The Council of Responsible Nutrition says that approximately 68% of US citizens take dietary supplements to help with certain aspects of health or boost specific nutritional requirements. Many people also have pets that they consider part of the family, and it’s vital to maintain their health at their best. While most pet food claims to contain all the necessary nutrients for a pet, pet vitamins and supplements are an excellent way to ensure your pets get the right dietary boost. Numerous pet supplements help with coat health, arthritis and joint pain, digestion, heart health, etc. some of the most common ones include:
Pet vitamins and supplements that contain glucosamine are the most bought pet supplements, making over 80% of supplement sales across the United States. Glucosamine is an amino sugar occurring naturally in the fluid around joints and helps make cartilage, which is why it is the number one supplement for joint pain.
Glucosamine can be made in the lab or naturally extracted from shellfish shells. Many veterinarians recommend it for reducing arthritis symptoms and improving mobility, especially in older pets.
You can find glucosamine as treats, powders, or pills, depending on your pet’s preference. While glucosamine pet food and treats are becoming increasingly popular and easy for pets to consume, they don’t contain high levels of glucosamine. Therefore, if your pet needs it in high doses, consider the pills or powder forms.
They are also usually made with chondroitin sulfate that naturally occurs in the bone and cartilage connective tissues.
- It helps alleviate joint wear and pain from hip dysplasia and other structural changes
- Speeds up recovery from joint surgery
- Helps in spinal disc injury treatment
- Keeps your pet’s performance and activity high
- Easy to administer
- Glucosamine is a sugar-based supplement and can be harmful to pets with diabetes
- Since some of the glucosamine is made from shellfish, people with shellfish allergies can’t administer it
- It causes side effects like insomnia, fatigue, excessive urination, and thirst
Pets’ multivitamins are the same as those of people because they contain different minerals and vitamins. Most of the time, your pet will get the required vitamins and nutrients from their food, especially those labeled ‘complete and balanced.’
Foods made for pets’ different developmental stages have different vitamin and mineral levels depending on what the pet needs. If you feed your pet commercial food, there is no need for vitamins unless your vet recommends it.
However, if you feed your homemade pet meals or many treats, you need a multivitamin supplement. However, you should give the supplements depending on your pet’s dietary needs because different multivitamins contain different levels of vitamins.
Some of the vitamins your pet might need include:
- Vitamin A- This helps with good vision, fetal development, growth, cell function, and immune health.
- Vitamin B- There are different varieties of this vitamin, each with a different function. Thiamine helps in carbohydrate metabolism and energy regulation, B12, riboflavin, and niacin help in proper enzyme function, B6 helps with hormone regulation, immune response, glucose generation, and nervous system function, pantothenic acid helps with metabolism and energy regulation, and folic acid helps with amino acid metabolism.
- Vitamin C- This essential antioxidant helps reduce cognitive aging and inflammation by eliminating harmful free radicals. While pets, especially dogs, make their vitamin C in the liver, supplementing is essential if you notice regular inflammation.
- Vitamin E- It helps protect your pet from oxidative damage. It also helps in fat metabolism and cell function. A vitamin E deficiency can result in reproductive problems and muscle degeneration.
- Vitamin K- Like in humans, this vitamin is essential to help with blood clotting for your pets.
The best way to determine which vitamin pet supplement is best for your furry friend is by asking a vet. The vitamins are either for a medical condition or to complement your pet’s diet. It would help if you also talked to the vet about the vitamin’s concentration and the correct dosage.
- Easy to administer because most come as chews
- They cover numerous necessary nutrients
- It can be hard to regulate specific amounts of different vitamins
- Easy to overdose
This is the second most sought-after supplement for different pets. Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help better the shine, quality, and health of your pet, plus eliminate and prevent skin allergies.
They also help support joint, immune system, kidney, heart, and brain health, making them a perfect supplement for dogs of all ages.
Salon oil is among the best-absorbed and richest omega-3 fatty acid sources. It contains Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which have high anti-inflammatory properties.
You must look for omega-3 fatty acids for your pets, especially dogs because they don’t produce it naturally in their bodies.
When choosing a fish oil, there are three most common types to choose from:
- Natural triglyceride oil- This is the most natural and easiest for your pet to absorb. However, it may contain contaminants since it is not purified.
- Ethyl ester oil- This is distilled and concentrated, which removes impurities.
- Synthetic triglyceride oil- This is fully synthesized and is the hardest to absorb.
