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In the majority of cases, pets won't need supplements. Provided that you are supporting your pet with the correct balanced nutrition that they require, most pets won't need supplements. Ensure that you are buying the correct pet food that fits your pet specifically and make sure the food is advertised as ‘nutritionally complete’ to ensure that your pet is getting everything they need.

There are some cases in which a pet may need supplements. For example, certain breeds of dog are more prone to joint troubles and thus, may require nutritional joint supplements to protect against conditions like arthritis and worn away cartilage (source: Wuffes).

The safest way to support your pet is to take them to the vet on a regular basis and follow the advice of your vet.  Not only is the vet a trained professional, but they've also worked specifically with your pet which means they will know what they need. If your vet suggests supplements, it's always best practice to give your pet those supplements.

Why Might My Pet Need Nutritional Supplements?

Even for an animal whose being fed complete foods and a healthy balanced diet, there are occasions on which a supplement may be beneficial. It's possible that supplements could help your pet to manage certain issues that can develop over your pet’s lifetime.

Issues such as dental problems, joint issues, skin irritation and digestive problems may all be added by supplements. Usually, these issues can be prevented with a healthy balanced diet for your pet but in some cases it's just not enough. Some pets are unable to gain the nutrients they need from their food to prevent these issues themselves.

What Might A Vet Recommend?

Your vet may recommend a supplement containing chondroitin and glucosamine. This supplement will help prevent or slow the progression of arthritis in your pet, which can be incredibly painful and very expensive to have operated on. Another supplement often prescribed by vets is extra Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids will help your pet with any kind of skin or coat issues, as the Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for healthy functioning of skin and hair.

Keeping Your Pet Supplements Safe

As with all vitamins and supplements, be they for humans or animals, it is important to keep them out of reach of other animals, for whom unrelated pet supplements can be harmful and even out of reach of the intended pet. Overdosing on pet supplements can cause other problems for your pet.

With regards to children, and young children in particular, make sure the supplements, like all medications and supplements are kept out of reach, as children are naturally inquisitive and may end up accidentally ingesting the pet supplements. As with anything else you want children to avoid, out of reach could mean in a locked cupboard, somewhere high up or in a room that children cannot access (source: Keren’s Nursery).

Is There Such A Thing as Too Many Supplements for A Pet?

The short answer is: yes! You can absolutely overdo it on the supplements for your pet.  Experts suggest that no more than 10% of your pet's daily calorie intake should be from complementary products such as supplements.

Not only will the 10% rule prevent you from over feeding your pet, which can lead to obesity and a whole host of health problems, but it also means that you reduce the risk of under supplying important nutrients.

If you are feeding your dog too many supplements, they may not be able to eat their regular pet food, which could mean that they become deficient in other vitamins, minerals, macronutrients and fatty acids.

Things to Remember

Always follow the advice of your vet or an expert in pet nutrition.

If you notice that your pet is developing a problem, take them to the vet before attempting to fix the issue with supplements.

Don't overdo the supplements. Giving your pet too many supplements could lead to obesity or them not wanting to eat their daily pet food.

The best way to tackle illness in your pet is a healthy balanced diet and plenty of exercise.

Why Are Pet Supplements Important?
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