Just like humans, dogs require different vitamins and nutrients to be able to grow healthy and strong. And while most dog foods available on the market are fortified with vitamins and nutrients, older dogs or dogs that suffer from different health issues might need to take some supplements.
Puppies can also benefit from supplements designed to help them stay as healthy as they can be while they grow.
If you think your canine friend might need dog supplements, you should first speak with a veterinarian. This way, you will know exactly what your dog needs, and you will avoid buying supplements that might do more harm than good.
Here are the five best supplements for dog growth and development:
Supplement #1: Multivitamins
Multivitamins for dogs are similar to the multivitamins many humans take as supplements, but they are formulated to keep dogs healthy as they grow.
Vitamin A, for example, helps support healthy growth and development, and is necessary for a great vision and healthy skin. Different types of vitamin B can help regulate your dog’s metabolism, immune response, and nervous system function. Vitamins C, E and K also help dogs stay healthy.
Multivitamins are easy to administer, and they often come in the form of chewable treats, tablets, or powder that can be added to food. It’s important to follow the instructions given by your pet’s veterinarian, as taking too much vitamins could lead to an overdose.
Supplement #2: Probiotics
Some bacteria can make dogs very sick, or can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea and constipation. Probiotics for dogs are highly recommended if they struggle with digestive issues. Plus, the probiotics can also help support overall health.
Probiotics are good bacteria and yeasts that can help the beneficial microorganisms that are already present in your dog’s digestive system in their fight against harmful microorganisms. They also help break down the food your dog eats.
Be careful if you give probiotics to your dog, as too much of them can also cause digestive issues. You should also keep in mind that some types of probiotics need to be refrigerated.
Supplement #3: Antioxidants
Antioxidants is a good supplement for dog growth and development. Different types of vitamins, such as vitamin A, C, and E, contain antioxidants that help support a healthy immune system. Antioxidants for dogs help prevent inflammation, heart disease, memory loss, and various diseases. A dog can easily get sick if their diet doesn’t contain enough antioxidants.
But what are antioxidants, and what do they do? They are substances that help prevent cell damage by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that lack an electron, and will steal it from the cells that surround them.
Antioxidants act by giving an electron to these unstable molecules, so they will not cause any damage to your dog’s body. These helpful substances are present in different foods, including fruits and vegetables, but they are also popular as supplements.
Supplement #4: Glucosamine
Glucosamine is a natural part of the cartilage that cushions your joints, as well as the joints of your canine friend. This cartilage can be damaged as a dog ages, or if it gets injured. Glucosamine supplements can then help an aging dog stay healthy, but they can also help a younger dog recover more quickly from an injury or a surgery.
Glucosamine supplements are usually found as a powder or a liquid, and they are easy to add to your dog’s diet.
However, since glucosamine is sugar-based, it might not be recommended for dogs that suffer from diabetes. Some types of glucosamine are derived from the shells of shellfish, so it would be better to avoid them if your dog has allergies.
And if you are allergic to shellfish, it might not be a good idea for you to handle your dog’s glucosamine supplements.
Supplement #5: Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help your dog develop healthy skin and fur. They can also help improve the health of your dog’s heart, and they are useful to reduce inflammation and prevent arthritis. As for omega-6s, they help dogs grow healthy with a strong immune system.
Since your dog’s body is not able to produce these essential fatty acids, your dog must get them from food or from supplements. These supplements often contain fish oil or krill oil, and they can be bought in liquid form or as soft chews. Just keep in mind that some types of fatty acids can turn rancid quickly, so it’s best to only get small quantities of supplements at a time.
As you can see, different types of supplements can help your puppy grow strong, or your grown dog stay healthy as they age.
They come in a variety of forms and flavours, so when you know which type of supplement your dog needs, it’s also important to choose a brand that you will have no trouble adding to their daily diet.