Dogs are one of the many divine blessings for humans, graciously provided to spread pure love, loyalty, and joy. As a pet owner, you must be aware of the common challenges involved, including separation anxiety, intermittent nuisance of surface-scratching and unexpected medical emergencies.
However, all the heavy lifting seems worth it considering the love your pet adds to your life. Pets, especially dogs, are becoming more common than ever across US households. Some people keep them for mobility assistance purposes, whereas others do so for companionship and stress relief.
Studies have found that at least 66% of US households own a pet. Out of these, many have two or more (some owning a combination of cats and dogs). With rising ownership, pet parents are looking for new ways to enhance their furry friend’s quality of life.
Besides regular play, lots of sunshine, a balanced diet, and frequent cuddle time, you must include some vital supplements to maintain pet health. In this article, we will discuss three supplements that will enhance your dog’s life quality.
Are Supplements Safe for Dogs?
This is a basic question that most pet parents have. The answer to it depends upon the diet you feed your dog. For instance – if your dog is fed a largely homemade diet, they may require additional supplements to meet daily nutritional needs.
This holds true even in the case of the standard 10% protein, 50% carbs, 5.5% fats, and up to 4.5% fiber diet. On the other hand, commercial foods often include all the vital vitamins and minerals that a dog needs based on their age group (pup, adult, or geriatric dog).
However, the issue with many brands is the food’s quality. They may use poor-quality oils and fats during manufacturing. Such commercial-grade meals can clog your dog’s arteries and lead to premature aging.
Top-quality brands are also available, but they may be too expensive for a sustained diet. The affordable and safe option is to feed your dog their veterinarian-instructed (homemade) diet along with some vital supplements.
As long as you purchase the supplements from reputed sources, there’s no need to worry about health risks.
Three Vital Supplements to Feed Your Dog
Now, let’s look at the three important supplements that will enhance your dog’s quality of life with regular use.
Liver Health Supplements
Just like humans, a dog’s liver performs several crucial functions. These include aiding digestion, clotting of blood, and removal of toxins. If their liver is not functioning optimally, it can make your furry companion sick with liver disease.
Some common symptoms of liver disease in dogs include diarrhea, loss of appetite, ulceration in the stomach, fever, and jaundice. In some cases, the dog may develop neurological problems like seizures. Liver health supplements like Denamarin protect liver cells from premature death and facilitate cell regeneration and repair.
According to PetRx, these tablets are available in different sizes based on the dog’s weight. In general, one tablet is to be administered daily on an empty stomach (at least an hour before feeding). However, it is best to consult the vet for dosage and frequency.
Vitamin B is a family of water-soluble vitamins that aid in the biochemical functioning of the body. Both humans and canines need these vitamins for cell maintenance and healthy metabolism.
If your dog is displaying symptoms like watery eyes, constipation, premature graying, unexplained fatigue, and sudden weight gain, they may be deficient in this vitamin group. The vitamin B complex comprises the following vitamins – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12.
Each separate B vitamin performs a unique role in maintaining your canine’s health. Foods such as organic meats, eggs, fish, raw milk, molasses, and kelp consist of B vitamins.
However, most diets (even those including these vitamins) fall short of the daily nutritional requirement. Then, there are things to remember, like feeding eggs only from pastured hens, smaller fish instead of larger ones that contain mercury, etc.
Furthermore, vitamin B is highly lacking among dogs fed a vegetarian diet. Your pet’s body cannot create B vitamins, and the best way they can safely have enough is through supplements. Ensure the dosage follows the prescription and choose only the canine-friendly B complex, as those for humans are too strong.
Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in your dog’s nutrition. They are also known as nutritional fats because they contribute to canine brain development, strong immunity, and optimal heart health. These fatty acids also protect your canine companion against life-threatening conditions like cancer and high inflammation.
Omega-3 fatty acids include docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Though most dogs can generate certain Omega-3 fatty acids, they need external supplements for the rest.
Moreover, if you mostly feed your pet with commercial-grade dog food, the high manufacturing temperatures will destroy the heat-sensitive Omega-3 fats. If your dog is severely lacking these good fats, they will show signs like brittle nails, joint pain, anxiety or depression, dry eyes and skin, hair loss, and dermatitis.
Feed them top-quality Omega-3 supplements, ideally those high on EPA and DHA. Purchase only from certified suppliers who maintain sustainable practices.
On a parting note, pet owners spend thousands of dollars to ensure their canine friend enjoys a long and healthy life. A study even found that dog owners care a lot more for their pets than cat owners. Though the difference is modest, the reason seems to be a ‘cultural hypothesis.’
As a dog owner, you most definitely look at your pet as a friend and another member of the family. The above-mentioned supplements will enhance their quality of life and increase longevity.