Diet is the foundation of health, but I recommend the inclusion of regular daily vitamin and mineral supplements and other essentials to ensure that your pet has everything he needs to best ward off immune stressors and disease. Supplements are a good investment for most of our companions, as many of the vitamins and minerals in packaged dog and cat foods are destroyed during the processing of both dry and canned food. Even the best diet for our dogs and cats of fresh raw foods can be lacking in some essential vitamins and minerals.
Every dog or cat that is eating a processed food (anything other than raw or lightly cooked) diet should receive digestive enzymes with every meal. These will not only improve digestion and the assimilation of nutrients, but will also help protect against the development of allergies and immune disorders such as Inflamatory Bowel Disease (which can be caused by poor digestion), help to prevent and eliminate not only chronic health problems but a host of diet related problems as well, such as eating stools, body odor, excessive shedding, flatulance and itchy skin.
Two essential fatty acids required in the diet but not produced by the body are omega 3 (linoleic acid) and omega 6 (alpha-linoleic acid). They are essential for proper formation of cell membranes, are precursors for prostaglandins (hormones involved in pain regulation among other things), aid in proper cardiovascular function, nourish the skin and coat as well as the lining of the digestive tract, and act to reduce inflammatory processes in the body. The best source of omega 3 fatty acids for animals is cold water fish oils like salmon oil or cod liver oil.
I highly recommend that all puppies and kittens diets be supplemented with colostrum to help boost their immature immune system for at least a month or two after weaning.
Aging animals need extra support to stay healthy and maintain the best quality of life well into their senior years including a joint support supplement, extra anitoxidants or a senior vitamin, and possibly a supplement for neurological conditions or anxiety.
You know your dog or cat best, so watch them closely and notice when they seem livelier or more sluggish, or their eyes are brighter or their coat a bit more shiny or dull, and adjust your supplement regime to meet their needs. If you are unsure or overwhelmed by the process of choosing supplements, a consultation with a holistic veterinarian can set you and your companion on course with a healthy diet and supplement regime that meets your lifestyle and your companion’s health needs.
Full Article: The Importance of Daily Supplements for Your Companion