Nutritional Supplements For Dogs

By Hungry Bark | July 30, 2020

For humans, nutritional supplements are a rising trend. With supplements for skin and nails, immune support, back pain, and multivitamins, there seems to be a supplement for everything. This trend has started to make its way over to the animal side of things as well with entire aisles at the pet store devoted to dog supplements. With all the trends in nutrition and health, it can be hard to know what to do. Are these actually beneficial for your dog and is supplementing their diet safe?

Let’s explore the world of nutritional supplements for dogs and find out if, and when, your dog needs a supplement.

Does my dog need a supplement?

Does your dog actually need a nutritional supplement? This answer varies based on the dog. Dogs who are eating high-quality commercial dog food may not need any kind of supplement. Some dogs, however, can definitely benefit from a quality dog supplement.

Some Instances Where Your Dog May
Need a Supplement:


  • They’re on a homemade diet. Homemade diets may seem like a healthier option, however, dogs on these diets may be missing out on crucial vitamins and nutrients.
  • Your dog is pregnant or lactating. Pregnancy and lactation require a great deal of energy and nutrients. A dog not getting enough vitamins and minerals while pregnant or nursing could end up with a deficiency that will have negative effects on her health.
  • Older or geriatric dogs. If you have an aging dog, they may not be as interested in food as they used to be. If this is the case, they may not be getting enough nutrients from their food. Giving a nutritional supplement for dogs to your aging canine can help keep your dog feeling youthful and active.
  • Dogs with joint problems. If you have a dog suffering from joint pain due to knee or hip problems, a joint supplement can help reduce some of their pain and slow the deterioration of the joint. Your vet may recommend this in conjunction with anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy.
  • You have a dog with stomach problems. If your dog frequently suffers from constipation or diarrhea, a supplement containing probiotics may be just what they need to get their digestive system regulated.
  • You have a picky eater. A dog that is picky about its food may be suffering from gaps in its nutrition. These dogs could benefit from a supplement.
  • They experience skin & coat issues. Dogs that are itchy or prone to hotspots or rashes may benefit from a skin & coat supplement rich in healthy fats.

How do I know which kind of nutritional supplement my dog needs?

Before you start giving your dog nutritional supplements, you need to identify why you are supplementing. Nutritional supplements for dogs are formulated to address specific needs, and it is important that you get the one that will support your dog the best.

  • Skin & Coat: If your dog has dry flakey skin or a dull coat, a nutritional supplement containing fish oil or formulated specifically for skin and coat health may be what you’re looking for.
  • Vitamin Boost: If your dog is pregnant or lactating, or if you are feeding a homemade diet, a multi-vitamin designed for dogs is what you are looking for.
  • Joint Health: In older dogs, or dogs with joint problems, a supplement that contains glucosamine or that is labeled for joint health is what you are looking for.
  • Digestive Health: Probiotic supplements are beneficial to dogs suffering from frequent diarrhea or constipation.
  • Anxiety: If your dog suffers from anxiety or gets anxious during certain events, a calming supplement with ingredients like chamomile and tryptophan will help keep them at ease.

Most nutritional supplements for dogs are labeled so you will know the needs they are addressing. Always consult your veterinarian before giving your dog supplements to make sure they won’t negatively affect any pre-existing conditions your dog may have, such as kidney stones.

What are the best nutritional supplements for dogs?

When getting a nutritional supplement for your dog, make sure you get one that is designed specifically with canines in mind. Never give your dog a supplement designed for humans, as these may contain ingredients that are dangerous to them. Look for supplements offered by brands that are easy to contact if you have a problem and who are open about where their products are sourced. Brands certified by AAFCO are held to a high standard set by a voluntary committee of veterinarians and animal nutritional experts.

Dog Supplements like those offered by Hungry Bark are perfect for meeting the needs of most dogs. There are a range of nutritional supplement chews to support everything from heart health to joint health. The Hungry Bark line of supplement chews uses only ethically sourced ingredients so they can ensure the quality of their product. They carefully follow AAFCO guidelines and in addition to this are AAFCO certified. They work closely with veterinarians to guarantee their recipes are safe and nutritious for your dog. Best of all, Hungry Bark supplement chews are flavorful and palatable, so your dog will think they’re delicious.

  • Whole Health - Multivitamin is loaded with vitamins and minerals to ensure dogs of all ages get the complete and balanced nutrition that they need.
  • Loaded with green lipped mussel, krill, and fish oil, Happy Heart - Skin + Coat & Heart Health is made to improve your dog’s wellness, cardiac performance, and give them a healthy, shiny coat.
  • If your dog suffers from joint issues, is of older age, or is a breed that is more susceptible to developing joint problems, the Move + Groove - Hip + Joint Health supplement chews provide an easy way to add glucosamine, MSM, and hemp protein to their daily diet.
  • Balanced Belly - Probiotics are a crowd favorite! These supplement chews are loaded with 1.5 billion CFU probiotics, pumpkin, and digestive enzymes to support your dog’s digestive tract. The gut really controls your dog’s overall health, so a balanced belly is essential to keep their body functioning optimally.
  • Dogs that experience anxiety put undue stress on their bodies day in and day out. Providing them with a calming supplement like Chill Chew - Calming will help add a little extra chill into their day. Calming supplements are an easy, safe, and natural way to help dogs with ongoing anxiety or those that suffer from anxiety in certain circumstances like thunderstorms, the fourth of July, or vet visits.

Nutritional supplements for dogs are an important part of keeping your dog healthy if you are aware of your dog’s particular needs - if you know there might be a nutrient gap, if they have special circumstances that require a nutrient boost, or to help with joint health. Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing a supplement into your dog’s diet to be safe, but for most dogs, a nutritional supplement will help them meet their nutritional needs, and keep them happy, healthy, and ready for their next adventure!

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