The Ultimate Guide to Nutritional Supplements for Pets

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Once Upon a Supplement: The Story of Jane and Kitty

It all started when Kitty drained himself all over Jane’s new oriental rug. Jane’s husband went ballistic. The kids screamed and rolled their eyes with contempt when Jane told them to "clean it up."  Kitty raced under the bed in a futile attempt to escape the brewing turmoil. All in all, the house was total chaos after the new rug, Jane’s 50th birthday present, was ruined. Sound like a Brady Bunch episode? Ahhh, the good ol' days.

Owing to the fact that Jane’s husband despised Kitty anyway, the rug mishap ignited yet another reason for Kitty to find a new home. So in a panic and looking for fast answers, Jane headed straight to the veterinarian. After two hours in the vet’s office and listening to countless "what ifs", Jane ultimately disagreed with the veterinarian’s diagnosis and treatment plan only to think— “Dang my husband will kill me if I spend this much money on Kitty. He just bought me that expensive rug for my birthday.”

Like most pet parents longing for help in similar situations, Jane took matters into her own hands and scoured the internet for answers. For two days and with relentless determination, she searched a variety of websites promising to heal Kitty’s painful urinary tract.

Finally, she found a supplement promising Kitty’s relief and placed her order.

Meanwhile, Kitty continued to pee all over the house. And Jane? She continued to fret and fear that Kitty would soon be banished from her home.

Sound familiar?

Sure…it happens all the time.

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How to Find Reputable Supplements

Jane’s story of searching, searching and more searching reminds us of what many pet owners experience—fear, angst, and frustration—over not being able to solve their own pet’s health problems.

But here’s the thing.

Many over-the counter-products rectify ailing health problems in your pets. In other words, many treatments are just a click away. And, most importantly, the key to finding effective, quality supplements is quite simple.

Just open your eyes and look at the label!

Look for a NASC quality seal on the label. If you see the NASC quality seal, you know you’ve made the best choice.

The NASC quality seal recognizes manufacturers dedicated to producing reliable, consistent, and safe supplements to protect and enhance animal health.

Circa 2001, the animal health supplement industry suffered from little regulatory oversight. Consequently, manufacturers marketed just about whatever they wanted however they wanted. As a result, shoddy products flooded the market. So, in order to bring credibility to the industry, a handful of manufacturers bonded together to form the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC). Only members of NASC can add the seal to their products. When customers buy a NASC sealed product, they know they are purchasing from a reputable company with a successfully completed a facility audit.

Members must adhere to certain quality standards and audit procedures before adding the seal to any product.

These standards include:

  • Quality Control Manual Outlining Manufacturing Procedures
  • Adverse Event Reporting
  • Labeling Guidelines
  • Warnings and Cautionary Statements

So, look for the quality seal on your next supplement purchase. That way, you know you’re getting the best!

You’ll be happy and so will Kitty.

Supplement Ingredients Supported by Science

Supplement Ingredients Used For Years in TCVM

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Expectations When Using Supplements

First, supplements are not drugs. Supplements are not regulated like drugs but are regulated like food. So, the expectation when using supplements is that they will do no harm and provide some value.

You may not actually notice value as you would with the use of a drug, but you might notice value in other ways. For instance, how will you know if mushrooms help your pet with cancer? Well, you might expect them to feel and eat better and live longer than without. But, remember mushrooms are likely to cure cancer without the use of drugs. That’s why it’s best if you can in some situations use supplements with drugs. But, it depends on the situation.

But so often with pets, the goal is not necessarily a cure. But, the goal is more towards doing something of value that maintains or improves quality of life. Another example is digestive enzymes. We know that when pet’s age, the ability to break down and assimilate food decreases. Then, pets lose weight from muscle loss. So, why not provide a digestive enzyme to help break down dietary proteins to offset the age-related muscle loss?

Small changes often add up, snowballing into a big difference.

Remember Jane and how she wanted to do something to help Kitty? Well, she did! Dialy, she stuffed a handful of pills into Kitty’s mouth and said, “What a good girl! I know you don’t like the taste, but swallow! They’re good for you, they’ll make you feel better, and they’ll keep you right here at home with me."

And, it worked. Jane and Kitty lived happily ever after without another accident on the rug.

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