Supplements Dogs Need on a Raw Diet

Raw food in a supplement form

Raw dog food is an alternative type of diet based on the combination of uncooked meat (often organ and muscle meat), crushed or whole bones, vegetables, fruits, veggies, and some freshly prepared dairy. While a raw diet might be tastier to your furry friend and boost his overall energy levels, failing to balance the diet might lead to various nutrition-related complications. As a result, it is important to add supplements to a raw diet to make it complete and well-balanced.

The supplements dogs need on a raw diet largely depend on the type of foods you give them. However, on most occasions, dogs on raw diets will need vitamin, probiotic, thiamine, amino acid, calcium, and iodine supplements. Luckily, these nutrients and minerals can be found in quality supplements.

As pet parents that rely heavily on raw diets for your four-legged family members, it’s important to ensure they eat healthy, well-balanced diets. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best supplements in the market, including their main features and how they’ll complete your furry friend’s raw diet.

The Missing Link Pet Kelp Probiotic Dog Formula

While a raw diet might give your dog some of the basic nutrients, it might not include enough probiotics to boost his digestive and immune systems. A spoonful of this supplement will add beneficial bacteria, minerals, and essential vitamins to support your pup’s overall health.

The supplement’s primary ingredient is Nova Scotia kelp, which is chosen for its trace minerals that function to aid digestion, regulate energy, support the immune and bone systems and improve skin health.

Advantages

  • It contains organic ingredients that work to support both digestive tract and immune system health.
  • The ocean kelp contains 70 unique minerals and vitamins to help support your dog’s gastrointestinal health.
  • It contains micronutrients, amino acids, and essential minerals that promote overall health.
  • Easy to administer as the supplement can be mixed with water or combined with food.
  • Ideal for puppies, fully grown, and senior dogs.

Disadvantages

Liquid Health Pets Original K9 Glucosamine Supplement

Although a raw diet is known to boost a dog’s overall energy levels, it might not provide him with enough nutrients to maintain supple, resilient joints and cartilage health. Fortunately, this supplement from Liquid Health Pets is specifically tailored to protect dog joints while improving overall mobility.

Glucosamine for Dogs Joint Supplement with Chondroitin MSM - Liquid Health K9 Pet Glucosamine

The Original K9 Glucosamine Supplement contains a powerful blend of chondroitin, glucosamine, and MSM (USA-sourced), as well as hyaluronic acid that helps prevent wear and tear of bones while keeping joints lubricated. You can give this liquid to your dog straight from the bottle or mix it into your pup’s raw food every day to improve his overall bone structure and joint performance.

Advantages

  • Supports connective tissue and cartilage health, thus keeping your dog active and free of joint disorders.
  • It can be mixed with wet food or administered alone daily as a supplement to a raw diet.
  • It is free from starch, gluten, wheat, sugar, milk, yeast, soy, or corn.
  • Formulated to be easily absorbed by different breeds.
  • Promotes joint lubrication courtesy of hyaluronic acid, thus improving overall joint resiliency as the dog grows older.
  • Ideal for seniors, puppies, and adult dogs.

Disadvantages

  • It can cause gastrointestinal upset if consumed before mealtime.

K9 Power Show Stopper Dog Supplement

If you’ve noticed that your dog has a dull, lackluster coat, then you’re probably giving him an unbalanced raw food diet. While dogs on a raw diet often have enough protein content due to raw meat, they can still lack enough omega-3 and 6 fatty acids that make the coat smooth and silky.

Fortunately, this all-in-one dog supplement is formulated with ingredients like chicken, inulin chicory, broccoli sprouts, tart cherry, beet juice, stabilized rice bran, coconut oil, cod liver oil, camelina oil, citrus meal, and kelp.

Although the supplement is meant for dogs with unhealthy coats, it contains a proper balance of nutrients that can improve the quality of your four-legged best friend’s raw diet. The supplement also contains enzymes, probiotics, and fiber that help to increase overall health.

Advantages

  • It contains whole eggs, olive oils, coconut, and omega-6 that help protect dogs with sensitive skin.
  • Ideal for dogs with itchy skin, dry coats, or those that shed as it contains anti-inflammatory ingredients like blueberries, fatty acids, and broccoli sprouts.
  • It contains digestion-boosting enzymes, probiotics, and fiber that help promote overall health.
  • Ideal for daily usage, especially for dogs with skin irritation or allergies.

Disadvantages

  • Works best for dogs exhibiting coat or allergy-related problems.
  • It might react with some pregnant dogs.

