Being a new parent to a little pup can be quite intimidating. It’s a whole different organism that, apparently now, depends on you to keep it alive and healthy. What’s more, it probably has no idea how to behave inside a house. Things will get a tad overwhelming at first, but you’ll get a hang of it sooner than later. You should also be aware of what they need to be provided with, nutrition-wise, so that it grows into a healthy and strong dog. To take some of that initial load off, this article will keep your pup healthy and happy with these 6 essential supplements.
The Vitamin B group contains some of the most essential vitamins for a pup’s well-being and proper development: Vitamin B1, B5, B6, B9, and B12. In addition to promoting a pup’s neural health, thiamine (B1) aids in the regulation of carbohydrate and energy metabolism. Similarly, pantothenic acid (B5) also helps regulate a pup’s metabolism. Meanwhile, vitamin B6 helps in regulating hormones, glucose production, and just like in humans, it greatly benefits a pup’s nervous system. Riboflavin (B12) and folic acid (B5) help in optimizing enzyme function and the process of protein digestion respectively.
Glucosamine is a naturally-occurring type of amino sugars. It’s produced by the puppy’s body and found in the cartilage between joints. With use, the cartilages between joints wear down, causing the bones to grind against each other. This type of pain is commonly known as osteoarthritis. Now, the body usually rebuilds these cartilages using its own glucosamine, but this synthesis process takes a lot of effort. That is why glucosamine production decreases as a dog ages and as its body grows tired. Providing your pup with a glucosamine boost will help keep a pup’s cells from overworking themselves early on in life. This could help save them a lot of trouble later on, especially if they belong to a breed that is especially prone to arthritis, like Labradors and Golden Retrievers.
Melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone, is one that both humans and dogs produce naturally. Its function is to regulate one’s sleep cycle according to the time of day. Darkness (night) sends a message to the body to release melatonin into the bloodstream, causing one to feel sleepy, and vice versa. When it comes to melatonin for dogs, the hormone does help regulate the sleep cycle, but it also helps calm their anxiety. As they experience new stimuli, pups may feel anxious or stressed which can hinder their growth. Melatonin helps relax those anxious “little fluff balls”. Keep in mind, these supplements can be especially useful if your pup is a rescue as many of them have been through trauma, like abuse, early abandonment, and extreme starvation.
Most of us already know what Omega-3s are and what they do. They are essential fatty acids that contribute to skin and fur health, help improve brain and eye function, and help improve one’s mood. Omega-3s are also anti-inflammatory which means they can alleviate asthma symptoms and promote the healthy development of joints. Unfortunately, puppies, and dogs in general, can’t produce these fatty acids on their own. Their bodies can only obtain them through different foods, but when food doesn’t provide enough Omega-3s, that’s when you can turn to supplements for help.
We all know how ravenous little puppies can be. To them, everything is edible. Some of us, however, are dog parents to puppies with a non-existent appetite. One of vitamin E’s benefits, in addition to how it increases metabolism efficiency, is its positive effect on appetite. The vitamin also plays a huge role in fighting the oxidative damage which manifests later in life. Just like with Omega-3s, dogs can’t make their own vitamin E, so they need to get it from either food or supplements.
Probiotic supplements are very important for a puppy’s digestive system, especially if they have irregular bowel movements. Probiotics promote healthy digestion by creating a favorable atmosphere for the good bacteria in the digestive system to grow. These good bacteria break down complex food particles and molecules into simpler units which makes them easier to absorb. Probiotics also hinder the growth of harmful bacteria which protects puppies against a range of diseases. Luckily, you can find probiotics in certain foods, but for more concentrated doses, you need to use supplements.
All in all, supplements can be very beneficial for your puppy even if your little buddy isn’t suffering from deficiencies right now. In the early development stages, puppies need as many nutrients as they can get in order to grow happy and healthy and to counteract the effects of old age later in life. Before you decide to change your dog’s diet, be sure to check with your vet in order to make sure your dog is getting exactly what they need – not more and not less.