2022 Pet Supplement Guide: How to Choose the Best Probiotics for Dogs, Hip & Joint Supplements for Dogs, Calming Dog Treats, and Dog Vitamins

June 02, 2022 10 min read

2022 Pet Supplement Guide: How to Choose the Best Probiotics for Dogs, Hip & Joint Supplements for Dogs, Calming Dog Treats, and Dog Vitamins

We may not think about it often, but dogs can experience many of the same health issues as humans. Our pups sometimes experience anxiety, digestive problems, poor immune systems, and sore muscles over time. This is why many of our dogs benefit from supplements just as much as humans do. 

Many dog parents think that their pups cannot benefit from supplements the same way we do, but this couldn't be further from the truth! Your pet relies on nutrients like vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy and strong. That’s why many pet supplement and dog vitamin companies tailor their products to suit dog-specific nutritional needs.

Some supplements address joint pain and stiffness by improving mobility to prevent joint injuries in dogs. Other pet supplements support optimal digestion and nutrient absorption. Improved digestion means less gas and diarrhea as your pup's digestive tract more easily breaks down food particles.

In short, supplements for dogs can be vital in helping your dog live a happier and healthier life. But how do you know which pet supplements are good for your dog? We know that it can be a bit mind-boggling to pick from the sea of products flooding the pet supplement market, so we’re here to help!

We did lots of the homework for you and identified vital ingredients to look for when shopping for supplements for dogs. The pet supplement ingredients outlined in this post have been tried, tested, and proven to boost your pup’s health and wellness.

Supplements for dogs do not substitute medication

First, we want to make sure every pup parent knows that although they can be helpful in solving many issues, supplements for dogs arenota substitute for medication prescribed by your dog’s vet without the vet’s explicit approval. Dog vitamins and supplements help to increase your dog's ability to fight diseases, recover from disease symptoms, and generally live a healthy, more comfortable life.

When you take your fur baby for their regular medical checkup, speak with their vet about the  natural ingredients and doses that will be most beneficial for your pup.

Read on to learn about the best ingredients in supplements for dogs that can help address your dog's anxiety, stress, joint health, gut issues, immune system, and skin or coat problems.

Calming dog treats and dog supplements for anxiety

Mild anxiety in dogs is quite normal and is normally not a cause for great alarm. However, if your pup is always anxious or excitable, anti-anxiety or calming supplements may be helpful for them. Here are some of the ingredients to look for in dog supplements that help with anxiety.

Always remember to consult your veterinarian about the effects and proper dosage of ingredients when choosing supplements for your pup!

Valerian Root

Valerian root is a natural sedative that provides relief to dogs experiencing tension, anxiety, and overstimulation. You can purchase valerian herb in its natural dried form or as a capsule. Now, your pup may not fancy the idea of chewing on valerian root (we wouldn’t either). Fortunately, you can mask the woody taste of valerian root by wrapping the herb in your dog's favorite treat or mixing it into their kibble. Feed your dog valerian before heading out to work, going to the park together, or doing anything else that may cause them anxiety. The calming effects of this herb can help your dog feel soothed and more relaxed, whether indoors or outdoors. 

Melatonin

Melatonin is produced naturally in dogs’ bodies and released into the bloodstream to promote sleep. As a supplement for dogs, melatonin is ideal for helping your pup stay calm and manage stressful environments. Melatonin's long-lasting effects are great for dogs suffering from extreme anxiety. Pure melatonin is safe for dogs, but beware of sweetened over-the-counter melatonin supplements that may contain xylitol, an ingredient that is toxic to dogs.

Passionflower

The passionflower played an important role as a sedative and sleeping aid for ancient cultures, and it is still in use today. As a natural vine, passionflower helps reduce anxious brain activity and boost levels of GABA, a feel-good chemical. In humans, passionflower has even been shown to have the same calming effects achieved by benzodiazepine medications such as Valium and Xanax. In addition, the passionflower has mild sedative qualities compared to other plants in its class. These characteristics make it a great choice for calming overly anxious dogs. 

Chamomile extract

People often drink chamomile tea to induce sleep and reduce insomnia. This organic herb has the same calming effect on our furry friends. Chamomile calms the nerves and helps dogs sleep better. Also, the herb extract is a great choice for dogs with tummy aches or any other digestive problems. Prepare chamomile-infused tea and let your fur baby have a bit for a good night's sleep. Alternatively, you can add chamomile extract as an ingredient in a homemade doggy treat or dunk a treat in chamomile tea before letting your pup gobble it. 

