Category Archives: dental / vitamins / supplements

Do pets need vitamins & supplements?

Dog and hand with pill isolated over white.A growing number of pet vitamins and supplements are entering the market.  While many humans have been quick to use over- the-counter nutritional products, are similar vitamins and supplements a good idea for your pet?  Not really – but with some exceptions.

Most pets should get all the necessary vitamins and nutrition they need from their FOOD.  You are better off spending more money on a

HIGH QUALITY dog or cat food — that provides a good source of protein, calories and nutrients – than you are trying to supplement a poor quality food.  So instead of considering vitamins and supplements, start by rethinking your choice of dog or cat food.

At the same time, there are SOME PETS who WOULD benefit from vitamins and supplements:  (AS ALWAYS, CONSULT  YOUR VETERINARIAN.)

Puppies  

If you have a new puppy, it’s important o make sure he or she is getting all the vitamins and nutrition needed to grow at this stage of life.

Senior / geriatric dogs and cats*

For aging pets – who often experience joint pain and reduced mobility – supplements can make getting around easier.  Consider over-the-counter supplements like glucosamine / chondroitin.  Both can help lubricate joints to help your pet move more freely.

*NOTE – Cats are typically considered senior by age 10-12.  For dogs, this designation can vary based on SIZE.  Larger dogs are considered senior much earlier than small dogs.

Underweight pets

For pets that have been compromised and need to put on weight, high calorie supplements can help.  Such pets include those with chronic illnesses and those who are shelter or rescue pets that have come from circumstances in which they were not getting enough nutrition.  If your pet needs to put on weight, vitamins can help keep nutrients at healthy levels while your pet regains his or her strength and vitality.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  If your dog or cat is losing weight, see your veterinarian immediately to determine why.  Weight loss is a sign of many common illnesses and conditions that can be easily managed if caught early.

Pets with digestive problems

If your dog or cat suffers from conditions such as frequent vomiting, diarrhea or loss of appetite, your pet may benefit from certain supplements, however it’s important to first determine the underlying cause of any of these symptoms.

Lactating females

Nursing dogs and cats often lose nutrients to their offspring.  Consider switching them to PUPPY FOOD for extra nutrients and also consider giving them vitamins.

AS ALWAYS, CONSULT WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT YOUR PET’S OVERALL HEALTH AND WELLBEING.

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Natural animal chews are packed with flavor that dogs love

A Pit Bull dog laying down and chewing on a big rawhide bone

Natural dog chews are made of food animal products such as skin, bones and animal parts.  These chews are all made of natural ingredients that are typically dried to give it a chewy texture.  Natural chews are packed with flavor that dogs love.  There is a variety of natural chews on the market.

Rawhide
Rawhide is made from the inner hide of cows that has been dried.  Avoid giving rawhide chews to puppies as they can be difficult for young dogs to digest.  For adult dogs, rawhide is fine, however it doesn’t last as long as other natural chew choices.

Rolled pig skin
Rolled pig skin comes in shapes that mimic bones.  It’s fine for puppies and adult dogs.

Pig ears
Most dogs love to chew on pig ears, but they can be higher in fat than other natural chew choices, so avoid giving them to your puppy or adult dog too often.  Also, pig ears do not last as long as rolled pig skin (above) or bully sticks (below).

Bully sticks
Bully sticks are made of dried bull penises.  It may sound strange, but dogs love them.  They are fine for puppies and adult dogs and are a good alternative to higher-fat pig ears.

Antlers
Natural antlers are typically cut into round pieces that provide hours of chewing, however they can be a bit pricey.

Some natural chew products come filled – or you can add your own filling – like peanut butter.  This is a great way to provide added flavor as well as physical activity as your dog works to get the treat out of the chew.

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