I’ve lived with dogs for over 30 years. We’ve always had no less than two and sometimes as many as three in our family, and make no mistake—when I say “in our family,” I really mean it. We do not consider ourselves dog owners; we are their guardians and we take their membership in our family very seriously. Once adopted, they have a home for life, and there is no going back.
I treat my dogs exactly like my family
I mention this because I want you to know that as a nutritionist, I treat my dogs exactly as I do the other members of my family. Which means I make a big effort to get them the right food and the right supplements. For example: they all eat a raw-meat diet, and the butcher that has the best meat specifically for dogs is quite a distance away. Yet the dogs and I make that trip once a week because we want the best for our pups.
And the same goes for supplements. (More on that in a moment.)
The thing about dogs and supplements is that you don’t have to overcome a bunch of barriers and misconceptions about supplements in order to get your “patient” to take them. My dogs—and their wonderful doctors—are not influenced by big pharma. I have found vets, in particular, to be far more open to nutritional supplements than their human-doctor counterparts. Vets tend to have the attitude, “If it works, great! Use it!”
Dogs don't do the placebo effect
Remember, with dogs, there are no “placebo effects." A supplement either produces a result or it doesn’t. And every dog guardian I know is deeply in touch with their animals (much as a parent is deeply in touch with their child). We KNOW when the animal feels better. We can SEE when he’s not limping as much. We can FEEL when they are happier and when they have more energy. Which brings us to the supplements I give my dogs. There are four things I give to my dogs regularly.
The four supplements I give my dogs on the regular:
1. Flax Oil for Animals
Every day of their life they get a nice dose of Flax Oil for Animals by Barlean’s. This is a wonderful source of Omega-3s and I’ve been using it for years. Omega-3s are absolutely essential (for both people and dogs) and support the health of their hearts, brains and joints.
In fact, when one of our dogs—Bubba—was diagnosed with arthritis, the first thing his doctor said was, “Up his dose of Omega-3!” (She was delighted when I told her that I used Barlean’s, to which she enthusiastically gave her seal of approval.)
2. A good doggy multi-vitamin
The second thing they get is a high-potency multi-vitamin. (Two brands I like a lot are Missing Link and Dynovite, both of which are powders that sprinkle on their food and both of which are available online.)
The third thing I give my pups is a glucosamine supplement for their joints. Dogs—like Bubba—tend to get arthritic as they get older and their mobility is more limited. My dogs get Cosequin DS, a joint health supplement that works quite well and is available on Amazon.
4. CBD for Dogs
Finally, my dogs have been taking CBD for Dogs by Barlean’s since the product first came out and I couldn’t be happier about the results. Many of the people in my neighborhood who love dogs are now giving them CBD, and virtually all of them report seeing a lessening in anxiety, or an obvious lessening of pain (as evidenced by a clear improvement in mobility).
My own experience with human CBD (I use Barlean's emulsified Seriously Delicious CBD) confirms what I’m seeing with my beloved dogs. CBD was an important part of the supplement regimen I designed when I was personally diagnosed with severe arthritis a few years ago. Being a competitive tennis player, that diagnosis was hardly welcome. But the CBD—together with the other joint supplements I “prescribed” for myself—have made it possible for me to do physical therapy and to be able to play tennis again 4-5 times a week, pain-free. Apparently, it helps my dogs as much as it helps me.
Deciding whether or not to give your pup supplements
When it comes to supplements, I always ask myself the following questions: 1) Is there any harm in taking this supplement? 2) What are the possible downsides? 3) What are the possible upsides?
If there’s no downside to taking them—no known side effects or dangers—and there’s a considerable potential upside to taking them—I’m in! That’s clearly the case with the four basic supplements I give my animals: Barlean’s CBD for Dogs, Barlean's Flax Oil for Animals, glucosamine and a multi-vitamin powder for dogs. There’s nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Just ask Bubba! →
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