Nutritional Supplements for Cats and Dogs

Nutritional supplements are a great way to help keep your dog or cat happy, healthy and aging well. It can be a very difficult process however, to wade through the plethora of information out there to find the best and safest options for your pet. Our veterinarians have done the research for you and would like to share our recommendations and suggest some additions to your pet’s diet that will really help add comfort and longevity to his or her life.

Pet Nutritional Supplements

Antioxidants
A very important supplement that all dogs and cats will benefit from as they age are antioxidants. Antioxidents are molecules that circulate in the blood stream and combat debris that is left in the body after any inflammatory process has occurred. This is important for long term health and comfort because this debris can cause damage to other organs and body systems if allowed to circulate and come in contact with other tissues. Arthritis in any joint, muscle pain and soreness, liver or kidney disease, asthma, heart disease… and the list goes on and on, are all inflammatory conditions that leave behind this debris. Most antioxidants contain a mixture of vitamins A, C, E, and selenium. Others are more specific and contain only a few ingredients like CoQ – 10 (or co-enzyme Q 10) which has been found to be extremely beneficial in humans to help combat the damage of heart disease.

We offer a wonderful organic and holistic antioxidant formulation that is recommended to all cats and dogs called Invigor, made by The Honest Kitchen. It contains a combination of ingredients that are high in antioxidant power with high levels of vitamins A, C, E, and selenium. Check out www.thehonestkitchen.com for more details, or stop by Broad Ripple Animal Clinic or Broad Ripple Animal Wellness Center to purchase your supply.

We also carry a CoQ10 product specific for pets that is a wonderful supplement made by RxVitamins. We recommend it for dogs with heart disease, kidney disease or arthritis problems.

Essential Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids
Fatty Acids are naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agents that soothe any inflammatory condition in the body. These fatty acids or oils, work by interfering with what is called the inflammatory cascade. They slightly change the body’s immediate response to damage and help soothe the pain and discomfort that usually comes along with inflammation like arthritis. They have also been found to help reduce the risk of heart disease in people due to their high antioxidant power! These wonderful naturally occurring molecules can be found in a number of dietary sources like prepared salmon or sardines, soy beans, tofu and many other nuts and legumes. For dogs however, the best source, if not found in food like Royal Canin’s Skin Support Diet, is a supplemental and very tasty oil put directly on the food such as NuHemp’s Omega Sauce for pets or Welactin, both of which can be purchased at either of our locations.

Fiber
Fiber is something of which we all need more! Fiber helps pets regulate their GI tracts by helping to lubricate the inside of the large intestine. This helps stool to move more easily through the tract so that the waste material from food does not sit as long in the large bowel itself which can cause damage, and allows for less material left within the tract that can potentially cause damage over time. Fiber also helps to regulate blood sugar and curb extreme fluctuations in appetite. Since 80% of the immune system is found in the GI tract, a healthier intestine leads to a healthier pet! An excellent supplement for dogs and cats is The Honest Kitchen’s Perfect Form which combines a number of high fiber natural ingredients to give your pet a healthy and organic fiber supplement option.

Pro-Biotics
This is a supplement that will also help keep the GI tract happy and healthy. These little bacterial compounds help to regulate digestion and keep the numbers of “good” bacteria in the gut up and the numbers of “bad” or unhealthy bacteria down. This regulation will help the body to better break down and therefore absorb much needed nutrients from food. As we age on the outside, our bodies age internally as well, including the GI tract. As it ages, it has more difficulty getting all of the beneficial products from the food we eat. To help our pets stay healthy, regular and nutritionally balanced, good digestion is key. These are best offered in powdered food supplements like Total-Biotics for pets, or in the food itself. This can be done by a number of processes, but The Honest Kitchen carries dehydrated raw diets (never cooked above 119 degrees F) that contain these essential nutrients to aid in digestion.

Lastly, we would like to discuss the use of whole clove or minced garlic for it’s antioxidant, pro-digestive and anti-inflammatory effects. One medium sized clove per 40 pounds, once daily has wonderful beneficial effects for dogs with chronic diseases like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease or cancer. We recommend the use of small amounts of garlic with most pets because it is a healthy and all natural way to support immune function, cardiovascular health and digestion, but we DO caution not to follow the philosophy “more is better”. Garlic, ingested in large amounts can be toxic, so please supplement using the guidelines outlined above.

We hope this has been a helpful introduction to the 4 most important supplements for your canine and feline companions. For more information feel free to visit the sites above, visit our clinics, or contact Dr. Cara Gardner directly with questions at c.gardner.dvm@bracpet.com.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: