What a Natural Dog Supplement Should Contain

A natural dog supplement must contain the vitamins and minerals not found in the dog's daily diet. Some dogs do not need supplements. Their food provides all the nutrients they require. Others require supplements because of their age, physical condition or breed. A pregnant or lactating female dog is a great example of a dog that needs additional vitamins and minerals. Typical Dog Food Ingredients In any dry or moist dog food, you will find meat/poultry or meat/poultry by-products, grains and even preservatives. If your pet's food is lacking essential vitamins and minerals, your dog's life span shrinks. Most dry foods contain protein, fat, fiber and moisture. When comparing labels, make sure meat or poultry is the first ingredient. Meat or poultry by-products do not count. By-products include parts of an animal or bird that humans will not eat including beaks and feet. Lamb, beef, chicken or turkey must be first on the list. Items like corn meal, corn gluten and wheat meal contain few nutrients that a dog needs. When you look at the ingredients in your pet's food, you will discover a natural dog supplement is necessary to meet the dog's needs. Dietary Needs of a Dog According to the Committee on Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats, a dog's dietary requirements include both protein and fats. The amount they require depends on the dog and weight. * Adult dogs need 25 grams of crude protein and 14 grams of fat per 33 pounds of weight. * Pregnant/nursing dogs require 69 to 158 grams of crude protein and 29 to 67 grams of fat per 33 pounds of weight. If the dog's litter is greater than six puppies, additional protein and fat are necessary. * Puppies need 56 grams of crude protein and 21 grams of fat. Because pregnant and nursing dogs share vitamins and nutrients with the puppies, it is important to provide a natural dog supplement to ensure both the mother and puppies' health. Importance of Vitamins and Minerals For proper growth and bone development, dogs, like humans, require a number of vitamins and minerals. Foods rarely meet these nutritional guidelines, so a natural dog supplement is important. * Calcium-Forms bone and teeth * Chlorine-Balances fluids within cells * Choline-Processes fat within the body * Copper-Helps maintain iron levels within the body * Folic Acid-Helps metabolize amino acid and nucleotides improving cell growth * Iodine-Key to healthy thyroid function * Iron-Aids blood cell production * Magnesium-Aids bone and muscle growth * Manganese-Helps with bone development * Pathothenic Acid-Boosts energy levels and metabolism * Phosphorus-Helps form proper DNA and RNA within cells * Potassium-Improves nerve response * Selenium-Improves immunities * Sodium-Maintains proper blood chemistry levels * Vitamin B12, Niacin and Riboflavin-Helps with enzyme function within all areas of the body * Vitamin B1-Helps aid metabolism and increase energy levels * Vitamin B6-Forms red blood cells and boosts immune response, also generates glucose production * Vitamin K-Important for blood blotting and bone formation * Zinc-Aids with cell division Look for a natural dog supplement that contains these important vitamins and minerals. Newer Nutrients that Improve Health Many supplements add Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Glucosamine. While research is ongoing, studies find that Omega-3 Fatty Acids help improve a dog's heart heath and skin condition. Glucosamine aids in joint health making it suitable for dog breeds susceptible to excessive joint wear.