10 Best Dog Supplements to Boost Your Dog's Health

16 Minute Read
Updated May 31, 2024

Have you noticed your dog isn't moving as smoothly as he used to? Or maybe your dog has been itchier than usual?

When it comes to your dog's health, food is the holy grail, but some dogs need a little extra support to meet their unique dietary needs.

Choosing a healthy and complete diet is the best place to start, but most dog food is crafted with the average dog in mind. This means that to ensure your pet thrives, you may need to customize their diet with natural supplements.

Just like with food, natural is better, and there are many natural supplements for dogs available to help with a variety of problems and needs for dogs of all life stages, breeds, and lifestyles.

Some dog supplements will help with very specific issues, while others are a little more generic and act as a slight nutrition buffer to support overall health. In this post, we will explain the 10 best supplements for dogs and how they can help support and enhance their health.


Best Joint Supplements for Dogs

One of the most common issues that large breed, overweight, and senior dogs suffer from is hip and joint issues. Over time, the connective tissues that provide cushioning in the joints will deteriorate. It tends to happen faster in large breeds and overweight dogs, but many senior dogs of all breeds suffer these issues as well.

Spotting early signs of hip or joint issues can help you begin treatment before debilitating damage is done. And even in more advanced cases, some supplements can still help to manage pain and improve mobility.

The most common dog arthritis supplements are glucosamine and chondroitin. Many natural joint supplements for dogs contain a combination of these ingredients, plus some additional ingredients that can ensure proper digestion and effectiveness of the supplements.

Together they act to support connective tissues like cartilage and reduce inflammation in the joints that can cause further damage and discomfort.

Here are a few of our most popular dog joint supplements that use the standard hip and joint duo of ingredients:

Other supplements for joint health focus on pain management by reducing inflammation and improving mobility. Ingredients like Turmeric, MSM, Green Lipped Mussels, and Boswellia have anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve discomfort and prevent further damage.

Lastly, collagen can also be used to help lubricate and cushion joints to prevent deterioration of the joint and connective tissues. Fortunately, there are many natural food sources of collagen for dogs, including fish skins, eggs, and bone broth.

Check out Benefits of Bone Broth for Dogs for more information and a simple bone broth recipe.

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Best Skin and Coat Supplements for Dogs

Your dog's skin and coat health can be the first and easiest to spot signs of health. A dull or damaged coat and dry skin are often signs of an issue. Whether it's a nutrient deficiency or illness, your dog's skin and coat health is important.

In addition to being a good litmus test for your dog's health, skin and coat issues can be a symptom of a wide variety of issues from allergies and dehydration to poor digestion or pests.

A well-balanced and moisture-rich diet is sufficient for most dogs to maintain good skin and coat health, but for dogs with underlying conditions, omega 3 supplements for dogs, like fish oils, kelp, and spirulina, can help treat discomfort and allow you to identify the root cause.

Fish Oils are the most popular way to support skin and coat health in dogs because it's easy to feed and dogs love it. The omega fatty acids in fish oil help to reduce inflammation that results in skin reactions or poor coat health, and can also help to protect the delicate skin barrier.

You can shop a variety of fish oils and other omega 3 supplements for dogs at Homes Alive Pets, to help you give your pet's coat that natural lustre.

they deserve:

Though fish oils are the most well-known omega 3 supplement for dogs, there are plant-based oils that can also be beneficial for skin and coat health. Algae oil and hemp oils are great alternatives, offering a range of omega fatty acids.

Learn more about the Benefits of Fish Oil for Pets and the best ways to include it in your dog's diet.


Best Digestive Supplements for Dogs

Digestion is the root of your dog's health. Everything has to pass through the digestive system, and all nutrients are broken down and distributed from the GI tract. This is why digestive aids can have a significant impact on your dog's overall health.

Your dog's digestive system has its own ecosystem. Good bacteria and enzymes are used to break down food, fight harmful bacteria, and support your pet's immune system by properly identifying and sorting nutrients for distribution or expulsion.

This balance is often referred to as their gut flora. Healthy bacteria, called probiotics, populate and manage digestion, while prebiotics ferment and act as a food source for good bacteria to thrive.

The most effective digestive aids for pets are a blend of probiotics and prebiotics because they help your dog's body help itself. Here are some of our top picks:

For acute digestive issues, some dog-friendly foods can help boost digestion. Raw Green Tripe is a gross but natural source of good bacteria that dogs love. This stinky food can help to quickly resolve minor digestive issues or can be fed regularly to act preventatively.

