Why add supplements for dogs when feeding an already balanced manufactured food, such as kibble or canned dog food, you may be asking yourself.
While many manufacturers promise “balanced” and “complete” on the package, the truth is that many processed pet foods have a very general and basic formula. As a result it is simply not possible to really meet ALL of your dog’s needs by just feeding this food.
Some processed foods can even cause deficiencies, if fed solely over years and not alternated with other foods or supplemented with nutrients.
Compared to humans some of those dog foods have the same level of quality as if you were eating nothing but fast food all your life.
Also there are some ingredients, which are considered healthy and helpful, but are just not part of standard food – mostly because they enhance production costs. Some examples are probiotics, vitamins or fish oil, which are available as add-ons for that exact reason, because many manufactured foods do not contain them or at least not enough. supplementing can also be a good idea to balance a raw diet.
Below you find a list of recommended supplements for dogs:
Salmon oil is very rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are known to benefit the health of humans and your pet. when feeding it, you will also notice visible effect in the form of a shiny coat.
A very good and often recommended product is Grizzly Salmon Oil All-Natural Dog Food Supplement in Pump-Bottle Dispenser, 32 Ounces.
If you buy this product, it already comes with dosage recommendations and a pump for easy dosing. I use it for Mila myself and we both love it.
Some spoons full of plain yogurt/ plain greek yogurt is a wonderful way to add some probiotics to the nutrition of your dog, helping the dog’s digestion.
If you want to add a commercial product, take a look at this one:
There are also others.
Note: If your dog has a problem with yeast overgrowth, you may want to avoid the so-called PRE-biotics, which often are part of a probiotic mix, for a while, because sadly these particular otherwise healthy microorganisms are said to play a possible role in yeast overgrowth.
For lactose intolerant dogs dairy products, such as yogurt, may not be an option!
Vitamins & Minerals
To add valuable vitamins & minerals to your dog’s nutrition there are a few very good options on the market:
I only want to introduce two products I have actually tested myself:
Nutri-Pet Research Nupro Dog Supplement, 5-Pound
If your dog is having a lot of exercise, jumping a lot etc., both brands offer a special joint formula you may want to check out (have not tried one of those yet).
Nutri-Pet Research Nupro Joint Supplement for Dogs, 5-Pound
Other optional supplements
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) with mother
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) with mother (yes, you need the cloudy one!) is famous for a whole lot of health benefits to both humans and dogs. It can be given orally or applied “spot-on”or even used as a washing in its diluted version.
It aids digestion and has antiseptic properties. I can’t cover all of the benefits here in this essay. That will be one of my upcoming topics.
You will find ACV in grocery stores or online.
Dosage: 1 tsp. for small dogs a day, 1 tbsp. for medium to large dogs a day
Virgin Coconut oil
Virgin coconut oil can be given orally or used as a rub. As for humans, it brings a lot of health benefits for dogs without the same side effects on dogs caused by the high amounts of saturated fats in that oil. Dogs do not have the same issues as humans do with Cholesterol and clogged arteries.
Besides other positive properties, coconut oil has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties and is able to soothe skin irritations.
It aids digestion, helps with allergies and yeast infections, makes the coat shiny, helps wounds and scratches to heal better and so much more.
You will find virgin coconut oil in grocery stores or online.
Learn more about the health benefits of virgin coconut oil here
Dosage: The recommendations vary a lot. From one tsp. once a day to 1/4 tsp. per 10 lbs of weight twice a day.
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I have a 3month bull terrier and I am currently feeding her Blue Buffalo. I was looking for something better for her. She hasn’t been eating as much, but she ends up eating it because she’s hungry. Right now she’s very gassy and her poop smells very strong. I’m not sure if it’s the food, but I want to give her the best. What do you think I should give her?
currently, I am alternating home-made raw dog food and Victor Active Dog and Puppy Grain-Free dry food and Victor Ultra Pro Grain-Free dry food
and I m very happy with the results.
“Alternating” in this case means, I feed raw in the morning and the kibble in the afternoon.
Raw is still no.1 for me and always will be.
There is an awesome provider for raw food, I’ve tested myself, named DARWIN’s.
However, in general, I rather speak about my own experience than recommending particular brands or formulations. That’s because besides many other aspects, every dog is different, every owner has different budgets available and, of course, because I have not tested every brand available on the market.
There’s no such thing as “THE BEST Dog Food”. But there are milestones for orientation and red flags to avoid.
I really like to focus on the important factors when trying to figure out if a dog food is of good quality by looking at the ingredients etc. and give general tips on a dog’s nutrition.
You will find some more advice in this article of mine about “Choosing the right dog food” already.
And, obviously, you have also found my recommendations on supplements.
After checking back in on my essay about “Choosing the right dog food”, I decided that there are some more general aspects I would like to share with you guys. So, I am currently working on a “part II” for this article, so to speak, that I am planning to release soon. Stay tuned.
Until then, if you are uncertain about the quality of a dog food you are considering, check it out on dogfoodadvisor.com.
This site is very informative and very helpful. You did not mention which variety of Blue Buffalo you are currently feeding. But you can use the information on the bag (or can) to check what dogfoodadvisor has to say about the quality of this particular product. Obviously, I would always look for brands/ products with a rating of at least 4.5 to 5 stars out of 5 stars.