Chapter 8: Supplemental Habits for a Long and Healthy Life

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The right combination of supplements at the right time – without going to extremes – can help support your dog’s natural biology to address any gaps in their diet and other lifestyle factors, age, or genetics. But not all dogs need supplements all the time.

Core basics (see chapter details for dosing and delivery) to consider for your dog: 

Resveratrol (knotweed)

Curcumin (especially if your dog won’t eat turmeric)

Probiotics (especially if your dog won’t eat fermented veggies)

Essential fatty acids (EPA + DHA), if your dog doesn’t consume fatty fish two to three times a week)

Quercetin

Nicotinamide riboside (NR) or nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)

Lion’s mane mushroom (for dogs over seven)

Glutathione (if your dog won’t eat mushrooms)

Curated Support

For dogs exposed to a lot of chemicals (e.g., lawn care products, household cleaning agents), add SAMe (also see box on page 261).

For dogs given heartworm, flea, and tick medications, add milk thistle.

For dogs who need extra joint support, add perna mussels.

For dogs who need extra support for stress and anxiety, add L-theanine, ashwagandha, bacopa monnieri, and rhodiola rosea.

For dogs spayed or neutered before puberty, add lignans.

For dogs fed more than 50 percent processed food, add carnosine and chlorella.

For dogs with chronic infections, add olive leaf extract when infections flare.

For senior dogs, add ubiquinol

“But not all dogs need supplements all the time.” True Supplements like Resveratrol, NR, SAMw, Milk Thistle, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, etc. introduce so many more questions for owners. Amongst these are: quality, traceability, and even testing of the presence of active ingredients. These have proven real issues for humans trying to find supplements to take. Companies love the chance to slap a pet on their package and charge unknowing consumers more. The sentence I copied that “Not all dogs need supplements all the time”, is to highlight that as an owner assessing the effectiveness of a product on yourself can be next to impossible. Adding all the other challenges I listed in addition to not being able to get real verbal feedback from your pet as to if they feel these things are making a difference means that it’s all left up to speculation. This opens consumers up to hokey BS marketing and unsubstantiated health claims. We really pride ourselves on providing science on our PRODUCTS to back up the claims. We don’t want to add another product to the market just to do it, we want all our products to add value to the space. 

You as an owner have the challenge of knowing when a company is using science to make far-reaching claims, or if they are experts who are qualified to actually assess and make these claims. Being that there is so little data on things like NR and Resveratrol Them being promoted by this book is a bit shocking. The opportunities these things can offer are almost net 0 when you are eating a healthy diet low in processed food, sugar, or high fructose corn syrup, maintaining an optimal BMI, and getting regular exercise in every study for humans I have ever seen. They mimic the anti-aging effects of exercise without providing the health span effect of actual exercise. This means that they do the opposite of what this book says because they do not promote health span the promote unhealthy life span.

Perhaps the argument is that because so many dogs are overweight and eating a high processed kibble diet these things should have great priority, but here’s the thing: where is the study proving the benefit for pets? It doesn’t exist. Making meaningful improvements to diet, managing healthy body weight, and providing daily exercise will be the biggest thing any owner can do for their pets, if you feel like you have maximized these opportunities, or you are dealing with a specific issue you believe a supplement could help then go for trying it. Owners need to know why they are using any supplement and they should hold those companies selling them accountable to prove their products safe and effective in the pets.

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