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Benefits Of Giving Your Pet Supplements

 by alexandra on 24 Nov 2014 |
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With a growing population of aging, overweight dogs, the market for dog supplements is ever-increasing. Many people take dietary supplements or vitamins themselves so it's no suprise they’re giving them to their pets too.

But do dogs need those vitamins and supplements? The simple answer is yes. These supplements help a dog’s body function properly by regulating everything from digestion to muscle growth. Deficiencies of a particular vitamin can cause health problems in dogs, which can sometimes have serious and long-lasting effects. Supplements can be a recommended dietary requirement as dog food storage and cooking methods are causing some dog foods to lose essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals, leaving notable depleted nutrients in our dog’s diets. 

Dog dietary supplements are prescribed by veterinarians to compliment a dog's diet and to help maintain optimal health. Even the healthiest of organic dog food may not be enough for certain dogs. These supplements are also prescribed to dogs who suffer from joint problems, arthritis and other skeletal problems, effective especially when used in aging dogs that lack energy for play or daily tasks.

The most common supplements are multivitamins, supporting arthritic joints and fatty acids to reduce shedding and improve a dog's coat shine. Dog owners also may give probiotics to alleviate gastrointestinal problems or antioxidants to counteract the effects of aging.

Glucosamine-chondroitin supplements, commonly given to dogs with osteoarthritis, can lead to less pain and more mobility after around 70 days of treatment in suffering dogs. Fatty acid and fish oil supplements can help coats look better, reduce inflammation and help with the maintenance of tissues within the body. Antioxidants and vitamins A, B, C and E supplements also reduce inflammation and help aging dogs with memory problems, prompting growth in their immune system, cancer prevention, allergies, infections and stress management. Calcium supplements for dogs benefit bone formation, blood coagulation and nerve impulse transmission.

It is recommended that your dog takes supplements if they are diagnosed with a vitamin or mineral deficiency, or your dog is diagnosed with a disease that can be treated with a supplement. However supplements are also a good idea if you cook your dog’s meals and need help filling a multivitamin gap. They are also useful if your dog is a poor eater due to medical conditions or behavioral issues.

Ultimately, dogs who suffer joint problems, minor to severe arthritis, skeletal problems, teeth, mouth or gum disease, in-active lifestyles, digestive problems, hair loss and immune system problems can reap the benefits of dog supplements. However be cautious about giving human supplements to dogs. Some products, such as garlic, can be dangerous for dogs. In any situation, always consult with your veterinarian before beginning supplements to fully consider your dog’s medical history and current physical state, allowing the best direction to be taken for your little buddy.

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