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Condition - Only the best for your pet!

By Kelly Rose DipION VN

It is estimated that 26% of UK households own a cat and that 31% own a dog. Although it is often said that a dog is a “man’s best friend”, I think all the cat owners out there would argue a little with that sentiment! Animals offer unconditional friendship and for some, they offer more vital support, such as hearing dogs for the deaf or guide dogs for the blind.

Many of us strive to provide the best for our furry friends as they are seen as part of the family. We spend hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pounds each year on our pets and often, only the best will do. We take time to search for the best vet, the best kennels or cattery, and the best quality food. Why not offer them the best quality supplements, too?

Supplementation for pets may often be overlooked, as it is frequently thought that their diet provides them with all they need. Although the quality of some pet foods has changed dramatically (for the better, I may add!) over the last decade, it still may not provide enough for some pets. Even those pets on a raw food diet may benefit from supplementation.

As with humans, certain life stages and factors may play a role in the nutritional requirements of pets. For example, an elderly dog has a very different nutrient requirement to that of a working farm dog. Similarly, a cat with a degenerative joint disease will have needs vastly different to an active, healthy kitten. Supplements may be useful alongside a good healthy diet to ensure that your pet remains in excellent health.

So, where do you start?

A good multivitamin and mineral will offer nutrients essential for vitality, healthy bones and immune support. Other nutrients that may be beneficial are MSM and glucosamine for joint tissue support. MSM is also important for healthy skin and a healthy coat. In addition, the omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids help to maintain flexible joints, a glossy coat and support healthy heart functioning. Aloe vera may provide vital digestive support with the added benefit of also maintaining a healthy immune system. It may also be used externally to support the skin.

It is important to remember that cats and dogs are not little people – despite their anatomy and physiology being very similar to humans, there are some nutrients and foods that cats and dogs should not have. For example, xylitol is toxic to dogs and they should not be given garlic. However, as with humans, supplement choice should be based on individuality and, therefore, it is always best to seek the advice of your vet. 

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