The sale of nutritional supplements for humans has exploded in recent years. We have heard the news of how supplementing our diet can make us healthy, wealthy, and wise. However well the human vitamin market has grown, the pet vitamin market has left it in the dust. People love their animals and buying frenzies aside, some supplements can make your pets better friends and companions for a lot longer.
We have all seen dogs eating grass and then bringing it right back up. This is usually a sign that your pet needs a digestive enzyme. These enzymes normally come powder form and can sprinkled over their food. As their digestion improves the grass-eating will stop and your pet will no longer have an upset stomach.
Fish oil and omega 3 supplements are a great way to help your pets fight arthritic inflammation and pain as they age. Fish oil helps dogs with skin problems, allergies, and losing their hair in spots. Many cancers and joint problems are helped by the additional omega 3 fatty acids. Domesticated pets do not get the same amounts of good oil in their diet because the highly processed foods just do not contain it. Therefore supplements in this category are very important. It is important to watch for stomach upset with dogs and fish oil but it can usually be corrected by just lowering the dose.
A couple of recent studies for dogs have shown that puppies learn faster from their mothers when the mother has been given an omega 3 supplement during the pregnancy. The puppies were also given a supplement after the birth and they retained information earlier and learned it at a faster rate than a control group that was not supplemented. Care must be taken when given any oily supplement to a pet as it may cause diarrhea.
Another help, especially for larger animals is glucosamine. Pets that have longer than normal bodies, longer, thinner legs, or heavy jumpers may benefit from the use of glucosamine. It helps to pad and protect the joints before any disease is discovered and then to provide relief from pain after a process has been discovered.
Many dogs suffer from heart disease especially if they have battled heart worms or some other form of heart problem earlier in their lives. Co-enzyme Q10 can help with this. Dogs who have a need for this supplement will usually have dry eyes.
Just like humans, animals need a diet heavy in antioxidants. Again the processed diets of our pets leaves them lacking the nutrients they would receive if eating a wild, raw diet. Vitamin E is very important for pedigreed dogs. It will help to fight heart infections and reduce any inflammation in their bodies. Vitamin E will also help to keep cancerous cells from forming in their organs. It can also help with hair loss and allergy problems.
Brewer’s yeast is another great additive to your pet’s diet in areas where fleas and ticks are prevalent. The yeast in their system acts as a natural repellant to these pests. As more and more supplements come online for our pets it will be interesting to watch what other discoveries are made as veterinarians and pet owners alike look for ways to extend the lives of their best friends.