You probably think that buying dog supplements from a trusted veterinary means they are safe for your personal protection dogs. You will be shocked to learn that some of the supplements are actually not so good for your furry friend. Also, not all the ingredients used in manufacturing the supplements are indicated. Some of them, termed as inactive ingredients, are conveniently omitted. So, you are actually feeding your protection dog more than the active ingredients the manufacturer labels.
The first thought that might close your mind is that dog food and supplements just like human foods are regulated and monitored, but this is not the case. The rules are not as strong, meaning that most supplements and dog food do not go through the required scrutiny.
What should you Do?
Knowing the harmful ingredients that can be used in dog supplements will help you avoid them. You will be able to check for the ingredients and classify supplements as either harmful or okay for your dog. Most of these ingredients come as excipients. These are additives to the supplements, but some of them are harmful. They fall into the following groups.
Just as the name suggests, their sole use is to add the volume of the supplements. Most are food based and include cellulose, sorbitol, lactose, and cornstarch. Dogs do not produce cellulase which is used in digesting cellulose. This means that the cellulose ingested adds no value. Fillers take up more space meant for the actual supplement. Therefore, you need to feed your personal protection dogs more to get the recommended dosage.
These bind the different components of the supplements together and make the outer layer of tablets hard. They include lecithin, honey, sorbitol, gum Arabic, and cellulose. Some of these products are not harmful, but they are not useful. Some contain a lot of sugar that can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria and yeast in the digestion system.
They help the tablet or capsule to disintegrate once in the gut. The ingredients include potato starch and confectionary sugars. Other chemicals used include Sodium starch glycolate, Crosspovidone, and Alginic acid. Some of these substances can cause rush, allergies, and asthma.
Flavoring Agents and Sweeteners
They make the supplements taste better especially the chewable ones. They include Sucrose, Fructose, Maltodextrin, Sorbitol, and Maltrin. They contain sugars meaning that they can introduce harmful bacteria to the gut system. They do not add any value to the supplements. Other agents enhance the taste. Some make the supplement taste like beef or bacon making them more appealing to the dogs.
To make the supplements attractive, to humans, they must have enticing colors. These are shouting colors that make people choose to buy them and not their counterparts. The logic here is, it is the protection dogs who are taking the supplements. Whether the color used is bright or dull, it is insignificant to the dogs. Therefore, they are not important. Some of the synthetic ingredients used can cause cancer. Chlorophyll, carrot, and beetroot are also used as natural color additives.
The coating can either be a confectionary glaze, pharmaceutical glaze or natural glaze. Those made from synthetic materials can cause cancer, but it is a little-known secret that even coatings made from natural materials are not that safe either. Some are made from palm trees, beetle wings, and corn. Their work is to harden the outer layer of the tablet so that moisture does not penetrate and to also stop it from disintegrating. Also, coatings are used to cover bad smells and prolong the product life.
There are many other harmful excipients to avoid. Therefore, check everything you give the dog to reveal what it is made from. Remember that some of these ingredients are not indicated. It is your duty to find out what they are by calling the manufacturer. Even the veterinary doctor may not have all the answers.
To minimize the risks, go for powder supplements rather than tablets or capsules. The latter is made from gelatin. Animal gelatin is worse than the plant type. Avoid supplements made from it. The gelatin comes from animal tissue regardless of the health of the animal. Even diseased tissues are used to form gelatin. This means that the same undesirable characteristics are transferred onto the capsule.
Tablets have more dangerous excipients than capsules. They have to go through various processes which include filling, binding, coloring and making sure the product disintegrates successfully. The coating should also be hard and the appearance attractive. This means that more ingredients are used to give the desired product. The more harmful excipients your protection dog consumes, the less healthy it will be. It is ironical that you on to give the dog supplements to boost its health only to add more problems. The tablet also goes through a rigorous heating process that kills most of the nutrients.
Powder supplements are the best. They contain fewer excipients because they do not have to go through the many processes. But the best way to make sure your personal protection dogs for sale do not take harmful supplements is by sticking to organic products. Whole foods supplements do not contain any of the synthetic ingredients making them safer. Going for powdered whole dietary supplements is the safest way to keep your dog healthy.
But all hope is not lost. NASC is a body that checks whether what is labeled in dog supplements is actually the real ingredient. Membership is voluntary. The organization also confirms the scientific benefits of the ingredients. Check whether the dog supplements you buy have a NASC sticker on them. If not, you cannot be sure of what you are giving your dog. If possible, only go for dog products, and supplements from NASC approved manufacturers. Also, it is important to check whether anything you give the personal protection dogs for sale is beneficial. You can do your research which can go as far as calling the manufacturer to ascertain the ingredients.