Table of Contents
- Supplements for Dogs
- Whole Food Formulas
- Green Blends
- Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Formulas
- Hypoallergenic Formulas
- Digestive Aids
- Not Recommended
- Nutra Thrive Review: Legit or Hype?
- Who’s Behind the The Truth About Pet Cancer?
- Gift for Life – Anti-Aging Formula for Canines (60 Tabs)
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- A hip and joint supplement
Supplements for Dogs
- Fish Oil
- Vitamin E
- Vitamins and Minerals
- Digestive Enzymes
- Whole Food vs Synthetic Supplements
- Human Supplements
- Whole Food Formulas
- Green Blends
- Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Formulas
- Hypoallergenic Formulas
- Digestive Aids
- Not Recommended
- Supplements for Digestive Support
- Oil Supplements
- Other Supplements (Proteolytic Enzymes, Senior Supplements)
There are many different kinds of supplements: whole foods and synthetics; vitamins and minerals; essential fatty acids; green blends; digestive aids; and combinations of the above. The best supplements for your dog will depend on the diet you feed and your dog’s individual health.
Just as with food, I think it’s better to rotate between supplements rather than always giving the same ones. Try to find at least two or three that your dog does well with, and switch off between them, maybe each time you finish a bottle.
If you feed a commercial diet, you should consider supplementing with fresh foods, rather than (or in addition to) vitamin supplements. See Adding Fresh Foods to a Commercial Diet for more information.
For more information on supplements to add to a homemade diet, see Homemade Diets: Supplements.
Following are some general recommendations for adding supplements to your dog’s diet:
Fish Oil or Salmon Oil
An important source of omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. Omega-3 EFAs are beneficial to the immune system, the nervous system, the heart, and help stop inflammation, such as in arthritis and allergies. They also support brain development of puppies and fetuses. This is probably the most important supplement to give, no matter what you feed, as Omega-3 EFAs are hard to find even in a natural diet, and are highly perishable when exposed to heat, light or air, so they do not survive in commercial foods even if added. See Something Fishy for a summary of proven benefits from fish oil.
Omega-3 EFAs are found primarily in fish oil. Most fish oil gelcaps have 300 mg EPA and DHA combined. Some concentrated versions, such as Sogeval’s Derma-3 Twist Caps (small dog version has 450 mg EPA/DHA in 0.8 grams of oil; large dog formula has 890 mg EPA/DHA in 1.5 grams of oil) and GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil 1500 (900 mg EPA/DHA in 1.5 grams of oil) (also available at Amazon) have more, while salmon oil often has just 200 mg per gram of oil.
For very small dogs, Stratford Omega-V3 for Small & Medium Dogs & Cats has less oil (about 700 mg), with 200 mg EPA/DHA per gelcap (they also make more concentrated Twist-Off and EZ-Chew versions with 450 mg EPA/DHA each, as well as a liquid that is not concentrated — the chewable version would be easier to split, but the omega-3 fatty acids might not hold up as well in a chew, while the liquid is easy to dose small amounts, but has less EPA/DHA per gram of oil and won’t last more than a couple of months in the refrigerator).
Cod liver oil also provides omega-3 fatty acids, but most supplements are high in vitamins A and D as well, which limits the amount you can give. A typical cod liver oil gelcap might contain 200 IUs EPA and DHA combined, along with 2,000 IU vitamin A and 250 IU vitamin D. You could give one of these to a medium-sized dog, but you would need to add fish oil, such as salmon oil or EPA oil, if you wanted to increase the amount of omega-3 fatty acids due to health problems such as inflammation, kidney disease, or cancer. There are exceptions, however, as molecular distillation removes the vitamins from the oil. For example, Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil is quite low in vitamins A and D with the same amount of omega-3 fatty acids, and so it would be fine to give more of these when needed.
One form of omega-3 fatty acids called ALA is found in flax seed oil, but dogs cannot use ALA unless it is first converted to EPA. At best, dogs convert 15% of ALA to EPA, and some dogs may not be able to make this conversion at all. For this reason, fish oil is a much better source of omega-3 fatty acids for dogs than flaxseed oil.
Recommended dosage is 1000 mg fish oil (containing 300 mg combined EPA/DHA) per 30 pounds (14 kg) of body weight. Maximum dosage for dogs with health problems would be 1000 mg fish oil (300 mg EPA/DHA) per 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of body weight. You can also use sardines in place of fish oil supplements; one small sardine supplies over 100 mg EPA/DHA.
I don’t recommend any particular brand of fish oil. The ConsumerLab.com review of Fish Oil/Omega-3 Supplements done in 2008 showed that “all were fresh and contained their claimed amounts of EPA and DHA . . . None of the products were found to contain detectable levels of mercury [over 10 ppb (parts per billion). . . . ). In addition, none of the products contained unsafe levels of lead or PCBs.” However, an updated report in 2012 found, “Trace levels of PCBs were found in every product (as PCBs are ubiquitous in water), but two supplements exceeded contaminations limits for PCBs. Mercury was not detected in any of the products.” Some people prefer to get molecularly distilled fish oil, which is fine, but I don’t think it’s necessary (note that the term “pharmaceutical grade” does not have a legal definition). If you prefer liquid fish oil, be sure to buy products in dark bottles and keep them refrigerated. Don’t buy more than you will use in a couple of months, as fish oil will become rancid over time when exposed to light, heat, or air. See K9RawDiet.com for some good brands (this site belongs to a friend of mine).
Vitamin E should also be given whenever oils are supplemented. Just 10 IUs of vitamin E should be enough to balance one teaspoon or 5 grams of oil, but more may be beneficial. See Vitamin E below for more information.
See also: Fish Oil Supplements
My recommendations for vitamin E are continually evoloving. I initially recommended giving 100 IUs to small dogs (less to really tiny dogs), 200 IUs to medium-sized dogs, and 400 IUs to large dogs daily. Then I read a human study that showed megadoses (400 IUs or more daily) of vitamin E in adult humans caused it to act as a pro-oxidant rather than an anti-oxidant, and I revised my recommendations downward, to 1-2 IUs per pound of body weight daily. I still think this amount is appropriate for most healthy dogs. See Meta-analysis: high-dosage vitamin E supplementation may increase all-cause mortality (Study Shows High-Dose Vitamin E Supplements May Increase Risk of Dying) and The questionable association of vitamin E supplementation and mortality–inconsistent results of different meta-analytic approaches for overviews with varying conclusions.
