You want the best for your furry friend, I get it. You’re giving a healthy diet and he gets enough physical activity.
Great! You’re on the right track.
Now, have you ever considered giving some supplements to your dog to support his health? Adding supplements is a great way to boost his immune system, especially at an older age or when he is recovering from an illness of some sorts.
But, before you do so, you should have a good understanding of his nutritional needs. If you paid attention throughout this course, you’re already ahead of 90% of dog owners.
First of all, before you start feeding supplements, you have to pay attention to what’s already in his meal plan. THIS is where the main nutrition is provided.
If your dog doesn’t get a suitable, complete diet, adding supplements won’t make a difference. It’s like going to the gym 5 times a week to lose weight, but eating hamburgers & steaks when you get back home. It simply doesn’t work.
For your dog to have a healthy diet, he needs to get the right amount of nutrients for his age, size, level of activity and general health situation. Only when you managed those correctly, you can consider adding supplements.
IMPORTANT: A healthy adult dog usually doesn’t need any supplements, if he gets a proper diet. If he doesn’t require them, don’t give them. Unless your veterinarian advises you to do so.
Some people try to “supercharge” their dog with boosting supplements of all sorts. That’s a bad idea.
Vitamin D for example, is an essential vitamin but is potentially deadly when the dog gets too much.
Every day we are exposed to harmful substances such as chemicals, smoke and pesticides. Antioxidants are our guardian angels! They help to remove those harmful substances from our body. When those harmful substances enter our system, they attach to our living cells, those cells get damaged and start to produce waste.
That cycle is called oxidation.
The exact process behind it is of course much more complex than what I described above. However, it is a very basic explanation of what happens.
Now, as the name suggests, antioxidants are.. Anti-oxidation.
Why are antioxidants important?
Well, antioxidants attack those “waste” particles and remove them from the body. It becomes a problem when your dog doesn’t have enough antioxidants in his diet. A lack of them is known to cause severe health issues such as autoimmune disorders, allergies, heart problems and even cancer.
Essentially what that means, is that antioxidants are an important part of the immune system.
Reasons why you want to give antioxidant supplements
As I mentioned in the previous chapter, you don’t need to give extra supplements to a healthy adult dog. Although, that statement is ONLY true when he gets a high quality diet.
Especially older dogs, who’s immune system starts to wear down, benefit from antioxidant supplements. If your dog is exposed to a larger amount of potentially harmful substances, you can consider supplementing as well.
Antioxidants are found as a ready-made supplement. Similarly to your dog’s main diet, you should only buy from reputable brands.
However, you can give your dog a variety of berries, fruits and vegetables which contain a high amount of that good stuff!
Additional sources are:
Carrots and sweet potatoes
Cauliflower and broccoli
Leafy green vegetables such as lettuce and spinach
Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are full of them!
Before you add 10 carrots and 3 pounds of strawberries to your puppy’s bowl, see how his digestive system reacts to those products. Some dogs have a sensitive system so don’t push it.
Multivitamin supplements are widely consumed by humans. Approximately 80% of people use or have used daily vitamin boosters in their life.
Just like humans, dogs can receive great benefits from additional vitamins. The right vitamins in combination with a high quality diet provide a range of benefits such as
Give more energy
Promote growth of hair and nails
Boosting the dog’s defense system
When should you give extra vitamins?
Generally speaking, your dog doesn’t need extra vitamins IF he is in a healthy condition and receives quality nutrition from his main diet.
If you are making your own dog food, it is recommended to give some extra.
Puppies can also use them because it promotes growth and development as well. Older dogs, however, probably receive the greatest benefits from added vitamins!
Choosing the right supplement
There are an enormous amount of varieties available. That makes it confusing to choose what is best for your dog. Research reputable brands and read labels carefully before buying. The safest way to buy high quality products is through your veterinarian.
Ask for advice!
Before you start giving vitamins, please consult your vet or nutritionist for guidance. If your dog gets too many vitamins, it can actually be harmful.
Fact: Research has shown that too much vitamin A can make the bones grow around the joint. After an extended period of time, your dog may develop difficulties walking and moving.
Fact: An overload of vitamin D can cause kidney failure and even death
Thank you for staying with me, I hope you've learned some useful information.
© 2020 Advanced Canine Education