Why You May *Actually* Need More Than Just A Healthy Dog Food
Written by FOTP Team
You’ve done your research, you know how to keep your dog fit and have painstakingly selected the best of everything. But have you covered all bases… have you researched your dog supplements?
Now you’re probably thinking — “I’ve selected the best diet so I know my dog won’t need a supplement”… well Veterinarian Dr Steph Wenban BVSc MRCVS is here to tell you why even the ‘healthiest’ dog food may not be giving your dog all they need to stay healthy.
Dog health is changing
Over the past decade, dog health has been in decline.
- There has been a 66% rise in canine arthritis
- 80% of dogs now experience dental disease by the age of 3
- 1 in 3 dogs now suffer from canine anxiety issues
So what does that have to do with a healthy diet…?
Well all of these conditions can be helped, delayed or even avoided with proper management. And despite the increasing popularity of healthy dog diets and homemade dog foods — these conditions are continuing to rise.
What does a healthy diet mean for your dog?
“A healthy diet is one that is nutritionally balanced and complete” — says Dr Steph. This means, “a diet that contains the correct balance of nutrients essential for your dog to survive”. Almost all store bought diets are labelled ‘complete and balanced’.
And whilst essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals are present in levels sufficient to allow your dog survive, they aren’t present at levels to support any additional needs your dog may have as part of their individual breed, age or lifestyle.
Plus a big name brand or price tag doesn’t always mean you’re getting the best quality! Did you know the FDA is currently investigating several big name grain free dog diets for a possible link with a form of heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy?
So would my dog be better off with a healthy homemade dog food?
Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Dr Steph explains “it is very challenging to adequately balance your dog’s nutritional needs by home cooking. It requires a lot of variation of food to get a proper range of nutrients, as well as the knowledge of how these nutrients may have been changed by home cooking processes. Plus, it requires great care not to over supply certain foods as vitamins and minerals can compete. Too much of one thing can lead to a deficiency of another”.
If you’re looking to truly keep your dog healthy for their individual needs and help them thrive, then you are likely to need supplements to fill the gaps beyond diet.
How can supplements help?
Supplements provide support above and beyond what is present in the diet. This could be adding Joint & Mobility support with extra Glucosamine and Chondroitin, anti-inflammatory support from adding Curcumin or improving immune defences with additional antioxidants. Supplements give you the opportunity to tailor your dog's care to their lifestyle and support them where they need it most.
Should I just get my dog a multivitamin?
No. It's a common misconception that all dog "multivitamins" are the same. But not all dog supplements are created equal, and the main difference is in the ingredients used. 9 out of 10 dog supplements use generic ingredients that have no scientific proof of their effectiveness. And supplements formed into chews contain unnecessary binders and fillers that add no nutritional value at all to your dog.
Choosing the right supplement
If you decide to add a supplement, find one that is right for your dog's needs. Are they a large breed dog prone to hip concerns, or a small breed dog prone to knee concerns? Are they anxious around other dogs? Or could they do with some extra support for separation anxiety whilst you are out of the house? Whatever your dog needs - the best supplement will be one that compliments your dog.
Look for branded ingredients - as these have been researched and maintain a consistent quality standard. Also look to avoid supplements containing binders and fillers. You'll commonly find these labelled as "glycerin" and various types of "flour".
Supplements like The One, by Front of the Pack covers 8 essential benefits including dental health, joint support, anxiety relief and immune support. As a powder format, it is 100% free of fillers and binders, containing only active ingredients to benefit your dog. It is also vet recommended and contains 12 branded, clinically proven ingredients that go through not 1, but 8 different tests to make sure it's safe for your dog.
If you’re unsure of the benefits supplements could have for your dog, head to The One to find out more.