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What are Dog Supplements? A Beginner’s Guide

You wouldn’t be alone if you had questions on this topic, specifically, “what are supplements for dogs, and how can they help my dog?” This article explains dog supplements and their benefits to help you make the most well-informed choice for your dog’s wellbeing.

Author: ProDog Raw

What are Dog Supplements? A Beginner’s Guide

What are dog supplements?

Dog supplements are exactly what they sound like; dietary supplements for dogs. Supplement for dogs can be a fantastic way to provide your dog with additional nutrients, whether for a specific health concern or preventative measures particularly for kibble fed dogs.

Just as people use supplements to bridge nutritional gaps and gain access to vitamins and minerals they may be missing in their diets; dog supplements serve the same purpose.

Many dogs don’t get key nutrients they need in their diets, either for specific health concerns or overall wellbeing.

In these cases, dog supplements support your dogs’ bodies (and minds) to function optimally, giving them the best chance of a healthy, happy life.

Whilst we’re obviously not shy about touting the health benefits of a raw, species appropriate diet, there are instances when even the best fed dogs need a little extra nutritional support.

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How to choose a good supplement for dogs

what are dog supplements? how to choose the right ones for your dog

As with all things your dog eats, natural is best.

When shopping for dog supplements it’s important to choose those that include real ingredients derived from nature, not synthetic substances that are created in a lab.

Vitamin tablets made from synthetic ingredients are not always recognised by the body, and therefore are often not absorbed.

In contrast, the body recognises supplementation in the form of natural ingredients as food, and therefore knows instinctively what to do with the nutrients contained within them.

It’s also important to be aware of any ingredients that are unsafe or toxic to dogs, as these will do more harm than good.

Purchasing supplements specifically for dogs (not for people) is the best way to ensure the ingredients are thoughtfully chosen and safe for dogs to consume.

All of the formulas in our dog supplements are canine-safe, created with whole food ingredients for maximum absorption and effect, and of premium quality.

What vitamins do dogs need in their diet?

Like humans, dogs need a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to keep them healthy.

Vitamins B, C, D, E, and K are important to canine development and overall health, as are minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc. Fatty acids like Omega-3s and Omega-6s are also crucial for dogs’ health [1].

Thankfully, much of this can be found in their food if you’re feeding a species-appropriate, natural raw diet; especially if you provide your dog with a variety of proteins, fats, and fibre options.

However, there are still cases in which certain dogs need additional support through the use of supplements.

Our complete raw dog food includes everything your canine friend needs to achieve optimal health, but sometimes some extra support is helpful or needed. Our experts explain the ingredients in raw in our article what is raw dog food?

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Our complete meals contain all of the key nutrients your dog needs to thrive
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9 types of dog supplements

There are 9 main types of dog supplements, read on to learn more. If you’re considering giving your dog a supplement, read our expert article covering what supplements should you give your dog.

Mobility / Joint supplements

Joint and/or mobility dog supplements offer additional support to dogs with restricted movement, for example stiffness, struggling to jump, and difficulties getting up or down to the floor.

Ailing joints, bones, and ligaments can be supported through ingredients such as collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM to encourage fluidity of movement and decrease inflammation.

Our Flexx Dog Joint supplement powder is a fantastic choice for helping dogs with joint issues, like arthritis, or as a preventative aid for breeds that are prone to them.

Discover our joint supplements

Performance supplements

Performance supplements are designed for working dogs, sporting and competition dogs, or dogs with above-average activity levels.

Our Maximus muscle builder supplement helps to build lean muscle and fuel the body with nutrients to help support speed, endurance, and vitality.

Our Revive supplement utilises ingredients such as hemp protein, chlorella, N- Acetyl cysteine and taurine to assist dogs in their recovery much faster; especially helpful for demand and high endurance work or sporting activities, such as Flyball.

Both of these supplements aid in muscle recovery and energy replenishment, and include antioxidants, polyphenols, and amino acids.

