FAQs about dog supplements
What is the best supplement for dogs?
In short, there’s no single best supplement for dogs. In fact, the best supplement for your dog is going to depend on their individual health, and any other medications they might be taking, Teller says. “It’s really worth consulting with your veterinarian,” she adds.
Should I give my dog supplements?
It depends on whether or not your dog has any health conditions that can be helped by supplements. “Certain health conditions such as osteoarthritis and certain advanced endocrine diseases may necessitate supplementation,” Matusicky says. “However, this is always patient-specific and should only be instituted under the advice of your veterinarian.”
What are supplements bad for dogs?
“In many instances, owners can do more harm than good to their animals with supplements, as even the most benign supplement can be dangerous if given at the wrong dose,” Matusicky says.
In particular, there are a couple of supplements to be especially prized with: CBD and anything containing essential oils.
The bottom line with CBD is that though it’s very trendy right now, we need more research on what it can do for dogs, Teller says. “It may play a role in helping with arthritis and seizures in dogs with epilepsy,” she adds. But there are major risks to getting the wrong dose, including liver injury and disease.
Essential oils are also popular and might even be included in more homeopathic-type dog supplements, but Teller warns that dog owners should be especially careful with these. “Essential oils can be highly toxic to pets, and you definitely need to talk to your veterinarian about those,” she says.
Lastly, many supplements can interfere with prescription medications your dog might be on for issues like immune, kidney, and liver diseases. “A lot of times, people start adding supplements and herbs on top, thinking it can’t hurt,” Teller says. “But in actuality, these can impact the absorption of medication that’s been prescribed or cause an adverse reaction.”
Are supplements necessary for dogs?
“Supplements, in general, are completely unnecessary,” Matusicky says. Specifically, multivitamins are a waste of money, Teller adds. As long as your dog is eating high-quality
they’re getting all the nutrients a multivitamin would give them.
But targeted supplements for specific health issues may be helpful, provided you have your veterinarian’s approval.
What is the best supplement for older dogs?
“As dogs age, they can develop any number of ailments,” Matusicky says. “Depending on what’s going on, different diets and supplements may be recommended.” There are some supplements that are helpful for arthritis (glucosamine, omega-3s/fish oil) and “doggy dementia” (cognitive dysfunction blends) in particular, teller notes.
Should I give my dog probiotics?
Veterinarians use probiotics frequently, Teller says, particularly when dogs are dealing with diarrhea after being on
or experiencing certain types of anxiety. But similar to how probiotics work in humans, the benefits are strain-specific. In other words, you need to pick up the specific strain that helps with a specific health issue, otherwise the probiotic won’t have an effect. “If you have an overall healthy animal, there’s not a great indication for probiotics,” Teller says.
What dosage should I give my dog?
Getting supplement dosage right is extremely important, according to Matusicky and Teller. “A lot of times, supplements may not have enough or may have too much, and different conditions require different dosages,” Teller says. “So it would be really a good idea to consult with your veterinarian about the condition you want to use that supplement for to make sure you’re giving your dog the right dose.”