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5 Things to Know About Pet Supplements

  • a Care2 favorite by TAILS
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5 Things to Know About Pet Supplements

Six out of every 10 Americans consume vitamins or supplements
 on a daily basis, and spend anywhere from $11 billion to $20 billion annually. Vitamins are big business, and you may be surprised to learn that according to the APPA’s 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey, Americans also spend more than $600 million a year on vitamins and supplements for their four-legged family members.

Many of our pets’ diets may be lacking in essential nutrients—usually a result of the negative impact pesticides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers, hormones, over-processing, etc. have on their food supply. Nutritional deficiencies can often be remedied by adding vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and probiotics into your companion animal’s regimen. Supplement labels can be confusing and overwhelming to read, but if you know what to look for, they don’t have to be.

Read and Understand Labels

Vitamin packages contain nutritional panels on the backs of their boxes or bottles that list the percentages of each ingredient contained in that tablet or capsule. Some list these percentages per single tablet while others calculate the percentage for the whole recommended daily dosage, which could be multiple tablets. Some even list the active ingredients for the whole package, making it extremely difficult to determine what’s in a single serving. Make sure you are clear on what the dosage is before giving any supplement to your pet.

Check the Ingredients

Look for natural or organic designations. You would be amazed to learn what manufacturers can legally put into supplements in terms of additives and fillers, without having to list them on the label. Many of them utilize raw materials containing lactose, sodium benzoate, BHA, BHT, or hydrogenated oils as fillers and preservatives. Also, be aware that some tablets contain binders and glues, which may contain artificial coloring agents. These additives can cause allergic reactions, and may even impair your pet’s health.

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TAILS

TAILS is an interactive website, online community, and print magazine that celebrates the relationship between pets and their people. TAILS features expert knowledge, advice, pet product reviews, local resource guides, community event listings, and fun contests to promote and encourage people to live responsibly with their pets.

131 comments

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11:28PM PDT on Jul 28, 2013

Thanks for the info

2:53AM PDT on Jul 15, 2013

My boy gets some Fish Liver Oil but it's human grade. He likes it, and seems to keep him shiny. He likes it so much I tried it, once.

3:17PM PDT on Jun 29, 2013

Thank you for the information

1:29AM PDT on Jun 28, 2013

Thanks for the tips! I think treating your cranky cat or creaky dog, the owner must be sure to do a little research first before feeding them regarding the constituent of the supplement, dosage, checking the ingredients with dogs health(allergy and medical history)etc.

8:49AM PDT on Jun 26, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

9:16AM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

Thanks so much 4 this info---as a kitty mama it's much appreciated!

3:45AM PDT on Jun 20, 2013

thank you for sharing this 20/6

1:07PM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

Thanks!
If the pet is healthy and gets raw meat, you can give twice a year dried kelp (seaweed) or brewer's yeast (within 14-21 days).

7:23AM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

Thanks for the important info!

6:11PM PDT on Jun 12, 2013

Thanks for the tips, its a relatively new area. I prefer food based supplements versus synthetically made.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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