It is critical to give your dog the right vitamins and minerals early in their adult lives so they can stay healthy and active for years to come. This is especially true if your dog is very active or is considered a large or giant breed. This article will show you the one dog supplement you need to keep your dog living their best life.
The best dog vitamins should include:
- Glucosamine for its anti-inflammatory properties and joint lubrication.
- Chondroitin for its ability to help rebuild cartilage and increase joint flexibility.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) for its anti-inflammatory properties and its promotion of nutrient absorption.
- Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy joints, heart, skin, and kidneys.
- Vitamin C for its immune support and antioxidants.
Keep reading to find the one dog supplement you’ll need as well as answers to all your dog supplement questions, including:
- Do dogs need vitamins and supplements?
- How can giving your dog vitamins now help them in their senior years?
- What are the benefits of dog vitamins?
- Can young dogs have joint pain?
- How can I find the best supplements for dogs?
- 6 Dog Supplement Ingredients for Optimal Adult Dog Health
- Are dog supplements safe?
- When should I start giving my dog supplements?
- Should I give my dog vitamins every day?
- Can you oversupplement your dog?
- How long does it take dog supplements to work?
11 minute read
When we see our dogs running and playing, it’s hard to imagine them ever having to deal with things like arthritis or joint pain. The truth is, though, adult dogs need vitamins and minerals to keep their joints healthy long before they reach their senior years.
After all, it’s much easier to prevent health problems than to try and fix them.
What you feed your dog and what supplements you give them will directly affect how active your dog will be in their later years. If your dog is very active or is considered a large or giant breed, this is even more important.
Before beginning any supplement program to help your dog with a specific problem (for example, low energy or a dull coat), talk to your veterinarian to make sure there isn’t a more serious underlying medical problem responsible for the issue. Supplements provide supplemental support for your dog’s body, mind, and immune system, but they are not intended as a replacement for a veterinarian’s care.
Supplements can help give your dog a healthier and more active life, but finding the right supplement or multivitamin for your dog can be really challenging. Keep reading to find out the answers to all of your dog supplement questions.
Do Dogs Need Vitamins and Supplements?
The answer is a resounding yes!
It goes without saying that you want the best for your dog and that you want them to be healthy. That’s why you buy good, nutritious food for them. Perhaps you even make it yourself!
Even with the best foods, though, there may be holes in your dog’s nutrition. Different dogs have different needs, and nutrition isn’t one-size-fits-all.
Dogs’ activity levels differ. For example, a dog who participates in agility training needs far more nutritional joint support than a less active dog.
Even a dog’s breed can affect their nutritional needs. Some breeds are susceptible to hip dysplasia and need vitamins and nutrients for healthy joints. So do large and giant breeds, whose extra weight puts more stress on their knees and hips.
But why can’t they get all these nutrients from regular commercial dog food? And what specific problems and conditions can a dog supplement help with or prevent?
Problems with Some Dog Foods
While commercially prepared dog food is designed to provide the minimum amount of vitamins and nutrients your dog needs, it may not provide the optimal amount.
It is important to remember that every dog is unique. Because of things like age, breed, and activity level, your dog’s optimal amount of nutrients will likely be different from another dog’s. Providing your dog with the optimal amount of nutrients can have wonderful benefits now and for years to come.
Besides commercial foods, many pet parents are turning to homemade dog foods for their canine companions. Many want to avoid artificial flavors and colors while others turn to homemade food after seeing a dangerous dog food recall.
The problem with homemade dog food isn’t usually in the proteins or carbohydrates. It’s in the essential nutrients that are impossible to get without adding supplements to your dog’s diet.
How Can Giving a Dog Vitamins Now Help Them in Their Senior Years?
When a dog is racing across a field to catch a stick or jumping over a fence to chase a squirrel, they aren’t thinking about how their actions now may affect their joints when they’re older.
As loving pet parents, that responsibility falls on us. We want to make sure we give our pups everything they need so they can keep living their paw-some and happy lives – both now and in their senior years. Dog supplements designed for adult dogs can help with that.
