Which nutritional supplements can you give to your pet?
Just as many pet parents are paying more attention these days to the quality of food they feed their companion animals, they are also realizing the potential benefits of nutritional supplements.
Supplements are becoming more and more recognized as a valuable component of a comprehensive care program for pets.
The primary categories for supplements include joint support, skin and coat health, GI tract health, and liver and kidney support. A less well-known but equally important type of supplement supports healthy circulation, optimal immune function, the healthy presence of oxygen in tissues, and cardiovascular health.
Joint health supplementsSupplements for joint health typically contain glycosaminoglycans, that promote the health of cartilage, which is the strong, elastic tissue lining the bone surfaces in joints.
Cartilage provide cushioning to help protect your pet’s skeletal structure during movement and exercise.
The most common GAG is chondroitin sulfate, a substance that is naturally present in healthy connective tissue and cartilage. Another is glucosamine, and a third is hyaluronic acid which helps maintain its flexibility, elasticity, and strength.
Another excellent ingredient to look for in a joint support supplement is cetyl myristoleate, a potent joint lubricant.
Skin and coat supplementsDietary supplements for your pet’s skin and coat health typically contain essential fatty acids, often a blend of omega-3s, -6s and -9s.
The problem with many of these blended supplements is that most dogs and cats today, especially those eating commercially available processed pet food, get an overabundance of omega-6s and not enough omega-3s. A combination of inexpensive grain and corn-based ingredients, vegetable oils and fats from chicken and meat create pet food packed with omega-6 fats.
In addition, the omega-3 fats used in most commercial pet foods come from plant or vegetable sources, and the manufacturing process typically destroys what value these ingredients have.
The best essential fatty acid supplement for the vast majority of today’s dogs and cats is an omega-3 supplement made from marine oils – krill oil or fish oil.
Supplements for a healthy gastrointestinal tractTwo extremely beneficial supplements to promote healthy digestion in pets are probiotics and digestive enzymes.
Probiotics are friendly strains of bacteria that maintain healthy levels of good bacteria in your pet’s GI tract, and also defend against opportunistic, pathogenic bacteria.
High quality digestive enzymes for pets should be sourced from animals (not plants or fungi), and should ideally contain some or all of these ingredients: betaine HCI, ox bile extract, bromelain, papain, pancreatin, protease, amylase and lipase.
Supplements for liver and kidney supportThere are a number of wonderful supplements to support your pet’s detox organs.
Liver support products include milk thistle and SAMe.
It’s usually cats, not dogs, that get kidney disease, and the best way to support your kitty’s kidney and urinary tract health throughout her life is to feed a moisture-rich, species-appropriate diet to minimize stress on her vital organs. Dry processed kibble is tremendously detrimental to the overall health of cats – and especially their kidneys.
Supplements for a healthy heartA less well-known but equally important supplement for pets is CoQ10, or more specifically, ubiquinol, the reduced form of CoQ10. As pets get older their bodies have less ability to convert CoQ10 to its active form, ubiquinol.
CoQ10 is a coenzyme that nearly every one of your pet’s body functions depends on -- every cell ... every organ... every tissue.
Coenzyme Q10 also contributes to healthy circulation, promotes optimal immune function, supports the healthy presence of oxygen in tissues, and supports cardiovascular health.
Pets that can most benefit from ubiquinol supplementation include those who need additional cardiovascular support, all pets aged 7 and older, and athletic animals that compete and perform.
CBD Oil for your petsMany people reject pharmaceuticals based on their adverse side effects and search for a safer, natural alternative. This leads them towards cannabinoids such as medical marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) oil. CBD oil in particular is increasingly being used to benefit our beloved pets.
CBD oil is extremely applicable for use with animals. Because CBD oil contains only minimal levels of THC, it will not make your pet high. This is a very important distinction between CBD products and medical marijuana, because high doses of THC when ingested by an animal can lead to severe and dangerous side effects, and in some cases even death.
Progressive veterinarians have begun exploring possible medical applications for CBD oil and pet treatment. CBD oil is extremely safe, often much cheaper than typical animal medications, and can provide a viable option where all others have failed.
DosingEven information available for CBD oil dosages in humans is difficult to source, but that's exponentially true when it comes to dosages for pets. The most important fact to keep in mind, besides seeking professional guidance, is to start off slowly and small. Starting small, and gradually increasing the dose while closely watching for a change in symptoms or attitude of your pet will save you both wasting unnecessary product and also ensuring your pet gets the perfect dosage. Another vital consideration is the size of your pet, because a toy poodle definitely cannot effectively process as much CBD oil as a great dane.
According to available sources, begin by calculated dose off of weight. Begin with the minimum and increase slowly day by day until symptoms improve.
weight - average optimal dose CBD
4kg - 1,2mg
8kg - 2,4mg
12kg - 3,6mg
16kg - 4,8mg
20kg - 6,0mg
40kg - 12,0mg
An important aside is that it is very important to keep a close eye on your pet throughout the process. If your pet’s symptoms deteriorate in anyway, halt all medication and seek professional assistance.