Dog supplements can be a superb way to maximise your pup’s health and happiness. This article covers some of the best options out there for everything from boosting energy to supporting gut health. We focus on plant-based functional foods rather than synthesised tablets, for a natural and holistic approach to animal wellness that your pooch is sure to appreciate!
Sea buckthorn dog supplements
First in our list of the best dog supplements and vitamins is sea buckthorn. This little orange berry is bursting with vitamin C, vitamin E, omega-7 fatty acids, folate, beta-carotene, and other powerful phytonutrients. These have a wealth of benefits for your pup’s wellbeing. That includes supporting the health of their eyes and keeping their coat thick and shiny.
In addition, sea buckthorn can be effective at soothing and healing skin irritations such as dry paw pads. That’s because these dog supplements may reduce inflammation and boost hydration. Moreover, the berry acts as an antioxidant, protecting your pup’s cells from harmful oxidative stress.
Sea buckthorn dog supplements are available in both oil and powder form. For the powder, blend ⅛ to ¼ of a teaspoon per 5kg of body weight into their wet food once or twice a day. For the oil, feed your pooch 20 drops per 10kg of body weight up to twice daily.
Milk thistle dog supplements
People have been using milk thistle for centuries to support the health of the liver. And the good news is that the plant might be able to do the same for your pup.
Like sea buckthorn, these dog supplements are available in oil and powder form. Thanks to the silymarin in the powder and vitamin E in the oil, both have potent antioxidant properties. That means they help to defend your pooch’s cells against the damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin E is also useful for supporting the health of your dog’s skin and keeping their coat glossy.
On top of this, milk thistle in all its forms has anti-inflammatory properties. It could additionally help prevent toxins from binding to liver cells.(1) This works to gently cleanse your dog’s body and also support the health of their kidneys.
Some research has found that milk thistle may reduce the liver damage caused by disease or as a side effect of chemotherapy drugs.(2) However, you should always seek veterinary advice before giving milk thistle to pets who have existing health conditions.
You can give your canine companion milk thistle oil neat. One teaspoon (5ml) per 10kg of body weight up to twice a day is sufficient. To add milk thistle powder dog supplements to your pup’s diet, simply mix it into their wet food in the following quantities:
- Small dogs (up to 10kg) – 25-50mg a day
- Medium-sized dogs (10-20kg) – 50-100mg a day
- Large dogs (20-50kg) – 100-200mg a day
- Extra-large dogs (over 50kg) – 200-400mg a day
Boost your pup’s gut health with Jerusalem artichoke
The condition of the gut can affect everything from the immune system to the brain. That’s why it’s so important to keep your pooch’s digestive system healthy. And Jerusalem artichoke is one of the best dog supplements for gut health.
In addition to being rich in many vitamins and minerals, Jerusalem artichoke is a brilliant source of fibre. In particular, it contains a type of soluble fibre called inulin that acts as a prebiotic. This means it helps to nourish the good bacteria in your pup’s gut.(3) Dogs don’t have the enzymes needed to break down inulin, but the microbiota in their colon can do so via fermentation. This process produces short-chain fatty acids which lower intestinal pH, making it easier for pups to absorb minerals from food. All of which contributes to a healthy and happy pooch!
To incorporate Jerusalem artichoke powder in your dog’s diet, mix it with their normal wet food. We suggest starting with ¼ of a teaspoon daily per 5kg of body weight. You can then increase this to up to one teaspoon per 5kg of body weight per day.
A spoonful of goodness: organic oils for your pooch
Just like humans, dogs are unable to make their own omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is vital for several aspects of canine wellbeing, from heart health to cognitive function and a glossy coat. Therefore, you might want to enrich your pet’s diet with functional foods to ensure they obtain enough of it.
Two fantastic plant-based sources of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) that you can use as dog supplements are chia seed oil and walnut oil. Whichever you choose, you’re able to feed it to your dog neat. We recommend giving them a teaspoon (5ml) of oil per 10kg of body weight, up to twice a day. One point to consider is that dogs aren’t very efficient at converting ALA into EPA and DHA types of omega-3. As such, if your pup is deficient in omega-3, a fish oil might be preferable.
Chia seed oil
Chia seeds are tiny powerhouses of nutrition, making chia seed oil great for dog supplements. The omega-3 it contains can help to support the health of your pooch’s heart. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, chia seed oil could also be useful in keeping their joints mobile. That’s ideal for pups who love to play fetch, go on long walks, or run along the beach!
In addition, chia seed oil may be effective at combating dry or itchy skin. It could even strengthen your dog’s follicles, helping to give them a thicker and shinier coat.
You’ve probably heard that eating walnuts can be good for your brain health. Interestingly, this benefit might also be true for your pup.
Walnuts are great sources of vitamin E and ellagic acid, both of which function as potent antioxidants. As such, walnut oil dog supplements could help to decrease oxidative stress and inflammation in your pup’s brain. And research shows that feeding your dog a diet enriched with antioxidants can lead to improvements in their cognitive functions.(4) That makes walnut oil perfect for pooches who love playing with puzzle feeders and other brain training toys. It’s also one of the best old dog supplements for learning new tricks!
Medicinal mushrooms for dogs
Medicinal mushrooms are among our favourite natural dog supplements. Each variety has its own unique way of boosting your pup’s wellbeing, as we’ll look at below. However, there are certain benefits they all share.
For example, as adaptogens, medicinal mushrooms help to reduce the negative effects of stress on your pet. Moreover, these fabulous fungi are rich in polysaccharides called beta-glucans. These can support your pup’s gut health, immune system, and cardiovascular health.
Regardless of the specific mushroom you choose, we suggest giving it to your pooch in cycles. That’s because these are quite potent dog supplements and can activate their immune cells. It’s sensible to take a break of a few weeks after eight weeks of your pup taking them. That way, they won’t develop a tolerance to the mushrooms or over-stimulate their immune system.
