You want your dog to be as healthy as possible, and nutrition is a major component of overall health. Pet supplements can provide much-needed vitamins and minerals that are missing from your pet's diet. However, you should thoroughly research potential supplements before giving them to your pet. Here are four things to ask yourself before making any changes to your dog's diet:
1. Is your dog's food providing adequate nutrition?
Commercial dog food is formulated to contain everything your dog needs to thrive. Experts carefully balance the nutrients in vet-approved wet and dry dog food. However, in some cases, you may not want to feed your dog commercially available food. If your dog has allergies or if you'd rather feed your dog an all-natural diet, you can feed your dog whole foods such as meat, vegetables, and potatoes. If you decide to make your dog's food from scratch, it's a good idea to feed them supplements to provide any missing nutrients.
2. Does your dog have any specific health concerns?
If your dog has specific health concerns, supplements may help you manage their condition. According to WebMD, supplements containing glucosamine-chondroitin can help relieve symptoms of arthritis in dogs. In addition, certain vitamins can combat inflammation caused by a variety of diseases. Supplements usually have fewer side effects than other types of medication, so they should be the first line of defense when dealing with ailments.
3. Have you spoken to your veterinarian?
Before starting your dog on any new health regimen, it's a good idea to talk to your veterinarian first. They can give you their expert opinion and help you decide on a type of supplement and dosage that's best for your dog. If your dog is on other medication, you'll also want to ask about potential interactions which are rare but can occur with certain combinations of medication.
4. Will your dog take supplements?
Finally, remember that you'll need to find a way to feed your dog supplements. If your dog typically eats their food without a fuss, you can probably slip your dog's supplement into their normal meal; just check their dish after they've finished to make sure they didn't eat around the supplement. If your dog is picky, you might have to resort to high value treats to get them to take their supplement. Some pet owners find success by hiding supplement pills in cheese, peanut butter, or other soft treats that dogs love.