The Husky Squad loves their natural supplements.
Best Supplements for Dogs
Over-supplementing is unnecessary, and just overwhelms dogs with supplements that they don’t need. Low-quality sourcing will end up doing more harm than good.
The supplements that we give our pups are carefully selected to help them deal with modern-day food production problems, and to give them superdog tools to live a long, healthy, thriving life.
WHAT SUPPLEMENTS CAN’T FIX IN A DOG
In case you’re new to Husky Squad, I’ll share our philosophy about nutrition. When our Kimahri was diagnosed with cancer in January 2018, we took a holistic approach to her recovery by consulting an integrative holistic veterinarian.
As part of her recovery protocol, the vet prescribed a raw food diet, explaining that real food plays a critical role in the overall health of dogs. We took that advice to heart and quit kibble for the entire Husky Squad.
It took Kimahri only 28 days to recover from cancer. Her tumor shrank daily in front of our eyes, and then disappeared! The Husky Squad has been on a raw food diet ever since.
Supplements are exactly that: supplements. The solid foundation is a natural food diet. No amount of supplements can ever replace a healthy diet, which is what ultimately has the biggest impact on the health of our dogs.
If you want to take the plunge to feeding a natural diet and don’t know where to begin, our online course Kibble to Raw will coach you through the entire process and help you transition with ease. Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as simple as just buying steaks at the supermarket.
YOUR DOG COULD BE EATING LIKE THIS
...and it's easier than you think!
WHY DO WE GIVE SUPPLEMENTS TO OUR DOGS?
We began providing most of these supplements to the Squad under the guidance of our holistic veterinarian during Kimahri’s cancer therapy. He wanted to give her body the tools to fight off cancer from within. There are two main reasons why dogs need these supplements:
- Modern food production issues. When wildlife hunts and eats in pristine environments, there’s no need for supplementation. Unfortunately, modern agriculture is filled with problems such as pollution, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. These issues, combined with nutrient depletion in the soil and the distances food travels, mean that food alone is unfortunately not enough. Dr. Peter Dobias goes deeper into this subject on his blog.
- Healing, maintenance, and prevention. The remaining supplements on this list address special needs such as fighting cancer or treatment for joint injuries. Once we achieved recovery, we decreased the dosage and frequency for maintenance and prevention.
SOURCING IS OUR #1 PRIORITY
The sourcing of supplement ingredients has been one of our biggest concerns. With concerns like Fukushima contaminating the Pacific Ocean, and companies sourcing the lowest-quality ingredients from any part in the world (very often without disclosing the countries of origin), sourcing is a serious matter.
We’ve always been on a mission to find the most reliable suppleness for the Husky Squad. We’ve done extensive in-depth research and reading, and feel absolutely confident in the sourcing of all of the products that we recommend here.
THE NINE SUPPLEMENTS WE GIVE THE HUSKY SQUAD
1. ESSENTIAL OMEGA-3
This is an absolutely essential supplement for dogs. Because dogs don’t eat a wild diet (which provides enough omega-3), they end up lacking this essential nutrient. Omega-3 is critical for brain function, skin and coat health, and joint health. It’s also anti-inflammatory and anti-aging, and helps to prevent dementia.
No matter what route you take for providing omega-3, you need to be incredibly careful with sourcing, which is a particular problem when it comes to this supplement. You might have figured out by now that sourcing is our biggest concern, and we can’t endorse any brand when we don’t know or trust where its products come from. That’s why we so highly recommend Icelandic Salmon Oil and Safe Sea Omega-3, both of which you’ll find in our Amazon shop.
Probiotics are fantastic! They help dogs heal the gut and build great microflora. Dogs require specific strains of probiotics, so human probiotics aren’t suitable. Here are two dog-suitable options:
Raw fermented goat milk
Fermented goat milk is a great source of probiotics, and works for dogs who are sensitive to cow dairy. Goat milk is much easier to digest, and the fermentation provides live active probiotics. We began using this during Kimahri’s holistic cancer therapy so her gut could quickly adjust to her new raw diet. Our vet prescribed the brand Answers.
While the raw fermented goat milk remains in our feeding rotation for our dogs, we now use probiotic supplements on a regular basis.
3. TRACE MINERALS
A well-sourced combination of trace minerals provides a safety net to fill in the gaps left by modern food production. These minerals promote better energy levels, improved mobility, better nutrient absorption, and gentle detoxification. They also boost cell, gland, and organ function. Greenmin is our current favorite!
Remember how modern food production leaves gaps in trace minerals? It does the same thing with vitamins. A properly sourced multivitamin made with real vitamins (not synthetic ones) remedies this and offers great preventive care for your pup.
5. JOINT SUPPORT
Here are two supplements that we use to help support our dogs’ joint health:
Homemade bone broth
While Tidus was going through his second ACL injury, our holistic vet prescribed homemade bone broth to speed up the recovery process. We actually used the same recipe to help Jc recover from a knee injury!
