Best vitamins and supplements for dogs in 2021
Dog Supplements FAQs
What is the best supplement for dogs?
In short, there is no better supplement for dogs. In fact, the best supplement for your dog will depend on their individual health and any other medications they may be taking, Teller says. “It is definitely worth seeing your vet,” she adds.
Should I give my dog any supplements?
It depends on whether or not your dog has any health issues that can be helped by supplements. “Certain health conditions such as osteoarthritis and certain advanced endocrine diseases may require supplementation,” explains Matusicky. “However, this is always patient specific and should only be instituted under the advice of your veterinarian.”
Which supplements are bad for dogs?
“In many cases, owners can do more harm than good to their pets with supplements, because even the mildest supplement can be dangerous if given in the wrong dose,” says Matusicky.
In particular, there are a few supplements to be especially careful with: CBD and anything that contains essential oils.
The bottom line with CBD is that while it’s very hot right now, we need more research into what it can do for dogs, Teller says. “It may play a role in the treatment of arthritis and seizures in dogs with epilepsy,” she adds. But a wrong dose carries major risks, including damage and disease of the liver.
Essential oils are also popular and may even be included in more homeopathic-type dog supplements, but Teller warns dog owners should be especially careful with these. “Essential oils can be very toxic to pets, and you should definitely talk to your vet,” she says.
Finally, many supplements can interfere with any prescription medications your dog might take for problems like immune, kidney, and liver disease. “A lot of times people start adding supplements and herbs thinking it can’t hurt,” says Teller. “But in reality, these can have an impact on the absorption of prescribed drugs or cause an adverse reaction.”
Are Supplements Necessary for Dogs?
“Supplements, in general, are completely unnecessary,” says Matusicky. Specifically, multivitamins are a waste of money, Teller adds. As long as your dog is eating the right quality
, they receive all the nutrients that a multivitamin would give them.
But supplements targeted for specific health concerns can be helpful, provided you have the approval of your veterinarian.
What is the best supplement for older dogs?
“As they age, dogs can develop a number of diseases,” says Matusicky. “Depending on what is going on, different diets and supplements may be recommended.” Some supplements are helpful for arthritis (glucosamine, omega-3 / fish oil) and “dog dementia” (cognitive dysfunction mixtures) in particular, notes Teller.
Should I give my dog probiotics?
Vets frequently use probiotics, Teller says, especially when dogs experience diarrhea after taking antibiotics or experiencing certain types of anxiety. But in the same way that probiotics work in humans, the benefits are strain specific. In other words, you have to choose the specific strain that helps solve a specific health problem, otherwise the probiotic will have no effect. “If you have an overall healthy animal, there isn’t a good indication for probiotics,” Teller says.
What dosage should I give my dog?
According to Matusicky and Teller, getting the right dosage of supplements is extremely important. “Often, supplements may not have enough or too much, and different conditions require different dosages,” Teller explains. “So it would be a good idea to consult your vet regarding the condition for which you wish to use this supplement to ensure that you are giving your dog the correct dose.”