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Muscle building supplements

Muscle building supplements aren’t all about beefing up your dog. Whilst they can be useful for this purpose, they also aid in recovering from muscle wastage, cruciate and muscular tears.

They also help to build and strengthen muscle around struggling joints, such as supporting dogs with hip dysplasia. Muscle building supplements can be useful in helping underweight dogs achieve a healthy weight, and provide key nutrients that allow dogs to maintain their physique.

Our Muscle+ dog weight gainer supplement is a healthy, natural way to achieve all these goals for your dog.

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Digestive supplements

Dogs can be prone to sensitive tummies, and sometimes need additional support in the digestion department. Even dogs on a natural raw food diet can have gut health issues, especially if they’re new to this way of feeding.

Digestive supplements, like our Digest gut health support, offer good gut bacteria fuel and cleansing ingredients that provide soothing relief to dogs with digestive issues such as loose stools, constipation or acid reflux.

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Allergy supplements

Dogs experience a multitude of allergies, many of which can be relieved by feeding a species-appropriate, raw diet. However, some dogs still require support for allergy symptoms, especially if they are environmental.

Our Protect allergy defence supplement helps to boost and balance the immune response and calm allergy symptoms from the inside out; with ingredients like quercetin, turmeric, liquorice root, chicory root, and vitamin C.

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Skin and coat supplements

A dog’s skin health can either be a reflection of their health and happiness, or be a cause of misery and irritation. The same can be said for their coat.

A dull coat can be the result of poor diet, underlying health issues, or nutritional deficiencies; with the skin underneath also being compromised.

Skin and coat supplements can help here, too. ProDog’s Shine coat and skin conditioner is packed with nutrient dense ingredients and fatty acids, that will support and fuel from the inside, helping any dog’s coat and skin feeling and looking their best.

Immunity supplements

Immune system health is intrinsically linked to gut health. Recovery and immunity supplements work to restore gut health (and thus, immune health) to optimal levels, giving dogs the best possible chance at staying healthy overall.

Our Bovine Colostrum supplement offers an array of gut and immune health benefits for your dog. Rich in immunoglobulins and growth factors, colostrum helps to restore a healthy balanced immune response, aids repair of tissues and strengthens the gut.

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Vitamin and mineral supplements

Not all dogs have health concerns that require specific supplement support. However, natural, food based vitamin and mineral supplements are still helpful to ensure dogs get all the essential nutrients that they may not get in their diet, especially if they are fed kibble.

Our Boost vitamin and mineral supplement is designed to be given to dogs on a regular basis, to supply food based vitamins and minerals that allow dogs to feel and perform at their best.

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Recovery supplements

Aside from muscle recovery after exercise, dogs can benefit from additional nutrient support after surgery, illness, injury, or pregnancy/whelping.

Healing time is often shorter and the process itself more complete when dogs are provided a quality blend of nutrients designed for this very purpose.

Our Revive supplement was created to aid dogs in their recovery through the power of nutrition.

Its ingredients work together to prevent/reduce inflammation, detoxify, and support balanced energy levels, whilst providing fuel for energy and vitality.

Try Revive today

Does your dog need supplements?

Our experts have written an article covering whether you should give your dog supplements or not. Click below to learn more.
Read the guide

How do dog supplements work?

Dog supplements contain concentrated amounts of nutrients that dogs may be missing in their diet, or that they might need more of to support various health issues.

Mostly designed as food toppers that are mixed in with their meals, dogs simply eat these specialised nutrient blends, which are absorbed during the digestion process.

Dog supplements work in different ways, depending on which ingredients are included and the specific health concern (or preventative measure) they’re targeted at.

Our dog food supplements are designed to enrich any type of diet, providing support in the areas your dog needs it most.

Why do dogs need supplements?

Dogs that are generally healthy and are fed a variety of fresh, raw, species -appropriate foods may not need supplements.

