Although most high quality store bought dog food are nutritionally balanced and contain all essential nutrients necessary for our pets sometimes we should consider supplementing their diet with some additional vitamins and minerals. Especially if the dog leads an active lifestyle like my darling Jack Russell Terrier Kala.
Just remember that you must absolutely consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any supplements especially if you dog has known health problems. Dietary supplements may cause as many problems as they may solve if taken in wrong doses or given to pets with specific health issues. Products that will be recommended in the following passages are those that I personally give to my dog but that doesn’t mean that they will be right for your pet, or indeed have the same effect. That’s the reason why you must always consult experts best acquainted with your dog’s condition and knowledgeable about different effects that supplements, ointments and various medications could have on your four legged friend.
Glucosamin – strengthening the joints
Chasing balls, squirrels, and generally frolicking all day can be very stressful on the whole body, especially the limbs. If your pet is leading an active lifestyle, as many Jack Russell Terriers do, you should consider giving them some supplements that will directly help restore, conserve and protect his/hers joints. Glycosaminoglycans – glucosamin and chondroitin sulfate are two important organic chemical compounds that naturally occur in your pet’s healthy skeletal structures. In addition with methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) they help protect your pet’s joints, especially the ever-important and sensitive cartilage, during exercise and movement. There are a lot of different options out there but I find that Nutramax Cosequin DS PLUS MSM Chewable Tablets and TerraMax Pro Hip and Joint Supplement for Dogs are the best choice depending on your dog preferring tablets or liquid.
Omega 3 – protecting and conditioning the skin and hair coat
Beautiful fur isn’t only a matter of aesthetics, it’s also a sign of good health. A healthy diet containing plenty of essential fatty acids – omega-3, -6, and -9 is key to a beautiful coat. They are crucial in alleviating symptoms of allergies e.g. skin irritation and itching. Unfortunately many commercial and home made foods are lacking in at least some essential fatty acids, especially omega-3s. The best source of omega-3s is fish and nothing beats Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs & Cats in liquid form and Pet MD – Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement for Dogs in softgel tablets.
Probiotics – improving digestive health
Indigestion and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are unfortunately very common in dogs. There’s just something special in that ancient buried bone that they can’t resist even if they know they’ll pay for it later. I imagine it’s something like a “guilty pleasure” for them. No worry that’s why probiotics were developed. Just as we humans eat yogurt to keep our intestinal flora and fauna healthy and in good order so should our furry companions occasionally enjoy restorative powers of Pet Ultimates Probiotics for Dogs. It contains 22 different species of beneficial bacteria that will keep your pet healthy and safe.
Multivitamins – overall well-being
All animals get vital vitamins and minerals through food. If we feed our pup only high quality commercial dog food they will have a different intake of essential natural compounds than those that are fed home-made or raw meals. Store bought high quality dog food is nutritionally much better balanced than anything that we can make for our pets at home. Most of their dietary needs can be met in such meals while raw and home cooked dog chow, although delicious, can be lacking in some respects that we often can’t predict or know. If your darling eats home prepared meals regularly it would be a good idea to supplement his/hers nutrition with some high quality multivitamins to that will replenish what they are lacking. I recommend using the excellent Pet MD – Advanced Multivitamins for Dogs. Kala loves them for their tasty liver flavor.
Supplements for dogs are, as are all medicines, a two edged sword. They may cure, and if misused they may do harm. Just remember to always consult your veterinarian or expert animal nutritionist before administering any to your lovely pet. There are many positive effects of food supplements like alleviating symptoms of allergies, better nutrition and digestion, and healthier joints. Just remember to give them supplements made specially for them. Do not, under any circumstances, feed them any supplements that are meant for human consumption – they may include ingredients that are harmful or even toxic for our four legged buddies. Supplements for animals are made in doses suitable for their physiology and designed for their easier digestion and maximum effect.
If you have any suggestions, or know of any dietary supplements for dogs that you would like to recommend to others, please, do so in the comments below.