Dark Mode On / Off

When people ask me what supplements to add to food they are really asking me:

  1. Is the meal balanced and if not, what do I need to add to it?
  2. What can I add to make it better?

The Vitamins and Minerals You Need To Add Depend on What Is Missing

It’s not possible to answer which vitamins and minerals to add without looking at the whole meal in its entirety.

Supplementation has to be done with a lot of attention to detail. You want to supplement with purpose.

I’ve listed the supplements that raw feeders and those that cook their dog’s meals often need to add.

Note: Some links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associates or other programs I participate in). At no charge to you, as an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  

Calcium

If you are feeding raw meaty bones then you won’t need calcium. But some dogs can’t eat bones.

So what do you do?

Feed Better Bones from Four Leaf Rover.

Make eggshell powder at home or buy eggshell powder on Amazon.

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Zinc

Health Supplements

Health supplements are those utilized to boost your dog’s meals.

Omega-3

Dogs must be fed omega-3 because it cannot be synthesized in your dog’s body. It does not withstand heat well and so it’s almost non-existent in kibble.

Why feed it?

It helps to keep inflammation down. Inflammation is the root of almost all ailments. It is also beneficial for heart health, eye health, brain, and cognitive development, and skin and coat health.

If you are feeding a small amount of fish every day then your omega-3 is covered. However, if your dog suffers from allergies, you may want to feed a higher amount of fish or omega 3 so that you are in the omega 3 ratios of 2:1 or 1:1.

I would never advocate for any fish oil as it oxidizes and goes rancid very quickly.

Instead, I prefer omega-3 in powder form. Another option is a phytoplankton supplement to meet your omega-3 requirements.

Brand Recommendation:

PAWSOMELY HEALTHY OMEGA 3

MARINE PHYTOPLANKTON

Digestive enzymes

Our dogs produce digestive enzymes in their body.

  • Dogs fed a kibble diet can benefit from digestive enzymes so to decrease the load places on your dog’s pancreas to create the enzymes it needs to digest dry food. If you add vegetables to your dog’s meals daily this should provide all the enzymes they need.
  • If you are going to feed a supplement, look for digestive enzymes made from plant ingredients.
  • Dogs fed a fresh food diet that include vegetebles most likely will not need any additional supplements.

Why feed it?

To decrease the work your dog’s pancreas has to do when digesting kibble.

Brand Recommendation:

Digest – Digestive Enzymes And Probiotics For Dogs

Dr. Mercola Digestive Enzymes for Pets – Dietary Supplement for Cats & Dogs – Contains 5 Enzymes

HERBSMITH ENZYMES (WITH PROBIOTIC)

INCLOVER DOG DIGESTIVE SUPPORT

ANIMAL ESSENTIALS PLANT ENZYME (WITH PROBIOTIC)

ION GUT SUPPORT (USE INSTEAD OF PREBIOTIC AND PROBIOTIC)

  • Helps to heal the gut walls. The active ingredient is unique – it’s humic extract.

ProZyme

  • Plant-derived enzyme supplement supports breakdown of food and reinforces animal’s own digestive system.

Prebiotics

Prebiotics feed the beneficial bacteria in your dog’s gut. Prebiotics help grow, restore and maintain healthy gut flora … which support your dog’s immune system.

Whole food sources:

  • Mushrooms: Turkey tail ,chaga, maitake, reishi, shitake. Can be fed daily in a small portion (cooked).
  • Garlic: 3 times a week at half a teaspoon for every twenty pounds your dog weighs.
  • Dandelion greens: It’s also a diuretic so feed in small amounts a few times a week. Feed blended or blanched.

SWANSONS LARCH ARABINOGALACTAN

Supplement form:

  • Larch Arabinogalactan is a type of soluble fiber that provides great prebiotic support.  
    • Helps to protect the gut lining
    • Helps against diarrhea
    • Provides anti-inflammatory support
    • Helps manage allergies, skin and ear infections
    • Cycle this between when you are not feeding a fresh food prebiotic but also know that your dogs microbiome can balance itself.

Why feed it?

If you suspect any sort of dysbiosis in your dog, you can look to adding prebiotics in their diet to balance out their microbiome. It also helps dogs that are yeasty, or have allergies.

Probiotics

Probiotics feed your dog’s microbiome. They are great supplements for the short term but dog that is fed a nutritionally complete fresh food diet will not need probiotics in a supplement form.

Probiotics typically offer three to thirty-five different bacterial species while the microbiome contains twenty to thirty thousand different species of organisms. Feeding probiotics over a long-term period will throw the microbiome out of balance.

If you are hiking outdoors and feeding a raw feed diet you will not need to feed probiotics.

If your dog is prescribed an antibiotic or in dysbiosis then you can feed a soil-based probiotic for two weeks. Just like with fresh food, rotate among different brands.

Brand Recommendation:

FIDO’S FLORA BY ADORED BEAST APOTHECARY

  • Has larch (prebiotic), humic and fulvic acids, and a probiotic blend that is canine oriented (formulated and tested for dogs).
  • Not from soil, not from humans.

MERCOLA PROBIOTIC

HERBSMITH MICROFLORA PLUS

ANIMAL ESSENTIALS ENZYME AND PROBIOTIC

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp oil has many benefits:

  • Hemp seed oil is great for dogs with cancer. It helps the immune system’s killer cells to cause cancer cell death and kill cancer cells by blocking their ability to produce energy. Provide anti-tumor properties that slow and inhibit glioma cell growth.
  • Helps dogs with IBD
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Helps with anxiety
  • Helps with dogs that suffer from seizures and epilepsy
  • Helps relieve pain
  • Can protect the nervous system

Sourcing: Feed cold-pressed hemp seed oil and keep it refrigerated after opening to prevent oxidation.

Why feed it?

It’s a natural supplement that can help your dog before you turn to medication or to use in conjunction of medication such as if your dog has cancer.

Kelp

DOGZYMES NORWEGIAN KELP

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle helps to keep your dog’s liver healthy. It also helps to detoxify your dog.

Why feed it?

To detox your dog after flea medication dosages, vaccines, and antibiotics.

Feed it for three weeks but then take a break for a week or two before starting it again.

LIVER TONIC – BY ADORED BEAST

  • Has milk thistle, dandelion root and greater chelendine.

Quercetin

Quercetin is known as “Nature’s Benedryl” and can help to reduce the “itch”

Why feed it?

As a natural alternative to Benedryl

Read more about Quercetin here.

  • Quercetin Powder (dihydrate) on Amazon
  • Red Rover Organic Berry Blend by Four Leaf Rover
    • Instead of pure quercetin this supplement is made from whole foods that contain quercetin and is a powerful blend of certified organic raspberries, blueberries, apples and cranberries. It also has organic apple skins for quercetin and blueberries for anthocyanin, which help support the brain and nervous system.
    • Buy it Direct on Four Leaf Rover’s site.

Turmeric

Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.

Why feed it?

To help decrease inflammation and to protect against cancer.

Rotate and Rest Your Supplements

Just like we rotate our food ingredients, be sure to rotate your supplements. Have two to four different brands that you switch between.

Skip the big bottle, buy the small one to ensure freshness is retained better than the larger bottles and also force you to switch and rotate to a different brand.