Should you even consider adding dog supplements to your dog food? Yes, mainly because sometimes your dog just isn’t getting enough from their dog food. Perhaps you can’t afford a super-premium dog food and just don’t have the time to make homemade dog food. Or maybe your dog needs a little bit more of a certain nutrient, just because of their body make-up. Or perhaps you are feeding the highest quality dog food, but your dog has digestion problems that make it difficult for them really get the most from their food. These are just a few of the reasons why adding dog supplements to your dog food could really help your dog.
Other reasons for adding in dog food supplements are geared to particular health problems, such as to strengthen the immune system, improve the skin and coat, and help with joint pain. Also, as your dog gets older, many times they just need a little extra vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids, glucosamine, and even chondroitin.
There are several great natural dog supplements, ranging from general health to specific issues. Click on the heading below for a brief description of the type of supplement. There is a link inside to a more specific article if you want more into.
General Dog Supplement
General dog supplements are basic vitamin and mineral supplements. Many also add in essential fatty acids and enzymes as well. But your dog food already has vitamins and minerals added, so do you really need more?
Firstly, most of those are synthesized, and while better than nothing, is not as good as the natural source. Secondly, if you feed dry dog food, whenever the food is exposed to air, it loses some of its vitamins and minerals. So by the time you get down to the bottom of the bag, your dog is probably not getting as much as they need.
Two of the top natural dog supplements are Nupro dog supplement and Missing Link dog supplement.
Nupro All Natural dog supplement is a holistic blend of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and digestive enzymes that are missing from most processed commercial dog food. There aim is to provide natural ingredients that a dog would have eaten in the wild.
Missing Link Canine Forumula dog supplement is made with all-natural, human-grade ingredients and reintroduces unprocessed, nutrient rich foods. Missing Link dog supplement contains vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, enzymes, fiber, and phytonutrients formulated specifically for canines. Missing Link Plus adds in glucosamine for joint support.
Digestive Enzymes for Dogs
Prozyme for dogs is one of the top digestive enzymes for dogs. They provide just that, digestive enzymes, and nothing else, so you don’t need to worry about adding in extra vitamins and minerals. These digestive enzymes help break down your dog’s food so their body can metabolize the food easier, rather than just pass it through. This allows them to get more nutrients out of their dog food.
Digestive enzymes for dogs are really something you should look into especially if your dog is getting older.
Glucosamine for Dogs/Dog Joint Supplements
Some dogs are born with joint problems, others need joint support as they get older. Dog joint supplements with glucosamine, as well as chondroitin, are available to help with this issue. Glucosamine for dogs can come as a separate supplement, but many times is added in with general dog supplements. For example, Missing Link has a general formula with and without glucosamine.
Essential Fatty Acids for Dogs
Essential fatty acids are amino acids that the body cannot produce itself. It must get these from the food they eat. The reason many dogs are in need of a dog food supplement that contains the essential fatty acids (EFAs) omega 3 and 6 is that heat breaks these acids down. So if you purchase the common commercial dog food, which is processed at high heats, then chances are many of the EFAs are destroyed (as well as enzymes). Foods that are dehydrated or freeze-dried keep more of their nutrients. Without sufficient EFAs your dogs immune system suffers, as well as their skin and coat. This can lead to all sorts of issues, such as dog food allergy symptoms and dog itchy skin. Omega 3 for dogs can make a world of difference in your dog’s coat and improve their immune system. Fish oil for dogs is a common way to supplement EFAs in your dog’s diet. Salmon, Cod, and other cold water fish are excellent sources of omega 3 for dogs – and they love the taste.
Other Dog Supplements
There are a myriad of other dog supplements that target very specific problems, such as kidney and heart. As I do more research on these, I will post my findings. For now, the ones above are probably the most common used.