Raising puppies can be a demanding but fulfilling task for owners. Aside from providing behavioral training, you also have to make sure they grow into healthy adult dogs. But once you’ve completed their recommended vaccines, the next thing you’ll probably wonder about is giving them nutritional supplements to keep them healthy.
Puppies are susceptible to diseases. But although vaccines provide protection against potentially deadly diseases, there are many more other canine health issues that are not covered by vaccines. This is why to help protect your puppy’s good health, giving them a balanced diet and the right supplements are also important.
Moreover, proper nutrition helps puppies reach their full potential in growth, physically and biologically speaking. Poor nutrition may not only stunt their growth, but it may also make them even more susceptible to even minor health issues.
If you’ve been considering buying health supplements for your pup, here are our top four recommendations:
Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis, is a non-psychoactive component claimed to reduce stress and anxiety. Although CBD is more popular as a form of alternative medicine for humans, its use in animals, particularly in pet dogs, has been explored for many years. But most dog owners have at least a few questions: Can dogs get high from CBD? How safe is it? And are there drawbacks?
In several studies that went into more depth to better understand the effects of CBD on dogs, it’s been highlighted that the ‘feeling’ is not as intense in dogs as it is in humans. Larger doses of CBD only give them slight drowsiness as it decreases their blood pressure for a short period, but it’s not possible for them to ‘get high.’
In terms of safety, a recent study by Cindy H.J. Yu and H.P. Vasantha Rupasinghe (2021) suggests that the effects of CBD are fairly good in dogs. It may help stimulate appetite, reduce inflammation, pain, and anxiety, among other things.
As for the drawbacks, based on human consumption, the only identified potential side effects are drowsiness, dry mouth, and low blood pressure. The good news is these can all be easily prevented by sticking to the right dosage recommended for your puppy’s size and age.
- Vitamins A, B, And E
Although these can be found in food, a poor diet may lead to insufficient intake of these vitamins that are essential in dog health. If you feel your puppy isn’t getting enough nutrition from food alone, especially if they’re a picky eater, supplementation may be beneficial.
Consider getting multivitamin dog chews.
For puppies, Vitamin A helps to develop healthy vision, cell function, and immune system, including their overall growth and development. B vitamins contribute to cell function too, and assist in normal carbohydrate metabolism and regulation of energy. Vitamin B6, one of the most important among the B vitamins, aids in the optimum function of the nervous system, immune response, activation of genes, niacin synthesis, and hormone regulation. On the other hand, Vitamin E helps defend against oxidative stress, which can damage DNA, proteins, and cells.
However, when supplementing your puppy’s diet with vitamins, remember to follow the right dosage every time. Hypervitaminosis, or excessive vitamins in the body, can occur in dogs too when they take high-dose vitamin supplements. Overdosing comes with toxicity, which is essentially the same as poisoning. This is why it’s always best to check the right dose with your veterinarian first.
- Fish Oil
One of the best supplements worth considering for your puppy is fish oil. It has omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their positive effects on heart health. Fish oil supplements are also said to help improve coat shine and quality in dogs, and may also help relieve skin allergies.
The benefits of fish oil supplements are the same for dogs and humans. Long-term use of fish oil has been linked to a healthier heart and improved circulatory functions, so giving it to your puppy may help maintain healthy blood flow, which is essential to their growth.
Probiotics are naturally-occurring good bacteria found in the gut. They aid in digestion and in the maintenance of gut health and immunity. However, poor diet and disease can disrupt the balance between the good and bad bacteria in the gut. When taken as a supplement, especially for puppies recovering from sickness or have poor diet, probiotics can aid in restoring the lost balance and speed up recovery.
Consider getting probiotic chews.
The right balance of nutrition is essential to puppy health. But while it can be achieved through a proper, balanced diet, it’s often a challenge to make puppies eat the way you want them to. This is why health supplements are often recommended to help maintain their health.
However, don’t just jump into giving your puppy any supplement. Make sure that you’re only using products developed for puppies and always follow the right dosage. Always check the labels and follow instructions. Don’t hesitate to consult with a veterinarian if there’s anything you feel unsure about.