Canine Supplements By Dr. Deborah Shores

Photo By: fwisneski
You might be taking a supplement to enhance your health and may be surprised that your dog can too! There are a variety of high quality canine supplements available today that are created with a specific blend of herbs, fruits, vegetables, vitamins and minerals. Each one is different and provides a slightly different nutritional health benefit for your best friend. 

Unfortunately, the vast majority of dogs in North America are not getting optimum nutrition eating commercial diets. While these diets may have the appropriate amount of fat, carbs and protein for your dog, problems with formulation, processing and shipping (such as exposure to too much heat) can degrade vital vitamins and antioxidants in the food.  Even if your dog eats a home-cooked, whole foods-based diet, supplementation with certain nutrients can enhance his or her health.

For many dogs, supplements can be beneficial and helpful for a holistic way to deal with health issues. Ultimately, we recommend that you consult your holistic veterinarian and decide if supplements could help your dog. Choosing quality supplements to help treat a medical problem is of utmost importance and is best done with the help of a professional. 

Although supplements may be billed as “all natural,” that doesn’t mean that they are safe. It is important to purchase supplements from a reputable company that uses high pharmaceutical-grade equipment and standards. Look for products certified WHO-GMP (good manufacturing practices) and ISO 9000-2000 certificated.  Also, in excess amounts, some supplements (such as fat-soluble vitamins, like Vitamin A) can cause toxicities in your dog’s body. When starting a supplement for your dog’s diet, it’s best to start slowly and gradually work up to the required dosage as directed. Many supplements don’t have side effects, but it is important to monitor your dog in case they develop a sensitive stomach. 

It’s also important to note that supplements aren’t a cure-all. Giving your dog a supplement while feeding pet food that doesn’t meet your dog’s biological needs won’t fix your dog’s health. Sometimes it is best to start by changing your dog’s diet or upping his exercise routine. 

So before you run out and buy your dog a supplement, honestly assess his health and current diet. If you find that your dog is having some issues, ask your veterinarian if a supplement would help your dog. 

Here’s some information about common supplements:

Fish Oil

One of the most popular supplements for dogs is an Omegas Fish Oil product. Fish oil is an extremely beneficial addition to any dog’s diet, especially those on a commercial dry-food diet. Most commercial dog foods are high in omega-6 fatty acids and low in omega-3s.  Elimay Supplements has an Omegas supplement that contains EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), both of which are omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fatty fish.  Fish oil is also great for joint, brain, heart, and liver function. Dogs with arthritis benefit from the anti-inflammatory punch from omega essential fatty acids. 

Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your dog’s intestines. They help control and manage yeast and other harmful forms of bacteria. Probiotics can also help treat diarrhea, calm digestive upsets, improve digestion, and boost immune system function. When antibiotics are given to your dog, the probiotics are destroyed, so for dogs on antibiotics, probiotics are especially important. 

It is important to purchase a ‘dog specific’ probiotic for your canine friend.  The two main strains of bacteria that are most effective for canines are Lactobacillus acidophilus and Enterococcus faeciumThere are many probiotic products on the market that can be purchased through your veterinarian.

If you find yourself asking, what supplement is best for my dog? Where do I start? Ask me through our Elimay homepage or have a conversation with your dog’s veterinarian at your next visit. 

About Deborah Shores, DVM


Dr. Deborah Shores is a graduate of the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She has many years of experience working in animal hospitals and clinics from Virginia to South Carolina, treating mainly dogs and cats. She has a special interest in nutrition and holistic veterinary medicine and plans to pursue an acupuncture certificate at the Chi Institute in Florida. She has two cats and recently lost her 8 year-old Australian Shepard to liver cancer.

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