Improve Your Dog’s Life with Breed-Specific Supplements

By on April 22, 2021

For many people, supplements are important for maintaining good health. The same holds true for canines, with a variety of supplements for dogs that are designed for different health needs. Let’s delve into why dog supplements are important and how they differ for different breeds.

Don’t Just Give Your Dog Any Supplement

Different supplements for different kinds of dogs? That may sound odd if you’re not familiar with breed-specific health supplements for dogs. But just as supplements vary for humans, so too do they vary for dogs. For example, German shepherd supplements won’t be the same as supplements for poodles. It doesn’t just vary by size, as a lot of factors related to the different physiologies of different breeds are taken into account. 

Aren’t Dog Supplements Really All the Same?

No. And sure, you’re probably skeptical. And have a right to be. Lots of makers of dog supplements make lots of claims — many of them unsubstantiated. One big false claim is that their supplements work for all dogs and that all you need to do is gauge your dog’s weight for the proper amount of a “one-size-fits-all” supplement. But that’s absurd; different breeds have different needs. 

So, what are the differences when it comes to dog supplements for specific breeds? Well, in many cases, it doesn’t come down to the overall dose of the supplement per pound, but the individual ingredients in proportion to a breed’s weight. Your dog’s diet also affects the need for dog supplements. And just as lots of humans take supplements with different ingredients for different health benefits, dog supplements contain ingredients that target specific aspects of canine physiology. One important ingredient is glucosamine.

The Importance of Glucosamine for Joints

We can use glucosamine as an example of a key ingredient that requires proportionality for specific breeds. Just as it does with humans, glucosamine naturally exists in the bodies of dogs and provides support to cartilage, the rubbery tissue between bones that cushions joints. As both humans and canines age, glucosamine production slows, offering ever-decreasing support for joints. Enter joint pain.  

So many dog owners look for supplements with glucosamine. But they should be aware that, for example, German shepherd joint supplements have a different amount of glucosamine than those that are designed specifically for Chihuahuas. 

But supplements for dogs go far beyond targeting joint pain. Some breeds are more prone to allergies, and so there are supplements that target the immune system to offer allergy support. Skin issues vary with different breeds and so there are different dog supplements designed to alleviate these issues as well.  

Watch Out for Bad Ingredients

Unfortunately, when looking for dog supplements you’ll probably come across cheap supplements that make big (and often vague) claims about their benefits. They can get away with this because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has no specific designation for pet supplements, classifying many of them as food. Rule of thumb: cheap supplements are usually just food fillers.  

Look for the NASC Seal

But we can look beyond the FDA for professional assurances. A non-profit board composed of veterinarians and related professionals, the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) is the only regulatory body that oversees animal supplements. And the NASC seal of approval guarantees that products deliver on the claims they make, having undergone a strict review process that scrutinizes each product. If you see health supplements for dogs without the seal, you should be dubious about their effectiveness.

So don’t just settle for any old supplement. Your specific dog has specific health needs, and you can meet them with breed-specific health supplements for dogs.

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