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If you have been giving your pets nutritional supplements, you’re not alone. In fact, one third of all cats and dogs are taking supplements in the United States, at a cost of $1.3 billion annually.

Is that good or bad? That depends.

The ingredients in a nutritional supplement, or neutraceutical, can include vitamins, minerals, herb or other botanicals, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, and metabolites. However, because that industry is not regulated, product safety, quality, and efficacy are not guaranteed.

That said, there are nutritional supplements that could potentially be beneficial, though should only be advised, recommended or used under medical supervision by a veterinarian.

Some examples include:

Probiotics that contain Lactobacillis acidophilus and other good bacteria help maintain the normal bacterial population and prevent colonization of disease-causing bacteria.

Digestive enzymes may support the pancreas and aid digestion.

Antioxidants can protect against excessive free radicals associated with aging and/or produced in cases of chronic inflammation.

Herbal and botanical products, such as herbal arthritis formulas or boswellia extract for canine inflammatory join and spinal disease, may lessen an animal’s suffering.

Because osteoarthritis (OA) is commonly managed with complementary and alternative veterinary medical (CAVM) therapies, some nutritional supplements can specifically help with this condition, as well as with oncology patients and dogs with anxiety.

If you are giving supplements to your pet, your veterinarian can review them with to to be sure you are using the right supplements and the right dose and for the right reasons.

We have a staff available to talk with you about alternative therapies that may help to keep your pet healthy. Call us today.

 

Related article: Are over-the-counter medications safe for my dog?

 

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