9 Of The Best Supplements for German Shepherds

9 Of The Best Supplements for German Shepherds

Along with a good diet, supplements can help keep your dog healthy and prevent disease. They can also help reduce the symptoms of health problems and support pets when they have an injury, pain, during an illness, or when they have allergies.

Although there are hundreds of supplements on the market, the industry isn’t regulated so care should be taken when choosing supplements for your pet. When giving multiple supplements, beware of overlapping to avoid giving too much of a good thing.

Most dogs tolerate supplements well but extra care should be taken when giving supplements to puppies since vitamin or mineral supplements can create a nutritional imbalance that can actually be harmful to growing pups.

Your vet or small animal nutritionist can help you determine what supplements are safe and the best for your pet. Some popular supplements that are safe for most dogs include:

1. Colostrum

Puppies (vet supervision), adults, seniors

Colostrum is an antibody rich supplement produced from the mammary glands of mammals in the first few days after birth. When puppies nurse, they receive colostrum, which helps protect their immune system. In weakened dogs, colostrum can:

• support the immune system
• protect from bacteria and viruses
• support the body after vaccinations
• support gut microflora
• reduces allergy symptoms
• helps heal wounds and hotspots, topical application

2. Probiotics

Puppies, adults, seniors

Probiotics are a great overall supplement and are sometimes included as an ingredient in pet food. They improve gut health, which improves overall health and wellbeing. They can:

• support the immune system
• improve nutrient absorption
• improve digestion
• reduce intestinal inflammation
• relieve irritable bowel symptoms
• help treat diarrhea
• reduce allergies
• reduce inflammation
• balance gut bacteria

Feeding probiotics while a dog is on antibiotics or other medications, has allergies, if a pet eats poop, there is a change in food, during times of stress, during times of illness or before or after surgery is helpful but they can also be beneficial year-round.

3. Digestive Enzymes

Puppies, adults, seniors

If your dog is not eating a raw diet, they can benefit from digestive enzymes. Enzymes help with food digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Food based enzymes are killed in high heat processing so if you feed kibble or wet food, they can help your pet stay healthy. Digestive enzymes are utilized by the entire body and:

• improve gut health
• help build a strong immune system
• assist with nutrient absorption
• reduce allergy symptoms

When choosing a digestive enzyme supplement, choose one that contains betaine HCI, ox bile extract, bromelain, papain, pancreatin, protease, amylase and lipase. Some products such as Dogzymes Digestive Max contain both digestive enzymes and probiotics making it easy to provide both in one dose.

4. Fish Oil - Omega 3’s

Puppies (get dosing from your vet), adults, seniors

Fish oil that contains EPA and DHA are great for dogs just like people. They support overall health and well-being including:

• protecting the brain
• improving cognitive health
• protects eye health
• reduces inflammation
• good for the heart
• helps protect and reduce pain and inflammation in the joints
• improves the skin and coat

Fish oil comes in liquids, chews, food, capsules and more. It is a great supplement for aging pets or pets with joint pain and inflammation. Fish oil can cause digestive upset or weight gain and should not be overused. A vet can help determine a therapeutic dose in dogs with health problems. Brands such as Natural Dog Company are pure and absorbable.

5. Coconut Oil

Adults, seniors

Coconut oil is a well-tolerated, widely used botanical supplement that contain MCT’s. MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides). MCT’s in dogs can help dogs metabolize glucose and increase energy. MCT’s may improve mental acuity in aging dogs and is included in some senior dog foods, like Pro Plan Bright Minds. Coconut oil can also:

• be used as a topical moisturizer
• as a toothpaste
• first aid cream
• diet supplement

Adding coconut oil to dog food can help increase energy, may improve cognitive function. Rubbing into dry skin can be bring relief in itchy dogs. Dr. Karen Becker recommends 1/4 teaspoon per every 10 pounds of body weight, however, not all dogs can tolerate or should be fed the max dose. When starting coconut oil, start with a small amount to see how your pet does and monitor their weight when feeding.

6. Glucosamine/Chondroitin

Adults, seniors

Glucosamine and chondroitin are popular supplements to help protect and improve joint health. Both substances are found in the joint tissues of animals and humans. They can be found in many dog foods and supplements. Glucosamine and chondroitin can:

• protect joint cartilage
• cushion the joints
• help reduce pain and inflammation
• improve mobility

German shepherds can benefit from this supplement due to their activity levels and the health conditions they can be prone to. Glucosamine and chondroitin can help protect their joints, cushion the spine, and help keep the cartilage in their hip joints healthy. Some supplements, such as Dasuquin Advanced also contain additional ingredients that help reduce pain and inflammation.

7. Green Lipped Mussel

Adults, seniors

Green lipped mussel is a joint supplement that can also be found in some pet foods such as Royal Canin Joint formula. Green lipped mussel comes from New Zealand and contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes. Green lipped mussel can:

• relieve pain
• increase synovial fluid in joints
• reduce inflammation
• improve mobility

Green lipped mussel is especially beneficial for dogs suffering from arthritis and other joint diseases and comes in a stinky powder that can be sprinkled on their food.

8. Antioxidants

Adults, seniors

Antioxidants are a group of supplements that help rid the body of toxins and other pollutants that dogs come in contact with or eat in their food. Antioxidants help:

• protect against cancer
• prevent respiratory problems
• improve allergies
• protect joints
• reduce inflammation
• help keep the heart healthy
• keep the liver functioning optimally
• helps remove free radicals
• improves the immune system
• protects against bacteria, viruses and funguses

Antioxidants are received from vitamins in the food, omega 3’s, fresh fruits and vegetables, glucosamine, chondroitin and supplements. They also include:

• egg shell membrane
• astaxanthin
• phytoplankton

Because these supplements can overlap, it can be helpful to consult with a vet when wanting to add more antioxidants to your dog’s diet, especially when feeding several supplements at once.

9. CBD

Adults, seniors

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Since it’s not made from marijuana, the oil is free of THC, the chemical compound that gives marijuana the ‘high.’ CBD oil is supplement gaining popularity and is said to:

• reduce inflammation
• help control pain
• alleviate stress
• help control seizures
• stimulate the appetite
• relieve anxiety

When shopping for CBD oil, don’t shop by price alone. Look for an oil that is organic and has undergone testing for absorbency and that is free of toxins, such as Super Snouts.

While this list doesn’t include all supplements, these core supplements are important to be familiar with as you decide what is best for your dog. Please feel free to share with your friends.

You may also like: The Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Dogs

Related Posts