Areas that can influence the quality of our pet’s lives include the same things that affect the quality of ours.  Age, breed/gender, diet, exercise, disease, and drugs are just a few examples. Too many pets are eating more and more energy-rich, low nutrient foods, and this is leading to higher rates of obesity just like their human counterparts. When these low-nutrient foods such as high-fat, salty snacks replace more nutrient-rich foods they rob the body of essential nutrients.  Diet is just as important with our pets as it is with us.

Other categories include disease and drugs.  Did you know that disease can prevent the body from getting the nutrients it needs and that many prescription and even non-prescription drugs can interact with nutrients?  Over time, this can cause nutrient depletion.  Below are a few more reasons why our pets benefit from taking health supplements in conjunction with their normal food.


1. Growing old is a natural process.  As pets age, a number of physical and behavioral changes can occur such as poor vision, poor senses, chronic disease, and a decline in appetite many times due to periodontal issues.  Combined, this can reduce their food intake as well as their ability to digest and absorb efficiently.  A multi vitamin with digestive enzymes would help to reduce the chances of a sub-clinical nutritional deficiency.

2.  We often remain oblivious to the idea that pets also suffer from stress. Pets are extremely sensitive to their surroundings and are known to develop emotional bonding with their owners as well as fellow pets. ‘Change’ triggers stress in animals the same way it triggers stress in humans. Health conditions also affect the pets’ psychological state.  Conditions such as illnesses, travel, breeding, separation from owner, shifting, addition or loss of a family member or another household pet, can cause stress in animals which can often result in loose stools. In such cases, pets become extremely bored or show symptoms of severe stress such as fear, anxiety and restlessness.  Natural calming substances do not create drowsiness or put the animal in a drugged state. 

3.  Veterinary Pet Insurance statistics demonstrate that weight-related illnesses are afflicting an increasingly higher number of dogs and cats.  2004 studies show that 40-50% of American dogs are overweight and about 25% of cats are fat.  That means that an estimated 60 million cats and dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes and joint/back issues have increased steadily.   Combining weight loss and joint support supplements will help to reduce pain and discomfort while promoting joint health.  Ingredients such as starch neutralizers allow the pet to block calories from starch that he may receive from table scraps, treats that contain sugar for palatability and pet food. Commercial Dog Foods contain approximately 30-70 % carbohydrates.

4.  Recent independent studies have shown processed foods to be a factor in the increasing numbers of pets suffering from cancer, arthritis, obesity, dental disease and heart disease. Dull or unhealthy coats are a common problem with cats and dogs and poor diet is usually the cause.  Supplementing with a multivitamin is essential.  Nutrients that support liver detoxification such as amino acids, B vitamins, antioxidants and sulfur compounds are typically lacking and must be replaced. 

5. Almost every medication that is used in veterinary medicine has the
potential to cause side effects. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can also have detrimental effects.  Pet owners are looking to minimize health risks in their pets by taking a preventative approach to wellness.  They are also using nutritional supplements to treat specific health conditions in order to reduce the negative and many times life threatening side effects of drug therapies.  Antioxidants and a multivitamin help to provide the nutritional factors needed to support liver detoxification.

6. Antioxidants Protect Your Pet’s Health Too.    As pets age, it is particularly important to provide nutrition that enhances healthy immune function to help them respond rapidly to disease. Antioxidants like vitamins, A, C, E and beta-carotene, work together to help minimize damage to cells from oxidation. A lack of these nutrients in the diet could result in damage to the wall or membrane of cells throughout the body. As dogs and cats age, immune cell responses may decline. Including antioxidants in the diet can reverse the age-related decrease in immune cell function.

7.  Today’s stressful world, in combination with chemical, physical and emotional stressors, increases the body’s requirement for B6, B5, and Vitamin C.  Air pollution increases the requirements for Vitamin E.  Pets that live in the city are more susceptible to pollutants from car exhaust while others are exposed to chemicals used to make lawns and golf courses beautiful.  A daily nutritional defense is just as important for pets as it is their owners.   A sound nutritional foundation is essential.)

8. Breed, size, lifestyle, and age are some of the factors that contribute to biochemical individuality in pets.  In other words, pet because of biochemical individuality, will have a need for certain nutrients, which is far above average. Nutritional deficiencies result whenever inadequate amounts of essential nutrients are provided to tissues that must function normally over a long period of time.  Good nutrition is essential for normal organ development and functioning, for normal reproduction, growth, and maintenance; for optimum activity level and working efficiency; for resistance to infection and disease; and for the ability to repair bodily damage or injury.  Multi-vitamins are a must.

9.  It is estimated that one in five of the 80 million adult dogs and cats in the United States suffer from arthritis to some degree, according to James Roush, doctor of veterinary medicine at Kansas State University.  Canine arthritis afflicts an estimated 70 to 80 percent of dogs in certain breeds.  Large breeds such as golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, German sheppards, New foundland and St. Bernards, are more prone to joint disease.  Just as in humans, the ability to manufacture or take in the nutritional building blocks needed for joint health declines.  The combined use of, Chondroitin Sulfates, Glucosamine, MSM, and Vitamin C have been shown to support joint health.

10.  Certain breeds (miniature schnauzers, bichon frises, Lhasa apsos) of dogs are prone or genetically predisposed to urinary tract challenges such as struvite and oxalate stones.   Older animals of all breeds are prone to bladder weakness as they age.

I have chosen to carry pet products from Pet Naturals® of Vermont because they work.  Pet Naturals is a family owned Vermont based company that specializes in condition specific nutritional supplements for dogs and cats.

They are dedicated to providing products that ultimately improve the quality of life for companion animals, as well as leading the charge for consistent research, quality and integrity within the industry.  In fact, they were one of the first companies to be awarded the right to bear the NASC (National Animal supplement Council) seal on their pet supplements.  The NASC seal means that our facility has been recognized for taking the steps needed to provide quality supplements.

With a wide range of problem solving products Pet Naturals helps pet’s live healthier lives.  The employees at Pet Naturals use these products on their own pets and have seen firsthand the difference supplementation can make.  In fact, one employee who has been there for 16 years had a cat named Bailey who took their products for 13 years and she lived to be 24!  To most dog and cat owners their pet is a member of the family, and increasing their life span and overall happiness is of prime concern.