Just like us, our furry friends must get certain vitamins and minerals from their diet, since their bodies don’t always produce enough of them naturally. A healthy, balanced diet will go a long way to ensure that your cat or dog gets the nutrition they need to live a long, healthy, and happy life. However, there are situations where providing your pet with additional supplements may be recommended.
If your pet has a medical condition where they could benefit from having higher levels of certain vitamins. For example, older pets are at greater risk of developing arthritis, and glucosamine supplements could help to reduce the effects of their arthritis and make them more comfortable.
If your pet has a health condition where their body can’t or doesn’t absorb certain vitamins from food properly. This is most often referred to as malabsorption syndrome and can occur for many reasons, including food sensitivity, infection, inflammation in your pet’s intestinal lining, or other trauma.
Common pet supplements
While there are many different supplements to choose from that can support a wide variety of nutritional needs, there are some that are more common than others. These include the following:
Joint supplements. Joint supplements are normally recommended for dogs and cats suffering from degenerative conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or hip dysplasia. These contain vitamins and minerals important for supporting the cartilage, ligaments, and synovial fluid in your pet’s joints. The most common joint supplement is glucosamine.
Omega-3 fatty acids. These will probably appear as EPA and DHA on ingredient lists, and are essential, not only for joint health, but also for your pet’s skin, immune system, kidneys, and heart.
Biotics, including probiotics, prebiotics and symbiotic. These supplements are used to balance and improve your pet’s digestive health, keeping their gut healthy and bowel movements regular. They can also help balance the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and prevent infections and other issues.
Antioxidants. Antioxidants are found in many products that we apply to our skin, but they can also be added to your pet’s diet to improve their overall health and wellbeing. These molecules help to neutralize unstable molecules that cause damage to body cells, called free radicals.
How do I know which supplements are right for my pet?
You should never give your pet any sort of dietary supplement without first consulting with your vet. Doing so could mean that your cat or dog overdoses on a specific vitamin or mineral, and this could have adverse consequences for their health. Your vet will be able to advise you which supplements your furry friend could benefit from taking and what dosage would be appropriate. You should ensure that you only give your cat or dog approved veterinary supplements, as human varieties could contain ingredients that are dangerous for your pet, as well as being the incorrect dosage.
For more on pet supplements, visit Bergen County Veterinary Center in Waldwick, NJ. Call 201-205-2500 today to schedule an appointment.