If you already understand that your pet does not generally receive full and balanced nutrition from its food, then you may have begun the process of looking for pet nutritional supplements to increase the overall health and vitality of your pet or to address a specific health concern.
“Most people do not realize that the most common causes of disease are not viruses or bacteria or even toxins but deficiencies of nutrients. That is why so many people see such miraculous recoveries of depleted and ill dogs when we simply add a few essentials that are missing.”
Peter Dobias, DVM
While miraculous recoveries should not necessarily be expected from a supplement, better health should. How do we choose a pet supplement? What should we look for when we compare the many products that are available to us? For now, we’ll ask this as a general question, not directly connected to a specific health issue.
Let’s look at the important points to consider.
Focus on Quality
Cheap supplements are cheap for a reason. In order to save in production expenses, manufacturers need to source sub-standard ingredients that provide low quality and inferior nutrition, in large quantities at a low price. Improper storage and handling of ingredients also impacts the efficacy of the supplement.
Also, lower grade supplements will often use more artificial fillers and other ingredients which have the primary purpose of lowering manufacturing cost.
Know the source of the ingredients in your pet nutrition products. Look for companies that are focused more on high quality rather than low cost.
Look for Certification Standards
Anyone can mix up a batch of ingredients, package and attempt to sell them as a pet supplement. Companies that care about keeping a high quality standard will not only ensure that their ingredients are of a high standard but will go the extra mile to jump through as many certification and regulatory hoops as possible so their customers know that they can be trusted…that what is on the label is indeed what is in the product itself, and is safe and effective.
In Canada there are two governmental regulations that apply to pet nutritional supplements:
1) Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
Manufacturers who make drug and natural health products for human consumption must ensure that these products are consistently produced and controlled to meet regulated quality standards.
Pet supplement brands, who want to meet the highest standards of quality, seek out these facilities for production of their products.
2) Low Risk Veterinary Health Products (LRVHP)
In this voluntary program, an approved product satisfies Health Canada requirements that the product contains pet-safe ingredients and is manufactured in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices.
After compliance is confirmed, the importer/manufacturer of the product receives a notification number (NN) which must then be displayed on the product label.
We feel that adherence to the highest standards of governmental regulation is an important element of the effort to increase trust with the public and improve the quality of pet nutritional supplements overall in the industry.
Look for Natural Products
Nature has a way of taking care of itself. Plants and animals were thriving long before there were scientists and doctors. Clearly our modern agriculture system presents a sub-standard method of food production which has evolved, or devolved perhaps, from the purer “methods” nature has been using for countless eons.
When choosing supplements for your pet, look for ingredients that are primarily naturally sourced. Science will be needed, and some “non-natural” ingredients may be required to complete the manufacturing of a product, but having a high percentage of quality organic and natural ingredients will allow nature to do its job for our pet’s health.
How To Choose?
- Read the label. Do your research and have some understanding of the ingredients.
- Look for the certification marks or numbers, i.e. GMP seal and LRVHP numbers.
- Look for contact information of the company. Call them and ask questions.
- Be wary of exaggerated claims.
- Talk to your veterinarian about the ingredients in the product.
- Connect with others that have already been using the product and see how well it has worked for their pets.
To sum up, first check the facts, look for adherence to quality standards, then find out how effective the products are in the real world. If your dog or cat has a specific health issue or problem, you don’t need to buy in to marketing hype surrounding a product that claims to present a cure for your pet. With a little due diligence, you can enhance the health of your pet in a safe and effective way with the use of quality supplements.
We invite you to contact us and ask questions regarding our BiologicVET pet products.