What Vitamins & Supplements Should I Give My Shih Tzu?
So can you give your dog human vitamins? We are both mammals? They must need the same vitamins we do right?
It would be reasonable to assume that it’s perfectly fine to give your dog the same vitamin supplements that you have in your cupboard at home but this is not the case and can have some serious consequences. As I will explain below, if you do need to supplement your dog’s diet with vitamins it’s very important you only use those that are specially formulated for dogs.
Although the biochemistry of how the vitamins work in your body and your dog’s body would be very similar, the vitamins we use are specially designed with levels suitable for a fully grown human. And all but the biggest dogs don’t even come close to this size. So giving your dog human vitamins could give them an unhealthy dose leading to some serious consequences.
Another reason you shouldn’t give human vitamins to your dog is that they both have very different dietary needs and will require more or less of any particular vitamin. So the vitamins we think we need to remain healthy may not be the same for your dog.
In this post, I’ll help to explain why you should avoid giving your dog human vitamins and what vitamins you should be concerned about if they are accidentally consumed. I’ll also talk about the best food to feed your dog that contains all the vitamins and minerals they need, and finally give an overview of the specially formulated dog vitamins and supplements that are available if you need to use them.
- What Vitamins Are Toxic For Your Dog?
- Feeding Your Dog The Right Food
- If Your Dog Needs Vitamins
- Vitamin And Supplement Recommendations
What Vitamins Are Toxic For Your Dog?
While small amounts of most vitamins you might have at home won’t have serious consequences for your dog, it’s important to be aware of a few particular ones that may be more harmful than others.
The two vitamins you should be particularly concerned about are prenatal vitamins and vitamin D. Prenatal vitamins are high in iron and can cause iron toxicity in your dog. If you discover your dog has ingested a large amount of these pills you should call your vet immediately. An overdose of Vitamin D can also have serious consequences. Large amounts can increase the levels of calcium and phosphorus, possibly leading to heart and kidney issues. Excessive amounts of vitamin D can also cause a dog to stop eating and lead to muscles atrophy. As well vitamin D too much vitamin A can damage blood vessels causing dehydration and severe joint pain.
Other supplements like multi-vitamins and fibre supplements will have a less adverse effect on your dog, but any vitamin designed for a human can have health risks for your pet if consumed in large amount.
Most dog food is designed to contain the right levels of vitamins that your dog needs to stay healthy so pet vitamins and supplements are specially designed to contain only a portion of their daily requirement. For example, a human supplement can contain 100% of the daily recommended, whereas a dog vitamin may only contain 20%.
If your dog consumes any human vitamins or supplements in large amounts then you should call your vet immediately.
Feeding Your Dog The Right Food
If you are worried your dog might not be getting the right amount of vitamins in their diet then the first place to look is the food you feed them. A lot of canine experts discourage the use of daily vitamins as they argue that if your dog is eating a well-balanced, nutritious dog food with quality ingredients then extra supplements should not be necessary.
So let’s talk a bit about what kind of diet your dog needs and what ingredients you should look out for and what ingredients you should avoid.
Putting vitamins to one side, if you want your dog to be healthy you need to pay attention to the quality and amounts of the 2 main food groups in the food you feed your dog – protein and fat.
Dogs are carnivorous animals so protein is very important. You want to find a dog food that has a good source and amount of protein and should be one of the first things listed in the ingredients. When looking for protein in your dog’s food you want to avoid the words “digest” or “by-products”.
Fat is also very important for your dog and is of particular interested to those that might be thinking about vitamins or supplements to improve their dog’s coat. Although fat is primarily a source of energy, good fat sources will provide nutrients that will help make your dog’s coat look healthy and silky. When you check the ingredients of your dog food you should look for specific fats such as “chicken fat” or “salmon oil”. If your dog food is of a good standard it will include at least one fish oil providing the benefits of the omega-3 fatty acid.
Feeding your dog the right amount of fat will also help to:
- Improve their coat.
- Improve their skin.
- Boost their immune system.
- Help to utilise certain fat-soluble vitamin.
