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Introducing Supplements into your Dogs’ Diet

You might have come across nutritional dog supplements, but how can you use them to help your dog? This article will help you to start supplementing your dog’s diet.

Author: ProDog Raw

Introducing Supplements into your Dogs’ Diet

It’s becoming increasingly common for dog owners to look for natural ways to resolve their dog’s various ailments.

Where pills and drugs were once the go-to form of therapy, thankfully many are starting to discover the benefits of natural supplements.

Many owners now realise that nutritional support is a more holistic method of aiding dogs to live a healthy, happy life.

3 things to consider before you start

It’s natural to have questions before introducing supplements into your dog’s diet, and being informed is the best way to ensure your dog gets the support they need.

Here are a few common queries people have when introducing supplements to their dogs’ diets.

If you are new to supplements, we advise reding our beginners guide first.

1) Is it too late to give my dog supplements?

Not at all! Senior dogs can benefit from supplements in their diets just as their younger counterparts can [1].

In fact, you might be surprised at how well they fare once they start receiving the additional nutrient support that supplements bring to their diet.

Our Flexx dog joint supplement is particularly helpful for seniors, providing relief from their joint stiffness or pain, allowing them better ease of movement.

We always recommend seeking advice from your vet if your dog has serious health concerns, is on medication, or you’re simply unsure.

Try our Flexx supplement

2) Can I give my dog supplements every day?

For the most part, yes, dog supplements can be given daily. There are a few that are designed to be given on a short-term basis, such as our Probiotic paste, which is perfect for assisting with dietary changes and gut health.

You’ll find all the info you need on the individual product pages and/or the containers of your chosen supplements.

It’s always advisable to select supplement products for your individual dog’s needs.

We recommend rotating supplements and giving breaks regularly, to ensure they stay effective.

You can also contact our expert feeding advisors with any questions regarding your dog’s supplements.

3) Are they sensitive to any of the ingredients?

You know your dog best, so being aware of any sensitivities they may have when choosing your supplements will be helpful in determining which ones are right for them.

All of our dog supplements contain natural, food based ingredients to minimise reactions.

The detailed ingredient lists on both our product pages and containers will allow you to make the best choices for your dog.

We always advise starting our supplements slowly, with half the recommended advised dosage, to minimise any reactions.

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How to add supplements to raw dog food

Raw dog food is the easiest to mix with when introducing supplements to your dog’s diet, thanks to its rich moisture content.

Simply feed as normal, sprinkle your dog’s pre-measured supplement/s over their raw food, and mix well.

Recommended measures are printed on the packaging. For dogs taking multiple supplements in their individual meals, adding a little cold water will help the powder to mix in more effectively.

Which supplements?

Read our handy guide to help you decide which supplements your dog could benefit from.
Learn more

How to use supplements with kibble

a red dog bowl with kibble in for an owner about to be introducing dog supplements to kibble

As kibble is dry by nature, you’ll need to make up for the lack of moisture when mixing in your dog’s supplements. As with a raw diet, feed as normal, sprinkling your dog’s pre-measured supplement/s over the food.

Adding a little cold water or bone broth will allow the supplements to mix in more effectively.

How to use supplements with vegan dog food

Depending on the consistency of your dog’s vegan-based food, using the guidelines in the raw and kibble sections above will be helpful when introducing supplements to your dog’s diet.

Essentially, the less moisture in your dog’s food, the more water you’ll need to add, and vice versa. Start with a little at a time and see what works best.

As long as the supplements are well mixed with your dog’s food, you’re good to go!

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Advice for giving multiple supplements

Check compatibility first

Not all supplements work well with others, so it’s important to make sure your chosen formulas are compatible. ProDog’s dog supplements all list which other blends are safe and effective to combine with on the individual product pages as well as the containers, so you always know if they’re ok to use together.

A quick check with our expert feeding advisors will alleviate any worries if you’re still unsure. We recommend starting with one supplement at a time before adding additional ones, to ensure no adverse reactions or too strong a detox effect.

