Are Supplements Imperative, and Does Your Pet Need Them?
As we begin to learn more about pet nutrition, it’s natural to wonder if we’re giving our pets everything they need to live long, happy, and healthy lives. For some pet parents, there’s no better example than the use of pet supplements, and we certainly understand why. Even though pet supplements are growing in popularity, that doesn’t quite prove that they’re essential.
With that said, we’re going to shed some light on what makes pet supplements truly beneficial, if they’re safe, and which ones are great to try.
Your pet’s food might not be enough
Some might say that pets get all the nutrients and nourishment they need from their regular food. But just like human food, not all pet food is made equal. So much so, that some pet foods are loaded with below average ingredients and artificial flavors that serve no beneficial purpose.
That’s why it’s so important to keep a close eye on what ingredients you’re specifically feeding your pet, and if they might need more nutrients outside of their diet. If you ever feel unsure about your pet’s diet, a conversation with your veterinarian is a great place to start.
How do I know what supplement my dog needs?
When it comes to supplements, it would be great if there was a one-size-fits-all solution. But just like us, each pet has different needs that vary based on age, breed, size, behavior, and health history. There are plenty of other but factors, you get the idea!
With many health factors come just as many supplement options, which is why some pet parents are unsure of where to begin. So, here are a few benefit-related factors you can consider when browsing around for pet supplements.
Skin & Coat: Have you noticed that your pet has dry or flaky skin, or perhaps a dull and brittle looking coat? If so, products with fish oil are a great option. Fish oil provides a rich source of Omega fatty acids that can help to soften your pet’s skin, while also giving their coat a shiny appearance. Additionally, hemp is another Omega-rich option to keep your pet looking sleek. Check out our blog about the benefits of hemp for more information!
Mobility: As every pet parent knows, it’s important to make sure our pets keep the spring in their step. Whether your pet is young and active or in their golden years, it’s always important to make sure they move comfortably. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are amazing natural ingredients that help with hip and joint function, so be sure that they’re in any mobility-supporting products you find.
Digestion: No one likes an upset stomach, and our pets are no exception. So, if you notice that your pet always appears uncomfortable after meals, gassy, or even scooting their bottoms on the floor, adding a great digestive product to their daily diet can help. Just like many human supplements, shopping for products that contain Digestive Enzymes, Prebiotics, and Probiotics make it easy support your pets gut flora and overall comfort.
Immune System: We don’t know about you, but it’s no fun seeing pets struggle with hot spots, scratching, and sniffles caused by skin, seasonal (pollen), or environmental factors. Luckily, immune-supporting supplements can help. Look for products with antioxidants, Omegas, Apple Cider Vinegar, and even probiotics (since immune health starts in the stomach). Your four-legged friend will thank you for it!
These are only a few of the most common ingredients and benefits that lend pets a helping hand, but there are plenty of other supplements on the market that can support your pet. So, we encourage you to keep looking, and to consult with a veterinarian to learn more about what might be best for your pet’s specific needs.
Are pet supplements really safe?
Trust us, that is not a silly question at all. In fact, it’s incredibly valid when you consider just how many brands and products are out there. So, here are a few quick tips to make sure the pet supplements you want are as safe as can be:
Do your research! There are a lot of products with “too good to be true” claims, so don’t just pick out products that make disease-curing promises that they can’t possibly keep. Those sorts of products are usually poorly formulated, and rely on outlandish claims just to make a quick buck.
To that point, be sure to read labels carefully, and don’t be afraid to ask the brand direct questions about their ingredients.
Look for lot numbers on the product. Simply put, this means the company uses quality control checks to ensure that the supplement are handled properly before they reach your pet.
Consult with your veterinarian. If you think you’ve found a great solution for your pet, don’t hesitate to reach out to a vet to hear their thoughts about introducing new supplements to your furry friend’s diet.
We hope this gives you a good starting point to understanding the basics pet supplements, but we would love to answer any additional questions you might have. If you’d like to learn more about pet supplements, or simply how to pick the right one for your dog or cat, leave a comment below and let us know.