Another food type that is important in dog food is the amount and type of fibre. Moderate levels of fibre in your dog’s diet will help with your dog’s digestion. Although fibre has no nutritional value it helps food to move through the digestive system keeping bowel movements regular and preventing constipation. If your dog suffers from diabetes, obesity or anal gland disease your vet may recommend a diet high in fibre. It’s particularly beneficial to diabetic dogs as fibre helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Regarding obesity, fibre is important as it will help your dog to stay fuller for longer.
Along with the main food groups, a good quality dog food will contain added vitamin and mineral supplements that your dog needs to stay healthy.
In addition to the main food groups mentioned above, your dog will also need a variety of vitamins and minerals and below is a list of the ones you should look out for in the ingredients of your dog food:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
If you want to read more about what goes into good dog food and what you should look out for and avoid then please read my article – Shih Tzu Food List – How To Choose The Right Food.
I hope I have shown above that if your dog doesn’t have any health issues and you feed them quality dog food then extra vitamins and supplements are probably unnecessary. But as I will mention several times in this article if you feel your dog is showing any signs of not being 100% healthy you should see your vet and discuss their diet with them.
So now you know the importance of feeding your dog a quality dog food you might be wondering what foods are the best. Below I will give a list of foods that I think tick all the boxes and provide links to where you can buy them and check out reviews from other customers.
Firstly, it’s important to realise that the age, size, breed and lifestyle of your dog will determine what kind of nutrition they will need. Just think about the difference between a Shih Tzu puppy and a fully grown Saint Bernard. Thankfully there are some brands out there that make the process of choosing the right food for your dog a simple process.
One of the most reputable dog food brands is Royal Canin. They have an extensive range of products catering to different breeds, ages and sizes. They have researched breed-specific traits and use the latest scientific and nutritional research, gathered from veterinarians and nutritionists, to create the precise nutrition your dog needs. They use high-quality protein sources, specific nutrients and vitamins, and even design the shape, size and texture of the kibble to compliment the jaw structure and biting pattern of your dog.
With Royal Canin you can buy either dog food tailored for a particular size dog or even for a specific breed. They have a variety of different choices for different breeds, sizes, and ages.
If you prefer to buy food specifically tailored for your breed then please view our chart of Royal Canin dog food for links and reviews.
When Your Dog Might Need Vitamins
Even if you are feeding your dog a high-quality dog food there still may be times when you will need to give them some specially formulated dog vitamins and supplements. These might include:
- Your dog is diagnosed with a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
- Your dog has very low metabolism and is required to lose weight.
- Your dog is diagnosed with a disease that can be treated with a supplement.
- You cook your dog’s meals yourself.
- Your dog has joint discomfort.
If your dog is diagnosed with a disease or a vitamin or mineral deficiency then you will need to discuss with your vet the specific vitamins they need and also the specific amount they need. Your vet may prescribe the correct kind and dose if necessary or you can purchase your own from a reputable brand.
Another reason why you might be required to give your dog vitamins is if they need to lose weight. This could be due to simply overfeeding or could be due to your dog having a low metabolism. In some extreme cases, a dramatic reduction in food may be required, and by limiting the calories in their diet you can also limit the number of essential nutrients that your dog needs to stay healthy.
With regards to weight loss, there are two possible vitamins and supplements that might be beneficial for your dog. The first is a specially tailored pet multivitamin and mineral supplement to make up for the nutrients that will be lost in the reduction of food. The second are certain supplements that have been clinically proven to help weight loss in dogs.
Also, if you cook your own meals for your dog it’s very important to be sure they are getting the correct amount of nutrients they require to stay healthy. This may require adding extra supplements to the food. If you prepare your own meals for your dog then you should discuss this with your vet or a pet nutritionist to have a thorough understanding of what might be missing from their diet.
In the next section, I’ll make some recommendations of dog vitamins and supplements that I think are not only produced from quality, natural products but also produced from companies with a business ethos that appeals to me. Being an animal lover and environmentally aware this is something that is very important to me.