It’s estimated that 1 in 5 dogs will experience joint problems at some point in their lives. That’s on the low end, though – for some breeds that number is even higher!
Bone and joint issues are especially common in large and giant breeds of dogs. From hip dysplasia to arthritis to ankle or knee issues, there are many problems that can cause extreme discomfort or pain to our dogs in their senior years.
Nobody wants to see their pup in pain. By making sure your dog has the best vitamins and nutrients to support their joint health now, you can help lessen or even prevent these problems in the future.
What Are the Benefits of Dog Vitamins?
Here are some of the truly paw-some benefits to active dog supplements:
- Supplying the vitamins and minerals necessary for heart, eye, and brain health
- Supporting healthy skin and coat
- Boosting your dog’s immune system
- Reducing joint discomfort and increasing mobility
- Promoting the formation of collagen for healthy joints
- Protecting your dog from free radicals
- Reducing inflammation throughout your dog’s body
But why would a young dog need help with joint discomfort and mobility? Keep reading to find out…
Can Young Dogs Have Joint Pain?
Yes. While we normally think of senior dogs when we think of arthritis or joint pain, it can afflict dogs of all ages.
We never want to see our beloved pets in pain, but it’s particularly distressing when it’s a young dog in the prime of his life.
A dog joint supplement can provide your dog with all the nutrients they need to support and protect their joints and lower inflammation, all of which reduce pain and discomfort and let them live healthy, active lives.
How Can I Find the Best Supplements for Dogs?
So which ingredients should the best supplements for dogs have in them? There are so many supplements to choose from. Which one would help our beloved dogs live their best life?
6 Dog Supplement Ingredients for Optimal Adult Dog Health
Every great active dog supplement should have certain things – like omega-3 fatty acids for healthy joints, heart, skin, and kidneys, vitamin C for its immune support and antioxidants, and a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin like Green Lipped Mussel. Additional ingredients like MSM (an organic form of sulfur) are useful in enhancing your dog’s absorption of their vitamins and minimizing inflammation.
However, just having those vitamins and minerals isn’t enough. How a manufacturer obtains them is crucial, as they need to be safe, pure, and easily absorbable (also referred to as being “bioavailable”).
The best ingredients for adult dogs are:
- Green Lipped Mussel
- Indian Frankincense
- Vitamin C
Green Lipped Mussel
Green Lipped Mussels are native to and harvested only in New Zealand. They are a wonderful source of all major types of glycosaminoglycans. These nutrients are the source of this ingredient’s anti-inflammatory and joint-lubricating properties.
Also, Green Lipped Mussel is extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like EPA and DHA, minerals, and proteins. It is linked to a wide range of health benefits including joint, heart, eyes, skin, bone, and brain health.
For adult dogs, Green Lipped Mussels are a critical ingredient to provide structural integrity support for joints, ligaments, and tendons. If your dog suffers an injury, it helps your dog heal and assists in connective tissue repair. Only the very best supplements for dogs contain this unique ingredient.
Glucosamine helps your dog create and repair the cartilage in their joints.
While dogs naturally produce glucosamine, this production goes down as your dog gets older. This means his joints can stiffen. They can even lose the cartilage that absorbs the shock of running, jumping, and walking.
Giving your dog glucosamine in his supplements can help him naturally rebuild his cartilage and maintain healthy joints throughout his life.
Glucosamine has additional benefits, such as::
- reducing inflammation
- soothing stiff and sore joints
- improving your dog’s joint lubrication
- slowing down the aging process in your dog’s joints
- improving your dog’s mobility and range of motion naturally
- fighting degenerative diseases such as arthritis and hip dysplasia
When a supplement combines glucosamine with other naturally occurring glycosaminoglycans, including chondroitin and MSM, this can lead to even more benefits for your active dog’s joints and overall health.
MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, is an organic form of sulfur. It is a safe and effective agent that cleanses the bloodstream and flushes toxins from the cells as well as being naturally anti-inflammatory and providing pain relief. It’s often used to treat arthritis in dogs.
Additionally, MSM enhances your dog’s nutrient absorption while promoting flexibility and healthy cartilage.
Chondroitin occurs naturally in animals, especially in their connective tissues like cartilage. It retains water and promotes elasticity, which ensures adequate shock absorption in the animal’s joints. If a dog has lost some of their cartilage, chondroitin can help rebuild it naturally.
Because of its time-tested benefits in protecting our precious pup’s mobility, chondroitin is one of the most sought-after joint-supporting ingredients available on the market today.
Indian Frankincense is an herbal extract from the Boswellia Serrata plant, which grows in India. This extract has long been hailed for its antiseptic, antiarthritic, and anti-inflammatory effects.
It helps to reduce joint pain, preserve joint cartilage, enhance cognitive function, and regulate the digestive system while providing antioxidant health benefits. It is often prescribed as a dog supplement for arthritis.
Unlike humans, dogs can actually produce their own vitamin C. However, this ability goes down as your pup gets older. Stress or illness can also deplete their natural vitamin C reserves.
By providing vitamin C in your dog’s supplement, you know they’ll always have it when they need it.
The vitamin C in Calcium Ascorbate form makes it gentle on the digestive system and highly absorbable.
For adult dogs, vitamin C helps them maintain healthy collagen levels while promoting a strong immune system and protecting the body from free radicals.
Are Dog Supplements Safe?
When pet parents are considering supplements for their precious furry family members, quality and safety are of the utmost importance.
You need to feel confident that your dog’s supplements are made following strict standards of quality and that you can trust the company making them.
When Should I Start Giving My Dog Supplements?
From the time your puppy is 6 months old until they are 18 months old, they should take a puppy supplement.
After that, the one dog supplement you need is one specially formulated for adult dog. This is especially true if your dog is very active or is a large or giant breed dog.
When your dog reaches 7 years old, we recommend moving on to a supplement aimed at older dogs.
Should I Give My Dog Vitamins Every Day?
Vitamins should always be given regularly to make sure your pup gets all their benefits.
“Given regularly” means different things from dog to dog and from supplement to supplement. Always follow the dosage instructions on your chosen supplement carefully.
Some dogs can be quite skilled at avoiding their medicine – or what they think is medicine. To make it easier for you to give your pup their vitamins, most supplements are flavored to make them appealing to your pooch’s palette.
If your pup still turns up his nose, another option is to grind his supplement up (if it’s a chewable tablet) and mix it into some wet food.
Can You Oversupplement Your Dog?
Yes, you absolutely can.
Supplements are a great tool to alleviate various health problems and help your dog live an active, happy, and healthy life, but giving your dog too many supplements can harm them.
This is why it’s so important to discuss your dog’s supplements with your veterinarian and follow all dosage instructions exactly. Also, keep your dog’s supplements in a secure location so your dog can’t eat them without your knowledge.
If your dog does accidentally eat too many supplements, call the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435. Please be aware this is similar to a vet visit, so a consultation fee may apply.
How Long Does it Take Dog Supplements to Work?
While medicines may take effect immediately, supplements are not medicine. This means you won’t see the effects overnight.
It usually takes at least a month to see changes in your dog. After that, though, you can expect to see benefits like more energy, healthier skin, a more vibrant coat, digestion improvement, and allergy improvement. If they had been showing signs of stiffness or soreness in their joints or limbs, you should start seeing improvement there as well.
The Final Woof
Our dogs are our best friends and bring us so much joy, so it’s natural that we want to keep them happy, healthy, and loving life. By making sure we give them the right combination of healthy food and supportive supplements, we can ensure our pups have all the ingredients they need to stay healthy and active their whole lives.
Do you want to know which supplement is right for your dog? Then take the quiz below to find out what nutrients your furry friend needs to live a truly paw-some life!