The Ultimate Guide To Supplements For Your Dog

If you’re a gym rat like myself, or a health nut in general, I’m sure you’re painfully aware of the massive supplement industry out there. I mean the list is endless, whey protein supplements, creatine supplements, branched chain amino acids, casein whey supplements, preworkout supplements, and so on.

How do you know which is good and which are just a scam? And more importantly, are any of these dangerous to take?

I hope you’re asking yourself how this applies to the warm fur pillow curled at your feet, because if you aren’t, and you’re actively providing any of the supplements listed above to Fido… you’re doing me a concern buddy.

The question that I’m going to address with ya’ll today is what supplements should I be giving Fido, and more importantly, why. Every supplement you give should be given for a reason, and I’ll show you the reasons for each. You should never give your beloved a supplement for no reason! Supplements ain’t candy or cash, you don’t just give away willy-nilly!

I mean you technically could. But like.. why would you?

Anyways let’s get started.

Vitamins

vitamin for dogs

The most common supplements given to our pets are vitamins. I mean, it’s probably also the most commonly given supplements to our offspring as well right? Mom and dad gave you them tasty Flintstones vitamins as kids, yeah? (between you and me, even though they tried to pass them off as candy, I also knew the difference. No candy tastes like sugared dirt!)

Before I can start telling you which vitamin supplements to give you, it’s hella important you understand the role those vitamins play, and why you should be giving it to Fido.

Vitamin Types

Fat Soluble Vitamins
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
Water Soluble Vitamins
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantotenic Acid)
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)

Why should you care about the differences in these vitamins?

Well I’ll tell you why, butthead. Because they’re important to the health and functioning of your precious pup.

Vitamins work together with a variety of minerals, co-factors, and co-enzymes in order to ensure healthy development of the skin and fur, as well as bone growth and mental development.

Water Soluble Vitamins

Since I don’t really wanna delve into the meaty sciencey aspect of each vitamin and the biological role it plays in your pup’s body, here’s a nice to look at, easy to understand chart as to what each vitamin does:

Vitamin Symptoms of Deficiency Sources
Vitamin C Weakened immune system, slow to heal/recover Fruits and vegetables
Vitamin B1 Slowing of reflexes, decreased eating, fatigue Meat, vegetables, Fruits
Vitamin B2 Eye problems, possible heart failure, slow growth Dairy products, and meats
Vitamin B5 Fur loss, loose stools, discoloration of hair Meats and vegetables
Vitamin B12 Anemia Meats/animal products

Lets be honest. The above information is what’s important to you and Fido. No one really wants to know the molecular structure of vitamins and how its cofactors and coenzymes work together. (ugh, brings back memories of my nutrition course back in college)

So the easy thing to remember about the water soluble vitamins is that unlike the fat soluble vitamins, the body can only store small amounts of it, therefore they are vitamins that must be consumed daily. If you check out my article on best dog foods, you’ll be able to find foods that ensure that Fido will get all the water soluble vitamins he needs!

Fat Soluble Vitamins

What I have below is another chart, this time for fat soluble vitamins.

Vitamin Symptoms of Deficiency Sources
Vitamin A Slow growth, poor vision, pasty skin/fur Fish oil, dairy, vegetables
Vitamin D Unhealthy adult teeth, rickets Fish oil, dairy, sunlight
Vitamin E Brown bowel syndrome, reproductive failure Meats, nuts, green vegetables
Vitamin K Hemorrhaging and delayed blood clotting Eggs, alfalfa, kelp
To recap fat soluble vitamins, just remember that they are stored within the fatty tissues of the body as well as the liver.

Joint Supplements

dog joint supplement

Does your puppy have the distinctive graying around the muzzle? The elegant salt and peppering of her fur?

There’s something just dapper and majestic about a well-aged pup rocking the gray fur. Reminds me of a stern college professor. Only smaller and much cuter.