Recommended Vitamins & Supplements For Dogs
Multivitamins – General Health & Wellbeing
Looking at the different multivitamins available for dogs, my recommendation would be the supplements produced by Dr. Dobias – Natural Healing. When I recommend any kind of food product I’m always very conscious of not only the ingredients but also the ethos of a company and this one appeals to me a lot. They use only natural ingredients and are USDA organic certified. Here are some of the things that appeal to me about this company and their products:
- 100% natural ingredients.
- Organic and whole food-based products.
- Non-GMO based ingredients.
- Specially formulated for dogs.
- Recyclable Packaging.
- They do not source their products from countries with known tolerance to animal abuse.
- Participate in animal and environmental efforts.
- Percentage of profits goes to charity.
There are four products that Dr Dobias produce that should be of interest to anyone looking to supplement their dog’s diet – SoulFood, FeelGood Omega, GreenMin and Gutsense. Below I’ll give an overview of each product explaining their ingredients, their benefits and provide links so you read reviews and purchase the products.
Dr Dobias Natural Healing – SoulFood
SoulFood is a certified organic multi-vitamin and organ health support formula for dogs of all ages. It’s made with a patented all-natural probiotic fermentation process and comes in a powdered form that can be added to your dog’s meal. One jar will last an average size dog about 3 months. SoulFood has a 4.6 out of 5 rating on Amazon and you can read reviews of this product on Amazon here.
The benefits of SoulFood include:
- Made with organic herbs & vegetables.
- Patented Technology.
- Naturally cultured.
- Raw food.
- Easily absorbed.
- Highly bioavailable.
- Easy on digestion.
- Great taste.
- Supports the liver.
- Contains turmeric (superfood).
- Balances pH.
- Contains chlorophyll.
- Good for all ages.
- Perfect addition to any pet food.
- Made in the USA.
- A (11600IU).
- B-1 (7mg).
- B6 (7mg).
- B12 (35mcg).
- C (70mg).
- D3 (2300IU)
- E (35IU).
- Biotin (350mcg).
- Folic Acid (465mcg).
- Pantothenic Acid (23mg).
- Niacinamide (47mg).
- K-1 (174mcg).
- K-2 (23mcg).
- Organic Parsley.
- Organic Alfalfa.
- Organic Dandelion Root & Leaf.
- Organic Turmeric.
- Organic Basil.
- Organic Asparagus.
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar Powder.
Dr. Dobias Natural Healing FeelGood Omega
This product is made from a pure, sustainable source of omega-3 oil. Omega-3 is very important for your dog’s health and can help with the following:
- Treatment of arthritis.
- Skin and coat improvement.
- Good for the nervous system and cognitive health.
- Lessen the risk of heart and kidney disease.
- Controls growth of Malassezia pachydermatous.
- Helps prevent dementia in older dogs.
FeelGood Omega is micro-filtered and tested in the lab to make sure there are no toxins or heavy metals. The oil in this product comes from calamari and this has many benefits. Firstly, it is a rich source of omega-3 containing high levels of EPA and DHA (the most important omega-3s). And as calamari has no bones and is low on the food chain it’s non-toxic and safe. You can see from the chart below the difference in toxicity between different marine life. Also, studies have shown that the squid population has been on the increase since the 1950s making this a sustainable resource. You can read reviews of this product on Amazon here.
The benefits of FeelGood Omega include:
- A sustainable source of omega-3.
- High levels of EPA & DHA.
- Low toxicity.
- Non-GMO product.
- Lab-tested for toxins and heavy metals.
- Calamari Oil (99.8%)
- Mixed Tocopherols (Non-GMO certified) (0.02%)
Dr Dobias Natural Healing – GreenMin
GreenMin is an all natural plant-based mineral supplement for dogs sourced from a unique variety of algae rich in minerals and amino acids. The algae are sustainably harvested from a mineral-rich seaweed containing more than 20 essential minerals and phytonutrients. This product is also USDA certified organic and as with their other products is tested in the lab to guarantee it’s free of pesticides and heavy metals. One jar of GreenMin will last for 3 months for an average size dog and 6 months for a small dog. This product has a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon and you can read the reviews here.
