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Supplement Ingredients - What Can They Do for Your Pet?

Vitamins & Minerals: from Vitamin A to Zinc

Fat Soluble Vitamins:
Dosed in too large of a quantity, these are stored in fat and can be toxic.

Choline –
Component of biological membranes and fat transport molecules in the blood. Also plays a role in nerve function as a precursor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

Vitamin A –
Essential for maintaining normal skin and mucous membranes and helps the immune system build resistance to infections.

Vitamin D – Needed for proper absorption of calcium and phosphorous from the intestinal tract. Often associated with Vitamin A.

Vitamin E – A potent antioxidant that helps maintain skin, mucous membranes, cardiovascular function and a healthy circulatory system. It also protects against damaging “free radicals.” Often used as a natural preservative in supplements and better quality food and treats.

Vitamin K – Necessary for the proper clotting of the blood.

Water Soluble Vitamins: Can be dosed in larger quantities with less risk of toxic side-effects, but require frequent consumption.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) – Essential for normal maintenance of the digestive system and assists in preventing cognitive disorders.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – Important in promoting the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It also aids in maintaining red blood cells.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – Necessary for a healthy nervous system, brain function and the release of energy from proteins, fats and carbohydrates during metabolism.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – A co-factor that helps protein build body tissue and aids in metabolism of fat.

Vitamin B8 (Inositol) – An important part of cell membranes and required for intracellular signaling. Plays a role in fat metabolism and helps remove fats from the liver.

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) – Aids in forming red blood cells and supports cardiovascular function. Also benefits the nervous system and protein and fat metabolism.

Vitamin C – Supports the immune system, joints, cardiovascular system and vision. Present in raw fruits and vegetables, or in supplements as powdered calcium or sodium ascorbate. The taste can be bitter, so it should be mixed in with food gradually. Excess dosages can cause loose stool. Note: dogs can make their own Vitamin C, so it is not a specific requirement.

Minerals: They regulate numerous biochemical reactions within the body and are important components of bone and muscle tissue. Some are required co-factors for the proper biological function of enzymes or vitamins.

Calcium – Helps maintain healthy blood, bone, teeth and muscles.

Chromium – A trace element required for carbohydrate, fat and nucleic acid (DNA/RNA) metabolism.

Cobalt – Has a central action as a co-factor in Vitamin B12 function.

Copper – Necessary for the action of enzymes, such as iron transport in the blood.

Iodine – Incorporated into thyroid hormones.

Iron – Important in the transport of oxygen to the tissues – a component of hemoglobin and myoglobin.

Magnesium – Works in conjunction with many enzymes involved in energy metabolism and nucleic acid synthesis.

Manganese – Assists in the activity of many enzymes, including those involved in lipid, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.

Phosphorous – Important for carbohydrate metabolism, cell membrane structure, muscle function and energy storage.

Potassium – Essential to energy metabolism and storage and protein synthesis.

Selenium – A trace mineral important in protecting red blood cells and cell membranes. Also helps support the immune system and neutralize free radicals.

Zinc – A trace mineral important in growth, appetite, development of wound healing, mental activity, skin integrity, immune system function and support of metabolism.


Other Beneficial Supplement Ingredients

Aloe Vera -
Known for its beneficial topical effects on the skin. It enhances the immune system and is thought to play a role in cell repair.

Alfalfa –
Used as a general tonic, it contains vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, D, E, K, and U plus beta carotene, biotin, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, protein, trace elements, and fiber. It is thought to have anti-tumor activity and an aid in bleeding disorders, diabetes, ulcers and arthritis.

Antioxidants –
Help destroy the multitude of destructive free radicals that are continuously generated in the body that can damage critical cellular structures such as DNA. Includes vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene, selenium, coenzyme Q10 and superoxide dismutase (SOD).

Brewer's Yeast -
A source of B Vitamins, it is thought to aid coat health and boost the immune system. Can be paired with garlic as a natural remedy to help combat problems caused by fleas.

Cetyl Myristoleate -
A unique esterified fatty acid that helps to regulate or “calm down” the body’s immune response to joint irritation. Also acts as an anti-inflammatory and stimulates joint lubrication to help relieve stiffness and improve joint mobility and range of motion.

Chondroitin Sulfate -
Chemically related to glucosamine, it is a key nutritional component of healthy cartilage.

EFA’s –
Essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 are key cellular building blocks that support healthy skin, hair, joints, hearts, the immune system and more. Good sources of EFA's are fish oils, fish meal, poultry, raw nuts and seeds, flaxseed oil and eggs. Best fed without excessive cooking or heat to maintain potency.

Enzymes –
Beneficial protein molecules that mediate critical chemical reactions inside the body such as the breakdown of toxic waste products or the release of energy.

Flax Seed Oil -
A plant source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids (EFA's) beneficial for skin and coat, joints, and cardiovascular and immune function.

Fish Oils -
Source of health-promoting Omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFA's) that maintain skin, coats, brain tissue and joints. Can add calories and may aggravate liver, pancreas or intestinal problems.

Garlic -
Enhances skin and coat and can be used during flea season. Aids in digestion, stimulates appetite, enhances liver function and acts as a cardiovascular and an all-around tonic. Don’t give garlic supplements to anemic pets, as it can interfere with the formation of red blood cells.

Glucosamine -
A popular human and pet supplement, studies show that it helps rejuvinate ailing bone and cartilage. Can be given in high amounts and is generally safe, except for use in diabetic pets without approval from a vet (it may cause elevations in blood sugar).

Kelp –
Used as a general tonic, it contains vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, and E, plus zinc, biotin, calcium, choline, copper, inositol, iodine, PABA, potassium, selenium, sodium, sulfur, trace elements, and fiber. Thought to have anti-cancer and anti-rheumatic properties, and also beneficial in treating hair loss, goiter, obesity, arthritis, and glandular disorders.

MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) -
A source of biological sulfur that is thought to play a role in the formation of strong cartilage, tendons and ligaments. Commonly paired with Glucosamine and Chondroitin in the treatment of arthritic and inflammatory conditions.

Prebiotics -
Compounds such as Inulin that provide a food source for beneficial digestive bacteria.

Probiotics -
Includes friendly bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus that can be added to your pet's diet in powder, paste and liquid forms. Helps break down food in the intestines and can aid in digestion. Many high quality dog foods include probiotics.

Yucca Shidigera -
A desert plant with properties that can help reduce offensive stool odor. Also used as a natural approach to treating joint stiffness and pain.

Please Note:
This buyer's guide is intended as an informational aid only. These descriptions should not be used as a sole source of diagnostic or treatment advice for your pet's medical conditions - consult a veterinarian for treatment and care options.