Dr. Mercola SpiruGreen Superfood Tablets Dog Supplement

Even when observing a strict, well-balanced raw diet, you still need to give your pup a nutritional boost to ensure he has all the nutrients needed for a healthy coat and internal systems. The Dr. Mercola SpiruGreen Superfood Tablets Dog Supplement contains microalgae and spirulina, which provide a super-nutrient (Astaxanthin) that promotes dogs’ health and wellness.

The presence of Astaxanthin in this supplement promotes neurological health, eye health, and improved functionality of the immune and cardiovascular systems. Moreover, spirulina contains high levels of antioxidant carotenoids, which are useful compounds that help fight free radicals.

Spirulina also helps in the production of phytonutrients and enzymes that are key in coat and skin nourishment.

Advantages

  • Regular consumption improves the immune system’s function while boosting your dog’s overall health.
  • It comes packed with vegetarian-grade microalgae and spirulina that contain high levels of enzymes, antioxidants, and Astaxanthin that promote proper organ function.
  • Spirulina contains high levels of carotenoids that help fight free radicals and promote coat health.
  • The presence of Astaxanthin ensures your dog has healthy cardiovascular and immune systems.
  • Regular consumption of the supplement also improves joint and eye health.

Disadvantages

  • Some dogs, especially the tiny breeds, might struggle before getting used to chewing the tablets daily.

The Missing Link Superfood Dog Supplement

Boost your pup’s overall health while on a raw diet by getting him this supplement produced by The Missing Link. You won’t find many supplements in the market with as many nutrients as this vet-approved dog supplement.

The Missing Link Superfood Dog Supplement contains both soluble and insoluble fibers that improve the digestive system’s function, making it easier for your furry friend to digest food, especially raw meats. The supplement also contains omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids that promote coat and skin health.

Moreover, the essential fatty acids help absorb fat-soluble vitamins while improving intercellular health, thus boosting overall digestion. You can also count on this supplement to boost your dog’s immune system and sustain its overall energy levels.

Advantages

  • Omega fatty acids are vital in promoting coat health and intercellular health.
  • Regular consumption of the supplement encourages the absorption of vitamins (fat-soluble).
  • The presence of dietary fiber promotes the healthy function of your dog’s digestive system.
  • It contains plant nutrients that improve the overall well-being of your dog.
  • Ideal for dogs on a raw diet.
  • It can be sprinkled on dry food without mixing with a liquid.

Disadvantages

  • It might take a while for some breeds to respond to the supplement.

Zesty Paws 11-in-1 Bites

If you’re relatively new to the raw dog food diet or just want to ensure your dog doesn’t miss out on the essential nutrients, you might want to try the Zesty Paws 11-in-1 Bites.

This supplement is packed with minerals, vitamins, and other vital nutrients that boost your dog’s immune system, skin health, digestive tract performance while also improving overall tummy comfort.

Your four-legged best friend will gain up to 11 nutrient-related benefits by consuming this high-quality supplement on a daily basis. The soft chews contain glucosamine, psyllium husk, Ceylon cinnamon, rhizome extract, cod liver oil, cranberry, ascorbic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B1, vitamin E, and vitamin B12, which help to improve your pup’s overall health.

Advantages

  • The presence of digestive enzymes, niacin, and psyllium improves stomach comfort, thereby allowing your dog to consume raw food with ease.
  • The blend of cod liver oil, B-complex vitamins, and biotin helps improve your dog’s coat health.
  • Regular consumption helps improve bladder, urinary tract, and kidney function.
  • It contains vitamin A, Lutemax 2020, cod liver oil, and vitamin B-12 that help support cognitive function and overall eyesight.
  • The presence of Ceylon cinnamon, vitamin C and Cran-Max will help enhance your dog’s immune response.

Disadvantages

  • Not ideal for puppies on a raw diet as it’s suited for adult and senior dogs.

Hanzi Pets Pure Wild Alaskan Oil

The Hanzi Pets Pure Wild Alaskan Oil supplement is made from an impressive blend of oils obtained from Alaskan salmon and pollock (wild-caught), which allows the supplement to promote your dog’s coat and skin health while providing a much-needed boost to the raw diet he’s on.

Moreover, the Hanzi Pets Pure Wild Alaskan Oil contains beneficial omega fatty acids that help nourish sensitive, irritated skin. The long-chain omegas are also vital in enhancing brain functionality while also improving eyesight in dogs and cats.