But with that aged distinction, comes some ailing health issues. The most common of which is stiffness or soreness of the joints. It is important to note though, that joint issues can really pop up during any stage in life, and even younger adult dogs are prone to those issues.

So then what are your options for achy joints? Well, lets take a gander below.

The most commonly issued supplement for dogs when it comes to joint issues are either glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate supplement.

Glucosamine is a compound that is found in natural products and acts as a chondroprotective agent. Now chondroitin is a substance found within your dogs cartilage, especially around the joints, which glucosamine helps to improve flexibility and reduce inflammation.

While it is a great supplement to help ease with the pains in the joint, it does not cure or treat any joint health issues. It’s purpose is to reduce pain, and help with a normal range of motions. It really boils down to 3 main objectives:

  • Induces production of hyaluronic acid, a component of the synovial fluid in the joints
  • Stimulates production of collagen, which is found in the cartilage
  • Retains moisture in the joints and produces glycosaminoglycans

Chondroitin sulfate is can usually be given together with glucosamine, and its main purpose is to help the joint cartilage retain water.

  • Stimulates the growth of healthy cartilage
  • Prevents white blood cells enzymes that damage the cartilage
  • Promotes nutrient intake by the cartilage

Top 10 Best Health Supplements for Fido

Ok. Lets get down to it now: what are the best health supplements for your pupper?

You are now armed with knowledge and ready to tackle this supplement enigma. Much like the rebels learning of the exhaust port of the Death Star. You know now what to look for! (But unlike Obi-Wan, I suggest you simply use your eyes and read, rather than relying on the force. No disrespect to the force though)

So here are the top 10 best health supplements you can use!

Vitamin Features
  • Jam packed with essential vitamins and accompanying minerals
  • Healthy dose of vitamin c to promote a strong immune system
  • Comes in a bottle of 90 chewable tablets
  • As the name states, it’s a slow release vitamin that times the absorption of its vitamins
  • Can be specialized for both puppies and older dogs alike.
  • Unique formulation includes lutein, which is a healthy carentoid
  • Made of completely natural ingredients
  • Includes healthy microbes that promote a well functioning digestive tract
  • Supports healthy immune and neurological health as well
  • High quality sources of protein that ensure a healthy muscular growth and coat
  • Healthy addition in diet for pups, doges, and adult dogs alike
  • Made in the US of A, baby. Wave the red, white, and blue
  • Ensures healthy and normal bone development in puppies
  • Just as helpful for nursing and lactating mommy dogs
  • Formulated with optimal levels of calcium, vitamins A and D
  • Ideal for dogs both under and over 60lbs
  • Researched for over 10 years in clinical and lab research
  • Ensures complete joint healthcare
  • Protects Fido’s already existing cartilage in his joints
  • Also aids in producing new healthy cartilage in the joints
  • Comes with fish oil, which helps keep Fido’s fur healthy and sleek
  • Perfectly formulated with glucosamine complex and MSM that can keep both active dogs and older senior citizen pups up and running
  • Uses both raw and unprocessed ingredients for optimal nutritional supplementation!
  • Absolutely no use of any fillers
  • Includes glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM
  • Highly advanced formula includes essential vitamins, minerals, and enyzmes
  • Product of the USA!
  • Utilizes both glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Helps the pup repair joints while maintaining flexibility
  • Deliciously flavored as a doggos favorite: beef liver

1. Pro-Sense Daily Multivitamin Chewable Tablets

This is a yummy tasting, delightfully chewy tablet meant for adult dogs of all breed. It’s what the doggone professionals recommend! So I’ve been told.

Special Characteristics
  • Jam packed with essential vitamins and accompanying minerals
  • Healthy dose of vitamin c to promote a strong immune system
  • Comes in a bottle of 90 chewable tablets
Dosage
  • Dogs under 10lbs: ½ tab daily
  • Dogs 11 – 50 lbs: 1 tab daily
  • Dogs 50 lbs and over: 2 tabs daily

2. Excel Time Release Multi-Vitamin

As a professional punster, I really excel at my job, and this vitamin name is just too easy it’s practically excellerating so fast it’s going to tear into the very fabric of the space-time continuum! Please tell me you got it all. A good pun is a terrible thing to waste.

