Let’s look at the two most important types of dog supplements. You want to keep your dog agile, healthy, and nimble into old age, don’t you? Look no further than these two types of supplements here.
A lot of veterinarians recommend giving your dog joint supplements even if it doesn’t have any joint problems, especially if it’s a large breed dog. Joint supplements have a preventive maintenance function.
Why joint supplements?
As a dog gets older, its joints will start to wear and tear with age. It may be too late to take care of the problem by the time the symptoms get really bad. That’s why it’s important to give your dog joint supplements before old age sets in.
Humans have the same problem with joint damage. Our joints don’t work quite as well when we’re older. You often see very old people with limited mobility or crippling arthritis.
You need to work proactively to ensure your dog doesn’t end up in a similar situation. Do you really want to see your beloved dog hobbling around, having trouble getting up the stairs, or wincing in pain when it tries to crawl up onto the sofa for a nap?
Giving your dog a joint supplement will stimulate cartilage growth, protect cartilage, and boost mobility. Ingredients like MSM, glucosamine, chondroitin, and perna canaliculus (green-lipped mussel) are common in joint supplements. They can help prevent further bone and joint damage, as well as offer relief caused by existing joint damage. Many large breed dogs are prone to a condition called hip dysplasia, and these ingredients have shown some efficacy in preventing and treating it.
Glucosamine and chondroitin have been used to treat joint inflammation, joint damage, and osteoarthritis for decades in Europe. Recently, veterinarians have started administering them to dogs in the U.S.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are nutraceuticals, and the FDA does not control them. You don’t have to get a prescription to get them.
Giving your dog joint supplements may allow you to reduce the dosage of pain medication necessary, and it could even eliminate them altogether. Talk to your veterinarian about that.
Everyone – dogs, cats, humans, and other mammals – have to have a healthy community of “friendly” bacteria in the gut. These good bacteria offer a lot of health benefits, and it’s a smart idea to supplement with probiotics to ensure the balance of good bacteria to bad bacteria is optimal.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of probiotics supplementation:
- Increased resistance to infectious disease
- Increased resistance to fungal infection
- Immune system boost
- Cholesterol reduction
- Helps prevent constipation, diarrhea, and loose stool
- Helps with bad breath
- Improves your dog’s smell
- Reduces scratching and shedding
- Reduces flatulence
- Better food and nutrient absorption
- Improved stress resistance
- Optimized digestion
- Improved quality of life and enhanced longevity
The list goes on and on. Your gut health has a major impact on your overall health. There is abundant evidence that friendly bacteria in the gut are a great defense against disease. However, antibiotics, poor diet, strange eating habits, GI disease, surgery, travel, emotional stress, boarding, consumption of unclean water, and fungal overgrowth can deplete good bacteria.
Holistic veterinarians have been recommending probiotics for years. All dogs can benefit from probiotics, though. It’s not just the unhealthy ones. Probiotics aid digestion and modulate the immune system. They inhibit the growth of bad bacteria, and they can treat diseases like irritable bowel, intestinal inflammation, and chronic diarrhea.
Some good probiotic supplements are Thorne Research’s Bacillus CoagulansVet, Jarrow’s Pet Dophius, Nusentia’s Probiotic Miracle, Vetri-Science’s Vetri-Probiotic, and Purina’s Fortiflora.
The Bottom Line
If you want to support the health of your dog well into old age, you need to start him on a regimen of joint supplements and probiotics. These supplements prevent problems before they occur, and they help with existing problems. Most every dog is going to run into mobility and digestive issues if they get old enough. You don’t want your dog to be one of them. A dog can be in severe pain from joint problems and have low energy from digestive trouble, but you might not know it. Why wonder if he’s in pain or doing poorly?