The benefits of GreenMin include:
- Better energy.
- Greater stamina.
- Improved mobility and joint health.
- A shinier, healthier and richer coat.
- Optimal cell, gland and organ function.
- Better digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Better hydration.
- Helps to detoxify the body.
- Helps to eliminate harmful toxins and heavy metals.
Certified Organic Alga Calcarea.
All-natural, Kosher Californian Spirulina.
Essential Minerals: Boron 0.08mg, Bromine 0.02mg, Calcium 0.47g, Chloride 1.49mg, Chromium 17.99 mcg, Copper 12.21 mcg, Iodine 31.04 mcg, Iron 5.85 mg, Magnesium 0.16 g, Manganese 0.24 mg, Molybdenum 2.70 mcg, Nickel 0.37 mcg, Phosphorus 17.96 mg, Potassium 28.24 mg, Selenium 3.07 mcg, Silicon 1.46 mg, Sodium 0.02 g, Sulphur 0.02 g, Vanadium 0.05 mg, Zinc 0.04 mg.
Essential Amino Acids: Histidine 17.76 mg, Isoleucine 61.98 mg, Leucine 95.48 mg, Lysine 55.61 mcg, Methionine 22.45 mcg, Phenylalanine 48.58 mcg, Threonine 51.09 mg, Valine 13.87 mg, Tryptophan 61.98 mg.
Phytonutrients: Phytocyanin 0.17 mg, Chlorophyll 15.08 mg
Essential Fatty Acids: Gama Linoleic Acid 0.02 g, Linoleic Acid 0.21 g,
Total Carotenoids: 6.45 mg, Beta Carotene 2.51 mg, Zeaxanthin 1.59 mg
Dr. Dobias Natural Healing – GutSense
Gutsense is a certified organic, non-diary probiotic providing digestive support for your dog. This product comes in capsule form and each bottle contains 60 capsules. This product has a 4.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon and you can read the reviews here.
The benefits of GutSense include:
- Certified Organic
- Includes probiotics that reflect the natural microflora of dogs.
- Hypoallergenic formula.
- Optimised for immune system function.
- Recyclable Packaging.
- Lactobacillus Acidophilus.
- Lactobacillus Plantarum.
- Lactobacillus Reuteri.
- Lactobacillus Rhamnosus.
- Bifidobacterium bifidum.
- Lactobacillus Fermentum.
- Bifidobacerium longum.
- Strepococcus thermophilus.
- Lactobacilus Salvarius.
- Organic Sacchromyces (prebiotics).
- Organic Cilantro leaf powder.
- Organic Ginger root powder.
- Organic Dandelion leaf powder.
Dog Vitamins & Supplements For Weight Loss
If your dog is already at a healthy weight then you don’t need to use any supplements that might cause weight loss. These products should only be used if your dog is overweight and recommended by your vet.
Obesity in dogs is a very serious condition and should not be taken lightly. It can cause your dog a lot of discomforts and may lead to serious health problems or make existing problems even worse. Here is a list of some of the health problems associated with obesity:
- Heart disease.
- Respiratory distress.
- High blood pressure.
Before giving your dog any vitamins or supplements regarding weight loss you should first make sure your dog is actually overweight. To check if your dog is overweight, here are few simple steps you can perform at home:
- You should be able to see and feel the outline of your dog’s ribs.
- You should be able to see and feel your dog’s waist and it should be clearly visible when viewed from above.
- Your dog’s belly should be tucked up when viewed from the side.
If your dog doesn’t pass all these tests or even if you have some doubt about their weight then you should check with your vet. They will be able to provide a more thorough check and give you a definite answer along with expert advice on helping your dog to lose weight.
If your dog is obese or overweight you need to be aware that helping your dog lose weight requires more than just giving them a supplement. A weight loss program requires commitment and a well thought out plan of action, including high-quality dog food of the correct portion size and most importantly regular exercise.