Newer studies done on dogs show that higher amounts of vitamin E can be beneficial, at least in the short term. One study done on dogs with atopic dermatitics (skin problems caused by enviromental allergies) showed that they had low levels of vitamin E in the body, along with high levels of oxidative stress markers. This study showed that giving 8.1 IU/kg (17.8 IU/lb) of body weight daily for eight weeks increased levels of vitamin E in the blood and decreased pruritis (itching) in dogs with environmental allergies. See Vitamin E supplementation in canine atopic dermatitis: improvement of clinical signs and effects on oxidative stress markers.
Another study showed that giving approxmiately 9 to 12 times the amount of vitamin E required by AAFCO nutrient guidelines for six weeks improved their antioxidant status and reduced an indicator of lipid peroxidation. This amount works out to 5-7 IUs per pound (50-70 IUs daily) for a 10-pound dog, and 3-4 IUs per pound (300-400 IUs daily) for a dog weighing 100 lbs (small dogs need more of everything for their weight than large dogs do). See Effect of increasing dietary antioxidants on concentrations of vitamin E and total alkenals in serum of dogs and cats and the synopsis, Antioxidant Benefits for Adult Dogs Study Synopsis for more info. The synopsis also talks about a study done on puppies given 10 times the amount of vitamin E required by AAFCO guidelines, along with vitamin C, beta carotene, and selenium (all antioxidants) improved immune response to vaccinations, along with higher concentrations of vitamin E in their blood.
My concern with these studies is that they were only done short term, and some were done with dogs being fed grocery-brand kibble, which would likely have the highest amount of oxidized fats. We don’t know if giving such high doses of vitamin E long term would remain beneficial, or if giving high doses of vitamin E to dogs with less oxidative stress might eventually cause harm.
Here are my general conclusions regarding appropriate doses of vitamin E for dogs, based on all of this information but involving a lot of guesswork:
- For healthy dogs, particularly those eating a fresh food diet, 1-2 IUs per pound of body weight daily (or an equivalent amount less often) is likely plenty. Healthy dogs eating kibble, especially small dogs, might benefit from slightly higher amounts.
- For dogs with a variety of health problems, including kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, cataracts, allergies, skin problems, arthritis, and other diseases involving inflammation or the immune system, and for dogs receiving high doses of polyunsaturated oils (PUFAs) such as fish oil or vegetable oils, dosages up to 3-4 IUs per pound of body weight daily for large dogs, 3.5-4.5 IUs per pound of body weight for medium-sized dogs, and 5-7 IUs per pound of body weight for small dogs, may provide additional benefits. Examples of maximum amount of vitamin E recommended on a long-term basis based on body weight:
- 10 lbs: 50-70 IUs daily, or 200 IUs every 3-4 days, or 400 IUs once a week.
- 20 lbs: 85-115 IUs daily, or 200 IUs every other day, or 400 IUs twice a week.
- 30 lbs: 120-150 IUs daily, or 200 IUs every other day, or 400 IUs every 3 days.
- 40 lbs: 150-200 IUs daily, or 400 IUs every 2 or 3 days.
- 50 lbs: 170-230 IUs daily, or 400 IUs every other day.
- 60 lbs: 200-265 IUs daily, or 400 IUs every other day up to 5 times a week.
- 70 lbs: 220-300 IUs daily, or 400 IUs every other day up to 5 times a week.
- 80 lbs: 250-330 IUs daily, or 400 IUs up to 6 times a week.
- 90 lbs: 265-360 IUs daily, or 400 IUs up to 6 times a week.
- 100 lbs: 300-400 IUs daily.
- 125 lbs: 340-470 IUs daily.
- 150 lbs: 400-525 IUs daily.
- Vitamin E may be safest when natural forms of mixed tocopherols, incuding gamma tocopherol, are used.
- Vitamin E may also be safer when giving in combination with other antioxidants, such as vitamin C.
- For comparison, AAFCO guidelines require at least 12.5 IUs vitamin E per 1,000 kcal, which works out to a daily amount of 5 IUs for dogs weighing 10 lbs, 17 IUs for dogs weighing 50 lbs, and 29 IUs for dogs weighing 100 lbs. Amounts for puppies will be higher, as they need more calories for their weight.
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines and help control yeast and harmful bacteria, as well as helping with digestion and intestinal health. These friendly bacteria are destroyed whenever antibiotics are given, and can also be flushed out of the system if your dog has diarrhea. Probiotics given for two weeks or longer following antibiotic usage may help restore populations; probiotics given while taking antibiotics may help prevent diarrhea caused by the antibiotics (give probiotics at least two hours apart from antibiotics). Dogs that are under stress or that have digestive problems or yeast overgrowth may benefit from routine probiotic supplementation. You can use products made for dogs, or human-grade probiotics that you would find in a health food store.
There are two strains that have been shown to be beneficial for dogs: Bacillus coagulans (formerly called Lactobacillus sporogenes; available at Amazon) and Enterococcus faecium (found in many supplements, including Jarrow Formulas Pet Dophilus and Fortiflora from Purina, best price at EntirelyPets). (Note that despite its proven beneficial effects, E. faecium may be best used short-term due to possible issues with antibiotic resistance, opportunistic infections such as UTIs, and effects if transmitted to humans. Strain SF68 appears to be safer than other E. faecium strains.) Bifidobacterium animalis (found in Probiotic Miracle from Nusentia, available at Amazon) has also been shown to reduce the time for acute diarrhea to resolve.
Supplements that also contain prebiotics, which are foods that nourish the beneficial bacteria themselves, such as FOS (fructooligosaccharides), chicory (found in Ark Naturals Gentle Digest and others), inulin, and larch (arabinogalactan — see dosage for dogs here) may be especially helpful to dogs with diarrhea.
Kefir, which is easy to make at home, is a good source of beneficial bacteria. Plain yogurt can also be used, though unless specific strains are identified on the label, the “live cultures” refer to those used to make the yogurt, not probiotics.
Some probiotics must be kept refrigerated; all should be kept away from heat, light and moisture. Most Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus species do not need enteric coating as they can survive passage through the stomach. L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus, as well as Leuconostoc and Lactococcus species, produce lactic acid which may help control harmful bacteria in the intestines and reduce diarrhea.
See also: Supplements for Digestive Support: Probiotics and Prebiotics
Vitamins and Minerals
Although commercial foods include a minimal supply of added vitamins (the original ones are mostly destroyed by processing), supplementing can be beneficial, especially vitamins E, C (with bioflavonoids), and B-complex. Unfortunately, many pet multi-vitamins, such as Pet Tabs, contain too little of these vitamins to be very useful. You need to be more careful about supplementing minerals, except in whole food form, due to the potential for overdosing or not using proper combinations (for example, zinc can be dangerous if given in large quantities or not properly balanced with copper). In general, I don’t recommend supplementing individual minerals without a vet’s OK, but the amounts contained in most multi-vitamin and mineral supplements should be safe. See below for some recommended brands.
