This guide does not constitute medical advice. As with any changes in your pet’s diet, it’s best to consult your veterinarian first, especially if your pet is on medications.
There is a wide world of health supplements out there for your pet. Responsible supplementation may be a great way to support your pet’s overall and future health or to help support a pet with health issues. Of course, choosing which supplements to give your pet can be challenging, given how many there are on the market. When choosing supplements for your dog or cat, consider the following:
Look for brands that have been clinically studied. The brand may have ordered the study themselves, which is a sign of a reputable company.
Call the number on the bottle and ask questions about who formulated the supplement, and if they have any nutritional, veterinary, or medical training. It’s also good to ask how long the company has been in business.
Read the labels carefully.
Look for markers of quality, like USDA organic and National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) certifications.
Choose supplements that have a lot number on the product. A lot number means the company has quality control practices in place.
Choose brands with confirmed expertise and who have a good reputation.
Look for a brand that specializes in one area.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Vitamin and herbal supplements are not cure-alls.
In general, choosing pet supplements is the safest bet, since many human supplements contain ingredients that aren’t helpful to pets or that could harm them, like xylitol. You can give your cat or dog pet-safe herbs from capsules meant for people so long as the capsule doesn’t contain anything other than the herb, and you’re using the correct amount for cats or dogs.
As always, talk to your vet before starting your pet on nutritional supplements. Their experience means that they’ll likely have good advice and can recommend supplements and brands for your pet. You may also be able to find a holistic vet or a vet with more experience with alternative health for animals to talk to.
When giving your dog or cat nutritional supplements make sure you follow the label’s instructions. Also, look to your pet for clues about how, or if, the supplement is affecting them. In many ways, they are the final word. In this article, we’ll be looking at popular pet vitamins and pet supplements.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are a popular supplement for pets, and people. They may help support a normal inflammatory response, which is why doctors recommend fish oil for heart health. As far as cats and dogs go, fish oils are also recommended. Fish oil might help dog hearts the way it helps human hearts. And, the benefits don’t end there. The essential fatty acids in fish oils may help your pet grow a soft, silky coat, soothe dry, itchy, irritated skin, may help ease allergies, and might even support a dog with occasional joint discomfort.
Many people think of fish oils when they think of essential fatty acids. Quality fish oil can be an excellent supplement, but with the high levels of mercury and other contaminants found in many fish these days, choosing a high-quality fish oil is important. Also, choosing fish oil made from small fish like sardines and minnows can be a safer choice.
However, hemp seed oil is also a good plant source of omega-3’s and omega-6’s. Hemp seed oil bypasses the issues of environmental contaminants and provides a good balance of essential fatty acids.
Whatever type of essential fatty acid you choose can be added to your pet’s food for easy administration. And, you could also try both fish oil and hemp seed oil and see which seems to make more of a difference for your pet.
A multivitamin is a nutritional supplement that contains necessary nutrients. Cat and dog multivitamins are formulated separately since they have different nutritional requirements. However, PetMD warns that pets who are eating commercial food are already getting the necessary amounts of vitamins and minerals, and excess supplementation is either unnecessary or could be potentially harmful. Another way to increase your pet’s intake of vitamins is to switch to higher quality food, perhaps one that your vet recommends.
One way to nutritionally supplement your pet’s diet with vitamins is to try using animal-appropriate fruits and veggies as treats. Fruits and veggies are nature’s multivitamins, and dogs can eat carrots, celery, sweet potato, and zucchini, while cats can have apples, blueberries, and bananas.
Instead of a processed multivitamin, you can also look at adding small amounts of nutritional herbs like alfalfa to your pet’s diet. Or, you can grow or purchase grasses for your pet to enjoy. Grasses like alfalfa and oat grass are rich in nutrients and fiber. Plus, dogs and cats love to nibble on them.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate
Glucosamine and chondroitin are popular supplements for dogs and their joint health. Cats can take glucosamine and chondroitin as well. Glucosamine may help relieve inflammation associated with normal daily exercise and activity. The joints might use glucosamine to make the building blocks of cartilage. Glucosamine helps maintain the synovial fluid that lubricates joints. Chondroitin may enhance the functions of joints and connective tissue. While there haven’t been, as of yet, any quality studies done on the effectiveness of glucosamine and chondroitin in pets, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence in support of these supplements and their ability to help with joint health.