L-tryptophan 

L-tryptophan is an example of an amino acid, a building block of protein in humans and animals. This vital amino acid also helps the brain produce specific neurotransmitter chemicals. Dogs don’t produce L-tryptophan naturally, so they must get it from the food they eat. Foods that can help supply your dog with L-tryptophan include fish, chicken, eggs, or peanuts. Of course, it’s important to be sure that you’re feeding your dog a balanced diet and not overdoing it on any one ingredient, so talk to your vet if you’re unsure!

The correct L-tryptophan dosage can help reduce stress and aggression in dogs. This amino acid can be a great choice when it comes to helping your dog cope better in stressful situations, as L-tryptophan directly affects serotonin levels in your dog's body.

L-theanine

L-theanine is another naturally occurring amino acid that can benefit your dog's health. Administered correctly, L-theanine can give your pup the following benefits:

  • L-theanine helps dogs manage their stress and anxiety levels
  • L-theanine can help dogs with ADHD to focus on tasks more easily
  • L-theanine can help dogs relax during stressful periods like thunderstorms, fireworks, or visits to the vet

Supplements for digestive health

Your dog's digestive system can become a little out of order for several reasons such as stress, eating too many treats, drinking contaminated water, or even old age. Gut issues can also stem from an allergic reaction to specific ingredients in dog food.

Fortunately, there is a way to help your fur baby maintain their digestive health and better absorb the nutrients they get from their food. Probiotics, prebiotics and organic ingredients such as Ashwagandha and pumpkin have proven effective in maintaining canine gut health. Read on to learn more about each one of these supplements.

Probiotics

When your dog's gut isn't in the best shape, it can make them feel under the weather and uncomfortable. Dog digestive issues can lead to unpleasant effects like diarrhea, gas, cramping, and bad dog breath.

Fortunately, probiotics can help reduce diarrhea in dogs alongside addressing other gut-related problems. If your pup is battling gastrointestinal diseases, complications, or symptoms, starting them on probiotics can help stave off the unpleasant side effects of antibiotic treatment.

Probiotics can also help ward off the unpleasant side effects of antibiotics. Supplementing with probiotics before, during, and after antibiotic treatment can be a great way to help your pup manage the side effects that antibiotics may cause.

Pup tip:Dogs thrive on a consistent diet, and switching them to a different one can cause gastrointestinal distress. To mitigate this, it is also a good idea to prep your dog with probiotics before making the gradual switch to a new diet. Doing so will help your dog balance good and bad bacteria in their digestive system during the switch, helping to reduce tummy trouble. 

Adding probiotics to your dog's diet can also be a great idea if they suffer from digestive issues like constipation, painful gas, bloating or cramping, vomiting, lethargy, and loss of appetite. A healthy diet, clean water, exercise, and probiotic supplementation are a winning combination to improve your dog's gut microbiota. Daily supplementation with probiotics increases your dog's ability to fight off unhealthy gut bacteria. The best probiotics for dogs will have a high CFU (colony-forming unit) count and come from human-grade sources. If you want to learn even more about how probiotics can help your dog’s gut health, don’t miss our dedicated post on dog probiotics!

Ashwagandha 

Ashwagandha is an herb traditionally used as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are known to help balance your body's response to stress and promote calmness. Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in your dog by suppressing pro-inflammatory cytokine molecules. These molecules impact inflammation, gut health and their effects on the immune system.

Moreover, Ashwagandha may help protect your dog against developing ulcers caused by liver disease. It can also help protect against the possible side effects of corticosteroid and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory treatment.

Organic pumpkin

Pumpkin is healthy for dogs because it is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients. The antioxidants help the body fight off free radicals that can cause illness and disease in dogs. In addition, good old pumpkin is high in fiber, which helps with digestion and makes a dog feel full for longer. Plain pumpkin can make diarrhea go away faster, too!

Regularly feeding your dog pumpkin can help improve their mobility. Pumpkin contains few calories and packs healthy proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Many dogs that eat more pumpkin have an easier time maintaining optimal body weight and avoiding obesity.

Another benefit of pumpkin is that it acts as an antacid for dogs. If your fur baby is feeling a little queasy from food poisoning or an ingredient doesn't sit well with them, pumpkin can help soothe their ailing tummies.