It’s important to prepare homemade bone broth. Animals store hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals in their bones, so only use bones from organic animals, preferably grass-fed and pasture-raised.
Get our uniquely formulated homemade bone broth recipe below.
As our pups get older, caring for their joints is vital. We still give them homemade bone broth, but we rotate between that and a joint supplement. We especially love having a fantastic joint supplement on the road during our travels.
EASY BONE BROTH RECIPE
The simplest, healthy, homemade bone broth recipe for both you and your dog.
6. ORGANIC BERRIES
Listing fruit as a supplement may surprise you, so let me explain. We feed very little fruit to the Squad, because carbs (including the natural sugar in fruit) are problematic for dogs. If you’re a member of our Kibble to Raw community, you’ve already read about this in depth! Organic berries are the only fruits our dogs receive, so we consider them a supplement.
Whole organic berries are an incredible source of antioxidants and vitamins. Stick to organic/pesticide-free berries, because conventional berries are heavily sprayed with chemicals. The cons of conventional berries will likely outweigh the benefits.
When in season, fresh berries of any kind are fantastic. We go for strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. As an option when they’re not in season, stores like Costco carry organic frozen berries for great prices all year. If you want to share a special treat with your pups, prepare a natural yogurt berry parfait.
When Kimahri was diagnosed with cancer, I began reading about natural healing while waiting to be seen by our new holistic vet. The profound healing abilities of curcumin showed up over and over in my reading, so I started supplementing her diet with it. Once we met our vet, he wanted her to keep taking it. The entire Squad now takes it for cancer prevention and fantastic anti-inflammatory benefits. Heck, it’s so amazing that even Jc and I use it now!
Homemade curcumin paste
This is our favorite method of curcumin intake! It’s a super easy homemade recipe which ensures optimal bioavailability and contains ingredients we source ourselves. Get the recipe below.
Premade curcumin bites are fantastic to have as backup and during our travels. We’ve used this brand successfully for years because their formula has all the required components for proper nutrient absorption. (And the Husky Squad thinks it’s delicious, too!)
GOLDEN PASTE RECIPE FOR DOGS
An easy homemade turmeric recipe; the perfect bioavailable turmeric supplement.
8. ORGANIC COCONUT OIL
Organic, cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil (preferably in a glass jar) has many benefits and uses. We use it externally for skin care, allergies, dental care, dry paws, and much more. Internally, as a supplement, coconut oil’s benefits include gentle detox, antibacterial functions, and extra energy. It’s also an important component in our homemade curcumin paste. Want to know more about how we use coconut oil? Drop us a comment below this blog!
Read Dr. Karren Becker’s article about coconut oil benefits here. We tend to rotate this into the Squad’s diet as part of our homemade curcumin paste. An important note: coconut oil does not replace the critical animal based omega oil requirements mentioned in this blog.
9. ACTIVATED CHARCOAL
We keep this powerful natural medicine with us both at home and in our emergency kit. If a tummy upset isn’t an emergency, organic activated charcoal can be the perfect solution.
Stomach upsets often occur due to ingesting something that’s not agreeing with the body. Activated charcoal is a natural remedy that helps bind and expel the toxins, and alleviate the associated digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
As an example, Tidus ingested a slightly toxic toad. After verifying with a local vet that it wasn’t an emergency, we gave him activated charcoal. This helped him detox, and alleviated his vomiting and diarrhea quickly. Jc and I have personally used activated charcoal when experiencing painful food poisoning. It helps tremendously!
NOTE: Due to the powerful binding and detoxifying abilities of activated charcoal, research proper dosing. Don’t give it along with food or other supplements, since it interferes with nutrient absorption. It’s a powerful natural medicine and should be used with caution and care.
We prefer using organic activated charcoal in powder capsule format, not tablets.
CLOSING THOUGHTS ABOUT SUPPLEMENTS
The process of introduction instead of elimination
I always recommend introducing new things gently, whether it’s a new exercise, a new protein source, or a new supplement. Taking a gentle approach allows for necessary adjustment periods and often brings glitch-free success. If you overwhelm your pup with too much of too many things too fast, you will likely need to work your way backwards to figure out what went wrong.
I recommend starting your dog on one supplement at the time, with 1/8th of a dose. Slowly increase the dose over the course of a couple of weeks. Once the first supplement is successfully introduced, repeat the process individually with each of the remaining supplements.
I also tend to rotate supplements. Sometimes I give some supplements a break for a week or two, then rotate them back into their diet. I don’t give our dogs all of their supplements in one meal.
We’d love to know whether you give any of these supplements to your dog, and whether our list of the best supplements for dogs is helpful! Please share your experiences and thoughts in the comments section below.
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