Special Characteristics
  • As the name states, it’s a slow release vitamin that times the absorption of its vitamins
  • Can be specialized for both puppies and older dogs alike.
  • Unique formulation includes lutein, which is a healthy carentoid
Dosage
  • Dogs under 10 lbs: ½ tab
  • Dogs 11-50 lbs: 1 tab
  • Dogs 50 lbs and over: 2 tabs

3. Vetri-Science Mega Probiotic

The heart can be divided into quadrants, 2 on top and 2 on the bottom. The two on the bottom are known as ventricles. What does this scientific fact have to do with this supplement? Nothing really, other than it sounds like the word ‘ventricle’ lol

Special Characteristics
  • Made of completely natural ingredients
  • Includes healthy microbes that promote a well functioning digestive tract
  • Supports healthy immune and neurological health as well
Dosage
  • Dogs up to 40 lbs: 1 tab
  • Dogs over 40 lbs: 2 tabs

4. Pet MD Canine Tabs Plus

I know web MD has a bad rep, but rest assured that pet MD is of much higher, reliable caliber.

True story: I remember one time I injured my shoulder doing some military presses in the gym, and for giggles, I decided to look up my symptom on web MD. Long story short, it told me that I probably had shoulder cancer. All from lifting incorrectly. Such accuracy. wow. very medical.

Special Characteristics
  • High-quality sources of protein that ensure a healthy muscular growth and coat
  • Healthy addition in diet for pups, doges, and adult dogs alike
  • Made in the US of A, baby. Wave the red, white, and blue
Dosage
  • Dogs under 10 lbs: ½ tab
  • Dogs over 10 lbs: 1 tab

5. Sure Grow Lambert Kay

Sure grow is a sure bet that sorbet lemon is a Shirley’s assured sour source. I know that made no sense, but it was fun to type, and I just let my fingers ride it out.

Special Characteristics
  • Ensures healthy and normal bone development in puppies
  • Just as helpful for nursing and lactating mommy dogs
  • Formulated with optimal levels of calcium, vitamins A and D
Dosage
  • Dogs 5 – 15 lbs: ½ tab
  • Dogs 16 – 30 lbs: 1 tab twice daily
  • Dogs 31 – 60 lbs: 1.5 tabs twice daily
  • Dogs 60 lbs and over: 2 tabs twice daily

6. Nutramax Dasuquin

During my time as a vet tech, at the hospital I worked at, this was probably the single most commonly prescribed joint supplement for the older doggos that came in. Even without having it in front of me, I can literally still smell it!

Special Characteristics
  • Ideal for dogs both under and over 60lbs
  • Researched for over 10 years in clinical and lab research
  • Ensures complete joint healthcare
Dosage
  • Has a loading phase and a maintenance phase which differs in dosage
  • Loading Phase Dosage (First 4-6 weeks)
    • Maintenance Phase Dosage (After 4-6 weeks)
    • Dogs under 10lbs: ½ tab daily
    • Dogs 10 – 29lbs:  1 tab daily
    • Dogs 30 – 59lbs: 2 tabs daily
    • Dogs 60lbs and over: 2 tabs daily
  • Maintenance Phase Dosage (After 4-6 weeks)
    • Dogs under 10lbs: ½ tab daily
    • Dogs 10 – 29lbs: ½ tab daily
    • Dogs 30 – 59lbs: 1 tab daily
    • Dogs 60lbs and over: 1 tab daily

7. Cosequin DS Plus MSM Joint Health for Dogs

This product is also produced by nutramax, and works just as well as their nutramax supplement. The only difference being that this product also ensures coat health as well.