- It helps prevent flaky, patchy, and itchy skin and coat
- Improves kidney function
- Helps prevent inflammation
- Choosing the wrong fish oil could cause more problems for your pet
- Wrong dosage and unbalanced intake could also cause other health issues
We have all heard about antioxidants and their numerous benefits. Found in things like vitamins C, E, and selenium, they help protect your pet from free radicals. These are potentially harmful molecules that have oxygen without one electron and could damage cell membranes and are potential death causes.
The body releases free radicals as it metabolizes food. The body produces more free radicals when the pet is sick, malnourished, elderly, or exposed to toxic substances. The free radicals try to get their missing electron from body cells, making the cell a free radical.
This cycle continues, and when there are too many free radicals, your pet becomes weak and could die. The antioxidants give the missing electrons to the free radicals but don’t become free radicals themselves.
Antioxidants help in reversing aging effects like cognitive dysfunction and memory loss. They also help reduce inflammation, protect your pet from heart diseases, respiratory diseases, autoimmune disorders, immunodeficiencies, arthritis and joint problems, skin allergies, and eye problems like blindness and cataracts.
Some of the ways your pet might be exposed to toxins include:
- Eating, playing, lying, or rolling in grass treated with lawn chemicals
- Inhaling flame-retardant chemicals
- Licking their fur and paws after they have been outside or in contact with other pets
- Licking different surfaces in and outside the house
When administering antioxidants, it is essential to consider their phase of life. The best antioxidants for puppies and other small pets are Vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and beta carotene.
Adult pets require an antioxidant balance to restore the activity of their muscles and reduce inflammation. The best ones include Vitamin C, E, and polyphenols.
Senior dogs require a boost to restore muscle activity and reverse aging effects. The best antioxidants are polyphenols, beta carotene, and vitamins C and E.
You can also naturally include antioxidants in your pets’ food by adding things like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cooked carrots, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, kale, green beans, spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes.
- They help support a healthy immune system
- When you pair antioxidants with colostrum for your dog, it helps relieve skin problems and allergies
- It helps promote brain health and function in old pets
- Supports memory, cognitive functions, and agility in senior pets
- It is possible to overdose, like any other pet vitamins and supplements, causing your pets more problems
Probiotics have become famous for digestive use in humans, which is no surprise that it is helpful for pets too. Probiotics are good bacteria found mainly in the digestive tract that help prevent harmful bacteria like E Coli from growing, and they are mostly referred to as the microbiome.
Probiotics occur in the body in the form of live bacteria and yeast, and they help maintain gastrointestinal health and aid digestion. Microbiome changes can make your pet sick and experience gas, cramping, diarrhea, bloating, upset stomach, obesity, and bad breath.
Some things that cause the microbiome changes include eating bad food, stress, weaning, food changes, antibiotics, parasites, infections, and a high carbohydrate diet. As supplements, they help balance the good bacteria in the body and can help treat digestion problems, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues.
You can find probiotics in capsules, powders, chews, yogurt or kefir, and dog food. If you choose to go with yogurt or kefir, ensure you read the package label to ensure they have the right probiotics. You should also note that they do not have high probiotic levels as pills or powders.
The probiotics you give your dog contain bacteria like:
- Enterococcus faecium
- Bifidobacterium breve
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus casei
- Aids in digestion and boosts digestive health
- It helps promote normal inflammatory responses
- Increases the quality and frequency of stools in pets with sensitive digestive systems
- Wrong probiotics dosage can cause more digestive issues like diarrhea
- Probiotics expire faster than other supplements and vitamins
- You must refrigerate most of them
Before choosing a supplement for your pet, consult with your vet. You should also consider your pet’s size, age, breed, weight, overall health, and phase of life to determine the right supplement and dosage.
You should also consider the ingredients to ensure it is not allergic to your pet and if they have any side effects. Before buying a supplement, ensure you shop around and compare brands.
Some of the ways to choose the best brand include:
- Consider their ingredients and where they get them from
- Look if they use artificial fillers, flavors, and preservatives
- Ensure they are compliant with all necessary regulations
- Consider the type of supplements they make, like chews, pills, powders, tablets, or liquids
- Ensure they have independent third parties who test their supplements before getting to the market
- Order quantities and prices
NutraPak USA is one of the best pet supplement manufacturers. They are a private label supplement manufacturer whose supplements are safe to mix with your pet’s food without any side effects or digestive problems.
To get a free quote on the prices of their supplements, fill out a form on their website, including the supplement type and quantity you want. You can also contact them for more information or inquiries through another form on their website. Alternatively, you can call them on their customer care number or email 24/7.