two of the most common ingredients in dog supplements, they’re also derived from shellfish. For some dogs, that means that their bodies might not be able to process them properly.
In these cases, it’s best to go with a supplement that includes glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate instead—they’re less likely to cause problems for your pup.
Glucosamine helps repair cartilage and build new cells; chondroitin sulfate works as a lubricant between joints and other tissues by keeping them hydrated. Both compounds can help improve mobility in aging dogs or those recovering from injuries, which is why they’re often combined into one supplement formula (like this one).
What If the Dog Has Allergies?
If your pooch is particularly active or has allergies, then you should consider an allergen-free food with no artificial flavorings or fillers.
Allergy-free foods can be fed to dogs with allergies and those who aren’t very active.
Additionally, these types of food are most commonly grain free, so they’re easier for dogs with digestive issues to digest. If your dog is suffering from diarrhea or colitis, a high-quality dish made without grains can help reduce the symptoms.
Grain-free foods are also more expensive than regular kibble because they contain more meat and fewer fillers, making them higher quality. Such choices are also often allergen-free, which means if your dog has a food allergy or intolerance, you might find relief when switching over to this type of diet (be sure to check with your vet first).
Finally, many grain-free kibbles include added supplements like probiotics and prebiotics that promote healthy digestion in pets.
Provide the Dog the Best Possible Nutrition
If you are looking to provide your dog with the best possible nutrition, then it might be a good idea to consider adding supplements to their diet. While this may not be necessary for all dogs, there are benefits that come from using various types of supplements.
For example, if you are concerned about preventing joint issues in your pet (such as arthritis), then it is important that these joints receive enough support and nutrients to prevent further damage or pain.
The most important thing to remember is that your dog needs routine vet visits and regular checkups. It’s always best to discuss any concerns or questions with your veterinarian before making any changes to their diet or supplementing with anything new. By doing this, they’ll be able to give you the best advice on how to keep your pooch happy and healthy for years.