Special Characteristics
  • Improves joint health by accomplishing two things:
    • Protects Fido’s already existing cartilage in his joints
    • Also aids in producing new healthy cartilage in the joints
  • Comes with fish oil, which helps keep Fido’s fur healthy and sleek
Dosage
  • Has a loading phase and a maintenance phase which differs in dosage
  • Loading Phase Dosage (First 4-6 weeks)
    • Dogs under 15lbs: ½ tab
    • Dogs 16 – 30lbs: 1 tab
    • Dogs 31 – 60lbs: 2 tabs
    • Dogs 61lbs and over: 3 tabs
  • Maintenance Phase Dosage (After 4-6 weeks)
    • Dogs under 15lbs: ½ tab every other day
    • Dogs 16 – 30lbs: ½ tab
    • Dogs 31 – 60lbs: 1 tab
    • Dogs 61lbs and over: 1-2 tabs

8. Nupro Joint Supplement for Dogs

Now these guys here, these guys you can trust. They’re the.. new pros of the supplement industry! Oooh jeez, this article is just filled with unbearable puns, ain’t it?

This one’s unique in that it’s the first supplement on this list that isn’t a tab or pill, but rather a powder to be given with food.

Special Characteristics
  • Perfectly formulated with glucosamine complex and MSM that can keep both active dogs and older senior citizen pups up and running
  • Uses both raw and unprocessed ingredients for optimal nutritional supplementation!
  • Absolutely no use of any fillers
Dosage
  • 1. 1 Pound Small Breed Size- 144 scoops (teaspoon). For dogs under 20 pounds.
  • 2. 30 Oz. Size- 30 scoops (3 Tablespoon scoop) Approximately a 30 day supply for dogs weighing 40 pounds.
  • 3. 5 Pound Size- 80 scoops (3 Tablespoon scoop) Ideal for large breed dogs.
  • 4. 20 Pound size- 320 scoops (3 Tablespoon scoop) Excellent for kennels or multiple dog households.

9. Doggies Dailies Advanced Hip and Joint Supplement

Chewy, healthy, and a daily supplement that your doggies will happily enjoy as a dailies treat! SEND HELP THE PUNS ARE UNSTOPPABLE.

Special Characteristics
  • Includes glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM
  • Highly advanced formula includes essential vitamins, minerals, and enyzmes
  • Product of the USA!
Dosage
  • Dogs under 15lbs: 1 chewable
  • Dogs 15 – 30lbs: 2 chewables
  • Dogs 30 – 45lbs: 3 chewables
  • Dogs 45 – 60lbs: 4 chewables
  • Dogs 60 – 75lbs: 5 chewables
  • Dogs 75lbs and over: 6 chewables

10. Infinite Pet Supplies Hip and Joint Supplement for Dogs

As Buzz Lightyear once said “Woody, we have to go to infinity and beyond! … for the sake of Slinky’s joints!” That’s from a deleted scene in Toy Story 3. It was a very emotional scene, where Rex and Slinky try to find a way back to Andy’s house and Slinky gets stretched out too far. This is real.

Special Characteristics
  • Utilizes both glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Helps the pup repair joints while maintaining flexibility
  • Deliciously flavored as a doggos favorite: beef liver
Dosage
  • Dogs under 15lbs: ½ tab
  • For dogs over 25lbs:
    • 1 tab per day, per 25lbs of body weight
    • TIP: Break up tab into am and pm doses

So there you have it folks!

I’ve provided you with a fun list of some of the best vitamin supplements and the best joint supplements in the business.

Use these wisely and your doge’s joints will thank you. Mostly through lots of kisses, excitable(and fully functional) running around in circles, as well as probably at least a couple of accidental paws to the face.

BUT. BUTT. Before you do start your pupper on any sort of supplement regimen, consult your veterinarian and make sure all’s good in the good.

Now go forth, be healthy, and please recycle.

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