I think I have a problem. I have an overwhelming desire to over supplement my animals.
At the moment, Dobby gets Emu Oil, Coconut Oil, and Braggs ACV 5-6 days a week (except weeks like this one, when he's being a snot about eating a new protein (duck) and misses three or more days of food. The Emu Oil is because I don't get a whole lot of grass-fed meat (Omega 3, 6, & 9), the Coconut Oil seems to have all kinds of amazing properties, my favorite obvious ones so far being his shiny coat and sustained energy (which could also just be the raw diet), and the ACV is to try to get rid of his goopy tear stains/eye boogers, but it doesn't really seem to be helping.
The earlier post about kelp makes it sound pretty fantastic. I really like the part about it stimulating appetite, as Dobby is very much a self-regulator, which sometimes makes it hard to get him to eat what and when he's supposed to eat.
So, I started looking into kelp, and came across spirulina and chlorella also. I know they are all different, but they all seem to come from sea plants. And, they all say how amazing and wonderful they are.
What, if any, of these should my dog be on????? One, two, all, something different? Help!
I think if I had more money, my poor dog would be eating more supplements than food. Maybe being poor is a blessing in disguise. LOL
I use coconut oil directly on their paws in the winter if they go somewhere where road salt is used. I give it to them as a treat once and awhile but I don't bother supplementing with it.
I personally think kelp is rather useless. I've heard sides praising it and sides saying its all an old wives tale. Dogs wouldn't eat kelp normally so I don't supplement with it.
Free range eggs are a good source of omega 3's - i wouldn't worry much about 6's and 9's. 6's are found in chicken and omega 9s in animal fat. So omega 3 is really your only worry - as the animal has to have access to grass for it to be prevalent. The more time an animal spends in a feedlot the less omega 3 it has in its meat.
I would see if you can find a chicken farm with free range chickens or maybe you can get cheap lamb? Sheep are usually grass fed. Fish is also a good source. If you can't get any of those then I would try an omega 3 supplement.
My dogs coats gleam in the sun without supplements - so kelp doesn't help in that regard unless your dog is on purina.
I think that as long as you have a reason to feed each supplement it's ok. If you want or need those vitamins or minerals I would try to feed them through whole things.
Duke is going to get K-9 Liquid Glucosamine. It's made from beef, mussels, and then has their special blend of MSM. He's getting that for joint support because I'm going to start pulling or do agility with him and that's extra unnatural stress on his joints. The main thing I think of is that of its unnatural added stress you could supplement, as is this case. Kelp because of the iodine because Boxers sometimes have lower thyroid levels, the "Boxer normal". And salmon oil for skin and coat, but probably even more important is for heart health. It seems like some people forget about that property of fish oils and just look at skin and coat help.
I think I'm just saying as long as you want something out of that supplement and you don't think your dog is getting it or enough of it, then supplement.
Proud Owner to Duke the BoxerThriving on PMR Raw since July 16, 2012!
Like I mentioned in another thread, I feed it for several reasons but I do not include it as a major part of my dogs diet. I really like it for its Iron and Iodine content, as mentioned Boxers are prone to hypothyroidism and are also known to be anemic so I include it 3 days a week :)
I suspect if a dog did take a liking to kelp it would be due to the salty taste of it (I'm assuming it tastes similar to seaweed) as my dogs have never gone for algae - they drag it around the yard along with any weeds I pull - but that's the extent of it. I assume algae tastes weird.
If your dog - or dogs breed has special needs then yes you need to take that into account as some dogs have special genetic issues that need to be taken into account. I feel as though these are the exception to the rule however. I wouldn't supplement for the sake of supplementing. I for instance take iron pills, but that is because I am low on iron. If i didn't have an issue with iron I wouldn't take it. I don't take omega 3's because I eat fish and have access to grass fed meat. If I didn't then I'd have to consider taking it to maintain my balance with 6's as that is found in many other things.
I'm lucky in that I am able to get chickens and beef that are free range, grass fed, free of hormones. I show up to the farms themselves to get the meat. Requires more travel, but the meat is so much better - taste and quality wise.
Dogs will also eat tons of stuff they don't really need in their diet and even things they should not be eating. So the fact that a dog consumes something does not mean they need it in their diet. If it was needed all wolves would live along the coastline.
I used to be the same way as you, when I fed kibble. They all got fish oil, vitamin E, coconut oil & ACV.
Then I switched to raw and everyone here said to stop all supplements in the beginning to avoid stomach issues. So I did.
Now all they get is the fish oil & E. I honestly haven't noticed much of a difference, so why would I spend the money on the coconut oil & ACV? The only problem I'm having currently is that everyone's skin seems a bit "dry".. trying to figure that one out now.
although i do admit that the seed mix was awesome in its results and every once in a while, they do get some....
i think, though, kittykat has a good point....and wasn't being snarky at all....:)
i'm thinking they might not need all that i was giving.
the kelp made them itch. i have tried it twice now. two different manufacturers. so no more kelp.
bubba got warts, so i was making mini meatballs with acv, grape seed extract, spirulina, chlorella, colloidal silver, vitamin C, vitamin E and lysine and anything else i could stuff into the meatballs.
three months later and a lot of dollars short, he still has warts. and i stopped everything.
i did figure out that he doesn't do well with chicken. maybe if i could find him chickens that are free range, soy free and corn free, maybe. but i'm not sure that's the problem, since some of the lamb i got was farm raised and vegetarian non gmo grain fed...and he has no problem with that.
his ears don't react well to chicken, i'm learning.
a lack of animal dietary fat seems to make them go bald. so they get fat cubes when i'm serving a lean meat.
i've stopped the emu oil because i can give them omega 3s without spending that much money. it was getting very expensive in this house.
my kids get connectin for joint support and that seems to help.
they get carlson's fish oil and they get sardines and herring and anchovies when i can get them.
they get a probiotic -- the same one i take.
and they will get bovine colostrum when it comes in so i can try to support their immune system . i will also take it.
and they eat tripe when i have it.....i do believe that tripe has nutrients in it that support the immune system and the gut. and to me, those are the two systems which rule everything else.
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