In general, if you feed a complete commercial diet of any kind, look for supplements made for dogs, with lots of vitamins and few minerals. If you feed a homemade diet, look either for supplements made specifically for dogs being fed a homemade diet, or use human supplements, both of which should include both vitamins and minerals. When using human supplements for dogs, adjust the amount based on weight: give the full human dose to a large dog; half the human dose to a medium-sized dog; one-quarter the human dose to a small dog; and one-eighth the human dose for toy breeds.
Since enzymes are destroyed by cooking, commercial foods are enzyme dead. Adding digestive enzymes may be beneficial if your dog suffers from digestive disorders, liver problems, pancreatitis, or is otherwise unhealthy and may benefit from getting additional nutritional value from their food. Animal-based enzymes derived from pancreatin help more with the breakdown of nutrients, while plant-based enzymes, such as bromelain and papain, seem to help more with gas and inflammation. Note that while digestive enzymes are helpful for some dogs, they can cause digestive upset for other dogs. I generally recommend them only if you see improvement while using them.
See also: Supplements for Digestive Support: Digestive Enzymes
Whole Food vs Synthetic supplements
Whole food supplements use beneficial foods and herbs rather than synthetic vitamins. Green blends are whole food supplements that include primarily green foods, such as kelp, alfalfa, spirulina, etc. I think that whole food supplements may be especially good for dogs fed a commercial diet, since those diets already have synthetic vitamins added. Green blends are also good for dogs fed homemade diets that do not include vegetables. It is hard to quantify the benefits of whole food supplements since little in the way of measurable nutrients will show up on a nutritional analysis. Synthetic supplements generally offer much higher amounts of vitamins. If you want to provide high dosages of vitamin C, for example, you will have to rely on synthetic supplements to do so. Synthetic supplements that include high doses of minerals may be too much when feeding a commercial diet, as these can be overdosed.
Human supplements are fine to give to pets as long as you adjust the dosage for their size. Give no more than half the human dosage to a 50-lb dog, and one-quarter the human dosage to a 25-lb dog if you feed a commercial diet. Very small dogs need products made for them to get the dosage right. For dogs fed a homemade diet, you can give a human one-a-day type of multivitamin supplement to dogs weighing 40 to 50 pounds, to help make up for what might be missing in the diet. Don’t use children’s products that contain xylitol, which is very toxic to dogs!
- Homemade Cooked Diets for Dogs: Supplements
- The Canine Vitamin Advisor: lots of info on vitamins and herbs tailored to your specific dog
- Cholodin for canine cognitive dysfunction and helping to keep older dogs mentally alert. It contains choline and phosphatidylcholine, along with a few additional nutrients. See Alzheimer’s in Dogs and Cats for more information. Also see Cognitive Disorder, Alzheimer’s Disease for more information on this topic from the same author.
- Senior Supplements (WDJ November 2012, will be posted here in May 2013)
Return to Top of Page
Whole Food Formulas
- Animal Essentials Herbal Multi-Vitamin Also see their Animal Essentials Plant Enzymes and Probiotics. Available from K9RawDiet and Robbins Pet Care. Some Animal Essentials products are available from Amazon.
- Antioxidant Booster is a blend of powdered meeker raspberry seeds, vitamin E (d’alpha tocopherol) and Selenium.
- Canine & Feline All Food Fortifier Supplement from Nature’s Logic. Contains a variety of whole foods, plus probiotics and digestive enzymes.
- Dr. Harvey’s Golden Years Geriatric Supplement, E-mune Boost Immune Support Supplement, and MultiVitamin, Mineral & Herbal Supplement Available from Amazon.
- Essentials 4 Life (Canada)
- EverPup Ultimate Daily Dog Supplement from Functional Nutriments. A blend of whole foods, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics, designed for dogs over four years of age. Available from Amazon. Note this product appears to be the same as Nutrocept (sold only through veterinarians).
- Feed-sentials This is a “homemade” product by a GSD breeder in Toronto, Ontario. There are a few American distributors as well, such as Stalworth Kennels. It has everything but the kitchen sink, but the ingredients are all healthy.
- Invigor from The Honest Kitchen. Invigor is a whole food antioxidant blend. Also see their other whole food supplements, Sparkle (Skin & Coat Support) and Perfect Form (digestive support). All are available from K9RawDiet.
- Kemin (formerly Genesis) Resources Canine Antioxidant Formula
- Available at some pet supply stores and also from Amazon.
- Nupro Available from Amazon. I have stated in the past that Nupro had too much vitamin D, but the company provided me with a more recent nutritional analysis showing this is no longer true. This supplement provides an appropriate amount of vitamins A, C, D and many of the B vitamins, along with an assortment of minerals. It is fine for adult dogs and puppies, whether added to commercial food or homemade. See Nupro Large Dog and Nupro Small Dog for nutritional analyses.
- PHD Wellness Wellness is a “Multiple Vitamin, Mineral / Herbal Blend” containing both whole foods and synthetic ingredients. Also see their Unleash probiotic and enzyme powder (also available in tablet form), Boost antioxidant formula, and Activator (formerly Endurance) supplement for working dogs. Available from Amazon.
- Rx Vitamins Nutritional Support Rx Vitamins supplements are frequently recommended by holistic vets. Available from Amazon.
- Standard Process Canine Whole Body Support Standard Process supplements are frequently recommended by holistic vets. Hard to find other than through vets, but now available from Amazon.
- Super Immunity from Organic Pet Superfood. Blend of nine mushrooms designed to enhance the immune system. Available at Only Natural Pet Store
- Tiny Tabs Multivitamin from New Chapter. A whole-food, cultured multivitamin made for people but because the daily human dose is 6 tablets, is suitable for small dogs by giving fewer tablets.
- Volhard Immune Booster vitamin-mineral mix, Endurance supplement for working dogs, and Digestive Enzymes. Marketed by Handcraft Collars.
- Wholistic Canine Complete from The Wholistic Pet They also offer a Joint Mobility version that adds glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM in appropriate amounts. Available from Amazon.
- Wysong AddLife (same as C-Biotic with added protein) Also see Wysong’s Call of the Wild supplement, which is designed to balance out all meat diets (home made diets that do not include bone), and their Wild Things veggie and fruit formula. See Dry Matter Analysis of Wysong Supplements for additional information. Addlife and Call of the Wild are available from Amazon.
Return to Top of Page
- All Systems Go! Total Health Aid from Aunt Jeni’s. All Systems Go! is a whole food green blend with herbs.
- Animal Essentials Organic Green Alternative Herbal Blend Available from Amazon.
- Ark Naturals Nu-Pet Canine Chewable Wafers and Granular Greens. Available from Amazon and Vitacost.
