Do dogs and cats need nutritional supplements? Nutritional supplements are among the fastest-growing products in the pet nutrition industry – the primary reason behind this growth pet owners are supplementing their own diets with results, and now believe the furry members of their family also deserve the benefits that supplementation can provide.
Supplements are intended for the purpose of improving the nutritional value of a diet or to provide specific nutrients that are deficient in the body. Proven advantages that nutritional supplements can provide include boosting overall health and energy, improving performance, providing immune system support, reducing the risks of illness and age-related conditions, enhancing mental activity, and supporting the healing processes during illness and disease. In order to improve the nutritional value of a diet, the supplement must be higher in quality and more nutrient-dense than the diet. To accomplish this, a supplement must be complete, which means it contains 100% of all essential nutrients in a concentrated form and is balanced to facilitate optimum absorption and utilization of all nutrients.
Nutritional ingredients that would benefit the dog and cat the most start with protein. Protein
provides the amino acids needed throughout life to build and repair the tissues of the body. Our dogs and cats are carnivores, and they primarily use protein and fat for energy. Unfortunately,
most of today’s pet foods provide minimum levels of protein, and minimum is incapable of addressing the needs of performance, work, reproduction, injury, or disease. Other beneficial supplements include vitamins and minerals, which our pets do not synthesize on their own so they must come from their diet.
Although vitamins and minerals are added to most pet foods, their content is reduced by cooking temperatures, processing, prolonged storage, or exposure to sunlight and air. Essential fatty acids are also important, especially the omega-3 fatty acids that are useful in reducing the amount of inflammation in the body which is essential for optimum health. In order to meet the nutritional needs of the dog and cat, nutritional supplementation is a fundamental requirement of optimum health.