If your clients have been giving their pets nutritional supplements, they’re not alone. In fact, one third of all cats and dogs are taking supplements in the United States, at a cost of $1.3 billion annually, note the authors of Canine Medical Massage: Techniques and Clinical Applications, citing WebMD.

Is that good or bad? That depends. 

The ingredients in a nutritional supplement, or neutraceutical, can include vitamins, minerals, herb or other botanicals, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, and metabolites. However, because the industry is not regulated, product safety, quality, and efficacy are not guaranteed.

That said, there are nutritional supplements that appear to be beneficial, note the authors of Canine Medical Massage: Techniques and Clinical Applications.

Probiotics that contain Lactobacillis acidophilus and other good bacteria help maintain the normal bacterial population and prevent colonization of disease-causing bacteria.

Digestive enzymes may support the pancreas and aid digestion.

Antioxidants can protect against excessive free radicals associated with aging and/or produced in cases of chronic inflammation.

Herbal and botanical products, such as herbal arthritis formulas or boswellia extract for canine inflammatory join and spinal disease, may lessen an animal’s suffering.

Because osteoarthritis (OA) is commonly managed with complementary and alternative veterinary medical (CAVM) therapies, the authors of Canine Medical Massage: Techniques and Clinical Applications outline nutritional supplements that can specifically help with this condition, as well as with oncology patients and dogs with anxiety.

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