Look carefully and you may see signs of time marching across your pup’s face– a greying snout, a slight cloudiness in the eyes, the occasional bout of tooth loss. Cluing in to these small mortality reminders could trigger you to spring into action and begin a robust vitamin regimen.
Before you do, make sure you’re supplementing properly. Don’t waste your money on ineffective pills, empty marketing promises or unnecessary treatments. Instead, focus on a few tried and true, vet-recommended dietary supplements.
1. Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3s and 6s)
Otherwise known as EFAs, these oils are first and foremost known to improve the overall condition of your pet’s skin and coat. They’re also responsible for providing a host of anti-aging benefits like increasing brain function and bolstering the immune system. The omega-3 and omega-6s have impressive anti-inflammatory properties that are highly effective at lessening the pain and severity of arthritis. Since your dog’s body has no means of producing these powerhouses, it’s important that their all-natural dog food be supplemented with a high quality fish oil or equivalent.
2. Glucosamine with Chondroitin Sulfate
Especially if your dog is suffering from joint pain, the compounds found in this anti-inflammatory, water-retaining supplement are second to none. They help buffer the often-painful effects of fluid loss, which come at the hands of natural cartilage breakdown. Glucosamine with Chondroitin Sulfate also pairs well with EPAs to provide a comprehensive cartilage regenerating, joint lubricating twosome.
3. Probiotics and Prebiotics
You know we’re fans of prebiotics and probiotics for dogs. These live cultures help protect the delicate biome in the gut, fostering healthy bacteria and aiding digestion. Together, this dynamic duo stifles unhealthy bacteria that can lead to disease and helps balances your dog’s internal systems from brain to bowels. This is important as ‘good’ bacteria can be easily killed off by day-to-day endeavors with stress, medication and illness. Keeping these colonies strong helps defend against sickness and certain autoimmune deficiencies. Without these strong bacterial wonders, dogs would be defenseless against disease and useless at digesting food or absorbing nutrients.
A Word About Weight
Providing your dog a balanced diet rich in nutrients is the first place to start. After all, what good are pricey supplements if your pup is obese and at risk of heart disease or diabetes.
Ultimately, the overall health and well being of your dog is a life-long commitment. However, as they age, their needs are likely to shift. Combined with a healthy diet of high quality dog food, proper exercise and emotional nurturing, supplements can help pet parents and fur babies live long, happy lives.