Be sure to use the dedicated scoops

Each of our supplements have dedicated scoops for measuring the right amount when feeding them to your dog. However, not all of these are the same, as each supplement is designed to be given in very specific amounts. Ensure that you’re using the scoop included with each separate formula your dog is given to avoid any accidental measurement mishaps.

What to expect

When do dog supplements start working?

All dogs are different, so some dogs will begin to see results very quickly, whilst it may take others a few weeks to experience the benefits.

Start with one supplement at a time at half the recommended dose, and build up slowly whilst monitoring for any potential reactions.

After a couple of weeks with one successful supplement, you can begin to add in others if you need to.

This minimises any potential reactions, or overload of the detox organs, making for a more successful outcome.

Potential side effects of supplements

All of our dog supplements are created with species-appropriate, natural ingredients that dogs can consume safely.

However, all dogs are different, and there may be certain ingredients that don’t necessarily agree with your canine friend [2]. Find out more in our article should I give my dog supplements?

Potency or serving size may also disagree with some dogs. If you notice any gastric upset symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, skin flare ups, or decreased appetite, this may be the case for your dog.

Stop the supplement for a few days, and see if your dog’s condition improves. Contact your vet or our expert feeding advisors for guidance if you’re concerned.

How to introduce dog supplements to your puppy

It’s important that puppies eat regularly to ensure they grow and develop healthily.

Many of our supplements are not necessary or advisable for puppies under 6 months of age, so check which ones are suitable.

Adding supplements to their diet may also put them off their food at first, especially if they’re picky eaters.

If this is the case, simply reduce the amount of the supplement to a very small portion until they accept their food again.

Our Bovine Colostrum is a great all round supplement for puppies, and can help minimise the development of allergies in later life. Colostrum powder is most effective when mixed with water away from food.

Start with lesser amounts than the feeding guidelines recommend. You can gradually increase the serving amount over time, until the point that they accept the full designated amount for their weight.

It’s also important to check with your vet and/or ProDog’s expert feeding advisors for guidance before starting puppies on supplements.

How to introduce supplements to your senior dog

If your older dog is generally easy going when it comes to food, adding their new supplements as described above will likely work just fine.

However, some dogs become more discriminating as they grow older, so take things more gradually if this is the case.

Adding a small amount of the new supplements (e.g; less than the designated serving) to their meals to start with, will allow them to adjust gradually.

You can increase over time until they’re accepting the new addition and adapted fully.

When to stop giving your dog supplements

There are a couple of reasons that stopping your dog’s supplement regime might be necessary.

Firstly, if your dog has negative reactions to certain ingredients in their supplements, such as stomach upset or decreased appetite, it’s probably a good idea to look for a different option.

On the other hand, some supplements are designed to be used short term, or to resolve a specific health concern. Once this goal is reached, you may either need or choose to stop the supplements, depending on your dog’s unique situation.

If for any reason you’re unsure about stopping supplements, you can always contact our expert feeding advisors or your vet for advice.

How to add supplements to your dog's diet

Whilst not all dogs need supplements, a great many can benefit from the added boost of nutrients in their diets, read the latest dog supplement studies to find out more.

Dogs with health concerns and those predisposed to genetic or age related health issues can benefit greatly from supplements, which promote a reduction in various symptoms.

Supplements are also beneficial in helping your younger, healthier dogs to thrive and maintain their healthy lifestyles.

Our dog supplements are designed to enrich the diet of every dog, whether they are athletic, sporting or working dogs, dogs with specific health needs, or you simply want to set them on the right nutritional path.

Have a look at our various options and remember, we’re always here to answer your queries! We’re always developing new supplements, keep up to date here.

References:

1. Heath, S., Barabas, S., Craze, P. Jul 2007. Nutritional supplementation in cases of canine cognitive dysfunction — A clinical trial. Applied Animal Behaviour Science,; 105(4): 284-296. Doi.org: 10.1016/j.applanim.2006.11.008

2. Verlinden, A., Hesta, M., Millet, S., Janssens, P.J. Jan 2007.
Food Allergy in Dogs and Cats: A Review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition,; 46(3):259-273. Doi.org: 10.1080/10408390591001117

Image credit: Mathieu Gervais from Pexels

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