Dog Supplements and Vitamins: Need to Know

Most Common Dog Supplements

There is an enormous amount of supplements out there for your dog- some for general well-being, others for incredibly specific health problems. The most common supplements used for dogs today are:

  1. Glucosamine – for joint health and arthritis
  2. Fish oil – for treating skin allergies and improving coat, as well as joint health
  3. Probiotics – for digestive health
  4. Antioxidants – to counteract signs of aging
  5. Multivitamins – for overall health
  6. Milk thistle – to support the liver and other internal organs
  7. Azodyl – for treatment of kidney problems
  8. Vitamins:
  • Vitamin B – for energy, nervous system function, and healthy cell growth
  • Vitamin C – for inflammation and aging
  • Vitamin D – for healthy bones
  • Vitamin E – for strong muscles
  • Vitamin K – for blood health and clotting
  • Choline – for healthy brain and liver function
  • Vitamin A – for vision, growth and immune function

Pros and Cons

There is mixed scientific research for supplements, with some studies showing minimal benefit for your dog and others showing specific health improvements. With so many options available and so much conflicting research, it is important to judge your dog’s needs individually and in consultation with your veterinarian.

The potential upside to supplements is the possible medical benefits, and this is especially important if you are concerned your dog is not getting a nutritionally balanced diet. They are also cheaper than most medications, so if your dog gets genuine palliative benefit from them they can be an important cost-saving measure.

The cons include the questionable efficacy of some supplements, potential allergic reactions, costs for ongoing supplementation (especially if using generic supplements for no clear reason), and drug interactions.

Always speak to your veterinarian before giving your pooch any new food, supplement or medication, as excess amounts of any of the above nutrients and vitamins can be just as harmful as a deficiency.

Best Brands

Buying a reputable brand is important when considering supplements for your dog, as not all supplements are equal. The below are some of the best available supplements on the market:

  • Nutramax Cosequin DS Plus (for all ages)
  • Doggie Dailies Advanced Hip and Joint Supplements (for 6 months plus)
  • Amazing Nutritionals Probiotic Joint for Dogs (for 2 months plus)
  • Pet Tabs Plus Advanced Formula (for 1 year or older)
  • Nutri Vet Wellness Hip and Joint (for all ages)
  • The Institute for Pet Nutrition VitaHealth Adult (for 6 months plus)
  • NaturVet All-in-One 4-in-1 (for dogs up to 30 lbs)
  • Particular Paws Advanced Joint and Hip (for 6 months plus)
  • Milk Bone Good Morning Daily Vitamin (for dogs 5 lbs and bigger)

Picking one or several appropriate supplements for your dog should depend on their size, age, breed, diet, health concerns, as well as your budget and your vet’s advice.  

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