Experts in the dog world are torn as to whether or not dogs need supplements, but more and more vets are agreeing there are some supplements every dog can benefit from taking; and the Chow Chow is no stranger to this rule. The following information will provide you with five supplements every Chow Chow should take regularly.
In the body, vitamins are responsible for thousands of chemical reactions. Vitamins most often work along with enzymes and minerals to make sure digestion is normal, the skin and hair are healthy and they aid in the use of proteins, carbohydrates and fats in the body, among other things.
To ensure your Chow is in the best health you should feed only healthy, high-quality dog foods and supplements when needed. Since older dogs usually absorb fewer amounts of electrolytes, vitamins and minerals through their intestinal track, they tend to lose a lot more through their urinary tract and kidneys. Moreover, health issues such as oral disease prevent many older dogs to eat less, causing them to receive less than their recommended daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Speak with your dog’s veterinarian to determine if a multi-vitamin is beneficial.
Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
As an anti-inflammatory, a fish oil supplement is all-purpose and safe. This supplement can help in a number of areas, including: allergic dermatitis, itchy or dry skin; it is also good in Chows with no skin problems at all, as it can just help you maintenance the skin and coat. Some experts even say that giving your dog fish oil regularly can slow the onset of arthritis. When purchasing these types of items, make sure to look for one that contains both DHA and EPA. In fact, for the best health in a small dog, weighing less than 15 pounds) you should use 150 mg of DHA and EPA combined. On the other hand, you would double the 150 mg for a medium-sized dog and triple the number for large breeds. If your dog suffers from more serious ailments such as joint issues or cancer you can use higher doses; again check with your vet to determine what is right for your individual dog.
Puppies from larger breeds can be pre-dispositioned to suffer from imbalances in mineral levels, which eventually leads to developmental issues in terms of the strength and growth of bone, ligament, tendon and cartilage. Glucosamine is known for being a building block for ligaments and cartilage, as it acts an effective lubricant by making the fluid in the joints slick. It is suggested that large breed dogs get somewhere around 500 mg twice per day or 1,000 mg once a day; you will reduce the amount proportionally depending on the dog’s size. This product works best when it is also used with fish oil, and since Chows are notorious for suffering from hip dysplasia and arthritis – this can’t hurt!
One healthy new trend to recently hit the market is digestive enzymes for dogs. It has been shown that even the highest-quality dog foods don’t have the natural digestive enzymes required by a dog for healthy aging. Your dog may need to take this supplement because as the dog ages, the digestive track starts being burdened by stress caused by a modern-day diet for dogs. If your dog is suffering from digestive stress, it will exhibit the following symptoms:
- Stool Eating
- Heavy Shedding
- Weight Loss
- Low Energy
Just keep in mind that not all digestive enzyme supplements are the same; some of them will help your dog immensely, others do little and some can actually hurt your dog. In addition, some makers of these enzymes sell their products quoting benefits of systemic enzymes, but in reality they only offer formulas with simple digestive aid. So – just be aware of these things and learn what digestive enzyme supplement is best for your dog.
Probiotics refers to the beneficial bacteria required by your pet to maintain good levels of healthy bacteria, and also to not allow bad bacteria to take over the GI tract.
Your Chow’s digestive tract is the body’s biggest immune organ. You may not realize it, but your dog has more intestinal tract bacteria than you! A dog’s digestive tract is made to handle huge amounts of bacteria; so much, in fact, that if these levels were somewhere else in the body, it would be life-threatening.
In order to keep your dog’s immune system strong enough to fight off illness, the pet needs a digestive system full of healthy bacteria. In the case that bad bacteria begins to overpopulate the intestines, your dog will lost all vitality, thus making it more susceptible to sickness.
In the end, supplements may be very beneficial to your dog, but this will depend on your individual dog. Just as you would for yourself or a family member – be sure to consult with a licensed veterinarian before putting your dog on any type of supplement regimen.