We love our Toy Aussies, and ours are a part of the family; we only want to give them the best of everything to ensure that they stay healthy and happy for as long as possible. As a part of our duty as diligent and caring Toy Australian Shepherd owners, we may think that our dogs will be even healthier if we give them nutritional dog supplements along with their regular diet, to give them an extra boost. However, while vitamins and supplements are beneficial to humans, tinkering with any dog’s diet by adding dog supplements willy-nilly may actually be harmful to our Toy Aussies. Here are three points to consider before giving your Toy Aussie any kind of dog supplement:
1. Does my Toy Aussie even require dog supplements at all?
According to the Food and Drug Administration of the U.S., commercially processed dog food contains all the nutrients and vitamins that a dog usually needs. However, if your Toy Aussie is given a homemade diet, a veterinary-prescribed vitamin may be required to make up for any nutritional shortfalls; but never give your Toy Aussie a random vitamin pill or a pill made for human consumption.
2. Can vitamin dog supplements actually hurt my Toy Aussie?
Quite possibly, according to the FDA and veterinarians. If your Toy Aussie enjoys a balanced diet but ingests excessive amounts of some minerals and vitamins, serious health problems can result. Vitamin A in excess can cause joint pain, dehydration and can also harm your Toy Aussie’s blood vessels. Too much vitamin D can atrophy your dog’s muscles, damage their bones and may cause your Toy Aussie to stop eating as well. Calcium, when too much is given, can provoke skeletal damage, especially if your puppy is a large breed.
3. Is it really necessary to consult with my vet before giving my Toy Aussie a dog supplement?
Yes. According to vets, because owners with good intentions may actually harm their pets by administering what they think are health boosters with no negative side effects, a consult with a vet is necessary so that your Toy Aussie suffers no consequences. Furthermore, a consultation with the vet might reveal that what you thought was arthritis in your Toy Aussie is, in reality something like a neurological issue. Likewise, a poor coat might be a symptom of a metabolic problem, a skin problem, or a hormonal problem.
Dog supplements might also provoke negative interactions with any medication your Toy Aussie might be taking. As veterinary nutritionist Susan Wynn, DVM, says, “if they’re eating a complete and balanced diet and they’re healthy and have no problems, they don’t actually need dog supplements.” Wynn also states that if you insist on giving your dog extra nutrients, then give them extra vegetables and fruit rather than a dog supplement. Just remember to never give your dog avocado, raisins or grapes because they are toxic for our canine friends!
The vet knows best
In all, the majority of vets will say that if your Toy Aussie is getting a balanced diet and is healthy with no problems, a dog supplement is unnecessary and might even be harmful. The only time a dog supplement should be given is when it has been prescribed by the vet and after it has been determined that the dog supplement will not cause any negative interactions with medications your Toy Aussie might be taking.
We all love our Toy Aussie’s and we want the best for them. When it comes to a healthy diet for our pups, the best thing is to do is give them balanced food and get advice from a vet before thinking of administering potentially harmful nutritional dog supplements.