Supplements for health and behaviour
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The health and wellbeing of our pets is really important to us and supplements can play a useful part in maintaining this, as well as supporting behaviour programmes, but there are so many products available, the choice can be overwhelming - and many, we have found, are just not worth bothering with.
Over the years, we have researched and tested a huge range of products both with our own pets and through discussion with our trusted veterinary colleagues and working with clients. These products are from reputable companies, backed up with good scientific research wherever possible (not an easy area in terms of clinical application for pets, but there is some) and we now have a small set of 'go to' products that we have seen good results with and use regularly.
Previously we have only ever supplied these supplements to our behaviour clients following discussion with their vet and as part of an individual plan, but we are seeing more and more people with cupboards full of 'over the counter' remedies from pet stores and the internet that just aren't appropriate and it is something we are regularly asked about, so we have decided to offer our 'go to' list of key products that we have confidence in, to hopefully help you avoid some of these pitfalls, but we always strongly recommend you discuss any new supplement with your vet before introducing it to your pet - supplements need to be the right ones at the right dose for your individual dog.
As with anything to do with health and behaviour, it is really important to choose the right product for your individual pet and situation and to take veterinary advice before introducing any new supplement. There is no panacea product or one size fits all. Sometimes there can be a bit of trial and error to find what works for an individual dog, but we always recommend starting with products that are produced by reputable companies, using good ingredients from an audited supply chain, with proper breakdown and analysis of the properties and which have some evidence underpinning them. It is about quality and reliability - two products may look similar, but the way the body absorbs and uses them could be completely different.
We're always happy to chat about our experiences before you try something, but we cannot give specific advice for individual dogs as there are so many things to consider in terms of current health status and, in some cases, interactions with existing medications - this is something only a vet can help you with. We also find that the optimum dosage for some of these supplements can vary from the general recommendations on the packets (given the variation in size and shape of dogs!) so may need adjusting to get the best results. Therefore, even though these are all freely available, over the counter, we strongly recommend you speak to your own vet before starting a new supplement. If your vet is unfamiliar with using these types of supplements (as may be the case for some general practice vets), and in particular for herbal products, you may wish to consult a properly qualified herbal or holistic vet for specific advice.
Don't forget, if you are a current client undertaking 1:1 sessions with a member of our behaviour team, please do just give us a call as in these circumstances we can point you in the right direction, working with your vet as needed.