Nutraceuticals for Dogs

The term nutraceuticals is used throughout both human and veterinary medicines to describe a class of drugs that provide both medicinal properties and also nutritive ones. These supplements and drugs are designed to simultaneously help your pet to resolve any of several different types of underlying health issues, while giving him the benefit of proper nutrition and nutritional supplementation. One of the primary benefits of these drugs as opposed to other medicines is that they have very minimal side effects. They're often put to use in dogs that have severe underlying conditions or may be at risk for side effects from standard medicines.

Nutraceuticals Overview

In veterinary medicine, nutraceuticals refer to types of foods or ingredients that are believed or proven to have other health benefits. Typically, these include foods that are rich in amino acids, antioxidants, fatty acids, minerals, vitamins and other substances that may provide your pet with an overall increase in his health.

Nutraceuticals for use in dogs are generally designed to help promote overall good health, rather than to address a particular health concern or issue. While there are a few nutraceuticals in pets that will target specific parts of the body or certain systems, most of them are only in place to help your pet to be overall healthy while he deals with other health concerns through the use of drugs and standard medicines. Nutraceuticals are beneficial because they can be combined with virtually every other type of medicine without having any risk for side effects or adverse health concerns as your pet takes them.

Conditions that Nutraceutical Can Help Manage

Essential fatty acids, also known as EFAs, are among the most common nutraceuticals used in canine medicine. They are touted for their ability to help your pet's skin conditions. From minor irritations to larger problems and chronic issues, EFAs can help to clear up your pet's condition and give him healthier, more comfortable skin.

Another set of nutraceuticals that are commonly used for dogs are those that help with joint pain. Glucosamine is the most popular of this group of nutraceuticals, collectively known as glycosaminoglycans, or GAGs. These naturally occurring hormones help your pet to produce new joint fluid and tissue. They can thus be helpful with the restoration of damaged joint tissue due to chronic conditions like arthritis, and have a natural pain relief function that is beneficial for all pets as well. Many veterinarians will recommend GAGs to any dog over a certain age, as they can help to maintain joint and bone health even before a condition or other problem sets in.

Side Effects

Nutraceuticals generally have no standard side effects. The exception to this rule are certain vitamins and minerals which may build up in your pet's system. However, you would have to provide your pet with an excessive quantity of those ingredients in order to cause him potential harm.