- Base Mixes from The Honest Kitchen. These are not supplements, but food mixes designed to be combined with meat and other fresh proteins to create a complete diet. They contain a variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and supplements (one variety also contains grains).
- Berte’s Green Blend Berte’s is a sea blend, may be high in iodine.
- DogZymes Cornucopia from Nature’s Farmacy is an organic source of vegetables, herbs, grasses, and fruit that is free from corn, fillers, and preservatives.
- Dr. Billinghurst’s E-BARF Plus Also available at The Dog Bowl and Duffy’s Pet Food.
- EarthGreens and EarthOrigins from Urban Carnivore in Canada.
- Holistic Blend Seagreens Powder. Liquid Seagreens also available. Available in Canada and several states. See nutritional analysis for more information (note that amounts given are per 100 grams; there are about 5 grams in a teaspoon).
- PHD Super Greens
- Solid Gold Seameal Powder
- Wysong Wild Things veggie and fruit formula.
Return to Top of Page
Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Formulas
- Azmira Mega Pet Daily Mega Pet Daily is “a high potency, quality, nutritional supplement of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in a base of Alfalfa, Watercress, Parsley, Rice and Lecithin.”
- Canine Sports Basics (soon to be replaced by the original Canine Basic Nutrients) and Canine Geriatric Basics from Thorne Veterinary (303) 702-1986. Available from Wellvet, and HolisticPetInfo. Basic Nutrients are combinations of whole food and synthetic nutrients, designed to provide “optimal levels of most important nutrients for optimal body functions.” Thorne Research vitamin supplements are hypoallergenic and contain no fillers, so may be a good choice for dogs with food allergies. The geriatric formula contains acetyl-l-carnitine plus alpha lipoic acid, which have been shown to aid memory and ability to learn in older dogs. See Acetyl-l-carnitine and α-lipoic acid supplementation of aged beagle dogs improves learning in two landmark discrimination tests for more information.
- Canine Plus and Canine Plus Senior from Vetri-Science. Available from HolisticPetInfo, KV Vet, and PureFormulas. Also called Top Dog from Mountain Naturals, and Canine Discovery from US Animal Nutritionals. These products are made by the same manufacturer as Cell Revive below.
- Cell Revive 440/880 is an antioxidant supplement that provides a variety of vitamins and minerals. It does not include a B-complex vitamin, which should be given separately. Note this supplement is identical to Cell Advance by Vetri-Science (also available at KV Vet) and Cell Discovery from US Animal Nutritionals. Also available at Holistic Pet Info and Amazon.
- Doc’s Best Multi A human additive-free supplement that can be used for dogs with allergies.
- DogZymes Ultimate from Nature’s Farmacy uses a combination of whole foods and synthetic nutrients. This supplement helps balance homemade diets better than most standard canine vitamin-mineral formulas.
- Dr. Ian Billinghurst’s Canine Nutritional Supplement from Veterinary Nutrition Essentials. Contains vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes (from pancreatin), probiotics, glucosamine and chondroitin, some from whole foods. Mineral amounts are high; I would not give more than half the recommended amount if you are feeding a commercial diet. This supplement is quite expensive, so if you don’t need everything it contains, you could probably find something more reasonable.
- Dynamite Showdown
- EarthGreens from Urban Carnivore in Canada
- Grandma Lucy’s Vitamin Balls Combination of human-grade whole foods and synthetic vitamins and minerals.
- Puritan’s Pride Green Source Multi-Vitamins and Minerals Combination of whole foods and synthetics, this supplement provides a significant amount of most vitamins and minerals.
- Small Animal Antioxidant and Immugen from Thorne Veterinary. Available from Wellvet, 303-702-1986 and HolisticPetInfo.
The following supplements are recommended by some veterinary nutritionists to help balance homemade diets (note that calcium must still be added separately unless you feed raw meaty bones). Give about 1 tablet per 20 pounds of body weight daily. See Guidelines for Adding Supplements to a Homemade Diet for more information.
- One A Day Maximum Formula
- Theragran-M Advanced
- Centrum Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplement
Return to Top of Page
- Allergy Research Nutricology Multi-Vi-Min This is a human supplement that is often recommended for dogs who have severe food allergies. There are multiple versions available. In general, I would recommend the one with iron and copper.Children’s version may be used for very small dogs.
- Doc’s Best Multi Another human additive-free supplement that can be used for dogs with allergies.
Keep in mind that dogs may react to fillers or flavorings in supplements, or to the capsule itself rather than its ingredients. If your dog is allergic to one form of a supplement, he may be OK with a different brand. If your dog has allergies, you may want to stop all supplements for a few weeks to see if things improve. If so, you can then reintroduce supplements one at a time, waiting at least a week in between each one, to try to identify which one(s) your dog is reacting to.
Return to Top of Page
- Acetylator made by Vetri-Science, also called Total Digest by Mountain Naturals, and Digest Discovery, by US Animal Nutritionals
- Gastriplex by Thorne Veterinary, also available from HolisticPetInfo
- Vetri-Probiotic BD by Vetri-Science, available from HolisticPetInfo
- Holistic Solution by Eagle Pack
- Berte’s Digestion Blend
- Complete Probiotics for Pets
- Also see Digestive Disorders section.
Return to Top of Page
Pet Tabs have been found to be contaminated with lead by Consumer Lab in both 2007 and 2009. Pet-Tabs Complete Daily for Dogs was most recently found to be contaminated with 6.45 mcg of lead per tablet. California requires warning labels on supplements for human use that contain over 0.5 mcg of lead per day.
Return to Top of Page
I regret that I no longer have much time to respond to questions. See my Contact page for more information. My name is Mary Straus and you can email me at either or
Nutra Thrive Review: Legit or Hype?
By J.R. Duren HighYa Staff Published on: Jan 9, 2019
Nutra Thrive from Ultimate Pet Nutrition is an all-natural, superfood pet supplement you add to your dog’s food that provides, the company claims, a balance between good and bad bacteria and promotes healthy digestions.
What makes the product unique is its widespread claimed effects on your dog’s health, which, according to the product’s website, helps your dog “live a long, happy life.”
The supplement is the creation of Dr. Gary Richter, “one of America’s most renowned holistic veterinarians,” the site says. Richter runs Ultimate Pet Nutrition, the company behind the supplement. At the time of publishing, the company’s only product was Nutra Thrive.
Richter is also the author of a book titled, “The Ultimate Pet Health Guide: Breakthrough Nutrition and Integrative Care for Dogs and Cats”. At the time of publishing, the book had 57 reviews on Amazon for an average rating of 4.3 stars.
The supplement seems to have all the pedigree you’d want out of a dietary supplement for your dog. However, it’s going to take some deeper analysis to understand how the product works, what’s in it and what the American Kennel Club says about the possible side effects of this supplement.
