Taking care of a puppy as a new member of your family is like welcoming a baby. There’s a lot you’ll have to provide to maintain the best health and care for your puppy. And just like babies, puppies are growing animals that have a lot of nutritional needs. Depending on the current state of their health, the nutrition they get from their dog food may not be sufficient.
However, giving your dog a complete and healthy diet may be easier said than done. You’ll need to do proper research, so your pup doesn’t miss out on what they need to have. Of course, providing the supplements and vitamins they require is a matter best discussed with your veterinarian. With the advice of your vet, you can be certain you’re giving your pup the right food based on factors, like their age, breed, and even their overall health condition.
To guarantee the best health of your fur baby, learn about the supplements they need:
Probiotic supplements are earning the spotlight in the health and wellness industry. You may already be aware of some facts about probiotics, such as preventing and treating diarrhea and lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol and blood pressure to keep your heart healthy. But did you know that your adorable pup can benefit from probiotics too?
Probiotics are good bacteria or essential and live microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. They’re needed to balance your gut bacteria. When there’s an imbalance, you have too many bad bacteria and insufficient good bacteria, which may occur because of poor diet or medication like antibiotics. Dogs need probiotics as well to achieve a healthy balance of bacteria. These live microorganisms help them consume vitamins and minerals, digest food, and develop a strong immune system.
If your puppy seems to be getting sick quite frequently, it’s a sign that they may have changes in their microbiome, or they have an unhealthy gut. This can often manifest through symptoms, such as diarrhea, general poor health, or weakness, allergies, and bloating.
Hence, it’s important to provide your puppy with probiotic supplements. These supplements can come in many forms, including a key component in dog food, in liquid form, or even through vitamins or pills.
Your puppy’s body tissues are made out of proteins. On average, a healthy pup and dog can make 13 out of the 23 amino acids, which are all considered the building blocks of proteins. The other remaining your pup can’t naturally produce, so they’ll need to get them from food and supplements.
When giving your pup protein supplements, you can choose from either plant or animal sources. Note, however, that while dogs are generally omnivores, they’re best considered as carnivores. This means you have to offer animal-based protein sources and supplements to ensure their dietary needs are met.
Vitamin A is another essential nutrient and supplement your furry member will need. It allows your furry member to have healthy skin and eyes, a stronger immune system, and it also influences the development of organs and structures as they grow.
Generally, it’s found in eggs, carrots, fish oil, and spinach. If your puppy doesn’t like to eat those vegetables, supplements will be a great alternative. They’ll prevent your four-legged companion from experiencing vitamin A deficiency.
When your pup lacks vitamin A, you’ll notice your pup’s coat looks rather dull and unhealthy. Night blindness is quite common too. Furthermore, growing puppies need vitamin A for proper muscle and neurological development.
Like most things, though, too much vitamin A can be harmful to your fur baby. If you do decide to give them vitamin A supplements, check with your veterinarian first to find out the proper dose.
Some of the signs your pup may have vitamin A overdose include:
- Refusal to eat food
Puppies are naturally energetic. But to keep up with their growing and energy needs, a good amount of healthy fat is needed. Some of the best ones they need include omega-3, omega-6, and linoleic acid. Because your pup still isn’t fully grown, it’s normal that it can’t make fats on their own. They need to have food and supplements with good fats in them.
Here are reasons why fats play an important role in your canine’s nutrition:
- They’re needed for normal function of the body cells and tissues.
- They help in the production of hormone-like substances, such as prostaglandins.
- They help your pup absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
Vitamin D is another key nutritional element dogs need for them to thrive. It supports dogs’ bone development and prevents kidney failure, as well as heart disease.
In the case of human beings, it’s referred to as ‘sunshine vitamins,’ as people can synthesize it directly from sun exposure. Dogs, on the other hand, can’t take vitamin D from the sun. They have to take it from their meals or supplements.
Most kibbles for pups already have vitamin D as a key ingredient. Should this still not be enough, some other good sources of vitamin D are the following:
- Egg yolks
- Beef liver
Like vitamin A, however, vitamin D toxicity may happen in dogs. Puppies with too much vitamin D will exhibit symptoms, like sudden weight loss, vomiting, excessive drooling, and loss of appetite. Only a veterinarian can assess the extent of the toxicity, so proper treatment can be given.
Puppies need vitamin B for proper cell growth and development. This is often found in sources, such as beans, whole grains, and green vegetables. It’s just as crucial to understand why vitamin B is, in fact, essential to your puppy. This vitamin offers benefits like:
- Strengthening the immune system
- Keeping fleas and ticks away
- Developing the brain and nervous system
- Improving energy levels and metabolism
- Preventing cancer and heart disease
On the other hand, vitamin B deficiency has common symptoms that include:
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Mouth sores
- Bleeding sores
Eating healthy isn’t just a diet fad or trend. Rather, it’s a lifestyle that’s very much worth living. And just like people, fur babies need supplements, vitamins, and nutrients to stay healthy. If you want your pup to grow into a healthy adult dog, then you’ll have to feed them right. Most importantly, don’t forget to consult your veterinarian and follow their advice. Give your pup a thorough check so that a proper assessment will help you learn which supplements you need to provide them.