Another staple for managing sudden bowel movement changes is pumpkin. Pumpkin contains both soluble and insoluble fibre, which allows it to regulate the speed of digestion and appropriate bulk stool. This means it's effective for constipation and diarrhea.

Check out the many Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs and how to feed it to boost your dog's digestive health.


Best Multi-Vitamin Supplements for Dogs

Sometimes dogs just need a little boost to optimize their diet. They may not have a specific problem but aren't quite thriving. Or maybe they are recovering from a recent illness or injury. Either way, a multivitamin supplement for dogs is a great way to buffer their nutrition.

Most multivitamins for dogs will offer low levels of many of the essential vitamins and minerals that dogs need from their diet.

These supplements aren't meant to replace nutrition from real food ingredients, which is why the levels offered for each nutrient will be well below your dog's daily recommended requirements. Instead, they are meant to complement your dog's diet.

Multivitamins come in many forms. Here are some of the best dog multivitamins available at Homes Alive Pets:

Unlike most of the other supplements on our list, multivitamins aren't required in healthy dogs that eat an appropriate and well-balanced diet. Instead, they can be used short-term during times of need and recovery.


Best Allergy Care Supplement for Dogs


Allergies are a growing concern for pet parents. More and more dogs are developing reactions and sensitivities to food and environment that can leave your dog itchy and uncomfortable. 

Changes to diet and environment are the best place to start, but in some cases, more support is needed to support your dog's immune system, offer relief from symptoms, and help prevent future reactions.

Environmental allergies in dogs are particularly difficult to manage because you may not have the option of avoiding the allergen. Instead, natural supplements can be used to help reduce inflammations, train the immune system to react appropriately, and help to heal irritation caused by allergic reactions.

Try one of these popular allergy supplements for dogs:

In addition to allergy supplements, it's also recommended that you offer a digestive aid that includes pre and probiotics to boost digestion. The immune system and digestive tract work together, so healthy digestion will, in turn, support a more efficient immune system in dogs.

Read more about dog allergies and solutions in Dog Food Allergies and Seasonal Allergies in Dogs.


Best Calming Supplement for Dogs

Stress and anxiety can have a significant impact on your dog's health and behaviour. Managing canine anxiety is challenging because it presents differently in every dog, so it requires a lot of trial and error. 

Though training, routine, and environment changes will have the most significant impact on dog anxiety, calming aids and supplements can be useful tools to deal with more extreme anxious behaviours.

When used appropriately, calming supplements for dogs can help your dog manage the physical reactions of stress and help lower the fight or flight response that can lead to unwanted and unpredictable behaviours. 

Here are some of the most effective dog-calming supplements:

Calming aids for dogs will not be the sole solution to your dog's anxiety. Training and environment are the foundation of anxiety relief while supplements can act as a complementary buffer.

Check out our detailed tips for reducing dog stress in our Ultimate Guide to Dealing with Dog Anxiety.


Best Dental Supplements for Dogs

Dental health is one of the most forgotten aspects of dog health. Most of the time, we don't think about dog teeth until there is a problem.

This can lead to permanent damage not to mention so very hefty vet bills. When it comes to dental care for dogs, preventative care is the most effective solution. Daily teeth cleaning and dog dental chews will help to remove bacteria and food debris that can cause bad breath and other dog dental issues.

To maximize your at-home dog dental care routine, dental supplements like food or water additives can help to reduce plaque buildup, freshen dog breath, and support better overall canine dental health.

Here are our top dog dental supplements to protect their chompers:

These products are a hands-off way to help reduce oral bacteria in dogs, but none of them will be 100% effective on their own. These dog dental supplements are designed to work in combination with a healthy diet, regular toothbrushing, and routine vet checks.

Get tips to improve your dogs dental routine with our Complete Dental Care Guide for Dogs.



Best Urinary Care Supplement for Dogs

Urinary tract issues are often thought to be associated with cats, but it might surprise you to know that they are actually more common in dogs. Urinary care supplements for dogs can help to support kidney and bladder function. 

Like most aspects of your dog's health, urinary health starts with diet. Dogs who eat most dry foods or don't drink enough water are going to be at a higher risk of urinary tract infections and other urinary issues, especially in their senior years.

Common ingredients in dog urinary health supplements include cranberry, blueberry, and marshmallow root. This blend of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories helps to reduce irritation in the urinary tract and inhibit bacteria buildup and crystal formation.

Check out our best-selling and top-rated urinary care supplements for dogs:

Alone urinary tract supplements are unlikely to prevent infections or other urinary issues, but when combined with a moisture-rich and high-quality diet, can help to reduce occurrences of kidney, bladder, and other urinary problems that are common in dogs.


