Health and Wellness for Dogs
At Global Pet Expo, the American Pet Products Association announced that “The food category is by far the leading source of the $58.5 billion dollars spent within the industry. As the pet industry continues to mirror human food and diet trends, pet owners are becoming more aware of the quality and source of food given to their animal companions. Pet food manufacturers are offering new varieties of food for dietary preferences, medical issues, overall health, and other partialities, and pet owners are paying for these options.” Categories like freeze dried, raw, dehydrated, grain free, single source protein and supplements are all growing rapidly. There was a whole section of the trade show devoted to these mostly new products.
We recently met with Sylvie, the founder and owner of Oscar & Mollie a company dedicated to Natural Health and Wellness for Pets, to discuss changing attitudes.
Optimal wellbeing is a concept of health that goes beyond curing illness to one of achieving wellness, it’s a lifestyle. “Oscar & Mollie is committed to helping pet parents contribute to the wellbeing of their pets and to promote overall wellness.”
They offer holistic options for health care ranging from supplements, first aid, homeopathic, natural remedies to animal Chiropractic, Homeopathy and Nutrition.
Sylvie outlines the three P’s of Natural Health & Wellness and Responsible Pet Ownership
Prevent health issues by using natural products and by sticking to a healthy diet. Stay away from over processed and synthetics, fresh is best!
We all need purpose in life, including our pets. It helps alleviate stress and gives them something to strive for. A bored dog is more likely to act out than a dog who is fulfilled and fit. Dogs and humans need mental and physical exercise every day. What can your dog look forward to?
This refers to how we view our pets. We do not consider Pets things we simply own. They are partners in our lives, just like family and friends. If you want your team to succeed, both partners need to participate. This means being an active and responsible participant in your dog’s life.
Many people take dietary supplements and/or vitamins to maintain their own health and a growing number are now giving them to their pets.
It is estimated 1/3 of U.S. Dogs and Cats receive vitamins or supplements to improve their health and wellness. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the most common are multivitamins, supplements to support arthritic joints, and fatty acids to reduce shedding and improve a coat’s shine.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are widely used to help treat arthritis. Fish oil may help reduce inflammation and fatty acids may help coats look better. Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E may also reduce inflammation and help on other issues.
Pet owners are giving their pets probiotics to alleviate gastrointestinal problems and antioxidant rich diets to counteract the effects of aging and prevent diseases.
We also heard of sprays and supplement or herbal treatments for anxiety including Tryptophan. Tryptophan may affect brain serotonin synthesis when given orally in a purified form at the right dosage and improve mood, reduce aggression or anxiety.
Always check with your vet before starting any new health program for your pet.
“Don’t forego traditional therapies, especially if it’s a life- or organ-threatening illness for your pet,” says Dawn M. Boothe, DVM, MS, PhD, director of the clinical pharmacology lab at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. “Make sure you stick with a standard of care and use the supplements as they were intended, as supplements.”
Health & Wellness Tips for Dogs:
Make sure you dog receives a complete and balanced diet, including necessary vitamins and minerals. Home cooked diets and store bought food may require supplements to ensure this. A dog’s needs may vary by age, size, breed and other factors. Talk to your veterinarian about what is right for your pet.
When purchasing a supplement, look for brands that specialize in supplements for dogs and have commissioned clinical studies of their products. Only shop from respectable companies that have high quality control, a contact number and clear label of ingredients. Outbreaks of deadly diseases in humans and other issues have been linked to impure and poorly manufactured products.
We have seen first hand how the use of supplements and products like probiotics can help cure illnesses and improve health in humans. We will be doing further research on their use for dogs.