However, dogs are often missing certain key nutrients that could benefit their health in various ways if they had access to them.

Dogs with allergies, joint issues, or other health concerns can find much-needed relief through dog supplements.

The additional ingredients in their diet can provide them with the nutritional support that their bodies need to restore balance and aid repair.

Which supplements for puppies?

If puppies are started on a natural, raw puppy food diet with plenty of variety whilst they’re young, they may not need any supplements.

However, not all puppies have access to this style of diet, which makes supplementation a smart move.

Also, certain breeds are predisposed to genetic health conditions that might affect puppies later on in life [2], so it’s smart to get them started on any supplements that could help.

Many supplements are not actually safe for puppies under 24 weeks, so it’s important to consider this.

However, our Colostrum supplement is great for puppies; it supports balanced gut health, minimises the potential development of allergies, and works to establish strong, healthy immune systems.

Our nutrient-dense Bone Broth for dogs is safe for puppies as well, and is full of nutrients including minerals and electrolytes.

Our bone broth can help

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Our bone broth is an ideal meal topper for your puppy. It will help to keep their joints and bones strong.
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About supplements for older dogs

Older dogs may require more nutritional support from supplements, especially if they’re already experiencing health concerns.

Joint and mobility issues, digestive upsets, and lower energy levels are more common in older dogs [3].

Those that have been fed dry kibble are often more susceptible to these and other health issues. Find out more in our raw dog food vs kibble article.

Flexx, our joint and mobility supplement, can offer natural, anti-inflammatory support for your senior dog’s joints that they might not be getting from their diet.

Also, our Digest supplement helps to soothe, balance, and restore the gut microbiome to aid in any tummy upsets your older dog might be experiencing.

Help your older dog with supplements

We have chosen a few supplements perfectly suited to helping your older dog thrive.
Joint Supplements for Dogs
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What to avoid when supplementing

It’s not advised to introduce more than one supplement to your dog at once.

We recommend selecting supplements that have a specific need and benefit to your dog, starting with one at a time, and working up to full doses slowly. Always monitor your dog to ensure there are no adverse reactions.

If your dog is on medications or pregnant, always check with your vet that any supplement given will not interfere with medications or cause other issues.

Meanwhile, it’s always good to give occasional breaks, and rotate supplements if you give more than one.

Avoid synthetic supplements; natural, food based supplements are always preferable and utilised more effectively by your dog. All of ProDog Raw’s supplements are formulated from natural, food based ingredients.

How to enhance your dog's health

A species-appropriate, raw food diet with plenty of variety is key to ensuring your dog has access to all the essential nutrients they need to thrive. Find out how to switch to raw.

However, there are often times when additional support is needed; either due to lack of nutrients in a dog’s diet or certain health concerns.

Dog supplements are a fantastic way to enrich any dog’s diet and provide them with nutrient boosts to support their wellbeing. Read our dog supplement news and studies or find out how to start introducing supplements into your dog’s diet today


1. Smith, C., Freeman, L, DVM., Rush, J., Cunningham, S., Biourge, V. Feb 2008. Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Boxer Dogs with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine,; 21(2):265-273. Doi: abs/10.1111/j.1939-1676.2007.tb02959.x

2. Kleiter, M., Hogler, S., Kneissl, S., Url, A., Leschnik, M. Apr 2011. Spongy Degeneration with Cerebellar Ataxia in Malinois Puppies: A Hereditary Autosomal Recessive Disorder? Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine,; 25(3):490-496. 10.1111. /j.1939-1676.2011.0720.x

3. Anderson, K., O’Neill, D., Brodbelt, D., Church, D., Meeson, R., Sargan, D., Summers, J., Zulch, H., Collins, L. Apr 2018. Prevalence, duration, and risk factors for appendicular osteoarthritis in a UK dog population under primary veterinary care. Scientific Reports. Pdf: 10.1038/s41598-018-23940-z.pdf

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