We’ll also discuss Nutra Thrive’s pricing as well as our general thoughts about its pros and cons.
How to Use Nutra Thrive
This supplement comes in powdered form and is intended to be used at every meal. It’s flavored like bacon and includes a variety of “vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and digestive enzymes.”
You simply add the proper dosage to your dog’s bowl of food, pour in a bit of water into the bowl and then mix the food and supplement around until you can’t see the powder anymore and it’s evenly coating the food.
The website notes that you’ll need to stir your dogs’ food more if you can see any Nutra Thrive. If you need to add more water to finishing mixing the power in, go ahead.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the dosage suggestions that Nutra Thrive provides:
- 0-30 lbs.: 1 scoop per meal
- 30-50 lbs.: 1 ½ scoop per meal
- 50+ lbs.: 2 scoops per meal
If your dog eats twice a day, then you give half the recommended dosage at each feeding.
This pretty much sums up how you’ll give your dog this supplement on a day-to-day basis.
As for which types of dogs can use this supplement, the website notes that it’s best-suited for any dogs that are suffering from conditions that “could be caused by insufficient nutrition.” An example of these conditions include, but aren’t limited to:
- Bad smells
- Abnormal stools
- Achy joints
- “Lackluster coat”
The real question is whether or not the ingredients in Nutra Thrive will work. We will address this in the next section.
Nutra Thrive’s Ingredients, Their Benefits, and Possible Side Effects
Nutra Thrive has three main groups of ingredients that they call the Superfoods Blend, Super Canine Blend and their Probiotic & Enzyme Blend.
The product’s website provides a photo of the back label, which allows you to see exactly which ingredients they include in each of the blends featured in the pet supplement. The following bullet points list some of the ingredients in each blend:
- Superfoods Blend: Carrot, Reishi, shitake and maitake mushrooms, Methyl-sulfonylmethane , Spirulina, Chlorella
- Super Canine Blend: Glutathione inactive yeast, Beef liver
- Probiotic and Enzyme Blend: Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum
- Vitamin and Mineral Blend: Kelp, Biotin, Riboflavin, Folic acid
Detailing each of the ingredients would be tedious, so we’ve done some research on one or two ingredients in each blend, or the blend in general.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) notes that mushrooms aren’t necessary for a dogs diet but that carrots are a great alternative.
“Dogs do not need mushrooms in their diet, so play it safe and give them a different reward, like a carrot stick or slice of apple, instead,” the AKC’s mushrooms page says.
If you are going to give your dog mushrooms, the AKC recommends giving them to your dog plain and without spices or oils, which Nutra Thrive does.
Glutathione is an antioxidant that earns high praise from Dr. Deva Khalsa, a homeopathic vet who wrote an article in Animal Wellness magazine about the ingredient’s benefits.
“Though small, glutathione is the uncontested king of antioxidants. Without it, all your dog’s cells would disintegrate and die from unrestrained oxidation,” Khalsa writes.
However, she goes on to say that the antioxidant is useless when ingested orally because the body digests it and excretes it before it can provide health benefits.
“Since this antioxidant is made up of three amino acids, the oral route of administration simply does not work because the glutathione is digested,” she wrote. “For example, asparagus contains more available glutathione than any other food, but the GI tract digests most of it.”
Probiotics are a booming industry for humans and they’re becoming a big deal in the pet world, too. The AKC says that probiotics can be helpful for your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, especially if they’re prone to getting diarrhea when they’re nervous or stressed.
However, the evidence the AKC presented about the anti-diarrheal powers of probiotics related to Bifidobacterium animalis and not the two bacteria in Nutra Thrive. They do point out, however, that Lactobacillus casei, which Nutra Thrive includes, is naturally present in your dog’s gut.
The final group of ingredients is the vitamin and mineral blend and It’s here where we find a few ingredients proven to be beneficial for your pup. Biotin is well-known for helping create a shiny, lustrous coat and strengthen tendons and ligaments.
“Giving your dog food with biotin can aid with healthy skin and coat for your dog as well. However, biotin also does even more for dogs. Biotin supports connective tissue within your dog’s body as well,” dog-walking site Wag Walking noted in a post about biotin. “Naturally found in meats, dogs with a healthy diet will get the biotin they need from their high-quality dog food.”
We read a few sources that noted riboflavin can help with your dog’s coat, too.
As for folic acid, Dr. Barbara Forney, a veterinary practitioner in Pennsylvania, noted in a post for Wedgewood Pharmacy (for pets) that the ingredient has some very specific uses and that its effectiveness could be altered if your dog is taking certain drugs.
“Before administering supplemental folic acid … folate levels should be established,” she noted in a post about folate.
Based on our research, we believe the reputable sources we consulted indicate that some of the ingredients in Nutra Thrive will benefit your dog (biotin, for example) and some will pass through your pup’s digestive system without much effect on their health (glutathione).
As for side effects, we didn’t find any dangers related to the ingredients we focused on. For example, Forney noted that dogs will break down or pee out the excess folic acid they ingest.
Nutra Thrive’s Pricing
At the time of publishing, Nutra Thrive sold one 114-gram jar of their supplement for $69.99. Three jars were $188.97 and six jars were $356.95. All pricing tiers include shipping. The site also offered a new-customer promotion with pricing tiers of $49.99, $134.85 and $254.70, respectively.
Each jar has 30 scoops in it, which means dogs of 0-30 pounds will need one jar a month. Dogs weighing 31-50 pounds can get 20 days out of the jar and dogs weighing more than 50 pounds will get 15 days out of the jar.
So, if you have a big dog that requires two scoops per serving, you’ll need two jars to make it through the month. Over the course of one year, here’s how much Nutra Thrive would cost you based on their weight, assuming you buy six jars at a time and you get the new-customer discount on your first order:
- Small dog (0-30 lbs.): $611.65
- Medium dog (30-50 lbs.): 968.60
- Large dogs (50+ lbs.): $1,325.55
Nutra Thrive’s fine print notes that it will take 10-15 days for the supplement to arrive after you order it.
If you aren’t happy with the supplement, you have 90 days from the day the product was shipped to start a return in order to get a refund.
According to the fine print, you’ll need to call Nutra Thrive’s customer service line at 800-604-5827 to get the return started. They note that, “your refund will be processed once your returned Product(s) has arrived at our shipping facility.”
How Nutra Thrive Compares to Other Dog Supplements
Nutra Thrive isn’t the first dog supplement we’ve reviewed. ActivPhy is the other competing products we’ve analyzed.
ActivPhy is available on Amazon and at Petco and they manufacture their bottles of chewable supplements based on your dog’s size. So, for smaller dogs (0-30 lbs.), you’ll get a 90-count jar and for bigger dogs (30+ lbs.) you’ll get a 75-count jar.
