December 19, 2019

10 Dog Supplements and Their Uses

Just like their human companions, dogs are riding the wellness wave. They may not be sipping kombucha or relaxing with face masks, but they are taking supplements. From easing joint pain to aiding in relaxation, dog supplements can have a wide array of pleasant effects on our furry friends.

Use the jump links to learn about each supplement below, or skip ahead to our visual on the 10 most dog-friendly supplements. Please note: you should always speak with a vet before giving your dog any supplements.

Milk Thistle
Fish Oil
Coenzyme Q10


1. S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe)

S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) shows great promise in pet medicine; it helps with everything from joint repair to cognitive health. SAMe is present in more than 40 chemical reactions in the body. It boosts neurotransmitter synthesis, which can help a dog diagnosed with depression or other cognitive disorders.

SAMe can also be used to boost liver health and lessen inflammation in the body. Plus, it may also benefit dogs experiencing musculoskeletal disorders and pain. SAMe is naturally occurring in mammals, so it’s generally accepted as a safe supplement to give dogs.

However, it can be overdosed and interact with other drugs your dog may be taking. Consult with a vet before giving this supplement to your pup.


2. Milk Thistle

Milk thistle treats a wide array of ailments in both dogs and humans. The plant itself has high antioxidants, which are essential to liver health. This supplement can also help with kidney and digestive health.

Lastly, if your dog has a history of digestive issues, try mixing milk thistle into their dog food (with vet approval). The herb can alleviate bowel stress and provide comfort to dogs experiencing this ailment.


3. Multivitamins

Multivitamins are ideal for older dogs, or those that may have vitamin deficiencies due to a poor diet. Many dog foods are rich with basic vitamins (A, B, C, D, etc.), making multivitamins excessive in some cases.

So if you want to be safe here, just make sure to feed your dog quality dog food. Regardless, there are multivitamins available to pet owners, and these supplements have their uses under the right circumstances.

Consulting with your vet is a good way to identify any vitamin deficiencies your dog may have. While giving your dog needless multivitamins most likely won’t cause any harm, it would be a useless investment and may disrupt digestive systems if they are indeed not needed.

Lastly, human multivitamins are dangerous for pets, so make sure you are purchasing dog-specific vitamins.


4. CBD

CBD (or cannabinoid) is curbing epilepsy in dogs. Currently, however, no formal research has been conducted on dogs and CBD, so any claims are anecdotal.

That being said, these claims are strong. Most pet CBD products are derived from hemp, and scientists can confirm that these compounds interact with receptors in dogs' brains in positive ways.

CBD potentially treats inflammation, cardiac abnormalities, anxiety and dietary issues in dogs. Separation anxiety is also possibly mitigated by CBD. Scientists are speculating that there may even be anti-cancer benefits in the compound.

Just as there are no confirmed benefits of CBD, there are also no concrete risks in dogs who take it. Lowered blood pressure, dry mouth and drowsiness have been observed before, but aren’t guaranteed side effects.

CBD products can be found at many pet stores and online. If you decide to try CBD products with your dog, look for those that are organic, as it is a natural oil and should made without synthetic elements.


5. Glucosamine

Glucosamine is used to treat joint pain in dogs. This supplement is commonly used after surgeries as a natural way to bring a dog back to health. Glucosamine is also used with performance dogs to keep them in top competing condition.

It must be given over a prolonged period of time for benefits to show. This supplement works by healing damaged cartilage around joints. When administered correctly, glucosamine can lead to less strain, friction and in turn, less pain felt by a dog.

Cartilage is a tricky part of the body to heal. Without an additional supplement, it most likely won’t heal on its own. This is why glucosamine is a popular way to aid in canine health.

Older dogs and certain breeds with naturally occurring bone ailments can also benefit greatly from glucosamine as well.


6. Fish Oil

Dogs and humans receive the same benefits from supplemental fish oil. This vitamin provides a boost in healthy fatty acids that have a wide array of nutritional benefits. These healthy additions can be hard to find in popular processed dog foods, yet they are essential for dog health.

First, fish oil provides a significant boost in omega-3. This fatty acid helps alleviate inflammation and can curb your pet’s allergies or head cold. The compound also alleviates pain caused by arthritis by soothing inflamed joints and can help with skin health which leads to a healthier coat and fur.

Omega-6 is also found in fish oil. This omega acid helps with cell growth and can boost a canine’s immune system. This vitamin is a great supplement for older and at-risk dogs that are exposed to harsh conditions.


7. Lysine

This supplement should only be taken with lysine is a powerful powder that can be dangerous if a pet is given too much. That being said, the medication can also hold many healing effects.

Lysine is used for dogs and cats that need an extra level of anti-inflammatory help, particularly in the eye region. Many vendors are starting to sell commercial lysine.

However, due to a lack of regulation, these newcomers should be looked at with extreme discretion. Usually, a vendor will claim their lysine is good for all-around pet health. Again, unless recommended by your vet, stay clear of this supplement.


8. Probiotics

Probiotics, which work by aiding the growth of healthy bacteria in your dog's colon, can help with your pet's digestive health. These supplements are a healthy option all the time, but can also be fed to your furry friend to help an upset stomach.

Sometimes when a dog is old, stressed, has a poor diet or is sick from a parasite, probiotics can help alleviate associated issues.

If your dog is showing cases of an upset stomach —diarrhea, vomiting, gas, etc.— feed them probiotic-rich foods to help with the symptoms. Consult a vet if they're continuously sick for more than 24 hours.

Some foods are particularly rich in probiotics. Yogurt, kefir and specific dog-friendly chews are good options and widely available to pet owners.


9. Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that is found in both humans and dogs.

This supplement is best for your dog’s heart health. Generally, when a vet notices any sign of heart disease in a canine, they will prescribe dosages of coenzyme Q10 to help combat the illness. It’s unknown if regular intake of the antioxidant prevents the onset of such a disease in dogs.

This natural supplement can also catalyze food metabolization, and give energy to dogs who may be low on it. This benefit can have particularly positive effects for sick or older dogs.


10. Azodyl

Azodyl is given to dogs for azotemia. Azotemia is a symptom of a high nitrogen presence in the blood. This is caused by waste products like urea and creatinine entering the system at a high rate. Generally, these symptoms are a product of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

If a dog has CKD, a vet will prescribe azodyl as a supplement to help break down nitrogen in the pup’s blood and hopefully cure the sickness.

While this is a supplement, it’s usually only prescribed by vets and should only be taken with their recommendation due to its specific use.


What Human Supplements Work For Dogs?

Many supplements that work for humans will also aid in dog health. Most of the supplements listed are naturally occurring compounds that are known to be good for mammalian health — dog, human or otherwise.

It is still important, however, to always consult with not regulated by the FDA. This doesn’t mean dog supplements are unsafe; they just require extra precaution.

Dosage is also much different from pup-to-pup, so your vet is a valuable resource here as well. All-in-all, though, supplements can be a valuable addition to your dog's health. They can provide a boost for when your dog is under the weather or in need of some extra energy.

Unfortunately, sometimes our pups can fall ill beyond the help of supplements. It’s during these times that Gallant can help. By storing your pup’s stem cells after a spay or neuter operation, they are able to create treatments as they’re needed.

Learn more about how the process works and sign your pup up today for lifetime of love.

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