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How To Determine Which Supplements Are Safe & Effective For Your Dog

Not all supplements are created equal, and unlike the pharmaceutical industry, their safety and efficacy are not regulated by the FDA. How do you know which supplements actually make good on their claims? And more importantly, which ones are safe to give to your best friend?

Unfortunately, when it comes to many of the supplements on the market, there is simply no way for a pet owner – or even a veterinarian – to tell if they will promote positive change in your pup.

Don’t worry, all hope is not lost. These Do’s and Don’ts will help you make the right choices when it comes to the supplements you give your dog.

Do: Consult with your vet before starting any products.

If anyone knows your dog’s specific medical needs as well as you do, it’s your veterinarian. He or she can make suggestions on which products and companies are best, as well as address any questions or concerns you may have.

If your dog is on pharmaceutical medications, your vet can also determine which supplements are safe to give concurrently and at which dosages.


Don’t: Grab the flashiest bottle.

Big promises don’t necessarily mean big results. Brands that spend all their money on clever marketing may skimp on the areas that truly matter – like using quality ingredients and ordering clinical trials.

Dr. Bruce Silverman VMD, MBA from Chicago’s Village West Veterinary cautions,

“Some (products) may be of good quality, and some may be of poor quality, yet have wonderful packaging and great testimonials, even from a veterinarian paid to have their face on the label.”

Do: Your homework.

Seek out companies and products that have scientific studies, peer reviews, and research backing up their supplements. Dr. Duffy Jones, DVM with Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia says,

“Most supplements do not have good data backing up their label claims so I look for thoroughly tested products from manufacturers that I know. Some of the better products do have efficacy and safety studies while many of the lower-grade products do not.”


Don’t: Start at the full doseage.

Supplements should be initiated slowly to avoid upset stomach and allow you to monitor for adverse reactions.

“Never start a new supplement at full dosage,” Dr. Babette Gladstein, VMD warns. “You need to start slowly and bring to full strength over a 3 week period. Any unusual behavior should be noted and discussed with your veterinarian.”


Do: Read the labels.

It is important to know what to look for on a label and how to verify its accuracy. Good quality products from honest distributors should list the amounts of all active ingredients, and also include a website and/or phone number so you can seek out additional information.


Don’t: Give up on supplements – the right ones can do wonders for your dog!

Sorting through the seemingly endless products may be a daunting task, but identifying the quality, effective supplements is worth the effort when you consider the remarkable benefits they offer. Supplements can enhance and even prolong your dog’s life when given correctly and under the supervision of your vet.

At iHeartDogs, all of our Project Paws® veterinarian-formulated supplements are made in the USA and come with the Project Paws® Promise. If you haven’t noticed any improvement in your pet’s health or experience any issues, we’ll issue a full refund of the product within 90 days, no matter how much you’ve used.

View the Project Paws® Line of Supplements


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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional.




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Written by Dina Fantegrossi
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