by Janine DeVault
Every dog owner wants to keep their BFF happy and healthy, and in some situations, dog vitamins can help. You’ve probably seen ads for items like canine calming supplements, joint health supplements and digestive aids. These can help bolster your dogs overall health, while also doubling a tasty treat.
Let’s explore the scenarios in which your dog may benefit from vitamins and supplements.
Benefits of dog-friendly vitamins and supplements
There are a variety of supplements and vitamins on the market formulated to help with a number of ailments that dogs may experience. For example:
Many dogs experience joint pain related to arthritis and aging. Dog joint supplements help by reducing inflammation and pain and by promoting cartilage repair. As a result, they help improve your dog’s mobility and comfort.
Joint supplements like Skout’s Honor Joint Support Wellness Chews contain glucosamine, an ingredient that boosts cartilage repair. Cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones in your dog’s joints. When it begins to deteriorate, your dog will experience joint pain and inflammation as the body works to heal the painful area.
Every dog has digestive enzymes that help break down their food and allow nutrients to absorb. Dogs also consume enzymes when they eat a balanced diet. However, over time, your dog’s body produces fewer and fewer enzymes, making it harder for him to absorb necessary nutrients. This can lead to problems like digestive upset, flatulence, diarrhea, weight-loss, and other related health complications.
Fortunately, these issues can often be corrected or avoided by feeding your dog digestive vitamins formulated to promote intestinal health and support digestion. Digestive vitamins for dogs may contain vitamin B12, probiotics, or digestive enzymes. For instance, Skout’s Honor Digestive Chews contain probiotics that help beneficial bacterial travel through the GI tract for optimal intestinal balance.
It’s quite common for dogs to suffer from anxiety. Some dogs are triggered by loud noises like fireworks or construction noise, while others experience separation anxiety. While there are training techniques you can employ to help your dog overcome some of his anxiety, he may also benefit from calming supplements.
Calming supplements are formulated to reduce stress and anxiety. Thiamine and L-tryptophan, along with other natural ingredients such as chamomile are known to promote relaxation. L-tryptophan works to promote serotonin synthesis, which helps with mood regulation, thus reducing anxiety. Chamomile is commonly found in calming supplements, as it works to lower blood pressure and relax muscles.
If you feel your dog could benefit from any of these types of supplements, you’ll be glad to learn that Skout’s Honor has a range of Wellness Chews formulated to help out in each of the above scenarios.
Ingredients to avoid
While supplements can be helpful for your dog, not all supplements are created equal. Most of these products will contain inactive ingredients that are used to add flavor, color, texture, make capsules dissolve faster, or function as a coating. Some of these inactive ingredients are harmless fillers (which serve to make your dog consume more of the product), while others can be toxic.
In general, try to avoid capsules that contain animal gelatin, artificial sweeteners, and synthetic dyes such as Red 40 (a known carcinogen).
Do veterinarians recommend dog vitamins?
Before you decide to administer vitamins or supplements to your dog, always check with your veterinarian to discuss the best course of action. Some dogs may be allergic to certain ingredients found in supplements. Additionally, some of the ingredients found in canine vitamins will be present in your dog’s food (assuming he is eating a balanced diet), and consuming too much of these substances could be harmful to his health.
Your vet will be able to give you specific information regarding the potential side effects of using supplements while providing you with tips on how to best incorporate vitamins into your dog’s diet if they are beneficial.
Janine DeVault is a pet writer, animal rescue advocate and former celebrity dog walker. She has worked with a variety of pet-industry clients and specializes in writing pet lifestyle content. Janine lives in Canada with her rescue cat, Kesi.