Dog Vitamins and Supplements?

April 5, 2018

UPDATE POST::  FortiFlora – a Purina Pet Food veterinary product – is recommended by many veterinarians. The Purina website states FortiFlora “is a probiotic supplement for dogs, proven to promote intestinal and immune health and balance.” The first ingredient of FortiFlora is “animal digest”. Purina’s website, under the “Nutrition Myth or Fact” banner advertised on the FortiFlora page, states Animal Digest is made with “animal protein such as muscle and soft tissue supplied by USDA-inspected facilities.” And “Animal digest is extremely palatable and is an excellent source of high-quality protein.”


A pet food ingredient fact: The legal definition of Animal Digest does not require the ingredient to be sourced from a slaughtered animal. Without this requirement in the legal definition of the pet food/treat/supplement ingredient, Animal Digest can be sourced from animals that have died in the field or a euthanized animal. ( After reading this, I will NOT be purchasing this brand again. 





Did you know dogs have a critical period in development? I sure didn't. Within the first few years, a puppy is supposed to not only meet their physical milestones but mentally as well. They must be properly socialized with people and other dogs, while accepting gentle discipline and establishing confidence within their environment. While this is happening, they grow ~1lb. every 1.5 weeks (more for larger breeds). With all these changes, it seems wise that a puppy receives the extra nutritional supplement with their meal...right?





I was referred by several dog breeders to use NuVet. I wasn't aware at the time that NuVet uses breeders and bloggers to advertise their product by paying them a cut. An advertiser’s order code appears on their website or it’s a hidden code; you click the link and it takes you to a general order page. This was brought to my attention when I didn’t enter a code and Nuvet called to ask who I was referred by.


I have heard from other dog parents that their puppy MUST remain on NuVet due to a "signed agreement" with their breeder. One would assume that the product must be fantastic if this is a requirement! Unfortunately, the only support offered by Nuvet are testimonials and, after opening in 1997, they have yet to produce a single clinical study to demonstrate these claims. There isn't a single peer reviewed article or published information available or cited to demonstrate that NuVet has ever been subjected to any rigorous or controlled clinical studies. Lastly, let me add that the supplement industry is a booming field. They are capable of conducting a clinical study. 


As a researcher, I believe clinical studies are extremely important for the health industry (humans and pets alike). If anyone wants to read the latest research, UC Davis Vet is a great place to start!



So do our dogs need multi-vitamins?


I had the chance to meet Dr.Kraemer (Vet and Bulldog Specialist in Orange County). He spent an hour going over Anmitsu's nutrition. Of course, I showed the supplements to him. He informed me that with a complete nutritional meal, a multi-vitamin is NOT necessary for a puppy. Essentially, Anmitsu is flushing them out in her urine. Nuvet Plus is not cheap! It’s $55. I am going to do my best to keep her on a healthy balanced diet for now! I do not think NuVet is for us. 



An alternative product that I received from is Solid Gold Sea Meal. Solid Gold Sea meal contains 60 trace minerals, 12 vitamins, 22 amino acids, digestive enzymes, and flaxseed. It is excellent for animals with allergy problems, digestive issues, immune system troubles and/or skin and coat problems. It is also made with 19 different species of sea vegetation, an excellent source of nutrients. The #1 issue I hear from most french bulldog parent's is allergies. They can develop overnight sometimes! Anmitsu only suffers from grass allergies, so it's hard to say how much of her skin and coat is due to this product. However, I have noticed how healthy she is, and this may have contributed. 




Fish Oil


There are a few brands that make fish oils exclusively for dogs. I am not sure if it's more absorbent or what makes them special. But using my own has worked great. The key, of course, is quality and quantity! I use human grade fish oil. I make a small incision above the fish oil and add 4-5 drops to her meal in the morning.


Fish oil supplements contain two essential fatty acids: EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid).


EPA, one of the two omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, acts as an anti-inflammatory. It will help with any condition that causes inflammation of the heart, kidneys, skin, and joints—such as arthritis! It will ease inflammation due to allergies, and reduce itchy skin and dandruff. This can also be an effective way to alleviate and reduce hot spots!

DHA, the other omega-3 fatty acid in fish oil, is important in brain and eye development in puppies. In some studies, fish oil has slowed the growth of cancer. I would advise paw parents to avoid giving your dog any fish oil before surgery. Omega-3 fatty acids tend to get a bad rap from surgeons (humans and vets) because of their purported blood-thinning effects. 


I may switch to salmon oil in the future. Someone recently said that salmon oil is better for dogs. So far the regular human fish oils have worked great on Anmitsu!




Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets FortiFlora Probiotic Dog Supplement is one of the best probiotics out there. I was tempted to give Anmitsu my probiotics, but I found out that there are a few important microorganisms necessary for a canine gut.


If Anmitsu has an upset tummy (rare), she gets a little of this with a bland meal, and she recovers within a few hours. This is a great supplement if your dog has diarrhea! It does NOT prevent diarrhea though. It does, however, help reduce flatulence! (FTW!!!) 


 Although I’m not the biggest fan of Purina, especially their dog food, this supplement is great and they are slowly changing their company's image. And there are several clinical studies conducted on this product! It comes in 30 packs, and I sprinkle about 10-15% over her breakfast. I do this daily. A packet may last about 5-7days. One box lasts a long time for a puppy.








After much research on the web for a quality glucosamine, I decided on Nutramax Dasuquin for Small to Medium Dogs. They have quite the review, and I wanted to know what the fuss was about. This product is backed by research! 



Anmitsu eats half a wafer every other day since glucosamine exists naturally in healthy puppy joint cartilage. Anmitsu is currently 5.5-months old, but it’s a good time to give a little joint health support. Some people may argue that it’s a puppy and it does not need any health support, however, we take years to grow our bones while it takes dogs to do the same in a few months.


With older dogs with pain and joint discomfort, I recommend getting the bottle with MSM or Methylsulfonylmethane. MSM is an organic sulfur containing compound that is well known for its joint health benefits.



MSM’s value as a dietary supplement began from work led by Stanley W Jacob MD, Professor of Surgery at the Oregon Health Sciences University. Dr Jacob studied MSM’s therapeutic benefits in more than 15,000 human patients. Jacob revealed how MSM can significantly decrease the discomfort associated with arthritis, back pain, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome and a myriad of autoimmune diseases such as lupus and fibromyalgia. Only recently has it made its way into dog supplements.




Sorry for the lengthy entry! We wanted to offer as much detail as possible. 


Are there any quality products better than these listed? Please let us know!

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