It is estimated that nearly one-third of all dogs kept as pets in the U.S. receive supplementation. Reason being, dogs are able to reap the benefits of supplements just as humans are. While the average healthy dog who is on a well balanced diet doesn’t need to be given supplements, they can enhance his health by helping to keep his body and mind healthy, his immune system strong, and even help to lengthen his lifespan. And dogs who are ill or in poor health will benefit even greater from supplementation. The following are some of the most beneficial supplements for dogs.
Curcummin is a powerful antioxidant found in the culinary Indian spice turmeric, a member of the ginger family. In fact, it is one of the best supplements you can give your dog as it has dozens of positive benefits. These benefits include but are not limited to the following:
- Enhances immune system
- Reduces inflammation
- Reduces the negative effects of stress
- Reduces oxidative damage from free radicals
- Supports a normal healthy digestion and gut defense
- Offers joint support
- Supports normal detoxification
- Maintains normal DNA
- Helps prevent pre-cancer tumors from becoming cancerous
- Helps relieve arthritis pain
- Helps fight bacterial infections
- Helps fight viral infections
Along with having so many positive attributes, curcummin also causes no side effects, as opposed to many of its pharmaceutical counterparts such as steroids, antibiotics, antivirals and anti-fungals.
Just giving your dog turmeric though will not benefit him much. This is because curcummin only makes up about 5% of turmeric. Fortunately, most supplement makers have standardized their products to 95% curcummin. Make sure to check the label when shopping for this supplement though to make sure that you are getting the proper potency.
A supplement that’s great for dogs that few people know about is licorice. Not the soft sugary candy we grew up on but actual licorice root. Fortunately dogs like the taste too so it’s easy to feed it to them. Licorice, or licorice root, contains glycosides, saponins and flavonoids among other useful substances.
The main glycoside found in licorice is glycirrhizin, which shares a similar structure to corticosteroids. Therefore licorice can be used as a great natural alternative to steroids like prednisone when an anti-inflammatory is needed. Some of its other benefits include:
- Fighting arthritis and joint pain
- Relieving itching and burning from allergies
- Helping digestion
- Supporting liver health and detoxification
- Helping relieve pain
- Helping treat certain respiratory issues
- Fighting urinary tract infections
- Relieving eczema
- Boosting the immune system
Licorice root should only be given for up to two weeks at a time. There is a version available though, DGL, which is suitable for long-term use.
Most people are now well aware of the vital role that antioxidants play in maintaining health and longevity by helping to resist cellular damage done by free radicals. And one of the most popular and powerful antioxidants available for dogs is coq10.
The main use of coq10 for dogs is to combat cardio-vascular issues, such as heart disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, etc. Though it offers many other benefits as well, such as the following:
- Promoting physical endurance
- Enhancing the usefulness of other antioxidants, such as vit. C
- Fighting gum disease
- Improving symptoms of arthritis
- Improving symptoms of cognitive function
- Fighting free radicals and promoting longevity
This important chemical is produced naturally by your dog’s body, and production slowly declines as they age. This makes supplementation of coq10 more important the older a dog gets. Regarding dosage for dogs, a general rule of thumb is 10 mg per 10 lbs of body weight.
One of the most powerful antioxidants you can give your dog are tocotrienols, which are actually a potent form of vitamin E. Vit. E comes in two forms, tocopherols and tocotrienols. Each of these forms come in four forms, alpha, beta, gamma, delta. Tocotrienols are much more powerful and benefit producing than tocopherols.
Studies have also shown the most powerful forms of tocotrienols to be in alpha and delta form. But each of the four forms provide their unique advantages. For instance, while alpha tocotrienol is highly effective at preventing brain damage from strokes, gamma and delta tocotrienol exhibit strong anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activities.
There is a noticeable difference in price between the different forms of vitamin E. The cheap version that is available in the supplement department at your average department store is the tocopherol type. The much less common, and more expensive tocotrienol is usually found at special health food stores or online.
Studies have shown tocotrienols to be useful to dogs in the following areas:
- Protecting the brain from stroke induced damage
- Protecting against heart disease
- Treating atherosclerosis
- Treating fatty liver disease
- Fighting inflammation
- Fighting cancer cells
- Inhibiting cholesterol
- Protecting the liver and fighting liver disease
Nutricology’s Delta-Fraction (delta tocotrienols) is the best vit. E supplement I’ve found. Just feed them one 50 mg soft gel daily in a scoop of pumpkin (more on that later). They also have a 125 mg size which is great for human supplementation.
Silver has been used since ancient times as a natural cure for bacterial, viral and fungal infections. It was even used during the infamous Black Plague. While the plague was ravishing Europe and townspeople and peasants were dying in rapid numbers, the nobility never got sick. The reason they were spared is they were eating off their silverware, which at the time was all genuine silver.
Silver was used in medicine as the standard for bacterial infections until the 20th century when antibiotics were discovered. Silver, being a natural element, is not patentable. But antibiotics were, and unlike silver could be used to generate a lot of money for the pharmaceutical industry. So antibiotics then became the standard and silver suddenly became folk medicine. But thanks to online references like this dog blog people are becoming more aware of natural pet medicine like colloidal silver.
Colloidal silver is the liquid version which can be ingested. It consists of millions of micro particles of silver. It’s main use is to treat infections as its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal. It can be ingested for system-wide sicknesses by giving it to them in their drinking water, topically for skin infections, in their ears for ear infections, in their eyes for eye infections, and used with a nebular for respiratory infections.
There are also studies which can be found online which demonstrate colloidal silver’s remarkable ability to shrink tumors and fight cancer cells.
If you choose to treat your dog with colloidal silver make sure to purchase a quality product. Particle size plays a huge role it its effectiveness. The smaller the particle size the more effective the product so you want to look for a brand with small particle size. Also make sure not to pour it in a metal bowl, or with a metal spoon, as this can “discharge” the silver particles.
Always make sure to research the correct dosage before giving your dogs any supplement. Many, if not most of the supplements that humans can take, dogs can as well, just in smaller dosages. An easy and beneficial way to feed dogs supplements is with pumpkin. Just open the capsule and poor the correct amount on top of a spoonful of pure pumpkin and mix it in. This will ensure your dog will take them as they love the taste of pumpkin. It will also allow you to feed them several different supplements at the same time. And most importantly, pumpkin is also very healthy for dogs so they’ll be receiving even more benefits from this.
Hopefully this article has shed some light on a few of the many supplements available for dogs, and will help keep your dog healthy for years to come. They aren’t able to look out for themselves when it comes to their health, so this is your role.
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