Best Liver, Kidney,  Lung, & Heart Health Supplements for Dogs

As dogs age, their bodies can start to deteriorate. Chronic diseases that are common in older dogs can be debilitating in later stages, which is why you might consider preventative solutions, like natural supplements.

Lung, kidney, and liver supplements for dogs are typically focused on detoxing. Helping to remove built-up toxins can improve overall organ function. These can be used a few times per year to help flush out anything that could be making the organ work harder than it needs to to do its job.

For heart health support, most supplements offer taurine, which is an amino acid that is required for proper heart function. Dogs do synthesize their own taurine from other amino acids in their diet, but in recent years, there has been speculation as to whether it's enough to maintain good heart function long-term.

Take a look at a few of our top picks for heart, liver, lung, and kidney supplements respectively:

Most young and healthy dogs don't need this type of supplement. A well-balanced and complete diet is sufficient to support these systems in most dogs. 

Senior dogs may benefit from a supplement of this nature, especially if their breed is predisposed to heart, lung, kidney, or liver issues. Talk to your vet before starting this type of supplement.


Best Vision Care Supplements for Dogs


Another system that often breaks down as your pet ages is vision. Over time, your dog's eyesight can get worse and they can be at a higher risk of common eye issues or diseases in their senior years, like cataracts. 

In addition to regular grooming and cleanliness, supplements to support dog vision can help delay and minimize the natural degeneration of eye health that comes with aging.

Eye health supplements for dogs will focus on reducing bacteria and inflammation in the eye and tear ducts to support proper drainage and boost your immune system. Dog eye supplements can also be used to minimize tear stains on furred and short-snouted dog breeds. 

Even with vision care supplements for dogs, eye issues may not be completely avoidable for all dogs. The idea is to maintain eye health for as long as possible. Work with your vet to identify early signs of eye issues and practice regular grooming of your dog's eyes, ears, and muzzle to remove bacteria that could irritate the eyes.

Read more about routine eye care for dogs in How to Get Rid of Dog Tear Stains.


Do Dogs Need Supplements?

Sometimes. We are all looking for an easy button to solve our pet's issues, but it's important to know that dog supplements are not a cure or magic fix for any health issues. Instead, natural dog supplements are a tool for helping your dog's body help itself. 

This means that results take time, and the supplements rarely work by themselves. Changes to diet, routine, lifestyle, and possibly even environment may have to be made to ensure your dog is at peak health. 

It's also important to keep in mind that not all dogs need supplements. Healthy and active dogs that eat a high-quality and well-balanced diet and get plenty of exercise may be getting everything they need to thrive without the addition of canine supplements. 

In fact, over-supplementing is becoming an issue for some pets. Before adding a supplement to your dog's diet, you need to ask yourself two questions:

What problem am I trying to solve?

If there is no problem to solve, then your dog doesn't need supplements. Unless instructed otherwise by your vet, a dog in good health is likely getting all the essential nutrients they need from their food. 

Is this something my dog can get from a natural food source?

Additionally, if your dog can get the same benefit from their diet that they would be getting from a supplement, then they should be getting it in their diet. Food is almost always the very best medicine.

Too often we are drawn to supplements in both our own and our pet's diet to help maximize nutrition and health, but what we should be looking to do is optimize nutrition by ensuring an appropriate diet and only offering supplements when and if they are needed.



Dog Supplement FAQs

Should I give my dog fish oil?

Many dogs can benefit from a fish oil supplement or an alternative omega 3 supplement for dogs. Omega fatty acids are not considered an essential nutrient in dog food, so not every brand offers sufficient levels to support skin and coat health, digestion, and immune function.

Do vets recommend supplements?

Vets generally recognize that supplements can be helpful, but would prefer to see their clients feeding complete and well-balanced diets to support overall health and wellness. Nutrition from food will always be more effective and sustainable than a slew of supplements.

How do you know if your dog needs supplements?

Supplements are used to buffer a complete and balanced dog diet. If your dog is eating an appropriate and nutritious diet and is still not at peak health, supplements can be used to boost their diet and provide relief of symptoms.

What is the best supplement to add to homemade dog food?

The trick with homemade dog food is finding an appropriate balance of essential nutrients. Broad spectrum supplements like kelp are going to offer the most benefit to homemade diets but offering a full spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals. Additionally, omega 3 supplements for dogs can also help to properly balance a homemade dog diet.

Written by

Krystn Janisse

Krystn is a passionate pet nutrition enthusiast. She has worked in the pet industry for over a decade and loves to share her passion for animal welfare with others. She is currently working for one very rebellious cat, Jack, and hanging out with a goofy but loveable doggo named Roxy.


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