Dietary Supplements for Pets: Harmful or Helpful?

 If you take dog supplements yourself, you’re not together:  Over 50 % of all Americans take health supplements frequently, accounting for 15 billion us dollars in sales per time! Although the number of dogs and cats taking health supplements is a lot lower (somewhere within 10-30% in the overall population), it appears to be growing and is much higher in household pets with certain medical ailments.  In magazines and on the internet, adverts for dietary supplements abound.

Although it is tempting to believe the cases of disease reduction, miraculous treatment, or even remedies that are likely to come from giving a few pills, knowing the true factual statements about supplements can help to determine which ones might be useful, which ones are unproductive, and which ones can in fact be harmful to your pet.

Important to Understand Dietary Supplements

First, it is important to comprehend that health dog supplements (whether for humans or house animals) are regulated very in a different way than drugs.  Unlike drugs, health supplements do not require the united states Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review product effectiveness, safety, or quality prior to marketing.  The result is usually that the FDA has little control over supplements.  In fact, while medicine manufacturers must establish the drug to be safe and effective before it comes, the FDA must verify that a product is unsafe.  It is straightforward to imagine that with the thousands of supplements available today, this can be an unrealistic job for the FDA.  Therefore, the safe practices, quality control, and effectiveness of health supplements can be very questionable.

safety and quality control issues

Even if the safe practices and quality control issues weren’t an issue, success has been proven for very few dietary supplements in humans, aside from for house animals.  Most pet supplements are used predicated on theory, anecdote, or data from other species.  Properly conducted studies are few in number for health supplements.  Clearly, more research is needed in this area to ascertain which of the dog supplements have beneficial effects and that are a waste product of money.  We also need to know optimal dosages for house animals, which must not be established just on the total amount directed at a person.  Patients I see may be taking either extremely high dosages of a health supplement, may be on a dose too low to possess any potential benefits, or may be taking multiple supplements that can overlap or communicate.

 “natural,” this is not always true

Given the countless concerns listed above, it is critical to be cautious about whether your dog really needs supplements to begin with.  In pets, the most frequent supplements used are multivitamins, joint supplements, and fatty acids so let’s go through the role of those.  Unless a dog or cat is eating a nutritionally unbalanced diet, multivitamins aren’t needed. In fact, giving dog vitamins or mineral supplements to a family pet eating a well-balanced diet may put them in danger for toxicity! Complete and well-balanced pet foods are created to give your pet just the right amount of nutrients and adding more can in fact be harmful.

So, how will you find out what’s best for your pet or kitten?

  • The first step is to talk to your animal medical practitioner about whether supplements work for your dog.
  • This will depend on your pet’s era, activity level, medical conditions, diet, and a number of other factors.
  • Should your veterinarian advise a supplement, make certain to also require specific suggestions on dose and brand.

Dog supplements aren’t necessary for healthy house animals eating a nutritionally well balanced diet, but may profit pets with certain medical conditions.  Your veterinarian can help you determine which supplements, if any, are right for your pet, what dose to use, and which specific brands have the product quality control essential to keep your pet happy and healthy.

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