At the time of publishing, you could buy a 75-count jar for $24.99, which means that, over the course of one year, ActivPhy is a better value than Nutra Thrive. However, ActivPhy focuses on joint health, whereas Nutra Thrive focuses on overall health.
DOGgeviti is similar to ActivPhy in that it’s a far cheaper option than Nutra Thrive. For example, a year-long supply of the supplement for large dogs costs around $480. This particular supplement focuses on back, hip and joint pain, as well as anti-aging.
In general, we think that your choice of dog supplement has a lot to do with the conditions from which your dog is suffering. If he or she has joint pain, ActivPhy and DOGgeviti seem to be the better choices. If it’s overall health you want and you’re interested in pet probiotics, then Nutra Thrive could be the best option.
If it’s only probiotics you want, online pet stores like Chewy.com have a host of probiotics they offer that are as cheap as $10.99.
The Final Word: Our Thoughts About Nutra Thrive
After taking a few minutes to look over the analysis we did and to read through some expert sources who address supplements, we believe that Nutra Thrive has some clear strengths and weaknesses.
As for the strengths, Nutra Thrive has ingredients that can help your dog. For example, biotin is known to improve your dog’s coat and help with dry skin. Lactobacillus casei is a probiotic that may be able to help your dog with digestive issues like diarrhea.
However, there are other ingredients that experts say may not have a big effect – if any – on your dog’s health. For example, a vet noted that glutathione will pass through your dog’s body with little effect on your dog’s health. Folic acid could help your dog but you’d need to have your vet check your dog’s folic acid levels before taking Nutra Thrive, another vet pointed out.
And, there’s the issue of dog supplements in general. The AKC concludes that dog supplements can be helpful but there’s sparse research about the long-term effects.
“Whether herbal or lab-formulated, there is some evidence to suggest that supplements can be helpful. There has been little-to-no research on long-term effects, but some studies and anecdotal evidence have shown successful results, whether in the form of a shinier coat, peppier step, better digestion, or improved cognitive function.
” Recommended Reading: Dog Supplements 101: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide
Who’s Behind the The Truth About Pet Cancer?
From this video series-
“Cancer has not made really significant improvements over the last 40 or 50 years, even though we’ve got this war on cancer that everybody has been working so hard on. We just really haven’t moved the dial yet.”
“When I started getting really involved, there was a book called Pottenger’s Cats, and we talked about this. Back in the 1930s there was Dr. Francis Pottenger had a set of research cats and he noticed that when they were being fed unpasteurized milk and meats that had not been rendered or processed, he had a very, very healthy population of cats.
When they started pasteurizing the milk and cooking the food products he started noticing genetic problems and all these degenerative conditions… It turns out those are enzymes. Those enzymes that are found in natural, live, unprocessed foods…And that’s where raw foods come into play, because raw foods obviously have that enzyme component there which is taken out.”
Dr. Ogilvie is a respected veterinary oncologist and researcher. While he is a bit more sympathetic towards what I view as implausible treatments (e.g. this article), he is a rational, scientific clinician, and it is always frustrating to see his reputation attached to the kind of pseudoscience promoted by many of the other participants in this series. His own comments in the videos are quite circumspect, and from comments he has made in other contexts I know he is not yet convinced of the claims for ketogenic diets as a cancer therapy. As with Dr. Bartges and Dr. Nations, I am not sure he is fully aware of the sort of pseudoscience being promoted through this series or the attacks on science-based medicine in includes.
Dr. Patton is an academic animal nutritionist (as opposed to a board-certified veterinary clinical nutritionist), focusing mostly on large and exotic animals). He is also a raw food advocate and believes, as most of the participants in this series do, that carbohydrates are the root of most or all health evils. He takes the approach that the optimal diet is the “natural” diet or what animals were able to find to eat in the wild. I’ve discussed previously why I think this is a reasonable but flawed view that suffers from the appeal to nature fallacy.
From this video series-
“What do I think of a starch diet? Well, I think it’s going to be a problem, and sooner rather than later. I think the individual on that diet, if it’s a dog, it’s going to die at seven or eight instead of 14. And it’s going to die after many trips to the vet and a lot of money.”
“Why do we buy the dog food we do? It’s because they sell it. Why do they sell it? Because we buy it. And no one is willing to look at the consequences in the same way that you or I might, and so nothing is changing.”
“Even the experts don’t get it. They think a calorie is a calorie and that’s not so. A calorie from carbohydrate is much more sinful than a calorie from fat.”
From other sources-
“A bowl of kibble once a day is tantamount to daily endocrine abuse and is unhealthful.”
Dr. Seyfried is a biologist and researcher investigating metabolic and dietary approaches to treating disease, including cancer. He is one of the legitimate scientists included in this series who has done useful preliminary work but who is also convinced he has found a miracle cured the rest of the scientific and medical community has missed. Much of what he promotes remains to be proven safe and effective in clinical trials, though it rests on reasonable theoretical and pre-clinical grounds.
Unfortunately, while his research is contributing to the advancement of science and, hopefully, to the development of new strategies for preventing and treating disease, his participation in this project simply adds a patina of legitimacy to all the nonsense and quackery promoted by many other participants. Dr. Seyfried’s enthusiasm for his ideas seems to have blinded him to the potential harm of promoting them alongside advocates for pseudoscience and opponents of science-based medicine. It has also made him a pretty vicious critic of the mainstream scientific and medical communities. He appears to believe that any resistance to his ideas must stem from ignorance or evil motives.
From this video series-
“And it’s very hard to change dogma because dogma is a form of indoctrination. So, even when you look at these data and you’ve been indoctrinated, you can’t accept it….You can’t. You’re already—when your job depends on you not accepting this, you’re not going to be able to accept it.”
“But in cancer, why should we sacrifice millions of people and dogs and all these animals that are dying from cancer while we wait for the misinformed to die off? These people are dying now…Will we have to have another 50 years of dead cancer patients, dogs or people, before the paradigm changes? I said no. This is a tragedy of monumental proportions that needs to be addressed immediately.”
“BECKER: The American College of Veterinary Nutrition says, which are board certified veterinary nutritionists, they go to three extra years of school, their professional recommendation is that diet, a dog’s diet, does not influence cancer in any way. Thoughts?
“SEYFRIED: I don’t know what to say. Are they brain damaged? Do they have any functional brain cells? Do they read the literature? Can they comprehend the information? Why would they say that?”
“Giving a dog a food that it didn’t evolve to eat. Now that’s got to rain havoc on its metabolism… High processed nutritionally depleted foods are killing us, you know.”