If you do decide to give your pet glucosamine and chondroitin, it may take up to six weeks to see any effects.
With its active compound, curcumin, Turmeric may help support a healthy inflammatory response, and many people use it as a supplement for overall health, disease prevention, and healing. Combined with black pepper, it’s an optimum blend to enhance the body’s normal repair of connective tissue and joints. As powerful as turmeric is, it can’t give these amazing health benefits alone. To be most effective, turmeric needs to be combined with black pepper. Black pepper contains piperine as a major active component, and when combined with turmeric, increases the bioavailability of the curcumin found in turmeric by 2,000%.
You can buy turmeric with black pepper supplements for your dog or cat, or you can make your own fairly easily with just a few special ingredients.
1/2 cup organic turmeric powder
1 to 1 ½ cups filtered or spring water
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/4 organic MCT oil or ghee/clarified butter (do not use coconut oil)
Mix the turmeric with 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Save the remaining water in case you need to thin your paste a bit. Stir the liquid on low heat for about 7-10 minutes. It should form a thick paste. If it gets too thick, add more water. If it looks too watery, add more turmeric and heat for a couple more minutes. Once your paste has thickened, take off the heat and add the black pepper and oil and stir thoroughly. Allow mixture to cool. Place in a glass container with a lid and store in the refrigerator, where it will keep up to 2 weeks. Half of this batch can be placed in the freezer.
To give your dog or cat, mix the paste with a small amount of water and pour over food.
Small dogs and cats start with ¼ teaspoon per day
Medium dogs start with ½ teaspoon per day
Large dogs can start with ¾ teaspoon per day
Giant dogs can start with 1 teaspoon per day.
Pet Releaf CBD and Your Pet
CBD (cannabidiol) is a popular health supplement for both dogs and cats. It may be able to support optimal health in your pet. With its actions on the nervous system, CBD activates the body’s endocannabinoid system and creates a two-way communication system between the brain and the body’s systems. This is why CBD may be able to support health in so many different ways. For the stressed-out pet, CBD may be able to help by having a calming effect on the nerves. If you’re dealing with situational stress like traveling, a move, or a stormy night, CBD may be able to help your pet maintain a normal and relaxed disposition. If your pet is having some tummy troubles, then CBD may be able to aid by reducing occasional loose stools due to environmental stress or changes in diet. If you want to help your dog have healthy gut flora, try CBD. When it comes to healthy organs like your dog’s liver and kidneys, support their healthy function with CBD. CBD may also offer connective tissue support and might ease joint stiffness from normal daily exercise and activity by helping to maintain healthy bone and joint function.
Pet Releaf CBD is the best pet CBD on the market. Their farming partners grow their own hemp here in the U.S. with sustainable and regenerative farming practices. Pet Releaf also engages in top-notch quality control by sending out one of each of their products out to a 3rd party laboratory each month. There they are tested for potency and to ensure that no toxic chemicals or solvents were used in the extraction process. Pet Releaf is so confident in their products that they offer a 100% guarantee on all products.
Pet Releaf offers a wide variety of CBD products for cats, dogs, and other pets. For dogs and cats, check out their Liposome Hemp oil. It’s award-winning and mixed with healthful omega-3 fatty acids from wild-caught fish oil. Does your dog like treats? While Edibites aren’t treats, but CBD and herbal supplement chews, they are available in delicious flavors ranging from Sweet Potato Pie to Peanut Butter and Carob. Not sure which CBD product is right for your pet? Pet Releaf understands and offers its helpful product finder. All you need to do is answer a few questions about your adorable pet, and they’ll give you suggestions on what CBD products are best for your pet.