Whenever the topic of dog supplements emerges, most people will ask whether they are really safe and effective. The reason is that there is lots of conflicting information about dog supplements. If you are looking to know the truth, then you are in the right place. Now hold onto your hat as I take you through the world of supplements and find out whether they are really safe.
So are dog supplements safe? Generally speaking dog supplements are safe. The U.S. Department of Agriculture oversees the supplements available on the US market. With that said, it’s very important that you follow the instructions for your product to make sure that you don’t overdose the supplements. Overdosing supplements may be very harmful for your dog.
Why your dog needs supplements
Dogs are just like human beings. The same way we use supplements for our health purposes, dogs too can benefit from those supplements. To help you understand better the effectiveness of supplements, you must first understand why they are necessary. But wait a minute, are dog supplements necessary? Find out by reading my linked article.
If you want to give your pooch a long and healthy life, then dog supplements are a good starting point. However, the issue of supplements tends to be wide and overwhelming. There are a variety of brands and each has a different quality. Also, the amount of ingredients used in each brand is different. While some supplements may greatly help your dog, others won’t.
Are they safe?
As a way of ensuring health and safety standards are observed, the state department of agriculture controls the types of dog supplements available in the market. However, it does so in a limited way. There are also a few scientific materials on dog safety. Regulation and standardization procedures are also scarce. Overdose of some supplements does cause health complications instead of restoring. You must read on the specifics of supplements to understand better how safe they are.
There are many options to provide optimal nutrition requirements for your dog. Besides helping dogs with allergies, vitamins are also used for proper body functioning. It’s important to remember that vitamin supplements do not provide an alternative balanced diet. Your dog might even experience digestive problems if she doesn’t eat a nutritive diet. On the same line, a good number of food brands contain the right amounts of nutrients. This means giving your dog extra vitamins will probably result in excess water-soluble nutrients.
A high amount of vitamins can cause harm to your dog. If you give your dog home-cooked foods, then it’s a good idea to add reasonable amounts of vitamins to supplement their diet. Some homemade diets may not contain enough vitamins and so vitamin supplements are not bad after all. They key is to give the right dosage under the guidance of a vet otherwise doing on your own can change the whole story.
If you’re a dog owner and you’re not sure what vitamins to give your dog, I have prepared a list of vitamins that your dog needs for a healthy lifestyle. Feel free to check it out! Also see my list of supplements that are needed for homemade dog food, if you decide to cook up something on your own for your dog.
This type of supplements is essential in treating bacterial infections in dogs. There is no supporting evidence suggesting effects on cranberry extracts on dogs. Therefore, they are safe but slightly effective in dogs.
These supplements are essential for dogs experiencing dermatological problems. They help improve dry coats and itchy skin. In addition, they also help reduce heart and osteoarthritis symptoms. The anti-inflammation properties contained in fatty acids can also help prevent kidney problems. Examples of such common fatty acids include fish oil and omega 3.
Despite the many benefits of fatty acids, too much of it is likely to cause blood dilution and fat peroxidation. In severe cases, they can even cause cell damage. That said, the supplements should be administered in the right dosages depending on the weight of your dog. You must also understand the underlying problem before giving your dog these supplements.
Dog supplements for weight gain are ideal for underweight dogs. They contain variable ingredients such as fats and proteins to promote muscle building. Also, these supplements are packed with vitamins and appetizers for nutritional purposes. While proteins and fats can be beneficial to your dog, high amounts can also lead to health problems such as obesity and blockage of blood vessels.
Fiber serves the same purpose as human beings when it comes to dogs. They help prevent constipation, treat diarrhea among other digestive problems. Fiber supplements are effective in reducing weight, control gut bacteria as well as a diabetes treatment. Excessive intake of fiber can lead to other problems such as vomiting, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
Lack of iron in the body will cause the abnormal generation of blood cells and anemia. Dogs suffering from iron deficiency also experience problems with iron absorption. There are no specific effects of iron supplements in dogs. Still, you need to administer the right dosages under the directions of a vet.
Just like their name suggests, these supplements help in dogs with liver problems. For instance, milk thistle is beneficial in the restoration of liver cells. Liver supplements are effective and cause little or no harm to your dog.
Zinc is readily available in meat sources and serves many roles such as cell and gene production. A dog lacking enough zinc often shows signs of abrasions on the coat or skin. Therefore zinc supplements are quite effective when it comes to a shiny and smooth skin for your dog. On the other hand, excess amounts of zinc can lead to a health disorder known as zinc toxicosis. In extreme cases, zinc can cause death.
This type of supplements supports the digestion process. They are effective and safe for dogs.
Dogs do require calcium supplements for various health purposes. Besides the meat diet, calcium is also available in dog foods. There is enough research to support the need for supplementation in dogs lacking calcium. However, excess calcium is likely to cause more harm to your dog than benefits.
Calcium in excess amounts tends to compete with other body minerals such as magnesium for absorption. As a result, your dog might experience severe hip dysplasia. It can even lead to heart failure for young puppies below the age of 10 months. Overdose of calcium can also lead to the growth of bladder stones and therefore should be administered by a trained vet.
The bottom line
Before giving your dog any supplement, its best to check its quality. Dog supplements are of different qualities so know what you are really buying. While quality matters, the right amount of a supplement is also essential to determine its safety. Check with your vet officer for guidance on the right dosage to administer.