pets, toxicity, harmful, nutrition, animals, dogs, cats

Pet Supplements Can Be Risky

A vet weighs in on the rising trend.

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THE GIST
Supplements formulated just for dogs or other animals are becoming more popular with pet owners. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, as many as 33 percent of pets in the U.S. take them
EXPERT INSIGHT
Whether for humans or animals, dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and there's no guarantee that they actually contain the ingredient in the amount mentioned on the label, explains Lisa M. Freeman, D.V.M., Ph.D., professor of clinical nutrition at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. "It’s also important to be aware that even if a supplement is proven to be safe for humans, it may not be safe for pets, who metabolize them differently," she points out. For example, Freeman says that "unless a pet is eating a nutritionally unbalanced diet, a multivitamin is not needed. In fact, it could put them at risk for toxicity."
THE BOTTOM LINE
Don’t give your pet supplements without first checking with your vet. He or she will make recommendations based on their needs, taking into consideration age, health, diet, and activity level.