Health & Wellbeing

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Healthy bodies

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Special areas 

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The supplements that we frequently use alongside behaviour programmes, or to help dogs settle into new environments or provide extra help at times of particular stress.

The health and wellbeing of our pets is really important to us and there is a range of products and supplements which 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 have been whittled down to just a small number of 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 (this bit is personal experience, not science).

We're always happy to chat about our experiences, 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.

Even though all these products are freely available, over the counter, we strongly recommend you speak to your own vet before starting anything new, especially supplementsREMEMBER THERE CAN BE CONTRA-INDICATIONS FOR SOME SUPPLEMENTS WITH PARTICULAR MEDICAL CONDITIONS OR OTHER MEDICATIONS.

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 work directly with your vet to help you build an individual wellbeing plan for your dog. 

 
General wellbeing 
These are a selection of the basics we use with all our dogs most of the time, just to help keep them in tip-top shape and feeling their very best (together with a breed and age appropriate diet, environment and activities!) - a multivitamin, an omega 3, a probiotic and sometimes a green superfood. Spark is an all in one version of those!
Please see our essential notes on supplements HERE
Tummies and digestion 
So important to both physical health and behavioural health. Focuses on improving the gut microbiome and providing a bit of extra support for upset tummies, at times of stress etc. 
We've written some extra help notes for you on tummies and digestion HERE
 
Joint health and pain
Our regular 'go to' products for helping keep our youngsters in tip-top condition and for supporting our older dogs with chronic conditions like arthritis. Supplements have their place and for some dogs they may really help, but environment, temperature management, types of activities and, where pain is concerned, medication, are all equally as important. 
We've written some extra help notes for you on supplements for pets with musculoskeletal or joint discomfort issues HERE
 
Coat and skin
A proper grooming routine is a vital part of health and wellbeing and absolutely essential for many breeds. Itchy, uncomfortable irritated skin or matted fur can be a huge welfare issue as well as the root of some tricky behaviour issues. But grooming itself, however important, can be a highly stressful experience which is overwhelming for dogs in terms of discomfort and sensory overload. And it doesn't have to (and shouldn't) be!
Click here for our dedicated separate page with our favourite products and tips to help you master the art of stress free coat maintenance and healthy, happy skin.
Teefs!
Dental health is incredibly important. Dental pain is often missed and can have a hugely detrimental impact on wellbeing and on behaviour (think how you would feel with chronic toothache that you couldn't do anything about). Mouth health and hygiene are also closely linked to other health conditions too. There are so many things you can do to help improve dental hygiene - and here are our preferred ones. We apply the same rigour when we look at things like toothpaste ingredients and dental chews that we do to everything else!
 
 
Paws
Foot health is also really important - this means looking after nails, pads and also the structure of the foot itself (if you have a dog with arthritic toes for example, the right support and care is essential). Checking paws after walks for cuts, scrapes and foreign bodies (especially grass seeds) is essential, keep nails well maintained so when your dog stands still, they don't press down into the floor (nails that are too long put pressure through the rest of the foot) and keep paw fur trimmed - including the bits between the pads! Cold wet winters are a time to consider some paw balm too, particularly if you spend a lot of time out on pavements. We make sure we rinse off carefully after every walk and in the winter we often use a very dilute, mild shampoo to shift all the nasties that are on the roads (screenwash, salt and so on). 
Please also remember that licking or chewing of feet might be a sign of problems with the paws themselves (nails, pads, bones or soft tissue), but could also be symptomatic of lots and lots of other medical conditions (including dietary sensitivity, pain elsewhere in the body, behaviour issues and so on) - as ever, please do get proper veterinary advice.