What are supplements?
Supplements include vitamins, minerals and other foods besides meat, organs and bones. There is a mountain of evidence to support the need for supplements in dogs, as well as other pets and us humans too:
- Studies of nutritional supplements have been shown to increase life span.
- Essential nutrients in levels exceeding the basic requirements may significantly reduce degenerative conditions.
- Supplements can increase the efficiency of cellular regeneration, enhance the elimination of waste products and toxic substances, and decrease the damaging effect of free radicals.
- Better nutrition for the cell allows all organs and systems to recover faster from stresses of pollution and deterioration that occur over time.
A long list can make supplementation seem more complicated and impractical than it is in practice. Instead, start here:
- Create a dedicated area for herbs and supplements for your dog (such as a shelf or basket) that will be nearby when preparing a meal.
- Pick 2 or 3 supplements to add at each meal, varying day to day, seasonally or as any specific needs arise.
- We typically use up to 1 teaspoon per pound of meat.
Which supplements should be in that basket?
A dog’s natural prey would include a very small amount of partially digested (fermented) plant material (including herbs, grasses, seeds, bark etc) from the intestines of that animal, which provide essential minerals and vitamins.
When choosing supplements, think of what would meet these needs but also keep in mind that mineral depletion in soils is widespread and deficiencies move up the food chain.
A Simple Solution
If you want the simplest solution, you can order (subscribe) to pre-made supplements to add to your dog’s food, such as those offered by Dr. Peter Dobias or Young Living.
If you want to dig deeper there are books written by experienced breeders and professionals to help guide you. You can learn which plants and supplements to include in your dog’s preventative diet, as well as herbal, homeopathic and essential oil treatments for ailments.
Some examples of supplements to include are:
- Olive oil (summer)
- Cod liver oil (winter) or FeelGood Omega® or OmegaGize³
- Kelp or GreenMin® or Ningxia Greens
- Thyme, oregano, parsley, etc
- Pumpkin seeds (raw, unsalted and lightly ground just before use)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Probiotics: GutSense® or Life 9®
- Mineral Essence (balanced, full-spectrum ionic mineral complex )
We also give our dogs access to a wide variety of plants and even kitchen scraps as treats. We’ve observed our dogs search out wild berries in the summer, walnut hulls in the fall, etc. You may be surprised that your dog will find much of his or her own medicine if given the opportunity.