We all want the best for our pets. As much as we may want to shower our furry friends with toys and affection, one of the best ways to show our love is to provide our pets with a nourishing, nutrient-rich diet. After all, who doesn’t want their pet to live a long, healthy life?
When it comes to choosing supplements for your dog or cat, you’ll want to do plenty of research to ensure you’re making the right choice for your pet. Read on to learn how to choose the right dog or cat supplements to promote your pet’s health from the inside out.
What are Supplements?
Perhaps you take a daily multivitamin to support your overall health; perhaps you take a more specific supplement to address certain deficiencies, such as magnesium or vitamin D. Like humans, pets can also take supplements to address nutritional gaps or specific health needs.
Supplements should be thought of as an addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle; they should never be used as a replacement for well-balanced, nutrient-rich food or prescription medications.
Basically, think of supplements as a nutritional boost—either to enhance your pet’s overall health or fill in any nutritional gaps.
Does Your Pet Need Supplements?
Not only do dogs and cats have their own unique dietary needs, but each pet is also different. If you have two dogs, you may find that only one of them needs a nutritional supplement, or that they each need a different kind of supplement. If you have a healthy cat, you may find that supplements can do more harm than good.
Before giving your pet a dietary supplement, it’s a good idea to consult your vet to determine whether your furry friend has any nutritional deficiencies or health conditions and if there are any specific supplements that can help.
You don’t want to choose supplements at random. For example, if you have a dog with joint and mobility issues, a skin and coat supplement won’t exactly address the issue at hand. Additionally, make sure to maintain realistic expectations when giving your pet a supplement—supplements are to be thought of as additions to your pet’s diet, not medications or cure-alls.
Dog Supplements to Consider
Dog supplements can typically be broken down into four categories:
- Prebiotics & probiotics
- Amino & fatty acids
Popular supplements for dogs include:
- Vitamin B for increased energy and appetite
- Vitamin E for healthy skin
- Vitamin K for bone proteins
- Omega 3s and 6s for healthy skin, coat, and joints
- Glucosamine for healthy joint function
- Probiotics and digestive enzymes for digestion and nutrient absorption
- Folic acid for boosting metabolism
Not sure where to start? Try Pet Honesty’s 10-for-1 Multivitamin, a blend of natural ingredients rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and fatty acids to promote your pup’s overall health.
Cat Supplements to Consider
Cat supplements tend to be a bit more controversial than dog supplements. This is because cats, unlike dogs, are obligate carnivores; cats should be getting the majority of their nutrients from a diet packed with meat-based protein.
Typically, cat supplements are only necessary if your feline has specific nutritional deficiencies or health issues that need to be addressed. In fact, it’s possible for excess supplements to do more harm than good for your furry friend.
Before giving supplements to your cat, we always recommend talking to your vet. After all, if your kitty is consuming high-quality cat food, she should be getting all of her necessary nutrients from her meals alone.
That said, it’s possible that your vet recommends cat supplements, such as:
- Vitamins or minerals (generally found in cat food)
- Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids to maintain a healthy coat and keep shedding under control
- Probiotics to enhance digestive health
Support healthy digestion and immune response with Pet Honesty’s vet-recommended Wellness Cat Pack, which contains our Digestive Probiotics+ Powder and Lysine-Immune Health+ Powder for cats.
How to Choose the Best Supplements for Your Pet
If you choose to opt-in to pet supplements, keep in mind that not all supplements are created equal. You’ll want to make sure you’re choosing a high-quality supplement that addresses your pet’s unique needs—in other words, don’t just choose something randomly from the shelf in the pet aisle!
Always consult your vet before adding to or changing any part of your pet’s diet. Plus, your vet knows your furry friend’s needs and will be able to provide you with vetted recommendations.
Of course, you’ll want to choose supplements based on your pet’s specific needs: joint issues, chronic hairballs, skin and coat health, and more. Not only will the wrong supplement not address the issue, but it may also actually lead to further health issues (especially in cats).
Always buy from a reputable brand. Read labels carefully, and check for a lot number; this is proof that the company undergoes quality control checks.
If a supplement sounds too good to be true, it probably is. After all, supplements are designed to act as health boosters and dietary aides—not magic cure-alls or medication replacements.
Supplements are best used in combination with a well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle to promote your pet’s overall health so he can live his best life!