Like people, dogs can be supplemented with a variety of natural remedies, from dietary supplements to digestive enzymes. But are these remedies really worth your money and your time? Are they really effective when it comes to balancing and maintaining canine health?
The Problem with Commercial Canine Diets
The main problem with a lot of the commercial dog foods that are available today is the fact that they are often overcooked and over-processed. This means that a lot of the nutrients that are inherently found in the ingredients within the foods are killed off before they even reach your dog’s dish. And this is why pet food manufacturers have to supplement their meals with a variety of vitamins and minerals. The problem is that even the vitamins and minerals that are added to your pet’s food may not be readily absorbed by your dog’s body. This is when nutritional gaps may occur, and this is where nutritional supplements that are specifically designed for canines can be extremely helpful.
First off, have your dog examined by your veterinarian to determine if he is deficient in any key nutrients. If so, ask your vet about any high quality, highly digestible nutritional supplements that are available. Simply adding these to your dog’s food every day will help bring his nutrient levels to where they should be for optimal health and wellbeing.
An Aging Body Means Reduced Nutrient Absorption and Poor Digestion
As your dog’s body ages, his digestive tract may be less effective at properly breaking down the foods he eats and absorbing all of the nutrients from those foods. Digestive issues like diarrhea, bloating, and gas can occur, along with other problems, such as body odor, bad breath, sluggishness, and lethargy.
Ultimately, improper digestion and nutrient absorption can lead to a weakened immune system that is unable to fight off a variety of illnesses. Allergies, whether they are seasonal or food related, may become more common. And conditions like arthritis, osteoarthritis, and hip dysplasia, as well as cancer and skin problems like hot spots, may also develop. Your dog will suffer from premature aging and not act like himself.
As a result, your vet may recommend digestive enzymes that can easily be added to your dog’s food on a daily basis. These enzymes will work on breaking down proteins into amino acids; carbohydrates into lactose, maltose, and sucrose; and fats into glycerol and fatty acids. They will also help break down fiber to keep the digestive system working strong.
Other Reasons Why a Dog May Need Nutritional Supplements or Enzymes
After examining your dog, your vet may prescribe a variety of nutritional supplements and/or enzymes for reasons other than digestive issues.
For example, if your dog is under a lot of stress, is a senior, is taking medications that can weaken his immune system, or if he suffers from systemic yeast infections, thyroid disorders, or other conditions, your vet can use supplements to naturally help your dog’s body become balanced and healthy again.
There are many reasons why a vet would recommend supplements and enzymes to your canine companion. The key is to have your dog checked regularly to pick up on any conditions as soon as possible and provide appropriate treatments right away.