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Dog Supplements and Dog’s Nutritional Requirements

Healthy dogs fed with nutritious food appropriate for their age and size generally do not need any dietary supplements. However, number of dogs not obtaining all the necessary nutrients through their diet is rapidly rising. Many dogs are affected by stress resulting in weakened immunity which in turn makes them more susceptible for series of diseases and illnesses. Weakened immune system functioning is also common in dogs with health problems, during recovery process and after intense physical or psychological strains increasing daily requirements for certain nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals.

Many dogs including those fed with a healthy, balanced food are not obtaining the required amounts of omega-3 fatty acid because of lack of natural sources. Beef is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid but the one that ends up in both human and pet plates originates from factory farms inferior to meat of naturally raised, grass-fed cattle. Thus your dog may benefit from omega-3 fatty acid supplements or salmon oil which is among its best sources. It is particularly helpful for dogs with skin and joint problems. Salmon oil also enhances immune system functioning, promotes heart health, and helps maintaining healthy and shiny coat.

Unlike humans, dogs produce vitamin C in their bodies and normally do not require vitamin C supplements. However, dogs are affected by stress and environmental toxins too. Vitamin C supplements boost immune system and quicken the recovery process. Vitamin C is often used in combination of vitamin E to increase efficacy of the latter.

Dogs with weakened immune system and allergy conditions may also benefit from vitamin B complex supplements. B vitamins also promote skin health making dog’s coat healthier, softer and shinier.

All the necessary minerals are normally obtained through healthy and nutrient rich diet but it is important to keep in mind that senior dogs and dogs with bone problems require increased calcium intake. Instead of calcium supplement you may also use powdered eggshells which are an excellent natural source of the mineral.

Please keep in mind that dog supplements cannot replace a healthy and nutritious diet.