As a general rule, before supplementing
your dog's diet, you should discuss with your veterinarian the available
evidence or recommendations supporting the use of nutriceuticals and dietary
supplements. Be certain to avoid high levels of supplementation of any single
nutrient unless you're certain that it's safe and won't interfere with any
other medications your pet may be taking.
Should You Supplement
Your Dog's Diet?
Supplements fall into two general and very large categories: vitamin and
mineral supplements and nutriceuticals. Nutriceuticals are nutrient supplements
given to obtain a pharmacologic (drug-like) effect or to prevent a specific
disease. The overall benefit of vitamin and mineral supplements is hotly
debated. According to most feeding studies of healthy dogs, dogs that eat
an appropriate balanced diet do not need supplements. Nevertheless, many
of us take dietary supplements ourselves and wish to provide our pets with
the same potential benefits.
Of course, dietary supplements can also be dangerous. Excessive supplementation
with calcium salts, for example, can lead to significant bone diseases in
growing dogs. Vitamin D supplementation can lead to harmful elevations of
the blood calcium and damage to the kidneys. Nutriceuticals fall into a different
category since they are used to either prevent or treat specific diseases.
Examples include: taurine (an amino acid essential to cats) and Cosequin
(a protein complex of possible benefit in joint health). There are others,
such as L-carnitine (sometimes used for heart conditions), rutin (used for
a serious condition called chylothorax) and co-enzyme Q10. Be aware that
the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements in the same
way that drugs are regulated and controlled. The proof of effectiveness and
safety demanded for pharmaceuticals is not required for nutriceuticals or
This article has been provided courtesy of PetPlace.com
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The above information is simply informational. It's intent is not
to replace the advice of a veterinarian nor to assist you in making a diagnosis
of your pet. Please consult with your own veterinarian for confirmation of
any diagnosis. Your pets life may depend on it.