Advantages

  • It contains a high level of omega-3 fatty acids that improve skin health and brain function.
  • Ideal for dogs on raw diets as it helps improve vision while also supporting cognitive function.
  • Flavorful and easy for dogs to consume.
  • The product is packaged in a convenient, drip-free squeeze bottle for ease of use.

Disadvantages

  • The smell can be a turn-off for some picky eaters.
  • The container’s squirt feature can prove challenging for some owners to control.

Nutramax Welactin Canine Omega-3 Dog Supplement

This liquid supplement derives its omega-3 fatty acids from freshwater fish. It is specifically formulated to help improve your canine companion’s overall EPA and DHA levels, thus making it a proper supplement if he’s on a raw diet. These healthy fatty acids improve a dog’s coat health and help improve brain function and overall eyesight.

The supplement is made from a limited amount of ingredients, making it a great product for dogs with sensitive tummies or those predisposed to allergic reactions. As a pet parent, you’ll also love the easy to dispense packaging that comes with this highly rated supplement.

Advantages

  • It helps combat dry skin and improve general skin health.
  • It supports brain functionality, making it a great addition for dogs on raw diets.
  • Regular intake supports the nervous system ensuring your dog has a normal heart rhythm.
  • It provides additional support for joint, immune, and renal function.
  • It comes in liquid form, making it easy to administer when feeding your dog his daily meals.

Disadvantages

  • Packaging is not the best as some users complain about leakage, especially during travel.

Rx Vitamins Amino B-Plex Dog And Cat Supplement

The Rx Vitamins Amino B-Plex Dog and Cat supplement contain concentrated B-complex vitamins, potassium, iron, and essential amino acids to improve your furry companion’s overall well-being. Although ideal for weak pets without appetite, it can also work wonders when used on dogs on a raw diet.

Consistently administering this supplement to your dog will improve the function of his vital organs, which is due to the high levels of vitamins and minerals found in the supplement. However, if you’re dealing with a chronically ill pet, you’ll want to talk with your vet before including this supplement in his day-to-day diet.

Advantages

  • The liquid supplement is highly palatable, making it ideal even for picky eaters.
  • Regular consumption is associated with improved metabolism.
  • The presence of concentrated B complex vitamins, potassium, iron, and essential amino acids makes the supplement perfect for improving the function of your dog’s vital organs.
  • Approved by the National Animal Supplement Council Seal, meaning it’s perfectly healthy for regular consumption.
  • The hypoallergenic formula increases vitality for dogs in need of metabolic assistance.
  • It helps boost overall energy levels, making it perfect for extra-active dogs.

Disadvantages

  • The administration isn’t straightforward as you’ll need to consider your dog’s weight to avoid overdosing or underdosing.

Wholistic Pet Organics All In One Supplement

While this supplement targets joint health, it also comes in handy when used to balance diets of dogs consuming raw foods. The Wholistic Pet Organics All In One Supplement is made in the USA with organic and whole food ingredients like flaxseeds and kelp. It is also loaded with green-lipped mussels, Ester-C, MSM, and glucosamine to promote normal joint function for dogs with nutrient deficiencies.

The supplement also contains essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that, besides improving skin and coat health, also help boost your pup’s overall health. The presence of shark cartilage makes the supplement more effective when consumed regularly.

Advantages

  • It comes packed with MSM, glucosamine, and shark cartilage, which help maintain joint mobility and improve overall cartilage health.
  • It doesn’t contain any synthetics, artificial flavorings, fillers, or GMOs, making it ideal for sensitive dogs.
  • Packed with minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, natural enzymes, and probiotics that help promote overall well-being.
  • Made with fish powder that makes it extra tastier and easy to administer.
  • Perfect for dogs on raw diets as it contains vital nutrients.

Disadvantages

  • Some users complain the powdered form is unattractive for picky eaters.

Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Dog Supplement

A raw diet, if well-balanced, can help your dog develop a healthy coat and, even more importantly, make his brain sharper. However, getting all nutrients right can be a tall order for most pet parents, especially those that don’t have the time to plan the meals.

The Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Dog Supplement is made from fish oil obtained from sardines and anchovies. Some of the main nutrients present in this quality supplement include EPA, DHA, and several vitamins, which help support the heart, eyes, and brain functions. You can also expect the supplement to protect your furry friend’s joints while keeping the coat healthy and glossy.

Advantages

  • It comprises primarily Omega-3 obtained from wild sardines and anchovies.
  • Regular consumption of the supplement supports heart and joint function while improving coat health.
  • It can be given independently or mixed with the raw food.
  • It helps improve your dog’s eyesight and cognitive function.