If you do give your dog supplements to lose weight then there are two possible reasons for to do this. Firstly, if you have reduced the amount of food you feed your dog then you are also reducing the amount of nutrients they are getting. Therefore, you may need to top up certain nutrients with a supplement. Secondly, there are supplements available that have been clinically proven to help your dog lose weight.
If your dog needs to lose weight then there are two possible reasons to use vitamins or supplements. Firstly, if you have reduced the amount of food you feed your dog then you are also reducing the number of nutrients they are getting. Therefore, you may need to top up certain nutrients with a supplement. Secondly, there are supplements available that have been clinically proven to help your dog lose weight.
If you are looking for a multivitamin supplement to top up the nutrients lost by a reduction in food then please see my review of the Dr. Dobias products above. These products are produced from natural, sustainable products and are USDA organic certified.
If you would like to give your dog a supplement to help them lose weight then I would recommend 3 different types – L-carnitine, white kidney bean extract, and omega-3 fatty acids.
L-carnitine is an amino acid (the building blocks of proteins) nutritional supplement. It has a prominent role in the metabolism of fats by helping to break them down while maintaining muscle mass. It is therefore added to weight-loss diets as it can help to reduce overall body fat.
One clinical study regarding L-carnitine involved 30 overweight dogs that were split up into 3 groups and given different amounts of the supplement. After 7 weeks the results showed that the group who received a higher amount lost 6.4% of their body compared to 1.8% in the group that did not receive any at all.
While you can buy L-carnitine as a supplement on its own or as part of a multivitamin supplement I would recommend purchasing some quality dog food that is specially designed for weight loss and has this supplement as one of its ingredients. An example of this kind of dog food is the Iams Healthy Weight range.
The Iams Healthy Weight dog food is specially formulated with L-carnitine to facilitate the oxidation of fat and help to gradually return your dog to a healthier weight. Other benefits of this dog food include:
- Reduced-fat recipe.
- Made with real farm-raised chickens.
- Promotes strong muscles with quality protein.
- Includes wholesome fibre and natural prebiotics for healthy digestion.
- Nourishes the heart with 7 essential nutrients.
- Includes omega-6 for healthy skin and coat.
- Veterinarian recommended.
Iams Healthy Weight Dog Food has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on chewy.com and you read the reviews for this product here.
White Kidney Bean Extract
White Kidney bean extract is another supplement that is proven to help with weight loss in dogs. It works by preventing the breakdown of starch and prevents its absorption into the body. This kind of starch blocker is used to interfere with certain digestive enzymes that break down starch into more simple sugars.
In one study 17 overweight dogs were given kidney bean extract for 9 weeks. 15 of the dogs lost an average of 4.6% of their weight. The dogs that weighed less than 50 pounds were prescribed 500 milligrams per meal and dogs over 80 pounds were given 1.5 grams per meal.
You can buy white kidney bean extract in a capsule or powdered form but I would recommend getting a powdered form so you can adjust to serving for the size of your dog. You can find a good quality white kidney bean extract from a reputable seller on Amazon here.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Along with all the other health benefits of omega-3, this supplement has been shown to also help with weight loss in dogs. It is now understood that omega-3 fatty acids have an effect on the mitochondria of the cells. These cell organelles are responsible for producing the heat and energy in the body and it is this interaction that is assumed to be responsible for the weight loss.
A recent study took place where obese dogs were divided into two group and were given two different diets with a reduction in calories. One group were given a beef diet containing 0.2% omega-3 and the other group were given a fish oil with 4.1% omega-3. Although each diet contained the same amount of calories there was a 2000% difference in the omega-3 content. The results showed that the dogs that received the higher fish oil lost significantly more weight than the dogs that were fed beef. This is thought to be due to the fat-burning properties of omega-3 found in fish oils that other meat oils do not have.
However, it should be noted that not all omega-3s are created equal. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in other foods such as flaxseed or nut oils but studies have shown that preformed DHA and EPA (molecules found in fish oil) are at much greater levels in fish oil. You can learn more about DHA, EPA and omega-3 fatty acids by watching the video below.
