While most pets are fed packaged dog food, others enjoy fresh, homecooked meals. Now, as preservative-free as we want our pets' meals to be, balancing out every meal in terms of protein, carbohydrates, fibre, fat, vegetables, and fruits, is quite the task - especially if you are a working pet parent! And that's where pet supplements come in - to make up for the missing nutrients that may not be met through home-cooked meals.
Why use supplements?
The primary role of supplements is to nourish and replenish your pet's body with adequate nutrients in optimum proportion as per their age and breed. Aside from this, they promote a wide array of benefits at every life stage.
Remember, however, that pet health supplements are not to be used as substitutes for wholesome, balanced, and nutritious meals because they simply serve to aid pet health and in no way can they provide as much satiety as a regular meal. Only when given with homecooked meals, can they ensure the overall health of your pet.
Top 7 benefits of pet health supplements
Essential Nutrients: Pet health supplements are packed with vitamins and minerals required to improve and sustain the healthy development of both mind and body. When a particular nutrient is missing from homecooked meals, it can be made up for through supplementation.
Skin Health: Skin supplements and oils like coconut oil and salmon oil promote skin health and are known to make a pet's coat appear soft and shiny. Oils contain omega 3 and omega 6 acids that nourish hair follicles, leading to healthier fur.
Digestion: Certain pets find it difficult to digest certain ingredients in a packaged food or have a weak digestive system. In such cases, a veterinarian might suggest digestive supplements to help ease bowel movements and strengthen gut flora. Most digestive supplements are either prebiotics, probiotics, or both.
Encourages Absorption: When a pet's digestive system isn't able to absorb all essential nutrients from its meals, dietary supplements act as a protein-based delivery system, thereby optimising the absorption of vital substances such as chondroitin. In short, they make nutrients available in their maximum potency for absorption.
Strengthens Immunity: Immune supplements are used when a pet may have a weak immune system - this is particularly seen in puppies that have been weaned too early or those that were on a diet other than milk replacement formula as newborns. Immune supplements are essentially immune boosters that help the immune system stay ready for prevention of illness, attack of an infection and/or recovery from disease.
Promotes neurological function: Certain pet supplements, especially those that contain vitamin E, vitamin C, Coenzyme Q-10, and L-Carnitine, are known to improve neurological function and slow down cognitive impairment as pets age. When fed with homecooked meals, they are linked to improving focus and attention spans.
Helps to age gracefully: Supplements for mobility can help dogs with joint inflammation or hip dysplasia. Some veterinarians recommend using mobility supplements for repair, pain relief, disease/disorder control etc. These supplements are used alongside senior pet diets prescribed by a veterinarian.
Since good-quality packaged pet food comes with all essential nutrients in an optimum proportion to support a healthy mind and body, pets on such a diet do not require supplements. Contrarily, those on a homecooked diet most often do.
To hear what a veterinarian has to say about supplements, please click on the link below -