The vitamin and supplement business for humans is a multi-billion dollar industry. Many pet parents also feel that, if supplements are good for them, they must be good for their pets, too. With Holistic Pet Day coming up on August 30th, maybe natural health solutions for your furry friend are already on your mind.
However, before giving out supplements to your pup like treats, you should consider if they’re something your pet actually needs. More often than not, if you’re feeding your dog high quality food, then they already get the nutrients they need to live a healthy, normal life.
There are, however, a few herbs, natural supplements, and people foods that you can give to your dog without breaking the bank or causing concern that your dog is getting too much of a certain vitamin. Of course, you must discuss these with your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
Here are five things you can bring to Fido’s food bowl to increase energy, make their coat shinier, and add some variety to their meals.
Raw And Lightly Steamed Vegetables For Your Senior Dog
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Both raw and steamed veggies have great nutritional value for dog, especially if they're enjoying their golden years. Finely chop or grate some veggies and add them to your dog's bowl to supplement their diet.
Vegetables like sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants that aid in healing, cancer prevention, and even fighting the effects of aging. Pumpkin is great for dogs with diarrhea and other digestive issues.
Make sure the veggie is okay for doggy consumption. It's always best to consult your vet.
Probiotics For Upset Stomachs
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Probiotics are used to help a dog's intestinal tract that's off-track. If your dog is experiencing looser-than-normal stools, consider adding a 2-GI probiotic to their regimen.
Probiotics work by restoring the proper balance of intestinal bugs by introducing healthy bacteria into the dog's digestive system. Discuss the use of probiotics -- and all supplements -- with your vet.
Don't give your dog any daily probiotics or supplements unless you get the okay from a veterinarian.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids For Itchy, Allergy Ridden Pups
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If your dog often has red, itchy, or inflamed skin, an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement or fish oil may be the ticket to itch-less bliss. Fatty acids are great at reducing inflammation.
Most vets will recommend fatty acid supplements for optimal dermatological health. Examples of fatty acid include fish and salmon oils, which your dog will love.
As always, you should talk to your vet about any underlying issues that may be causing the scratching, but there's a good chance they will recommend this type of supplement with whatever treatment they prescribe.
Goldenseal For Watery Eyes
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We've all seen a pup who looks constantly sad with weepy eyes. Did you know that a little herb called goldenseal can help with that?
The herb is a powerful antibiotic that prevents harmful bacteria from hanging onto cell walls. You can use it as a tincture, tea, or wash for dogs with goopy, sad eyes.
Sunflower Oil For A Shiny, Healthy Coat
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Along with Omega-3s, Omega-6 Fatty Acids are a crucial ingredient for a healthy pup, specifically a healthy pup with clear skin and a shiny coat.
Mix a fresh teaspoon of an oil such as sunflower or safflower oil to your small dog's food, or up to a tablespoon for a larger breed. If your dog is a picky eater, the oil will be a tasty break from the monotony of their regular food.
Remember, much like the human supplement industry, many supplements you can buy over the counter are not heavily monitored, studied, or controlled by officials. Products may say “all natural,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean “good for your dog.”
Be sure to talk to your vet about any supplements or human foods you plan on adding into your dog’s diet to be sure they’re right for them, and check the ingredients in your dog food. Your pup may already be getting the necessary nutrients they need!
Do you supplement your dog’s diet for a health boost? Which supplements should other dog lovers look into? Let us know in the comments below!