It’s also important to provide a cautionary note on using fish liver oils. Cod liver and other fish liver oil have been very popular for omega-3 fatty acids and this is fine for humans but not so for dogs. Fish liver oils are very high in Vitamin D and dogs don’t need anywhere near as much Vitamin D as human do and this can lead to some health issues. Excessive amounts of Vitamin D in dogs can cause abnormal calcium and phosphorus levels leading to mineralization and calcification of tissues and organs and also cause urinary stones. Therefore, you should avoid fish oil supplements high in Vitamin D.
An excellent source of omega-3 for your dogs is the Zesty Paws Omega Bites supplement. This supplement is rich in DHA and EPA and is suitable for all breeds and sizes of dogs. One of the features I like about this product is that unlike a lot of other dog supplements it has a chicken flavour making it more palatable for your dog. Also, the ingredients are all-natural, derived from MSC-certified sustainable Wild Alaskan Pollock. This product has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on chewy.com and you can read the reviews here.
Other benefits of Zesty Paws Omega Bites:
- Rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- A high concentration of DHA and EPA.
- Suitable for any breed and size of dog.
- Natural ingredients.
- Produced from sustainable sources.
- Helps to soften the skin and fur.
- Contain Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Biotin.
- Supports cardiovascular and immune function.
- Helps to lubricate hips and joints.
- Chicken flavoured.
- 90 capsules per bottle.
Dog Vitamins & Supplements For Joint Pain & Arthritis
If your dog seems to be suffering from any kind of joint pain or discomfort then the first thing you should do is take them to see a vet to get a professional diagnosis and recommendation for treatment. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary but usually, a non-surgical course of treatment will be tried first.
Some of the symptoms of joint pain or arthritis might include:
- General stiffness.
- Increased sleep.
- Lack of interest in walks.
- Reluctance to stand.
- Reduced mobility.
- Intermittent lameness.
- Joint deformities.
- Swollen joints
- Becoming aggressive when joints are touched.
- Weight gain.
- Depression and irritability.
One of the most common causes of joint pain is due to the dog being overweight. By reducing the weight of your dog you are reducing the stress on the joints and also decreasing the inflammation in joints that can be caused by fat. If your dog’s joint pain or arthritis is linked to their weight then you should also check out my recommendations for supplements to help weight loss.
When it comes to helping with joint pain and arthritis there are a few supplements you should be interested in – Glucosamine, chondroitin and omega-3 fatty acids and turmeric.
Glucosamine is a natural compound made up of glucose (sugar) and glutamine (amino acid). It can help with the production of lubricants in joints and the condition of the shock-absorbing cartilage in joints. As glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound it not considered a pharmaceutical but a nutraceutical meaning it has very few side effects. For this reason, it can be bought over the counter without the need for a prescription. Glucosamine is usually extracted from crab or shrimp shells.
Chondroitin is a glycosaminoglycan and is usually combined with glucosamine for the treatment of arthritis and joint pain. Some studies have shown that when these two compounds are used together they can significantly reduce joint pain.
Research has shown that chondroitin may help to prevent stress injuries to joints. It has also shown to aid in the repair of connective tissue and the repair of bone that is found under the cartilage. It’s also possible that chondroitin can help reduce destructive enzymes found in the fluid around the joint.
The benefits of chondroitin may include:
- Reduce destructive enzymes in joint fluid and cartilage.
- Help repair damaged cartilage.
- Help restore joint integrity.
- Improve shock absorption.
- Protect existing cartilage.
- Improve cartilage tissue hydration.
For a quality supplement containing both glucosamine and chondroitin, I would recommend Doggie Dailies Hip & Joint Supplement. This product uses all-natural ingredients and comes in a chicken flavoured chew making it more palatable for your dog. It also has a 4.4 out of 5-star rating on chewy.com and you can read the reviews for yourself here.
Benefits of Doggie Dailies Hip & Joint Supplement:
- Natural ingredients.
- Chicken flavoured.
- Contains glucosamine and chondroitin.
- Made in the USA.
- Each batch is certified safe by independent lab testing.
- Suitable for all breeds, ages and sizes.
- 2 bonus eBooks.
- 225 chews per bottle.
