The Anxious Pet reached out to Dr. Jennifer Frione to ask her advice on pet supplements. Read the full article here and her direct quotes below.
“Supplementation can be added to your pet’s diet at any stage of life,” says Dr. Jennifer Frione, owner of Lakeside Animal Hospital in Florida. Frione recommends supplements for pets with anxiety, illness, or disease (depending on the disease and the pet’s diet).
Supplements for dogs come in the form of treats or tablets, liquids and powders. “The best form to administer is whatever best fits you and your pet’s lifestyle,” says Frione. “If it is easier to give a treat every morning, then find a supplement in the form of a treat. If your pet doesn’t like treats, then maybe a powder or liquid form is best for you and your pet.”
Hip and joint supplements for dogs can help them if they are struggling with movement due to arthritis. While feeding your dog a high quality senior diet can provide her with what her body needs, for diseases like osteoarthritis, Frione recommends adding a supplement with omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin to your dog’s daily regimen to help reduce inflammation of the joints.
“A supplement combined with other medications, like an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), prescribed by your veterinarian will help keep your arthritic pet comfortable,” she adds.
No matter how old your pooch is, she could be prone to anxiety, either when left alone at home or on car rides to the veterinarian or road trips. If this is the case, your dog can likely benefit from a calming supplement when given together with behavior modification training.
Frione says to look for supplements containing L-theanine or L-tryptophan. “They are both amino acids that help reduce the stress response and promote relaxation,” she explains. “A supplement with those amino acids along with a well-balanced diet will help anxiety conditions.”
“Omega fatty acids help relieve itching and/or inflamed skin,” says Frione and recommends supplements containing flaxseed oil and fish oil to help with any skin disorders in your dog.
“Pet owners should look for skin and coat supplements that include EPA and DHA,” she adds. “Those ingredients combined help rebuild and restore inflamed and allergic skin.”
If your dog is prone to recurrent urinary tract infections, a cranberry supplement can help. “Cranberries contain compounds called proanthocyanidins that prevent E. coli bacteria from attaching to the lining of your pet’s urethra and bladder,” explains Frione.
As your dog gets older, she may not be as mentally sharp or alert and a cognitive supplement can enhance her life. Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD), also known as dementia, is a neurobehavioral syndrome affecting dogs in their later years. It can cause disorientation, low energy levels, excessive barking, aggression, pacing, and/or other unusual behaviors.
There is no cure for CCD, however, Frione says, “Nutritional supplementation can complement the use of medication, behavioral enrichment, and environmental management to help treat the symptoms of cognitive dysfunction syndrome.”
“When in doubt, consult with your pet’s veterinarian,” suggests Frione.