Supplements for Dog Immune support 

Ashwagandha 

Ashwagandha is an ancient herb known to treat inflammation, improve memory, and protect the immune system. Ashwagandha's medicinal properties are in the plant's roots.   Ashwagandha can directly benefit your dog's immune system and help them live a health and happy life.  

Holistic vets recommend Ashwagandha to dogs with a compromised immune system, that suffer from severe itchy skin, or that have low energy levels.

Besides improving gut health, Ashwagandha helps maintain a healthy immune response and may reduce the frequency and severity of colds and the flu.

Supplement for Skin & Coat

Salmon oil 

Salmon oil is one of the richest sources of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, nourish your dog's skin and coat from the inside, keeping them healthy and shiny. Also, salmon oil has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the inflammation that can contribute to poor joint and disease.  

Coconut oil 

Coconut oil is one of the best supplements for a dog's skin and coat. It is anti-fungal, antibacterial and full of nourishing fatty acids. As a topical solution for dog skincare, coconut oil is also rich in ingredients that fight fungi and bacteria on your dog's fur. Moreover, coconut oil nourishes your dog.

Pet supplements for joint and mobility support 

As your dog ages, they become more vulnerable to suffering from compromised joints. Fortunately, you can address and even get ahead of your dog’s joint and mobility problems with organic supplements like turmeric, a mobility blend that includes glucosamine and chondroitin,, and organic hemp seed meal. Read on to learn about each one of these!

Turmeric 

Turmeric is a healthy spice derived from the Curcuma longa plant. Besides being a staple in many Indian dishes, turmeric lends itself to various medicinal uses. The main ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound that is a wonderful supplement for joint and mobility support in dogs.

Does your pup struggle with joint pain? Sprinkling a little turmeric in their food or as an ingredient in doggy treats can help reduce the pain of inflammation. Regularly supplementing with turmeric can reduce joint pain, joint stiffness and muscle soreness in dogs. The curcumin in turmeric has potent anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to halt the progression of osteoporosis.  

Turmeric is great for your dog’s gut, too. The spice’s anti-inflammatory properties help fight pain caused by digestive issues or an imbalance in gut bacteria. 

Even when your furry friend has healthy hips and joints, turmeric supplements for dogs help ensure that they maintain healthy joints for years. This nutrient-rich bright orange herb is safe for dogs of all ages, as long as it is administered in the correct dosage (it’s best to talk to your vet about this if you’re unsure).

Turmeric is rich in antioxidants that help fight disease-causing free radicals in your pup's body. Also, turmeric's antioxidant quality promotes optimal bone growth by adding a layer of protection to your dog's skeletal structure. 

Glucosamine and chondroitin

Glucosamine and chondroitin for dogs are vital for the health of cartilage, the tissue that provides a protective layer to joints. As a sulfate-derivative, chondroitin pairs with the amino sugar glucosamine to improve your dog's joint flexibility and overall mobility. In addition, chondroitin helps to keep your dog's joints lubricated and moving easily.

Organic hemp seed meal

Organic hemp seed meal is an ideal substitute for CBD oil for dogs. CBD oil has become very popular, but it remains unclear whether its usage is completely safe for dogs and in what doses, particularly in combination with existing medications. Fortunately, organic hemp seed meal comes with many of the benefits of CBD without even trace amounts of THC.

Organic hemp seed oil can help by:

  • Reducing joint inflammation
  • Improving flexibility and mobility
  • Reducing nausea in dogs
  • Improving digestion
  • Promoting health cardiovascular function and immune response

Conclusion

It can be tough to know which supplements are best for your dog, and we hope you feel more empowered to make an informed decision with our guide. Probiotics for dogs, joint supplements for dogs, and dog vitamins each have their own benefits, so it’s important to choose the right supplement for your pet’s individual needs. Hopefully, we’ve helped you learn more about the different types of ingredients and supplements available and what each one can do for your pup. 

Now that you know what to look for in a good supplement, it’s time to find the perfect product for your four-legged friend. At Puppington, as an ingredient-first company, we believe that high quality ingredients are important for pets too! The Puppington Philosophy is a simple way to help dogs live healthier and happier lives by starting at the building block - with simple, real ingredients. So our veterinarian-led teams use only the purest, safest and most effective ingredients to deliver your dog’s daily dose of love - backed by science. 

We’re here to help you make sure your dog gets everything they need for their healthiest, best life.

Don’t keep your dog waiting any longer. Shop Pup Snax™ and pick out the paw-fect supplement for your dog.

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