For humans, exercise and a good diet can prevent many health issues, like diabetes and high blood pressure. If you don’t get all of the nutrients you need from your diet, you use supplements like vitamins or fish oil. Unsurprisingly, you can help your dog or cat avoid many issues by supplementing their food. Here are a few common preventable problems that supplements may help alleviate.
Dogs and cats need essential fatty acids to maintain a healthy skin and coat. Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid that reduces itchy skin, dandruff, and shedding. An itchy dog or cat is not only uncomfortable, but can damage the skin with constant scratching. You may begin to see scratch marks and even open sores or wounds where your pet has rubbed himself raw.
Dogs and cats cannot manufacture linoleic acids, so it must be supplied by their diets. You can ensure that your pet is receiving an adequate amount of linoleic acid by including a daily supplement.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the smooth cartilage protecting the joints wears down. It is one of the most common problems for both dogs and cats. Large breeds, obese pets, and older animals are more prone to arthritis. There is no cure for arthritis, but with proper supplementation you can reduce the likelihood that your dog or cat will suffer from this painful degenerative disease.
There are pet supplements that contain anti-inflammatories and joint lubricators like glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate. The cartilage between your pet’s bones needs this lubrication to inhibit wear and tear. Chondroitin also neutralizes destructive enzymes that speed up joint damage. Consider adding these supplements to your pet’s diet now, before the damage is done.
Anxiety in pets can be caused by a variety of factors. Your pet may have a fear of something specific, like thunderstorms or fireworks. He may panic when put in a crate or other enclosure. He may suffer from separation anxiety, whining and crying whenever you’re out of sight.
While supplements can’t ‘cure’ anxiety, they can help to alleviate some of the symptoms by calming your pet. A dog or cat can get a stomachache due to nerves, making him gassy and nauseous. Supplements containing ginger and chamomile can calm the stomach and alleviate these symptoms. Valerian extract and tryptophan will help your pet relax and refocus.
Supplements are a useful tool to both prevent and alleviate many common pet problems.