Canine Supplements: Common Sense for Pet Owners

Very few American homes today, are without the inclusion of the family dog.  According to a 2007 pet ownership survey, there are currently 74.8 million dogs in the United States.  An interesting factor of this statistic is that on the average, only 10 percent of these pets were adopted from an animal shelter or sanctuary.  Therefore, it seems that Americans are spending money to purchase the particular breed that they desire in their home.  It is reasonable then that so many dog owners choose to use canine supplements to maintain and improve their beloved pet’s health. 

Veterinarian bills can be costly, so one should desire to keep their pet in the best possible health.  Canine supplements can be added to your pet’s diet to ensure that they are getting all the necessary nutrients.  Just like humans, these supplements are given in addition to your pet’s regular diet since many essential vitamins and minerals may not be included in your dog’s favorite foods.  These additional supplements may also be varied based upon the breed or age of your dog. 

The young and active dog will benefit from a daily vitamin supplement.  These are often easily administered to your dog in the form of a tasty treat.  For the discerning palate, though, powdered versions are also available to allow for blending into moist food.  The pet owner will soon notice that the addition of these supplements in the pet’s diet can give the animal’s coat a glossy sheen and even reduce excessive shedding. 

Older dogs may begin experiencing joint pain in daily activities.  This can become apparent when the animal begins to slow down or act as if their hind legs are stiff.  This can also be noticed when the dog begins to “wheelbarrow” upon attempting to climb steps.  Wheelbarrow movement occurs when the hind legs become stiff and the animal uses their front legs to lift their body up.  This eventually results in a loss of muscle mass through the hind quarters and the owner may then begin to see a noticeable slimming in the dog’s hips.  These symptoms can be alleviated through the addition of a supplement known as glucosamine.  This canine supplement is a natural compound found in healthy cartilage.  The loss of this element reduces flexibility and fluidity in joints in both humans and our canine companions.  Ideally, the inclusion of the glucosamine should begin before the animal begins to show significant signs of joint distress, however your veterinarian can offer advice on when the supplements should be given.  Again, the canine supplement in available in chewable tablets and powdered form for easy addition to your pet’s diet. 

Canine supplements are not just for the maintenance of good health, but may also be used to alleviate individual health problems.  The dog who is constantly scratching or suffering from skin allergies, may find relief through the addition of fatty acids or other elements.  Recurrences of ear infections or other disorders may also be alleviated through the addition of specific canine supplements.  However, no responsible pet owner should ever begin administering any alternative medical treatments without first consulting with their pet’s veterinarian. 

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