How to Choose Dog Supplements

A powdered dog supplement

Reasons to Consider a Dog Supplement

Many dogs live long, healthy lives consuming just biologically appropriate food. But as your dog ages or develops health problems, you might want to consider adding a supplement to their diet. Many dog owners find that supplements improve the health of their pups, while others start supplementing early to prevent common health problems later in life.

Before dog owners commit to daily supplementation, many want to know about the cost and ease of use. Many dogs will consume powdered supplements in their food, but we also carry supplements in other forms, including treats, to make daily use easier. When evaluating supplement value, cost-per-day is a better indicator than cost per container. Many of our supplements are highly concentrated, which means a small bottle may last two months or more.

Using Different Dog Supplements

After your dog starts a supplement, commit to using that supplement for at least 90 days before determining how useful it is for your dog. For severe conditions, commit to a trial that lasts up to six months. After your trial is complete, we’d like to hear how it turned out. If you decide to try a different supplement, you might want to consider a supplement formulated using a different herbal approach. For example, Chinese herbalism uses herbs that work to relieve symptoms using different methods than Western herbalism, so one type of supplement may work better for your particular dog.

No matter where you purchase your supplements, know that quality is vital. High-quality supplements administered at optimal levels give your dog the best chance of benefiting from this diet addition. Also, you should discuss any supplementation with your veterinarian, especially if you’re considering supplementation in response to a new health condition or symptoms.

A photographic concept of a supplement bottle next to supplements in a tablet form.

Bottles of Mud Bay brand salmon oil next to a spoonful of the oil.

Types of Supplements for Dogs

Mobility:  Older dogs may benefit from hip and joint supplements, while some owners may also use supplements as a preventative measure for large breed dogs and growing puppies.

Dental:  Systemic supplements and enzymatic products can complement regular brushing. For dogs with persistent plaque problems, a supplement may also help minimize vet visits for teeth cleaning.

Digestion:  Dogs with chronically sensitive digestive tracts may benefit from regular supplementation. Dogs transitioning between different diets or dogs who develop sudden digestive upsets can also benefit from temporary supplementation.

Skin and Coat:  Skin and coat supplements may give your dog an enviable coat, but they may also offer a first-line defense against fleas, excessive shedding, topical allergies and hot spots.

Calmatives: Available in forms for immediate, short-term and long-term use, it’s important to know what support your dog needs before choosing one. The right calmative can soothe your dog after a stressful situation or help them live a less stressful life in general.

General Health and Specific Health Conditions: Various supplements can help improve overall canine health, such as daily multivitamin treats. Other supplements combat allergies and liver problems or work to boost cognitive health.

How We Choose Dog Supplements

Mud Bay stocks a curated selection of supplements from partners who can prove that the content, labeling and sourcing of their products meet our standards. Most of our manufacturers belong to the National Animal Supplement Council, and all of them can provide us with third-party testing results and evidence that every product meets our active ingredient requirements. We also like to form long-term relationships with manufacturers who consistently develop products that our customers love. And while we’re always concerned about value, we recognize that supplement quality is often tied to price.

For common health concerns, we work with our in-house veterinarian to choose a selection of supplements that offer unique active ingredients or a different herbal tradition. Supplements might be from South American herbalism, Chinese herbalism, Western herbalism, or nutraceutical traditions. We also recommend medicinal mushrooms and other whole foods for certain health concerns. Offering this type of variety allows you to try several supplements that work to alleviate the same condition in different ways.

Finding Scientifically-Proven Formulas

Our team also investigates the scientific research behind each active ingredient. We also look for supplements with high bioavailability to ensure that your dog’s body will be able to process the contents efficiently.

Mud Bays works to find supplements that pair well with your existing food routine. Palatability is key so that you can avoid hiding capsules or powders in food. Supplement form is also a crucial choice: is it easier for you to give your dog a treat every day or add a powdered supplement to their food? We look for several options, so you can choose what’s simplest for your household.

A conceptual packaging for a dog supplement