A while back on Facebook Live I answered one of the most often asked questions … what supplements do you feed your dogs? And because so many of you asked for a written list, we’ve created one!
Now this list is just the supplements I give my own dogs … you might come to a different conclusion, but for those of you who asked for a list, here it is!
6 Supplements For Healthy Dogs
With the exception of my old Chili (and I’ll get to her next), my dogs are healthy and free of disease. They eat a raw food diet and they’re not exposed to vaccines, drugs and chemicals (that means no dewormers or heartworm meds either). This allows them to have really strong immune systems so they shouldn’t need that much in the way of supplementation.
For my healthy dogs, I feed:
1. Hempseed Oil
Hempseed oil is one of my favorite staples. It has a super ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, and it contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which can be lacking in dogs with cancer, diabetes and skin allergies. It’s also rich in minerals and other nutrients.
I only give hempseed oil with beef, goat, lamb or other ruminants, and I give about a teaspoon for every 1 to 1 1/4 pounds of food and give it 4 to 5 times per week.
Phytoplankton are single-celled organisms that contain nearly every nutrient your dog needs. Its whole nutrition fuels the entire ocean and it can fuel your dog with:
- Essential fatty acids
- Trace minerals
- Essential amino acids
Phytoplankton is another great source of omega-3 fats and can replace toxic fish oils that can go rancid and cause inflammation in your dog … and it can be used with both ruminant and poultry.
Phytoplankton contains what’s known as the king of antioxidants, Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). SOD is the body’s most powerful antioxidant enzyme … it protects cells and helps remove toxins, including heavy metals from the body.
Researchers found that the longest-lived animals, like sea turtles, contain large amounts of SOD, while shorter-lived animals, such as mice, contain only small amounts.
I feed 1/16 of a teaspoon and give it most days.
3. MCT Oil
I give my dogs MCT oil a couple of times a week. MCT oil is extracted from coconut oil, so it has some similar properties … but it doesn’t have the lauric acid that can trigger metabolic endotoxemia … and inflamation. MCT oil has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. It improves nutrient digestion and absorption, prevents yeast infections … and it’s a really good addition to the diet that the dogs love to eat. I give about a tablespoon to my Labradors but you might want to start slow, with about 1/8 tsp for a small dog.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that need to colonize in my dogs’ digestive tracts. These bacteria form the bulk of the dog’s immune system, they fight viruses, bacteria and parasites and they manufacture vitamins and they’re critical to my dogs’ health.
I give probiotics most days and I also feed kimchi, sauerkraut and kefir for more food-based probiotics. This post has some great recipes.
5. Larch Arabinogalactan
Larch is a prebiotic that feeds the healthy probiotics. But it also activates important cancer-fighting cells and has been successfully used to treat cancer, in addition to allergies, autoimmune disease and more.
My dogs get larch with their probiotics most days.
6. Fruits And Veggies
Fruits and veggies are an important part of my dog’s diet. Even though I feed organic meats, I feel my dogs need the extra boost from the phytonutrients and carotenoids found only in fruits and veggies. I mulch them up fresh when I can and when I can’t, I use a pre-made dehydrated mix. Because it’s summer, I’m using the Buckaroo Stew Cooling Formula to help keep them cool after meals.
I try to get fruits and veggies into my dogs daily and only feed it as 5 to 10% of their diet.
Adding a lot of supplements can get pricey, and I don’t want my dog’s meals to have more supplements than tasty food. So I tend to pulse or rotate the above … they don’t get every supplement every day.
4 Supplements For Older Dogs
Because my Chili is older, she gets a few extra supplements added to her meals (she’ll get the above supplements, plus …)
1. Digestive Enzymes
Older dogs (and dogs with health issues) can be enzyme deficient. Enzymes don’t just help your dog digest food, they also help with immune function, reduce inflammation, remove toxins and waste from the body, regulate hormones and slow the rate of aging.
But enzymes are like a bank account … once your dog is overdrawn, he’s out of enzymes unless you keep making deposits. Drugs, antibiotics, heavy metals and sugary or high-glycemic foods can deplete the body’s ability to produce its own enzymes. Older dogs and sick or stressed dogs will also be hard-pressed to produce enough digestive enzymes. And if your dog is deficient in enzymes, he will have a nutritional deficiency … even if he’s eating a nutritionally complete diet.
I give Chili digestive enzymes most days and they’re included with her probiotics.
2. Herbal Joint Care
Chili’s joints have suffered a lot of wear and tear over the years and she needs joint support. I love the herbal Inflapotion and Herbaprin from Glacier Peak and she gets these on and off. I tend to pulse and give them for 3 or 4 weeks, then give her a week off so she keeps responding to the herbs.
Astaxanthin is another powerful antioxidant that belongs to a group of compounds called carotenoids. I think antioxidants are important for older dogs and dogs with health issues (they’re actually important for all dogs) because they can slow the degeneration process.
Chili gets her astaxanthin combined with …
Turmeric is one of the most researched herbs around. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and has been shown to have both cancer preventing and killing properties. Chili gets astaxanthin and turmeric daily and my health dogs get it from time to time.
Cancer Prevention And Care
Chili has been fighting cancer for a few years now and it’s not something I like to do surgery on. We’ve been managing for a number of years with some homeopathic remedies and I’ll also give her the following supplements …
Transfer factor is a group of proteins produced by the immune system. They carry immune information from one cell to the next and in pregnant mothers, this immune information is passed to their offspring through colostrum in the mother’s milk. Transfer factor has been used in cancer treatment and I give it to Chili, along with …
Artemisinin is a compound extracted from wormwood. It’s been shown to seek and destroy many types of cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells unscathed. Because of her cancer, Chili gets this supplement.