Congrats on bringing home the latest addition to your family – the most adorable being, a puppy! You must be having a million questions in your head that badly need answering to, especially if you are a first-time puppy owner. There’s a lot that goes into raising a puppy and providing the necessary care and support.
Well, don’t worry, we are here to assist you, and in this blog, we will answer one of the major questions you have – ‘supplements.’ What are they? Are they necessary? Does your puppy need them?
Let’s get started!
What are the supplements?
Supplements are basically boosters that help to obtain all the required nutrients, prevent any deficiencies, and achieve overall health. In case there are any nutrients missing from your puppy’s diet or are lacking significantly, supplements are used to make up for it. There are various kinds of supplements that serve different purposes and you can always check with your vet to know what kind your pooch requires.
Let us now look at the most important supplements for puppies that are directed at promoting optimum growth and development.
Essential Fatty Acids Fish Oil
Essential Fatty Acids or EFAs are highly beneficial and enhance the functioning of the cardiovascular system, strengthen muscles and joints, and also make the coat sleek and shiny. Puppies that lack EFAs are vulnerable to arthritis and other joint issues, digestive disorders, allergies, and even eye diseases. Fish oil, coconut oil, and hemp seed oil are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Glucosamine is one of the most common supplements for pets, and they are a type of amino sugar. This compound is present around the joints in a fluid form that is essential for building cartilage and making joint movements with ease. When diseases like arthritis set in, glucosamine supplements are used to treat joint pain. Recent researches have concluded that glucosamine supplements have shown positive responses in the treatment of joint diseases. The compound is available in many forms – powder, capsules, and even dog treats. It is mainly developed in laboratories by obtaining glucosamine from shellfishes and does not cause harmful side effects.
However, since it is a sugar-based supplement, you will need to check with your vet in case your dog is diabetic.
Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes
It has become very common among humans to use probiotics to aid digestion, and its benefits can be extended to dogs as well. Probiotic supplements are useful in treating multiple digestive disorders, diarrhea, and inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Digestive enzymes like amylase, cellulase, and lipase offer aid in breaking down complex food particles, thereby easing digestion. These supplements come in various forms – capsules, powders, yogurts, treats, and some puppy food formulations.
Vitamins are essential components that ensure a well-balanced diet. Though puppy foods usually come packed with vitamins, they might also miss out one or two and we can’t let that happen, can we?! Just like us, even dogs need the entire range of vitamins – A, B, C, D, E, and K and if any of these vitamins are lacking, it is sure to hamper growth. For instance, Vitamin D deficiency puts the puppy at the risk of cancers, Vitamin A deficiency causes poor vision and Vitamin E deficiency causes improper metabolism. You can add multivitamin supplements along with a suitable diet for the best results.
Brewer’s Yeast is another joint supplement that comes packed with vitamin B and other minerals. It is beneficial in promoting healthy and shiny coats, supple skin, and also enhances immune functioning.
Risks of over-supplementing
Too much of anything is good for nothing, and yes, it holds in this case as well. You might think you are making your puppy more healthy by feeding an excess of supplements, but you are very wrong! Over-supplementing can cause dangerous effects on your puppy’s health, and it is always best to follow your vet’s advice on the dosages.
Over-supplementing might cause
- Bone structural deformities
- Promotion of cancer
So always adhere to the prescribed doses to prevent such undesirable effects.
Points to keep in mind
- Administer supplements only if your vet prescribes them necessary and stick to the mentioned dosages.
- Make sure you buy only recognized and trustworthy brands.
- Do not administer expired supplements.
- Make sure all the nutrients are given in the right proportions, to avoid any nutrient imbalances.
- In case the puppy is undergoing medication, then confirm if the supplements can be given. Sometimes, medicine and supplement might interact negatively and cause adverse effects.
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet for your puppy is the number one priority that will lead to optimum growth. So take extra care and effort in charting out the perfect diet and keep track of your puppy’s growth.
Did you find the information useful? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to come back to Monkoodog for more dog-related content!