“Drugging people to make them healthy or dogs, drugging them and radiating them and doing this absurdity, when you can do the same thing with food.”
“I talked to another vet from a dog food company, and they indicated that the dog has now evolved over the last thousand years to be able to eat grains. And I said this person is absolutely clueless as to the nature of evolution.”
“Misinformation and lacking knowledge are a dangerous combination, and this is what we have. This is what we have, and it’s institutionally supported, which is even more crazy…And the vets and the MDs and the people who don’t understand better get on board soon because they’re not going to have any customers or clients or patients, whatever you want to call them.”
“Study it when we have time. In the meantime, why don’t we try to help all these people that we know we can help right now?…We don’t need any new drugs…The academic community is focused on minutia, metabolic minutia that doesn’t translate well into the clinic at all… In the meanwhile, we have the corpses are piling up in the clinics…Why are all these people dying here? There’s a disconnect between the academic research on cancer and what’s actually is going to help the person in the clinic.”
“The pharmaceutical companies are not interested in this because there’s no profit in it. And the pharmaceutical companies and the top academic institutions and the NCI, they’re all back slapping and they’re all happy about this whole thing except for the guy in the clinic; he’s the one suffering.”
“How come nobody knows about this? Because every night we get a pharmaceutical thing on TV telling us how wonderful this drug is…Where are the commercials to support ? The government should be doing that…but they’re corrupted in some way.”
“If I have 50 GBM patients that are four years out and they’re all healthy, you don’t think that’s evidence based medicine? What do you call that? The guy’s healthy. Look at Pablo on the YouTube. He chose no radiation, no surgery, no chemo. No surgery, no radiation, no chemo. Metabolic diet therapy and he’s doing fine. And then they say the evidence is weak? Well look at Pablo. How weak is he?”
“Surgery to the max, poisoned people to an inch of their life, irradiate them to the point—with the hope that they’re going to survive. This is nuts. This is insane. These people don’t know biology. They should not be allowed to practice medicine.”
From other sources-
“The low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet can replace chemotherapy and radiation for even the deadliest of cancers.”
“’The reason why the ketogenic diet is not being prescribed to treat cancer is purely economical,’ said Dr. Seyfried, author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease. ‘Cancer is big business. There are more people making a living off cancer than there are dying of it.’”
Dr. Specter is a professor of genetic epidemiology and an expert on GI microbes. He has written a popular book as well as numerous research articles on the subject of GI flora and its impact on health. He is both a legitimate scientist and an eloquent popularizer of his area of expertise. In popularizing science, of course, some of the detail and nuance is inevitably lost, but Dr. Specter seems consistently on the side of science and against pseudoscience. Once again, this makes me wonder if he really understood who else was involved in this project and what the agenda was.
From this video series-
“I gave my son a McDonald’s diet for two weeks. He basically lost 40% of the diversity of his species in that time. I think from my recent studies, I can’t think of anything worse than giving high starch, highly processed, non-diverse foods to any animal for sustained periods of time.”
“If you look across large populations, cancer can be pretty much down to diet and lifestyle, or bad luck.”
From other sources-
“Most doctors have a few hours of medical school on nutrition and haven’t really updated themselves and don’t follow the trends whereas a lot of the public are extremely well informed but may be unable to separate the science from the pseudoscience,”
“If you don’t submit things to scientific peer review, any nutter can put up a theory online that is perpetuated as fact. I found lots of websites that claimed to have studies (but didn’t). A good example is coconut oil, claimed to be the best thing ever and so much better than any other type of oil and olive oil especially; when you followed it up the studies didn’t exist or were in such obscure journals your cat could have written it and been published.”
“Spector is worried that we are in a stage of transition, of wanting to change our ways and look after our health, but those who don’t know where to find information or understand complex issues are at risk of being lured away by snake-oil salesmen and cult figures. ‘Everyone should be a bit more critical about what they’re reading,’”
“It’s as if we have given up faith in God and religion and we’re now on a mission to convert people to join our club, or our group, (and) practise gluten-free or lactose-free or whatever it is.”
Dr. Villalobos is a pioneer in hospice care for terminal pets. Though this is sometimes a controversial subject, I am supportive of high-quality palliative care, and I think the veterinary profession needs to be better informed and more aggressive about providing it. Given that there is not yet a well-established animal hospice field within veterinary medicine, there is little or no evidence available to identify best practices. Unfortunately, this opens the door for the use of untested or dubious methods, and these seem to be fairly common in the veterinary hospice community.
As Dr. Villalobos puts it, “pioneers always have arrows in their backs, so I developed a thick skin.” She clearly has a lot of confidence in her own experience and judgment, and the deserved recognition for her many accomplishments surely strengthens this. Along with conventional treatments, she recommends a variety of “natural” products and supplements, and she is convinced her integration of “Eastern” medicine with conventional medicines has been validated, despite the lack of much scientific evidence to support this.
From this video series-
“Why don’t we start looking at what we’re feeding our animals as a big, pervasive, and self-destructive problem?”
“Most of the veterinary nutritionists in the world I believe are not in private practice. I believe they are actually working for industry, which is being supported by the corn belt and the sugar belt.”
From other sources-
“Back in the 1970s, I wanted to integrate the best of Eastern medicine into our modern medicine, surgery and oncology practices. We began by encouraging associates to study acupuncture and used nutraceuticals as immunonutrition to support the immune system and organ function of our chemotherapy patients to reduce adverse events… Back then, I was out on a limb using beta glucans from mushrooms and antioxidants for my cancer patients. Now, we use antioxidants openly…It is great to see the validation coming in now!”
Gift for Life – Anti-Aging Formula for Canines (60 Tabs)
The Gift For Life™ is a new science in cellular rejuvenation, vitality, longevity and anti-aging for all canines!”
We have directed our formulation development through scientific study, research, and continuous clinical response observations with our proprietary Oligo-Peptide technology.
The Gift For Life™ fights progressive canine aging and disease by using a “Cell-by-Cell” Recovery Process. This supports a true anti-aging affect secondary to canine HPAA health by stimulation of hormone balance and growth factors in:
*IGF-1, IGF-2 (Insulin-like Growth Factors-1, 2) – a family of peptides that plays an important role in growth and development, and mediates many of the growth-promoting effects essential to liver, kidney, and brain functions.
*FGF (Fibroblast Growth Factors) – peptides essential to the development of the skeletal and nervous systems.
*NGF (Nerve Growth Factors) – peptides that promote neural cell survival.
*CTGF (Connective Tissue Growth Factors) – peptides that promote collagen accumulation in the body.
*EGF (Epidermal Growth Factors) – polypeptides that promote skin tissue growth and development providing enhanced wound care recovery.
