It’s not unusual for people to take supplements as they grow older. They provide extra vital nutrients that the body needs in order to maintain optimal health. I take supplements myself, including Vitamin D and iron, and they do wonders for me.
If you are like me and you own a senior dog (my Roscoe is 12-years-young), you might be thinking about giving him supplements. Knowing the benefits that the supplements I take offer for me, I figured that they must offer benefits for pups, too. Of course, before I decided to just feed Roscoe supplements, I spoke to my vet to find out more information.
Here’s a look at some valuable insight that my vet gave me about supplements for dogs (without all of that medical mumbo jumbo)…
Advantages of Supplements for Dogs
I was delighted to find out that there are some pretty notable benefits associated with giving dogs supplements. These benefits include:
- Improved digestion
- Ease stiffness and pain in the joints
- Healthier and stronger bones and teeth
- Improved eye sight
- Healthier, shiner, fuller coat
And those are just some of the benefits that my vet informed me of!
Though there are benefits, before you decide to start giving your dog any type of supplement, make sure you speak to your own vet. He or she will let you know which supplements will offer the best benefits based on your pup’s overall health.
Types of Supplements for Dogs
Just like there are for humans, there are several different types of supplements that dogs can take. Each type of supplement offers different benefits, and some of the most commonly used options include:
- Glucosamine. Humans who have arthritis and joint pain take glucosamine to ease the pain and stiffness. This supplement can also be given to dogs for the same reasons. Glucosamine is a main ingredient in joint supplements for both dogs and humans. Additionally, it can help protect your dog from age-related diseases.
- Probiotics. Probiotics are basically good bacteria that help facilitate healthy digestion. As the body ages, the bacteria in the gut can become askew. Probiotics restore that good bacteria to improve digestion, an issue that is not uncommon to aging dogs.
- Omega-3 and Omega-6. These essential fatty acids do so much good for the body. They can improve mental sharpness by maintain the critical functions of the brain. They can also strengthen the immune system and offer anti-inflammatory effects. Though these essential fatty acids are such an important part of the body, a dog’s body does not produce them naturally, which means that supplements can provide a dog with the nutrients it needs to boost its mental sharpness and improve the anti-inflammatory effects on his body.
Check Out Your Dog Food First
Before you go out and buy supplements for your dog, make sure you read the label on your dog food. Why? – Because your dog’s food may contain the amount of supplements that are needed for your dog.
If your dog is getting enough of the supplements that he needs, there is no need to worry about taking supplements. Ideally, you should choose a nature brand of dog food that is comprised of supplements. If your food contains a nice balance of supplements, you may not need to offer your pooch anything additional.
Remember that Supplements Won’t Cure your Dog
While supplements can certainly be used as a crutch to treat the symptoms of various types of age-related ailments in your dog, remember that it is just that: a crutch.
Supplements aren’t a cure. They will not cure your dog of arthritis or cataracts, for example; however, they can certainly help to ease the effects of such conditions. Also, remember that supplements won’t negate the effects of the type of food your dog is eating. For example, if you are feeding your dog mediocre quality food, supplements won’t make up for the nutrients that your pup isn’t getting from his food; however, they can help. If you want to achieve the best results, switch to a high-quality food and give your dog supplements; you’re bound to see a marked improvement in his health and personality.
Supplements can really be a great tool for dogs, but just make sure that you speak to your vet first to find out exactly what type of supplements and how much your pooch should be taking.