When are health supplements for dogs necessary? And what is the difference between a dog vitamin and mineral tablet and a supplement?
First let me say this. If you provide good food, generally there isn't a need to supplement. But I'm talking about naturally healthy foods instead of man made concoctions. Every body needs real unprocessed food. Humans need fresh vegetables and dogs need fresh meat.
I would far rather you invest your time learning and serving your dog a wholesome raw diet like Recipe #2 on my raw recipes page because everything will be in the food as it should be.
As a dog health coach, most of the supplements I suggest are made from herbs (which are food) for individual dogs for specific problems.
I'll cover some general supplements that you may use short term and long term.
This is a big no-no. Usually these are the equivalent to say, One A Day vitamins for humans. They're a waste of money. Why? Because by isolating vitamins which are usually man-made you gain nothing, plus man-made vitamins are not necessarily usable. (Meaning the body can't metabolize them.)
Using real foods gives the right mix of vitamins and minerals for absorption. Calcium as an example, needs phosphorus or you get kidney stones.
I'm trying to keep this as general as possible so I can cover a lot of ground.
If your dog has been on antibiotics, he needs to rebuild the good bacteria. Since antibiotics do a clean sweep by killing good and bad bacteria, they end up messing up digestion which leads to other dog health problems. That's part of the side effects of antibiotics.
Sometimes you can avoid antibiotics with the first supplement. I don't know whether to laugh or cry when people get angry at me about this one because they don't understand. Ready?
Garlic? Am I kidding? Nope. It's great stuff. In fact it has a page all its own where you can read about it and how much is the right amount for your dog. Now notice the headline. Fresh organic garlic. I did NOT say garlic pills or garlic powder or garlic salt. Huge difference.
Garlic for dogs is rich in Vitamins A, B Complex, C, proteins and trace minerals. A dog antibiotic and antioxidant, it boosts the immune system and may boost liver function, prevent heart disease, cancer and other degenerative diseases.
How's that for something natural and inexpensive? Awesome I think.
Now be sure to put some in you own food as well (:
You may not have thought of probiotics being in the health supplements for dogs category, but in my house it's a favorite.
I'm not going to be one of those Activia commercials. I would venture to say there is probably more sugar than probiotics in that stuff and dogs don't do well with yogurt. (In fact the only dairy they should have is raw kefir, but we'll save that for another page.)
A good probiotic has several strains of good bacteria. You can get one specifically for dogs or use what I do. Either way, probiotics are a health supplement I always have on hand and you can read why at, Probiotics for Dogs.
Filled with an array of natural vitamins, spirulina is one of my favorite health supplements for dogs (and humans too) this algae naturally contains all eight essential amino acids, as well as chelated minerals, trace minerals and enzymes. It also provides naturally occurring chlorophyll and is one of the few plant sources of vitamin B12. It is one of the most complete foods on the planet.
To learn more about it, click over to The Benefits of Spirulina.
My only word of caution on spirulina is the source. Much of it is contaminated and one of the few places I know of that tests every single batch is Nature's Sunshine (and why I only recommend their products.)
As much as I'd love to sell you supplements for your dog, fresh raw food is always, always first but I will admit I'd rather you give your dog a capsule of NSP Spirulina than veggies. Far healthier and there's no cutting, chopping or pulverizing needed!
You can buy the good stuff at NSP Spirulina. To get the discounted price and be a member in my group it takes only a $40 purchase at the discounted price so you could add either Probiotics Eleven or my favorite natural medicine, Silver Shield Liquid.
Health Supplements for Dogs to Nutrition