Disadvantages

  • Mostly suited for small to medium-sized dog breeds.
  • It needs to be constantly refrigerated once opened.

PetHonesty 10-for-1 Multivitamin with Glucosamine

Concerned that your furry friend is not getting all the nutrients while on a raw diet? If so, then you should consider adding this high-quality supplement to his diet. This 10-for-1 Multivitamin supplement comes packed with probiotics, glucosamine, omegas, and other important nutrients that promote your dog’s overall health.

The presence of vitamins A, C, omegas, and other essential minerals allows your dog to have improved heart and joint health while supporting healthy skin and coat. Regular consumption of this high-quality supplement will boost your canine companion’s overall energy levels while also providing the probiotics and antioxidants needed for healthy digestion.

Advantages

  • Formulated with 20 vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to support digestion, skin, brain, and joint health.
  • Regular consumption of the supplement improves the immune system and overall coat health.
  • The presence of glucosamine and fatty acids promote joint and bone health while supporting regular inflammatory response.
  • It contains one billion probiotics per serving and non-GMO pumpkin to maintain healthy digestion.
  • Ideal for dogs that struggle with diarrhea, constipation due to raw diets.
  • It comes with a tasty chicken flavor (natural) that makes it attractive to picky eaters.

Disadvantages

  • Some dogs might struggle to adapt to the supplements chicken flavor.

Solid Gold Grain-Free Dog & Cat Supplement

This supplement by Solid Gold is a great addition to your dog’s raw diet as it promotes immune, digestive, skin, and coat health. The quality supplement contains pineapple and digestive enzymes that help maintain your pup’s digestive system, allowing it to digest raw foods and vegetables with relative ease.

It is formulated with seaweed (USA-sourced) that contains minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids, which support healthy skin while also improving your dog’s immune health. The presence of flaxseeds and omegas also enhances the supplement’s nutritional value, making it ideal for dogs with skin irritation.

Advantages

  • Suitable for dogs on raw diets as it improves digestive health, making your pet digest tough meats with relative ease.
  • Regular consumption of the supplement is known to boost immune health.
  • It contains natural digestive enzymes, zinc, B vitamins, magnesium, and iron that boost your dog’s overall health.
  • The flaxseeds are rich in antioxidants, while the omega-3 fatty acids help nourish and soothe the skin.

Disadvantages

  • The powder doesn’t dissolve easily and can get stuck on food dishes.

Zesty Paws Allergy, Digestive and Immune Support Supplements

The main challenge when feeding dogs raw diets are providing the right amount of nutrients that promote the main organs’ health. On many occasions, dogs on raw diets either have too much or too little of the most important nutrients, which can prove problematic in the long run.

Including this supplement as a consistent part of your dog’s raw diet will help eliminate the uncertainty that comes with raw dog foods. The Zesty Paws Allergy, Digestive, and Immune Support Supplement contain a rich blend of protein, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber- nutrients that work together to boost your dog’s immune and digestive systems.

The high-quality supplement also contains colostrum that helps improve allergy and immune responses. Your furry friend will also benefit from the presence of prebiotics, probiotics, apple cider vinegar, and omega-3 fatty acids that improve overall health.

Advantages

  • It comes in chewable form, which most dogs love.
  • Regular consumption helps improve immune and digestive health.
  • Ideal for dogs with allergies and sensitive skin.
  • Formulated with a rich blend of antioxidants, nutrients, and probiotics that are proven to promote healthy organ function while also strengthening overall immunity.
  • Each serving contains millions of probiotics that improve the health of the digestive tract.
  • The presence of omega-3 fatty acids sourced from wild salmon promotes skin, coat, hips, heart, and joint health.

Disadvantages

  • The smell might be a bit too much for extra-sensitive dogs.

Herbsmith Milk Thistle Powdered Dog and Cat Supplement

The Herbsmith Milk Thistle is not your average supplement as it contains silymarin as its most active ingredient, which possesses great antioxidant properties. The supplement is great for dogs experiencing digestive issues due to raw diets or breeds predisposed to allergic reactions.

One standout feature of this supplement is its limited ingredients, as it does not contain unnecessary ingredients, which makes it perfect for dogs with sensitive tummies and picky eaters. The ground milk thistle is integral in supporting healthy liver function and boosting your pup’s immunity, especially when on a raw diet.

Advantages

  • Perfect for improving liver health and its function.
  • Ideal for dogs on raw diets as the milk thistle helps address digestive issues.
  • The silymarin obtained from milk thistle has outstanding antioxidant properties.
  • It is also ideal for dogs with sensitive tummies, more so for those who experience allergic reactions due to raw dog food.

