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About Dog Supplements and When to Use Them

Dog supplements can add necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to a dog's diet. In some instances, dog food may not provide complete nutrition. Nutrition in a dog's food can decrease due to:

  • Long storage time
  • Processing of dog food
  • Temperatures in the dog food warehouses.

Dog Supplement Benefits

Dog supplements are recommended for a variety of reasons. A veterinarian can recommend dog supplements for the following:

  • To help with medical conditions: Some canine supplements can help with:
    • Anxiety
    • Canine arthritis
    • Digestive problems
    • Metabolic or organ issues
    • Skin problems
  • To help people who are allergic to pets: Certain dog supplements can help reduce or eliminate dog dander.
  • To improve dog coat quality: Increased amounts of quality amino acids (protein) and fatty acids can make a difference in the appearance of many dogs' coats. Adding a teaspoon of vegetable oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil to your dog's food can produce the same effect.

Supplements to Help with Pet Allergies

Most pet supply stores and veterinarians sell dog supplements and spray that can reduce or eliminate dog dander. These supplements and sprays are known as pro-biotic products. They consist of microbes that work to consume pet dander.

Supplements for Diabetic Dogs

Organic diabetic dog cookies can be beneficial for diabetic dogs. These cookies combine herbs and other natural ingredients and help regulate blood sugar in dogs. Diabetic dog cookies or treats should include:

  • Brewers yeast
  • Garlic
  • Kelp.

Regular nutritional supplements for dogs can also be helpful for diabetic dogs.

Choosing a Dog Supplement

Many supplements sold online and at pet stores may not achieve all they claim. When choosing a canine supplement, be sure to consult your veterinarian for advice.

Discuss your dog's current diet with your veterinarian before using any supplements. They may be completely unnecessary if your dog is getting all the necessary nutrients from his food. Also discuss costs of supplements, benefits, and any possible side effects.

Dog Supplement Types

Supplements most often come in three forms:

  • Chewable tablets
  • Liquids
  • Powders.

Some dogs tolerate different forms better than others, so choose whichever form you think will work best. Ask your vet about techniques for giving supplements to dogs.

Dog Supplements: Possible Dangers

More vitamins or minerals are not always the best choice when it comes to dogs. Stick with guidelines set forth by your veterinarian. Giving a dog supplement in excess can actually harm his health.

In excess, these vitamins and minerals can cause dog health problems:

Calcium: Calcium slows growth, can cause bloating and decreased thyroid function and can cause phosphorus, iron, copper, and zinc deficiencies, as well as bone growth problems.

  • Iodine: Iodine can cause hypothyroidism, goiter, hair loss, drowsiness, shyness, lethargy and more in dogs.
  • Phosphorus: Phosphorus is known to cause renal damage, calcium deficiency and, in some cases, bone growth problems.
  • Vitamin A: Excess of this vitamin can cause weight loss, bone decalcification and hyperesthesia.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E can cause weight loss in dogs.

Pet owners should always check with a veterinarian before making any changes to a dog's diet.

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