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Rethinking Supplements for My Raw Fed Dogs - what I've learned has helped me save money while also improving my dogs' health.

When I started feeding my dogs a raw food diet, I added every supplement I learned about to my dogs' diet, however, over the years as I learned more about dog nutrition, I began to see that I could replace many of the supplements with whole food. This was great because it reduced my budget and today, I only buy a handful of supplements.

For this post, the supplements I'm listing are products (or food) given to my dogs on a daily basis.

Supplements I Add to My Dogs' Meals

  • Nzymes Sprouted Granules
  • FullBucket Daily Canine Powder
  • Canine System Saver
  • Coconut Oil
  • Dr. Mercola Pet Whole Body Glandular Support for Female Dogs
  • Spirulina/Chlorella Powder

I add most of these supplements to support both the immune system and the gut, however, not all of my dogs get each of these supplements.

Nzymes Sprouted Granules

Nzymes is a great company that offers a variety of supplements for pets. I was introduced to their line at the 2018 Raw and Natural Dog Summit. The sprouted granules provide an “enzyme-rich daily nutrition boost, there is nothing better you can do to Maximize the health of your pet. Provides the resources to help the body improve metabolic activity that provides a variety of antioxidant benefits.”

If I were to read that on a website or product packaging, it wouldn't make me want to buy the supplement. It was the before and after images at the booth that caught my attention and after nearly a year of adding this supplement to my dogs' diet, I can attest that it does make a positive difference and I now give the sprouted granules to all of my dogs.

FullBucket Daily Canine Powder

I have been adding FullBucket to my dogs' diet for years because it is the only digestive supplement that helped Rodrigo when he was at his worse several years ago. Today, all of the dogs get at least one scoop and Rodrigo gets two scoops of FullBucket.

I alternate FullBucket with raw goat's milk and kefir for all of my dogs, except Rodrigo, who does best when I add FullBucket to his meals at least 4 days a week.

Although I add FullBucket to my dogs' diet, I also add fermented foods as well.

Canine System Saver

I was introduced to Canine System Saver and this is another supplement that didn't impress me at first. And then 48 hours after giving it to Sydney when she was having trouble walking, I was convinced because Sydney was running. Today, I give Canine System Saver to both Rodrigo and Sydney at least 5 days a week.

Canine System Saver supports both the immune system and joint health, which makes it great for my senior dogs.

CocoTherapy Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has many benefits for dogs including supporting a healthy metabolism, improving nutrient absorption, and promoting good gut health. After attending a session about coconut oil for dogs by the owners of CocoTherapy at the 2018 Raw and Natural Dog Summit, I learned a lot about the importance of giving our dogs a high-quality coconut oil. Because CocoTherapy is an investment, I only feed it to one of my dogs and use it topically, when needed, with the other dogs.

Rodrigo gets a tablespoon full of coconut oil several days a week to support his gut health and nutrient absorption.

Dr. Mercola Pet Whole Body Glandular Support Female Dog Supplement

I've noticed that Sydney's coat isn't great despite being raw fed and getting Omega-3 fatty acids. I see the same in Zoey's coat – very dry and flaky. After some research, I found that Sydney and Zoey's coat issues and Sydney's joint issues may be due to being spayed too early and she needs glandular support. So I've been adding this glandular support to their diet to see if I see a positive difference.

They also have a glandular support for male dogs, however, it was too strong for Rodrigo and Scout and lead to diarrhea, so I now only give it to my girls.

Spirulina and Chlorella Powder

Do you have a dog that loves to eat grass? My dogs used to graze so badly that we couldn't distract them long enough to play or go for a walk. I started researching what they could be getting from the grass that I wasn't providing in their diet because I knew that they weren't trying to vomit. My research brought up “chlorophyll.”

I then began looking for sources of chlorophyll and that's when I discovered spirulina. Not a direct source, but it did help reduce the grass eating. Years later, I learned about the benefits of chlorella, which does have a nice dose of chlorophyll and looked for a combination for my dogs.

Why chlorophyll? Because it aids in healing and reducing inflammation.

It may seem silly to add so many foods that support the immune system, but each one that I add does a little bit of something else too and together, these supplements are helping me raise healthier dogs.

Whole Foods Supplements

You may be curious about the whole foods that I've added to my dogs' diet that have replaced the truckload of supplements I was buying for my dogs. It was actually easier than I realized and I wish I would have done this from the start. It would have saved me a ton of money.

  • Fermented foods for digestive and immune system health
  • Raw eggs for a natural multivitamin
  • Duck necks and green tripe offers additional calcium (which our puppy needs)
  • Pork hearts for additional Vitamin B
  • Sardines for Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Oysters for zinc

One thing I learned is not to buy supplements until after I do my homework. There are a lot of great supplements out there that support all aspects of our dogs' health, but adding all of them to the bowl costs too much, takes too long, and doesn't guarantee that we'll be raising healthier dogs. So, instead, I add what my dogs need.

Additional Supplements

My dogs also get joint supplements. A year ago, I switched Rodrigo and Sydney to WINPRO Pet Mobility. Scout and Zoey get Cosequin DS Plus with MSM. The puppy doesn't get a joint supplement at this time. I like to add them to the diet after my dogs reach age three.

Due to fake supplements online, I think it's important to buy joint supplements from trusted sources:

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