Supplements: Are they Worth the Money?

When it comes to our dogs we want nothing but the absolute best for them. This not only includes food, toys, exercise, and veterinary care, but it also includes supplements that you can give to your dog. Supplements are usually not required in a complete diet unless they have a special need of some kind and require a boost in a department such as calcium or vitamin C. A huge question that has come up lately though is whether supplements for your dog are actually worth the money or not. Today we will be discussing this very question and popular topic.

In most cases when it comes to your dog, he or she will not need supplements in order to stay or be healthy. Some dogs do suffer from deficiencies, but this is usually fixed within their diet instead of adding supplements to your pup’s diet. Dog foods are made with your dog in mind of course. They are formulated to meet all of his or her needs when it comes to the nutrient requirements your dog needs to live a long, happy, and healthy life. You can always consult with your veterinarian about your dog’s diet. Your dog’s diet should also be regular and consistent.         

When it comes to our diet as humans, it can greatly very day in and day out. This should not be true for your dog, (unless you are feeding a rotating raw diet), when it comes to their meals. Dogs bodies really rely on consistency since they are much more sensitive than ours. There are a rather wide variety of foods and drinks that dogs cannot have because they are not safe for them. This is also very true when it comes to supplements. Most supplements are made for humans and can actually really harm your dog in some cases.

Most companies that create pet food know or at least assume that the majority of dogs will eat the exact same food every single day for the rest of their life. With this in mind, companies make the dog food consistent with their recommended feeding instructions so your dog will always receive the proper amount of vitamins and nutrients that he or she needs to be healthy. Now do not be fooled, this does not mean that all dog food companies are the same. You should always do your research on many different brands and speak to your veterinarian for the best advice for your dog’s diet.

Great companies usually run trials for their foods. They will create the dog food based on conceptualization, gather a wide variety of different dogs, and have them all eat the same food. Once this is completed, the companies will then monitor the dogs and their responses to said food. This process usually involves a fair amount of diagnostic testing. By doing this the companies can provide detailed information to their customers on the benefits and percentages of their food. This could also help show the benefits of some of the key ingredients in the company’s food. Most companies do not do this though so always research your products and brands fully.

Once you have chosen a complete diet for your dog, there are a few supplements that you can consider adding in if need be. This is really only recommended for dogs that have special health needs and if your vet suggest doing so. It is not recommended to add multi-vitamins or specific single nutrients to a complete diet because this can create toxicity within your dog’s food. Some supplements that can be okay for your dog are glucosamine and chondroitin. These two are rather common in a senior dog’s diet to help with joint protection and to help slow the progression of arthritis. Once again, you should always give these at the discretion of your veterinarian.

After all of the research that we have discussed today in our piece, I think it is fair to say that it can be a waste of money to buy supplements for your dog. The only time your dog really need supplements is if they have a specific health problem that requires it. You could always try to find the best complete diet for your dog by doing research on different companies and diets based on your pup’s needs. Always speak with your veterinarian about the best food brands for your dog and what the best diet would be for him or her.