Have you ever researched the benefits of natural pet supplements and wondered if it makes sense to give dietary supplements to your pet? Like supplements for humans, there is no shortage of available pet options. It can be quite overwhelming if you're not sure what each supplement is meant for. Rather, is it actually worth the investment?
In this article, we will describe the main benefits related to giving supplements to your pet.
Ask when you're in doubt
While many of the pet supplements on the Dutch market are completely safe and can mean great benefits for your animal, some pet supplements can cause harm if not used correctly. For example, if you give your pet too much of something, such as calcium, it can do more harm than good.
Did you know that if you give your dog too much calcium, for example, she can get skeletal problems? Another example of too much of the good is too much vitamin D. In dogs, this can lead to a loss of appetite and even muscle atrophy. Buying vitamins for your pet should therefore be done in a safe and responsible manner.
What this means is that when in doubt, it is always best to ask your veterinarian if the supplement is safe to give. The veterinarian can also give you information about the right dosage for your pet.
A healthy diet should come first
Another tip is not to consider natural supplements as the only way to meet your pet's health and nutritional needs.
A healthy, balanced diet should always be the highest priority. Pet supplements should only be used to supplement your pet's pre-existing diet, or be used to solve specific problems.
If you think their current food doesn't meet all their nutritional needs, it's time to find something new and take action. Supplements for pets can then offer the solution. In the next paragraph, we look at the problems and ailments characteristic of pets. On this basis, we can look for any dietary supplements that can best be used.
Characteristic problems and ailments
In general, there are some characteristic problems and ailments where supplements for pets can be very beneficial. In particular, they can help with inflammation, pain and digestive problems. Other problems for which they can be useful include immune system deficiencies, skeletal problems, joint pain, hair loss, mouth and gum disease and arthritis.
What kind of supplements are best to give is logically based on your pet's health problems?
Common supplements for pets
Thanks to the huge number of supplements available to pets today, it probably won't be long before we see natural food stores popping up specifically for pet needs.
As for the most common supplements for pets; there are some that you come across over and over again. These are usually very useful and versatile, since most pets can benefit from these dietary supplements at some point in their lives.
Chondroitin: Usually you will find chondroitin mixed with glucosamine (instead of pure and only chondroitin). Both animals and humans may benefit from these supplements, as they contribute to reducing pain and inflammation that may be associated with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is common in animals as they age. So, this list of supplements for animals would not be complete without this substance.
Multivitamins: The idea is that pets get all the vitamins from their diet that they need. Sometimes, however, that is not the case. A high-quality organic multivitamin can replenish excellently missing nutrients. Before giving your pet a high-quality multivitamin, you should first take a look at what its food provides in nutrients, so that you can find out what substances may be missing.
Fish oil: If your animal suffers from arthritis or skin problems, fish oil can help incredibly. Recent studies have shown that for dogs taking steroid medications to treat allergies, the use of fish oil can actually help to lower the required dosage of steroid medications. Since the use of steroids can cause problems over a long period of time, finding a safer, healthier solution is ideal. A fish oil supplement offers the solution.
Glucosamine: As with chondroitin, glucosamine is used to reduce inflammation and pain – which affect your pet's mobility and vitality. A glucosamine supplement works by rebuilding your animal's damaged cartilage. This means that it can slow down the development of arthritis. Of course, this becomes more important as pets age. Contact your veterinarian for the correct dosage information so that you can achieve the maximum benefits.
Probiotics: Probiotics are not only important for humans; they are also important for animals. They contain friendly bacteria that benefit the gastrointestinal tract and play a very important role in digesting food. They also help build your animal's immune system and help them fight pathogens. If your pet suffers from diarrhea and upset stomachs, they may be able to use a probiotic as a supplement. It is best to make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out diseases before giving your pet a probiotic.
Use pet supplements responsibly
Supplements for pets can very effectively help prevent and cure ailments. Therefore, it seems perfectly logical to give them directly to your pet. However, it is wise to remember that too many or incorrect supplements for your pet can lead to problems. It is therefore just as important to use the right type of supplement to address their specific problems. It is best to consult with your veterinarian.
The content of this article is based on scientific publications and was written in collaboration with medical specialists / nutritionists.