Disadvantages

  • The powder can take some time before completely mixing with water or other liquids.
  • Some dogs might avoid eating when the powder is directly sprinkled on food.

Maxxidog Sam-e Supplement for Dogs

Adding this supplement to your dog’s raw diet will give you the peace of mind that his brain and liver will develop and function normally, because the Maxxidog Sam-e Supplement for Dogs contains a rich blend of essential vitamins, including B12, B6, riboflavin, and thiamine.

It’s hard to give dogs on raw diets the S-adenosylmethionine needed for optimal brain and liver function, but you won’t need to worry about that when you regularly administer this supplement. The Maxxidog Sam-e Supplement for Dogs is ideal for young and aging dogs due to its ability to support cognitive function.

Advantages

  • The US-produced supplement is lab-tested for potency and purity and FDA-approved.
  • Natural and easy way to give dogs on raw diets the much-needed S-adenosylmethionine for optimal brain and liver functioning.
  • It comes packed with a rich blend of thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 for improved overall health.
  • Ideal for dogs of different breeds and ages.

Disadvantages

  • If not well-mixed, the powder can make the dog disinterested in eating the raw food.
  • Costlier than most same-sized supplements.

Advantages of Raw Dog Food

Raw dog food diets have become increasingly popular as more pet parents look for healthier and perhaps more affordable alternatives to dry or canned foods. Similar to other diets, raw dog food has its advantages, as listed below.

  • Smaller stools
  • Increased energy levels
  • Cleaner teeth and improved dental health
  • Healthier skin and shinier coats

These advantages vary from dog to dog depending on how well pet parents administer the raw diets. For instance, if you don’t give your dog enough protein and fatty acids like omega-3 and 6, he’s unlikely to have smooth, healthy skin and coat. The benefits greatly hinge on your ability to provide a balanced diet, which can be hard for most dog owners.

Disadvantages of Raw Dog Food

Although raw dog food does come with its many advantages, it also has several disadvantages. If you feed your dog a raw diet, you need to know what you’re doing in order to balance the nutrients in the food. But if you have little knowledge of the basics of proper dog nutrition, this might be tricky.

Below are some of the risks associated with switching dogs to raw diets.

  • Increased risk of an unbalanced diet, which can lead to health complications if not addressed early enough.
  • The risk of calcium and phosphorous deficiency increases when administering a raw diet.
  • You risk giving your dog too much of the same nutrient when giving him a raw dog food diet.
  • Raw meat exposes both dogs and humans to the threat of disease-causing bacteria.
  • Bones in their whole form can choke your pooch, break his teeth, or even worse, cause internal punctures that can prove fatal.

Important Tips To Observe When Administering Raw Dog Food

If you want to give your furry best friend raw dog food, you need to pay extra attention to the nutrients you provide on a daily basis. Below are essential tips to observe when giving homemade dog food.

Give Your Dog a Variety of Nutrients

The best way to balance your pup’s nutrients while on a raw diet is to give him foods from various food groups. Avoid sticking solely to proteins or giving him veggies every day of the week. Failure to change foods might lead to the excessive consumption of a single nutrient, which might expose your canine companion to unnecessary health risks.

Involve a Vet for Nutritional Assistance

You might need to talk with a vet to receive important advice on the basic nutrients required at different development stages.

For instance, a pup will need different nutrients from those of an aging dog, just like how a small, highly active breed might have varying dietary needs to a medium-sized inactive breed like the English bulldog.

Supplements Are Necessary for Dogs on Raw Diets

While it might be tempting to exclusively feed your canine companion raw dog food, taking such an approach might end up doing him more harm than good. You need to include supplements as part of your dog’s daily diet to ensure he gets the basic nutrients.

Wrapping Up

Although raw dog food diets come with several advantages, their success or failure largely depends on how you, as the pet parent, integrate the various nutrients. As a good rule of thumb, you should always give your pooch a wide variety of foods, which means switching between veggies, meats, and dairy products.

Even more importantly, you need to introduce supplements to your dog’s meals to ensure they’re well balanced and healthy. Talk with your vet when preparing a raw diet for your dog in order to accommodate breed and age-specific needs in the diet.

Sources

Andrew

My name is Andrew, and I've been around dogs my entire life. Look at my profile picture and, you see me as a little kid with my family's two German Shepherds. That's how my life with dogs started, and ever since, I've been both living and working with dogs.

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