Have You Heard of Dietary Supplements for Dogs?

Dietary supplements aren't necessary for the average dog with a healthy diet, but they can be really helpful if yours has any special dietary needs or any kind of nutrient deficiency. Learn more about them in this article!
Have You Heard of Dietary Supplements for Dogs?

Last update: 07 March, 2019

Dietary supplements have become very popular in the past few years, especially ones made of natural substances. Now there are even dietary supplements for dogs. You can find hundreds of different kinds of them on the market, all there to help your furry friend live a longer, happier life.

High-quality food should give your dog all the food it needs. But, like humans, not all dogs are the same and they don’t actually have all the same needs. Your dog might be deficient in a particular nutrient because of an illness, or have some kind of special dietary need.

This is where dietary supplements for dogs come in. They help make up for any deficiencies and can really improve a dog’s health.

The kinds of dietary supplements for dogs

Dog standing up to eat a treat.

There are lots of dietary supplements on the market, and they all focus on a different part of dogs’ bodies.

Joint supplements

These are especially important for large dogs. Because of their weight and the weakness of their long paws, they have more joint problems than smaller dogs. These are also good for elderly dogs or obese dogs in the process of losing weight.

Dogs with hip or elbow dysplasia should also take these kinds of dietary supplements. 

For these kinds of issues you should use methylsulfonylmethane, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate.


These are good if your dog’s fur has lost its shine or strength, or it’s shedding and you’re tired of picking fur off everything. They’re also very helpful for show dogs.

The main supplements people use to improve their dogs’ fur health are:

  • Vitamin supplements: these natural compounds will improve your dog’s health as long as they have the right vitamins. In this case, those are B vitamins and minerals like zinc.
  • Omega-3: these are more common and have the best, fastest results. Blue fish is also a great source of these, if you want a more natural option. Otherwise, get oils or capsules with omega-3 in them. Cod and salmon oil are both great for this. Olive and sunflower are good too, but have a much lower quantity. Remember: these spoil fast.
  • Omega-6: not as important as omega-3, this will still improve your dog’s fur, and its skin. You can get it from borage oil. Commercial dog foods usually have it too, from chicken fat and grains. These foods usually have more omega-6 than omega-3, so you shouldn’t have to give your dog any extra, unless your brand doesn’t have much of it.


A woman holds up her dog as it eats a treat.

This isn’t a major issue, but it’s worth mentioning. Dogs that work or live in cold environments can start to lose pigment in their nose from the cold. That’s not good, especially if you have a show dog. It’s not technically a problem, but judges don’t like to see white noses.

If you want to improve your dog’s pigmentation, you can feed it natural foods like carrot, squash, or spinach. If your dog doesn’t like them, you can always find these vegetables in capsule form.

Immune supplements

These dietary supplements are generally antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and minerals like selenium. They can help prevent cancer, among other things. They’re also very important for dogs with stress, depression, anxiety, or any other nervous disorders.

These kinds of dietary supplements can also be very good for dogs with cancer. They’ll help strengthen a dog’s immune system as it tries to fight this awful disease.

So, your dog might not have any nutritional deficiencies now, but it’s always good to know that you have options if it ever has any health problems. Dietary supplements are there to help if that happens.

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