Written by FOTP Team
When you open your home to a dog, it becomes a symbiotic relationship. They’re completely dependent on you for their health and happiness and in return, you get their unwavering loyalty and love. Whether they’re a beloved pet, part of the family or there to do a job, this isn’t a responsibility you should take lightly.
The most basic part you need to get right is how you feed your dog, and making sure they’re getting a healthy, balanced diet. In some cases, this might involve adding supplements to their diet to make sure they’re getting the right vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that they need to stay happy and healthy. While most healthy dogs that have a balanced diet don’t need any additional supplements added to their food, there are plenty of instances where it could help. In fact, it’s estimated around 35-40% of dogs are given some kind of food supplement with their regular diet. Just like for us humans, food supplements for dogs can be really beneficial, but it’s important to make sure that they’re getting the right supplement and the right amount.
Supplements for dogs or humans should never be used as a substitute for a healthy and balanced diet, but lots of us take some supplements on a daily basis to make sure we’re getting the right amount of nutrients in our diet.
Some supplements can be great when the nutrient is lacking in the diet for any reason. It stands to reason that lots of health conscious dog owners are looking for supplements they could safely give their four legged friend. When used sensibly, they can help improve your dog’s health and have lots of benefits like:
The last few years have seen the pet market explode, there’s more choice when it comes to food, treats, health care and even designer outfits than ever before! It’s completely understandable for anyone to find choosing the right supplements overwhelming. The best thing to do is speak to your vet before you choose any supplements for your dog. Not only will your vet be able to make recommendations on the best food supplements, but they can also let you know whether or not your dog actually needs them. Bear in mind that supplements should only be given to dogs in the case of a deficiency from their diet or caused by another reason, as too much of even a good thing like fibre or calcium can actually have the opposite effect and end up being harmful to your dog’s health.
Let’s be honest, there’s so much information out there about what’s healthy, what we should be eating and what we should be avoiding and the same goes for our pets. Once you’ve checked with your vet and know your dog would benefit from a supplement, it’s really important you do your research and find an honest reputable brand.
Here at Front Of The Pack, we started with understanding what’s best for dogs, not what’s easiest to produce. We gathered some of the smartest people out there and brought together the brightest minds in biochemistry, immunology, animal nutrition and veterinary science. We then scoured through over 400 research articles from reputable sources to make sure any health claims from every single ingredient we used was beyond reproach. Once we knew what we wanted to use and why, we made sure we only partnered with industry leading suppliers who can guarantee purity and traceability on all their products
Vitamin supplements have been really popular for a while now, not just for humans but also for dogs. When it comes to giving your beloved pet vitamin supplements you need to make sure it’s in their best interest. Various vitamins can help your dog’s health:
Vitamin supplements should only be given alongside a healthy and balanced diet, if they’re getting too much, they run the risk of either doing more harm than good or not being able to absorb them properly. If you’re going down the raw food diet route, there might be some vitamins and nutrients your dog isn’t getting from their diet and this would be an ideal situation to introduce some additional supplements to their diet.
Calcium is essential in any dog’s diet but it isn’t found in large enough amounts in meat alone. If meat makes up the majority of your dog’s diet, for example, if they’re on a raw diet, supplements could be the ideal solution. Of course if your dog’s raw diet includes bone, they’ll get some calcium from this.
If they’re on a complete dog food, especially a reliable, reputable brand, make sure you check the ingredients list as they’ll usually have added calcium. If your dog is getting enough calcium from their diet, it’s important not to give them any more since too much of it can lead to health issues. Calcium should be avoided if your dog is a puppy or still developing as there is a higher risk of hip dysplasia.
Another popular supplement is fatty acids like Omega 3 and Omega 6 which are hugely beneficial to more people and dogs. Fish oil supplements are usually the most popular way to give this to a dog but you can also find lots of healthy fish skin treats which will be high in Omega 3 & 5 too. Fatty acids can help improve skin and coat health in dogs, along with reducing inflammation. They’re often recommended for dogs that suffer from skin issues and allergies. If your dog is shedding a lot, fatty acids supplements can also help by improving the health of their coat. In older dogs, fatty acids are often recommended as a supplement to reduce the risk of kidney disease, osteoarthritis, and heart disease.
If your dog gets anxious or stressed in certain situations, there are various supplements that you can get to help them calm down. L-Theanine is a popular natural supplement that has been proven useful for controlling anxiety in humans as well as dogs. You can give it to your dog to help with general anxiety issues, separation anxiety, social anxiety, or situation anxiety problems that are mild to moderate as an alternative to prescribed sedatives or antidepressants from the vet.
Our Harmony supplement contains L-Theanine to help trigger the release of happy hormones, Ashwagandha which helps regulate the amount of cortisol in the body which helps reduce anxiety and Magnolia Bark Extract which helps reduce stress levels. This blend of completely natural and sustainable ingredients helps calm your pup and alleviate stress in under 90 minutes.
If you’re worried your dog has started losing weight, supplements to help build muscle mass or regain appetite might be useful. Before you go down this route it’s very important to understand the cause of their weight loss as it could be the result of an underlying health condition. If you’ve been to visit your vet and you know what’s caused the weight loss, look for supplements that are high in healthy fats and proteins.
You’ll usually find all the fibre your dog needs in good quality healthy complete dog foods but if you’re feeding them a special diet or even a raw diet, they might need a fibre top up.
The most common reason owners look to fibre supplements for their pets are if they’re dealing with gastrointestinal issues like:
A fibre supplement can help to relieve these symptoms and encourage healthier digestive function. In addition, some dog owners give their pet fibre supplements to control obesity and diabetes. It’s important to be careful when giving your dog fibre supplements as too much fibre can have the opposite effect and cause even more digestive issues including stomach upset.
Supplements designed to improve your dog’s liver health and reduce the risk of liver disease are another common option to consider. Milk thistle is commonly given for dogs who are at a higher risk of liver problems because of the main active ingredient, silymarin. SAMe or Adenosylmethionine is another popular option given to dogs to prevent liver problems and boost liver health. This is also a popular anti-anxiety supplement that can also be used in stressful situations to keep your dog calm.
Like humans, dogs need a range of vitamins and minerals in their diets. Most of the time, a healthy balanced diet will provide this, but there may be some instances where you will need to consider giving your dog supplements to make sure that they are getting everything that they need. If you ever notice a change in your dog’s physical appearance or behaviour, your first port of call should always be to a trusted vet.