Medicinal mushroom powders blend well into your pet’s normal wet food. We suggest using 50-100mg per 1kg of your pup’s body weight, divided into 2-3 doses throughout the day.
Plenty of people take cordyceps to boost their energy, stamina, and athletic performance. And it could have the same effect on our canine friends. That makes cordyceps one of the best dog supplements for pups who love to run around and play for hours. It’s especially beneficial for supporting energy levels and endurance in active dogs. However, if you have an older dog supplements like this can also help to keep them spry and youthful.
This might sound like a more suitable mushroom for cats, but lion’s mane is one of the best natural dog supplements for brain health. This is because of the neuroprotective effects of key compounds it contains, such as erinacines and hericenones. Studies on mice indicate lion’s mane could stimulate the growth of brain cells and protect against neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s.(5) Furthermore, the fungus may also be useful in easing symptoms of depression and anxiety.(6) This makes lion’s mane great for boosting your pup’s mood, memory, and focus – plus helping them learn some new tricks!
If you’re looking for dog supplements that help to boost immunity, reishi is a brilliant choice. Known as the mushroom of immortality, it’s rich in powerful polysaccharides and secondary metabolites which may support the immune system. They can do so by reducing inflammation, easing the symptoms of allergies, and fighting oxidative stress.
This fantastic fungus is another of the best dog supplements for gut health. Turkey tail is bursting with prebiotic fibre, which helps to nourish the good bacteria in your pup’s gut. This enables them to absorb more nutrients from their food. Furthermore, the mushroom is rich in compounds like polysaccharopeptide (PSP) and polysaccharide krestin (PSK), which could provide natural immunity support.
Destress your pup with ashwagandha
Our canine companions may get stressed and anxious, just as we do. Whether it’s scary loud noises like fireworks, a change in routine, or boredom, many factors can make pups feel stressed. This might give rise to physical and behavioural reactions such as pacing, trembling, loss of appetite, and even aggression. Luckily, there are dog supplements that can help.
One of the most effective functional foods for alleviating stress and anxiety in dogs is ashwagandha. As an adaptogen, the herb could enable the body and mind to cope with stress more effectively. Research suggests that ashwagandha can reduce signs of fear, anxiety, and stress in dogs without the unpleasant side effects some pharmaceutical medication can cause.(7) What’s more, the herb could additionally decrease pain and inflammation in dogs with conditions like arthritis.
To introduce ashwagandha into your dog’s diet, simply blend it into their wet food. The appropriate amount will depend on their size – we suggest 250-500mg of powder per 10kg of body weight. Please note that the herb might not be suitable for pups who have certain health conditions or are on medication. That’s because ashwagandha can interact with sedatives and drugs which affect the immune system. As with all dog supplements, consult a vet before giving the herb to your pet.
A note on safety with dog supplements
Experts generally believe all the dog supplements we’ve discussed in this article to be safe for canine consumption. However, there are some important safety points to consider before adding any to your pup’s diet.
First, dog supplements may not be suitable for every pooch. For example, we don’t recommend giving them to puppies, or dogs who are pregnant or nursing. This is simply because there hasn’t been enough research into the safety of functional foods for these groups.
Likewise, some pups might be allergic to certain dog supplements. Keep an eye on your pooch to make sure they are not experiencing any side effects or unwanted reactions. If you spot any negative change in their health or behaviour, stop using dog supplements and take your pet to the vet straight away.
When adding dog supplements to your pet’s diet, be careful not to exceed the recommended dosage. This will vary depending on factors like the size of your dog, their needs, and the state of their health. If you’re ever unsure of how much to give your pup, check with a vet.
In fact, we recommend speaking to a vet before giving your pooch any dog supplements. This is true for all pets, but particularly those who have existing health conditions or are on medication. Doing so will help make sure they don’t experience any unwanted interactions or side effects.
Finally, it goes without saying that dog supplements should not be thought of as a replacement for professional veterinary care or medicine. If you have any concerns about the health of your pup, take them to the vet immediately. We always want to put the wellbeing of our furry friends first!
The importance of choosing high quality dog supplements
It’s important to note that many dog supplements and functional foods for pups have not been extensively studied. This means we have limited information on precisely how effective they are. As such, it’s vital to pick products from reputable companies you can trust. Similarly, never give your pet the same supplements that you take – always buy ones which are specifically designed for animals.
Quality is key when choosing dog supplements. Picking a high-grade functional food helps ensure that your pup gets the maximum benefits from taking it. In addition, it reduces the chance of them experiencing any negative side effects. So, how do you know which dog supplements should make the cut? Here are some of the main factors to consider.
First, we recommend opting for organic dog supplements wherever possible. That way, you can rest assured that the company didn’t use any chemicals when cultivating the plants. Likewise, try to find natural dog supplements that don’t have any fillers, additives, or other unnecessary ingredients. Pure products are more likely to have a positive influence on your pup’s health.
When creating our dog supplements, we take care to use only the finest ingredients. Moreover, we source them directly from independent farms and make our products in small batches. This all helps to ensure that the quality of our functional foods remains high.
In line with this, we work with expert mycologists to cultivate the fungi we use for our medicinal mushroom powders. Our team grows the mushrooms on natural and organic substrates, and we have them checked by an accredited quality tester. As such, we can say with confidence that our mushroom powders are rich in beta-glucans and secondary metabolites.
Final thoughts on dog supplements
Here at Boosie, we know your dog is more than just a pet – they’re a central part of your family. And that means they deserve the very best dog supplements. Which is exactly what we work hard to deliver. Our functional plant-based foods can be a natural and effective way to help support your pup’s wellbeing. Now, who’s ready for walkies?