It might sound incredible but human beings have been domesticating dogs for almost 12,000 years. Although all dogs are descended from the Grey Wolf there are now some 350 breeds of dog, all with their own specific needs to be kept in the peak of health. So, whether you’ve a tiny Chihuahua or a relative giant like the Irish Wolf Hound; here are some tips on dog health supplements to keep him, or her, in the peak of health.
Shiny coat – healthy dog.
There’s quite a bit to be said for the condition of a dogs coat being a reflection on its overall good health. Giving your dog a fish oil supplement, rich in essential fatty acids, will do just that. Essential fatty acids are important to all animals for developing strong muscles and joints, protecting the liver, retinal development and, in the case of dogs, producing a healthy coat. Dogs deficient in essential fatty acids will often have digestive problems along with a poor coat of fur. In extreme cases a lack of the essential fatty acids can cause heart and degenerative eye diseases, along with less serious allergies.
No matter how much you love your pooch – bad dog breath is most unpleasant. Bad breath is often associated with general digestive issues, which can be a particular problem as your dog gets older; when it will naturally produce less of the enzymes that it uses to break down its food as it passes through the digestive system. To counter this you can buy dog food supplements containing enzymes and probiotics to assist the digestive process, helping all of the nutrients from the food to be absorbed – thereby, reducing the prospect of your dog having bad breath.
General food supplements.
Although dogs are meat eaters unlike cats they are not obligate carnivores, that is to say hardly ever eat plant based foods. A dog will eat pretty well anything it comes across given the chance, especially treats like a nice cake or a biscuit! However, some dog owners restrict their dog to a non-meat/vegetarian diet, which inevitably means that there is a risk that the dog will not get vitamins and minerals in the quantities it needs and would get from its natural diet of mainly meat. There are many dog feed supplements on the market that will ensure your dog gets at least the minimum recommended doses for all the essential vitamins and minerals for a healthy diet. However, strict vegetarians should be aware that some of these often include a beef extract.
In particular puppies and pregnant bitches should be given a calcium supplement. Any growing dog needs to develop strong bones and teeth whilst a pregnant dog will need extra calcium to maintain her health during and immediately after the period of gestation. Ideally purchase a calcium supplement that is also rich in vitamin D3 and phosphorus; two other dog health supplements known to promote healthy bones.
Arthritis in dogs.
One of the most distressing things you can see in your pet dog is the onset of arthritis. The degree to which the condition of arthritis in dogs can develop is to some extent dependant on the breed, with some breeds being more susceptible that others. However, dog food supplements containing glucosamine, chondrotin and MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane) – can help repair damage to dog’s cartilages and keep the synovial fluid in peak condition. As your dog gets older it may well be a good idea to view using an anti-arthritis supplement as a preventative measure, rather than trying to affect a cure after the event.
Think about the supplements you give your dog.
A very important point here about supplements and your dog is to make sure you give them a portion relative to their size. The tiny Chihuahua won’t need the same size doses as the Irish Wolf Hound! Finally, if in doubt – do seek advice from your vet. For example: it would be very rare that a dog would need a vitamin C supplement as, like cats, dogs make all of the vitamin C that they need from their normal diet. So, providing you’re satisfied that your dog is eating well – he or she should not be given extra vitamin C. A visit to the vet can end up being quite expensive, but if you have any doubts as to whether or not your pet dog is improving by taking the health supplements you’re trying – you should seek their professional advice.