Dietary supplements

There is a huge array of dietary supplements or ‘Nutraceuticals’ on the market aimed at pets, some are backed by significant scientific evidence, others have very little to prove their claims. Here we take you through the most common supplements, and how they might help your pet.

Dietary supplements or ‘nutraceuticals’ are defined as;
‘non-drug substances that are produced in a purified or extracted form and administered orally to provide agents required for normal body structure and function with the intent of improving thr health and well-being of animals,

Fish oils

  • These contain very high concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to be beneficial in several diseases;
  • Heart disease – omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to protect the heart as they are potent anti-inflammatories and also lower blood fat levels. They have also been shown to reduce abnormal heart rhythms and prevent heart attacks.
  • Kidney disease – fatty acids have been shown to slow the progression of early onset kidney failure
  • Joint disease – in human studies it has been shown that supplementing with fish oils reduces the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and also reduces the need for medication. Studies in dogs have not been as extensive, but it is widely believed to be just as beneficial.
  • Cancer – omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of tumours. Studies have shown that dogs with certain types of cancer lived longer if given fish oils.


  • Glucosamine is used in the body to make and maintain the cartilage in the joints.
  • In arthritis this cartilage degenerates, causing pain and inflammation.
  • Supplementing the body with glucosamine provides it with the ingredients it needs to repair the damaged cartilage.
  • Human studies have shown that supplementing arthritic patients with glucosamine inhibits the progression of the disease and also reduces the inflammation in the joint. Studies have been done in dogs which indicate it may be just as beneficial.
  • Glucosamine is found in many joint supplements, often along with Chondroitin, or it can be given in its raw form. It is exactly the same substance in animals as it is in people.
  • We recommend the veterinary standard supplements, which are often only available from your vet, these will have been tested to prove they contain the amount of supplements they say (some cheaper products may not) and they will also contain other substance to help your pet.

Vitamin E

  • Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant and has been shown to inhibit joint cartilage degeneration in arthritic conditions and also, in humans, to reduce the risk of developing arthrtitis.
  • It is unusual to find Vitamin E on its own, but it is often an ingredient in good quality supplements for joints and skin.
  • We will be adding more information to this page over time, so please keep checking back, or sign up to our mailing list on the contact page to be kept informed of updates.

Please note this is an advice only website, if you have any specific concerns or queries about your pet, please contact your vet.

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