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The 10 Best Supplements for Dogs

Almost one-third of all dogs receive a dietary supplement.

These supplements help with conditions like arthritis, digestion, and coat care. While there hasn’t yet been enough research into the field of supplements to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt it works, there has been enough encouraging evidence to make it well worth considering.

Choosing the best supplements for dogs can be tough. There is a vast array of options at your disposal.

Every supplement is meant to treat a different symptom or condition. Many may overlap in what they treat.

If you’re giving your dog multiple supplements, make sure to research whether it’s safe to combine them or not. Some supplements work well when combined with others, while others can create new problems.

In this article, we’ll discuss the best supplements for dogs.

Should Your Dog Take Supplements?

Whether or not to use supplements for your canine friend is an increasingly common question pet owners ask themselves.

The answer to that will depend on a variety of factors unique to your dog. You should first be aware that most dog food manufacturers formulate their food to meet the minimum nutritional requirements set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

To determine what type of supplements your dog might need, you need to first research the different needs of toy breeds versus large breed dogs. Large breed dogs tend to need nutrients that aid in healthy bone and joint growth.

The Best Supplements for Dogs

There are many supplements for dogs to choose from.

Just as supplements are popular with people for treating a wide variety of symptoms and conditions, so too are they now used by thousands of pet owners.

Here are the top ten best supplements for dogs:

1. Glucosamine

By far the most popular supplement for dogs.

Glucosamine is an amino sugar found in the fluid that surrounds joints and is responsible for building cartilage. To get glucosamine, it is extracted from the hard shells of shellfish. It’s also possible to synthesize glucosamine in a laboratory.

It’s believed that glucosamine helps with arthritis in dogs. It can help relieve joint pain, which will in turn help improve a dog’s mobility.

You can get glucosamine as pills, powders, or even treats. 

2. Fish Oil

Fish oil comes in as a close second for the most popular supplement for dogs.

Fish has omega-3 fatty acids. This compound helps with a coat’s shine and soothe skin allergies.

A secondary benefit may also be relieving arthritic pain, improving heart health, and reducing inflammation.

3. Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms found in the body.  They help with digestion and regulating intestinal health.

As a supplement, people give probiotics to their dogs to help with chronic diarrhea and digestive problems. You can buy probiotics for your dog as a yogurt, pill, treat, or powder.

4. L-carnitine

L-carnitine is a supplement used to help with weight loss, heart disease, and cognitive function in older dogs. 

This supplement can also be combined with omega-3, coenzyme Q10, and taurine.

5. Green Tripe

Green tripe is the stomach lining of a cow or lamb that was taken while ingested food was still present.

This is used because it holds numerous nutrients and amino acids. It also contains fatty acids, digestive enzymes, and the good probiotic bacteria lactobacillus.

6. Milk Thistle

If your dog is suffering from liver disease, then milk thistle is the preferred supplement to help with treatment.

Milk thistle is used for its active ingredient, silymarin. 

7. S-adenosyl Methionine (SAM-e)

As with milk thistle, this is the second supplement preferred by many.

SAM-e helps with liver function by raising glutathione levels that regenerate liver cells. 

8. CBD Oil

If your dog suffers from cancer, seizures, or anxiety, CBD for dogs can help with easing the symptoms.

CBD can also help with nausea, stress, arthritis, back pain, and gastrointestinal problems. It helps by interacting with receptors in the body that modulate things like pain, anxiety, and nausea.

9. Antioxidants

Antioxidants are a supplement chosen to help older dogs with memory loss and other cognitive problems. It’s also helpful for treating heart disease and inflammation.

The most common antioxidant used for dogs is Coenzyme Q10. It helps with digestion, converting food into energy.

10. Multivitamins

In humans, multivitamins help with body functions and lessen allergies. It’s the same for dogs.

Things to Consider While Choosing

Before you begin giving your dog supplements, you should ask yourself a few questions.

First, does your dog have a known or suspected nutrient deficiency?

If a dog is fed mostly raw meat and vegetables but doesn’t ever consume ground bone (often found in standard dog food), a deficiency in calcium can develop.

Another factor to consider is whether your dog needs therapeutic treatment.

While a supplement can not help cure a disease, it can assist with the side effect of pain caused by it, such as arthritis. If your dog suffers allergies, a supplement of antioxidants may help prevent side effects from developing.

Be Careful of Overdosing

As with most things, you can overdose your dog on supplements and cause more harm than good.

One of the most common overdosed supplements is minerals. While calcium can help a puppy grow, if given an overabundance of it, it can actually cause bone deformities.

Other minerals can cause mineral poisoning, which can be fatal.

While antioxidants help to build up a dog’s system and serve as a preventative for developing cancer, if given in massive quantities, it has the opposite effect. If given in large doses for a long time, antioxidants can end up promoting cancer.

Choose Your Dog’s Supplements Wisely

We love our dogs as if they are family.

If you want to ensure your dog maintains its good health, research different supplements to assist in this endeavor. As the owner, you are the best advocate for your dog’s welfare.

Choosing the best supplements for dogs can be an overwhelming process when you don’t fully understand what each one does. We hope this guide helped to answer your questions and equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision.

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