There are a vast array of supplements available in the current year for those of us who are looking to boost our pet’s general wellbeing. That said, for many of us dog owners there is a real worry that man-made chemicals have no place in our dog’s diet when there are plenty of viable natural alternatives available. But given the large number of products available, what are the core items that are needed, and how do they work? In this article, we will examine the main natural supplements that a dog will require throughout its life in order to stay healthy both externally and internally.
The first item to appear on our list is a pill that consists of a combination of various vitamins and minerals that the dog’s body requires to function properly on a day to day basis. The main purpose of giving a dog a multivitamin pill would be to compensate for possible deficiencies elsewhere in their diet that may be causing them to miss out on essential sources of nutrition. The substances found in the tablet will almost always include vitamin C, vitamin D, iron and calcium. Taking such a supplement can ward off conditions such as anemia and tooth deterioration, with proven benefits for maintaining the eyes and immune system. That said, it is preferable to feed the dog a well-balanced diet that provides adequate nutrition rather than relying on pills to do the work. Younger dogs would especially benefit from taking a multivitamin supplement, as proper development in early life will ensure a good level of health for years to come.
Derived from the same chemicals found in fish and other seafood, omega-3 oils play a number of roles in the body. The most obvious effect they will have on the dog may be that its coat will remain well-ordered and glossy instead of becoming matted. Less visible, but significant effects include things such as the promotion of heart health, reinforcement of the immune system, and the development of healthy bones. Despite being most commonly found in fish, omega oils can also be obtained from plant sources such as linseed, allowing for easy cultivation and a simplified supply chain that allows customers to verify that the produce is grown organically.
Responsible for maintaining healthy joints and bones, glucosamine can be obtained from a variety of different sources, including shellfish and fungus grown on fermented corn. The substance’s main function in supplement form is to strengthen the connective tissue between the bones, warding off arthritis and other damage to the cartilage. It also helps the tissue to recover faster after periods of intense exertion, preventing the dog from sustaining minor overuse injuries during work and play that would typically go on to become serious problems in their own right. It is especially important for older dogs to get ample amounts of glucosamine, as they are particularly at risk from developing arthritis or otherwise developing joint problems.
In much the same way that humans look to cure gastrointestinal problems using probiotics, our dogs can also derive a digestive benefit from such products. Probiotics work by encouraging the development of healthy bacteria in the dog’s gut, ensuring that food is properly broken down and that hostile pathogens do not get a chance to take hold. This also results in a more comfortable digestive process, and can relieve many of the symptoms of indigestion such as lethargy, cramps and flatulence. You should also know that the majority of probiotics are available in the form of natural yogurts, meaning that they are devoid of man-made additives and chemicals. This also means that they are easy to mix in with your dog’s daily meals without significantly altering the taste or texture.
Check With Your Vet
Many of the natural supplements available for dogs have proven positive effects on their health and wellbeing. That said, it is always best to check with a veterinarian before giving your dog a new type of supplement, as it is easy to inadvertently provide them with something that may exacerbate an existing health condition or react with a particular kind of medication. It should also be borne in mind that when looking for natural products, it is imperative to check the ingredients. This is because less scrupulous firms may try to market their items as being natural, yet they may still contain man-made additives.