Check the price of Doggie Dailes Hip & Joint Supplement on Chewy.com
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
One of the benefits of giving your dog an omega-3 supplement is due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore most prescription diets for dogs with arthritis contain an increased amount of this supplement. In one study 127 dogs whose suffered from joint pain or arthritis, the dogs that were given omega-3 fatty acids as part of their diet showed a marked improvement in their abilities to play, walk and raise from a resting state.
As well as helping with joint pain omega-3 also has a variety of other benefits and is used as a supplement for conditions including:
- Inflammatory skin disease.
- Canine cognitive dysfunction.
- Heart disease.
- Kidney disease.
- To improve the health of a dog’s coat and skin.
- Immune support.
For a quality omega-3 supplement for your dog please see my review of Zest Paws Omega Bites above.
Turmeric is an amazing food and the benefits of adding it to your own diet as well as your dogs are huge. With over 6,000 studies to its name turmeric shows time and time again that it has some great benefits. The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin and is perfectly safe to add to your dog’s diet.
Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anticancer properties and can help fight diseases such as cancer, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, Alzheimers, liver disease and arthritis.
As joint pain and arthritis are the results of inflammation, turmeric is an excellent supplement for dogs suffering from this disease. There have been many studies that have shown that turmeric can have better results as an anti-inflammatory than some pharmaceuticals such as ibuprofen and without the side-effects.
Other benefits of turmeric:
- Relief from joint pain and arthritis.
- Allergy relief.
- Improves the liver’s detoxifying process.
- Lowers cholesterol.
- Can treat gastrointestinal disorders.
- Can replace steroids.
- Antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
- Improve heart and liver health.
- Improve digestion.
- An antioxidant that helps to prevent cancer.
- Helps prevents cataracts.
- Treatment for epilepsy.
- Anti-diarrhoea medication.
You can learn more about the benefits of turmeric in the video below.
When it comes to giving your dog turmeric I would recommend either buying a specially designed natural, organic supplement or making your own paste from organic powder. Below I will review the supplement I like and give a recipe for your own paste.
Zesty Paws Turmeric Curcumin Bites are a turmeric supplement made from natural and organic products designed to help with joint health, digestive function, immune support, energy levels and cognition. They come in a soft chew form and have a natural duck flavouring to make them more palatable for your dog.
Other benefits of Zesty Paws Cucamin Bites:
- Natural and organic ingredients.
- Contains 95% curcuminoids.
- Enhanced with BioPerine.
- Also contains coconut oil.
- 90 chews in each bottle.
- Excellent customer rating and reviews.
If you would like to make your own turmeric paste to add to your dog’s diet then there are a few things you need to know. Firstly, it’s important to add a healthy oil to the paste as your dog may find it difficult to digest on its own, and the oil will help with the absorption of the turmeric into your dog’s body. A good oil to use would be an organic coconut oil which has its own benefits for your dog’s health. Also, it has been shown that adding black pepper can improve the absorption of turmeric by up to 2,000%.
Below is a chart with ingredients and instruction on how to make your own turmeric paste.
You can mix in the paste to your dog’s food on a daily basis and the recommended amounts depending on your dog’s size are:
- Small size dogs – ¼ teaspoon a day.
- Medium size dogs – ½ teaspoon per day.
- Large size dogs – ¾ teaspoon per day.
- Xtra-large dogs – 1 teaspoon per day.
As I’ve mentioned many times in this post if you feel your dog might need any vitamins or supplements and is showing any signs of not being completely healthy then you should always visit your vet first.
It’s also important to realise that if your dog has not been diagnosed with a specific illness or disease then they will be able to get all the vitamins and nutrients they need to stay healthy from a good quality dog food.
If you prepare food for your dog using your own ingredients then you might need to top up their meals with certain vitamins and should always discuss this with your vet or a professional pet nutritionist.
If you do need to give your dog vitamins and supplements always make sure you purchased them from a reputable company that uses all natural products and preferably organic products too.
I hope I have provided some useful information in this article and wish you and your dog the best of health and a long and happy life 🙂 Elliott.