As a result, the following observations were made*:
*May help increase lean muscle mass and strength
*May help improve depression and anxiety
*May help decrease pain in canines with rheumatism afflictions – joint pain/weakness/arthritis
*May help recovery time from exercise and stress
*May help to thicken hair coat
*May help increase ability to focus with energy
*May help improve sleep quality
*May help normalize DHEA: produced by the zona reticularis of the adrenal, it is argued that there is a role in the immune and stress response
*May help normalize Aldosterone: regulates sodium and potassium balance in the blood
*May help normalize Cortisol: often referred to as the “stress hormone” *These “multi-signals” allows the “Life Force or Endocrine System” to produce hormone communication throughout their entire canine body!
The Gift For Life™ works within days for canine health far beyond supplements. The Gift For Life™ is the future in animal longevity.
Recommended dosage- Two per day.
*Disclaimer: The products and the claims made about specific items on or through this site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Prices and promotions are subject to change without notice. The majority of the information on this website has been reprinted from the manufacturer. We are not responsible for pricing or typographical errors. Manufacturers continually change their lines specifications. While we try our best to keep descriptions up to date, they do not necessarily reflect the latest information available from the manufacturer. We are not responsible for incorrect or outdated descriptions and/or images. Please Consult with your physician before using any vitamins, nutritional supplements or personal care items.
This product is not associated with Dr. Ohhira.
SAMPLE OF MANY TESTIMONIALS:
Bo” is a 12-year-old black lab. “Bo” worked as a drug interdiction dog for the city of Sachse Police Department. When he was retired from service and given to me for I was his trainer and handler.
“Bo” was in good health up until about 6 or 7 months ago when I noticed he was giving to the left side of his hip. “Bo” was taken to the veterinary where he was given a steroid shot that help for a little while.
Another K-9 officer told me about a new product called The Gift for Life and how well it worked on her dog. I tried it on “Bo” and in 4 to 5 days I could see a difference in the way “Bo” was walking and wagging his tail. This product works. R.D. Texas ____________________________________________________________
I have a 19 year old Lilac Point Siamese name Terra. At this age, Terra was showing some aging. Just in the last year, it was hard for her to jump on bed/couch. When you pet her on the lower part of her body, she would meow with pain. She barely has energy and sleeps all the time.
A friend had told me about The Gift For Life™ made for Canines. She said it did miracles for her dog in such a short period of time. I know it’s made for Canines, but I was so desperate to try anything to get Terra to feel better.I opened the bottle of The Gift and thinking how I was going to give her this pill??? Terra is so finicky about her food. I put half a pill in front of her and she ate it up. She loves it!
I couldn’t believe after just a few days on The Gift, she’s jumping on the bed/couch again! She is more alert and has a lot more energy. She doesn’t seem like she’s in pain anymore at all. The Gift For Life™ has truly changed Terra’s Life for the better! Nikki N. ___________________________________________________________
February 1, 2011
I completely endorse THE GIFT FOR LIFE. I am using this in my holistic practice to treat a myriad of diseases and finding more uses every week. So far we have used it in treatment plans for diabetes, cushings, hypothyroidism, arthritis and many joint problems, muscle atrophy, neurogenic diseases. We are looking forward to finding more breakthroughs with this product.
In my practice, we do radionics testing and test THE GIFT FOR LIFE with almost every one of our patients. We do a heavy duty parasite assessment of patients and we find this supplement helps support while we detoxify and get rid of serious parasite infestations.
We will continue to keep finding uses for this product and miraculously turn around aging or debilitating animals of all species. We also find that it goes very well with other Natural supplements—whether Chinese, holistic, homeopathic—and only accelerates their success.
Sincerely, Dr. Jenifer Preston
Customer Video Testimonial
This story originally appeared on Rodale’s Organic Life in August 2017.
It’s 2017, and pet nutrition isn’t just about food. Nope, in addition to deciding whether to feed furry friend a diet of kibble or homemade fare, you also have to figure out supplements.
Which isn’t always easy. There are a lot of them out there—from multivitamins to stress support drops. But do you really need them all?
Probably not. If your dog or cat eats a balanced diet and is general healthy, she most likely doesn’t need to load up on extras, says Gary Richter, integrative veterinarian and author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide. That said, there are a few supplements that could give your pet a boost, especially if she’s older.
Here are three that holistic vets regularly recommend—and that they give to their own pets.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties, fish oil supplements can help promote joint and heart health, help prevent against cognitive dysfunction and allergic reactions, and even help your dog or cat’s coat stay smooth and shiny. That’s why Judy Morgan, holistic veterinarian and author of From Needles to Natural: Learning Holistic Pet Healing, gives a daily dose of omega-3s to all 9 of her dogs, who range in age from 9 to 16.
Which type is best? Look for an oil that comes from clean waters (like Scandinavia, Iceland, or New Zealand) and is tested for heavy metal contamination. And opt for a smaller container that you can use up in 30 days or less. “Fish oil is subject to oxidation or spoilage, and giving rancid oil is worse than giving no oil,” Morgan says. Try Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet—it’s clean, and it comes in bottle sizes designed for small cats and dogs, medium dogs, or large dogs.
A boost of good bacteria can promote a healthy microbiome in people—and the same is true for pets. Probiotic supplements encourage healthy digestion, and they can stave off or help relieve issues like gassiness, loose stool, or diarrhea, explains Carol Osbourne, integrative veterinarian and founder of the Chagrin Falls Pet Clinic.
“I find that pets with tummy issues tend to benefit greatly after just a few doses of a probiotic supplement,” she says. Some findings also show that probiotic supplements can boost dogs’ immune systems.
Look for a supplement with strains of live active cultures normally found in your pet’s gut, like lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. Osbourne gives Dr. Carol’s Dog Probiotics, her own blend, to her dogs Joe and Smokey, both 12. Nusentia Probiotic Miracle Premium Blend for Dogs & Cats is another good option.
A hip and joint supplement
“My 14-year-old cat Freida is getting arthritic in her old age, so she receives it daily to support her cartilage and keep her comfortable,” Richter says. Indeed, years of running, jumping, and playing can lead to natural wear and tear on dogs’ and cats’ joints. Supplementing with glucosamine and chondroitin—two naturally occurring components of cartilage—could help ease painful inflammation, so your pet can stay active longer. (Here’s how to safely exercise with your dog.)
Look for a joint supplement derived from animal-based sources (not vegetarian ones) that delivers 30mg each glucosamine and chondroitin per pound of your pet’s body weight, recommends Morgan. Try K-10+ Glucosamine, which comes in chewables as well as a liquid formula that you can add directly to your pet’s water.
Marygrace Taylor Marygrace Taylor is a health and wellness writer for Prevention, Parade, Women’s Health, Redbook, and others.