After reading "The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats," I know that you're a big believer in using supplements. But since I feed my dog what I think is a good natural diet, is supplementation still important?
I'm a big believer in feeding the proper diet and combining the best diet with whatever supplements your pet requires. I'm assuming that your pet is healthy and does not have any specific needs that I should address. The foundation of any holistic health program starts with a natural diet, preferably free from byproducts and chemicals. Even the best diet may not provide everything your pet needs to maintain health. This is because diets are formulated for the "average" pet, and I've yet to see an "average" pet. Evidence from studies supports the benefits of vitamin and mineral supplementation. This is especially true for pet foods that are not natural or holistic. Many foods lack nutritional enhancement, and the ingredients used are byproducts from human-grade materials that aren't fit for human consumption and are deficient in important nutrients. The diet is a starting place, and supplements are used depending upon a pet's specific needs.
Here are some recommendations that will be true for all pets:
- The supplement should be produced by a company with a good track record. Ideally, the manufacturing company will have the stamp of approval from the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC). The supplement should be scientifically formulated.
- The supplement should be formulated with the finest all-natural human-grade ingredients.
- Supplements should be economical to allow you to enhance your pet's diet and ensure the pet is getting all essential nutrients daily.
- The supplement should be easy to give to your pet; using a supplement as a treat is better than having to force a pill down. There are many good supplements your doctor might recommend; one of my favorites is by PetCentrx and is called Vim and Vigor (www.pettogethers.net/healthypet).