How to feed supplements to your dog
T The Classic Pooch

Tips and Tricks to feeding Supplements to your dog

Apr 7, 2023 · Nutrition

Congratulations!  Like many dog parents out there, you have decided to curate your dog's bowl and incorporate some supplements into their diet.  There are a multitude of supplements available on the market and I won’t go into that information in this article; here I am going to talk about how to start introducing supplements to your dog especially if they are picky. 

As always, before introducing any new supplement to your dog’s diet, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to ensure it’s safe and appropriate for your dog’s unique needs. Some supplements can interact with medications or cause adverse reactions in certain dogs. 

Once you have the green light from your veterinarian, it’s best to start with a small dosage and gradually increase it over time. If you plan on adding a few supplements, I recommend introducing one at a time so you can easily monitor the transition.  This is important so you can monitor your dog for any signs of adverse reactions or changes in behavior. Examples of these adverse reactions are: vomiting, diarrhea, or allergic reactions. Once you are confident that the supplement is well received, you can move to the next one. 

How you incorporate the supplement depends on the formulation and the instructions from the supplement company.  As an example, most multivitamins are formulated to be served as a “treat” so you can feed it separately from mealtime. In my experience, the vitamins are flavored so they are very palatable for your dog. If your dog doesn’t like the flavor, you may want to hide it in a pill wrap until you can purchase a different flavor or formulation. If the supplement is in pill form, I would recommend feeding it separately first either plain or in a pill wrap so not to “taint” the bowl of a picky eater. I know with Otto, he was very picky and was also known to spit pills out towards me if I put them in his bowl.  Just make note if it needs to be fed at mealtime or on an empty stomach. 

Most other supplements come in a powder or liquid which can be easily incorporated into their dinner bowl. With herbal supplements especially, you want to start with a small amount because this can alter the taste of their food and they will need to adjust to the flavor or let you know that they just aren’t into it. Slowly build up to the recommended dosage over the course of a week or two.  Some supplements are more effective when given on an empty stomach, so make sure to check the label for maximum effectiveness. When I started to add ZipZyme microalgae to Smokey & Bandit’s bowls, I made it a “side dish” so they could try it out without it interfering with the rest of their food.  They love the taste and it is the first thing they eat now at breakfast. 

Supplements can be a useful addition to your dog’s diet, but they’re not a substitute for a balanced and nutritious diet. Always prioritize feeding your dog a high-quality diet appropriate for their age, breed, and health condition. Supplements should be given in moderation and under the guidance of a veterinarian to ensure they’re safe and effective for your dog.

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