9 of the Best Supplements for Active Dogs

July 12, 2023

Written By: Earth Buddy Team

Black and brown spotted dog with tongue out sitting for an Earth Buddy CBD dog treat. CBD for dogs can help calm anxiety.

Dogs are our loyal, perfect companions, and for many dog owners, they are a huge part of the family. Whether you have a high energy Border Collie that loves long hikes, an Australian Cattle Dog who enjoys fetching, or a Doberman Pinscher that never seems to tire, your active dogs require specialized care to maintain optimal health. Like humans, even the most active dog breeds can benefit from the right supplementation, tailored to their specific needs and lifestyles. With a plethora of supplements on the market, it’s easy to get lost. In this blog, we’ll delve into the seven best supplements to keep your active pup in top shape.

1. Glucosamine and Chondroitin During Training

Active dog breeds, particularly those involved in vigorous physical activities, are prone to joint problems. Glucosamine and chondroitin are renowned for supporting joint health. They help your four legged friend maintain normal, healthy cartilage and joint function and provide nutritional support for joint strength and flexibility.

If you’re looking at supplements, some companies incorporate natural eggshell membrane. If you see this listed as an ingredient, it’s likely incorporated due to its natural glucosamine and chondroitin. This can be especially helpful during training exercises when your dog is continuously repeating an action all day long.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids For Healthy Inflammatory Pathways

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), are essential for many bodily functions. They help promote a glossy coat, healthy skin, and normal inflammatory pathways.

Additionally, Omega-3s help maintain a normal inflammatory response that can benefit active dogs’ joints and muscles. Cold-water fish oils, like salmon or krill oil, are excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. But by the time they hit the shelf, they’re usually oxidized, meaning they don’t contain all the benefits they should, and the antioxidants are gone.

Instead of fish oil, add some raw, fresh fish to your dog’s bowl. Small fish are recommended to avoid heavy metal toxicity. Small fish have shorter lifespans and therefore don’t have time to accumulate mercury or other heavy metals. If you’re not comfortable adding raw fish to your dog’s bowl, look for air-dried fish that you could provide as a meal topper or a great training tool.

3. Probiotics for Active Dogs

Probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria, can significantly support the health and well-being of active pups, like Border Collies and Australian Cattle Dogs, as well as other dogs with excess energy. Here are some of the ways probiotics can be beneficial:

  • Promote digestion: Probiotics assist in the digestion and absorption of essential nutrients, which supports healthy digestion. This is crucial for active dogs that need optimal nutrition for energy and performance.
  • Stronger immune system: A significant portion of a dog’s immune system resides in the gut. By supporting a healthy gut microbiome, probiotics enhance the immune response, keeping your active dog healthier.
  • Improved digestive processes: Probiotics can help maintain the balance of the gut flora. This is especially beneficial for active dogs, as problems with digestion can impact their performance and overall well-being.
  • Increased energy levels: By improving digestion and nutrient absorption, probiotics can support performance and endurance, which are crucial for dogs with an active lifestyle.
  • Better stress management: Research suggests a link between gut health and mood. Probiotics can potentially help keep your pet calm and relaxed, making them beneficial for high-energy dogs and those participating in demanding activities like dog sports or working roles.
  • Weight management: Probiotics support proper weight management by enhancing metabolism and promoting healthy digestion, which is particularly important for active dogs to promote healthy joints.
  • Healthier skin and coat: Probiotics can also promote healthier skin and a shinier coat by supporting nutrient absorption and overall health, keeping your furry friend looking as good as they feel.

4. Antioxidants to Support Exercise

Just like in humans, antioxidants can eliminate free radicals to support normal bodily functions in dogs. Vitamins C and E, selenium, and carotenoids are among the antioxidants that can support the immune system, help keep dogs in peak condition, and support overall wellness. Active dogs may particularly benefit from antioxidant supplementation, as strenuous exercise can increase oxidative stress.

Antioxidants can be found in many supplements, like blueberry or cranberry supplements. These fruits are rich in antioxidants and can support urinary health. Fortunately, Earth Buddy offers Blueberry Hemp Hearts, which are not only rich in antioxidants but also support and promote long-term health.

5. Protein Supplements for Dogs Involved in More Exercise Than Others

Protein is crucial for muscle growth and repair, making it a vital nutrient for active dogs. If your dog is involved in high endurance activities, they might require additional protein to meet their needs. While a balanced diet usually provides sufficient protein, some active owners opt for supplementation, commonly in the form of whey or casein protein powder.

6. Medicinal Mushrooms for Overall Well-Being

Earth Buddy’s 4 different products with Mushrooms for dogs with whole reishi mushrooms, cordyceps mushrooms, lion’s mane mushrooms, and turkey tail mushrooms all surrounding the products.

Medicinal mushrooms, such as Reishi, Turkey Tail, Cordyceps, Agrikon, and Lion’s Mane, are becoming increasingly popular in canine nutrition for their ability to improve overall well-being.

Medicinal mushrooms, rich in unique compounds like beta-glucans, terpenoids, and polysaccharides, offer a wealth of potential benefits for active dogs. Here’s how they can be beneficial:

  • Enhanced stamina: Certain medicinal mushrooms, like Cordyceps, are known to support energy production, which helps support normal stamina and endurance in active dogs, even if all they’re doing that day is playing with dog toys or spending time learning new tricks.
  • Promotes healthy immune function: Medicinal mushrooms, including Turkey Tail mushrooms and Reishi, can enhance the immune response thanks to their high antioxidant content and other beneficial compounds.
  • Promotes normal inflammatory processes: Many medicinal mushrooms promote healthy inflammatory pathways, which help support joint flexibility and mobility, which is an essential consideration for owners with dogs engaged in strenuous activities.
  • Promotes digestive health: Some medicinal mushrooms, like Shiitake and Maitake, support digestive tract health by helping maintain proper gut flora and enhancing digestive enzyme production.
  • Improved cognitive function: Certain mushrooms, such as Lion’s Mane, contain ingredients known to support a healthy brain, potentially supporting normal brain and nerve function, which can benefit dogs of all activity levels.
  • Oxidative stress: The high antioxidant content in medicinal mushrooms can help reduce oxidative stress, which can be particularly high in active dogs due to rigorous physical exercise.
  • Support for aging dogs: The overall health-supporting properties of medicinal mushrooms can also benefit older dogs that remain active, helping maintain physical and mental well-being.

7. Multivitamins Containing Necessary Ingredients

Multivitamins serve as a sort of insurance policy, ensuring that your dog gets all the necessary micronutrients. They can be particularly useful for active dogs who have increased nutritional needs. A good multivitamin will contain a range of vitamins and minerals to support overall health. Look for vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, as well as B-vitamins. Minerals like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron are also essential.

Just like human supplements, not all pet supplements are created equal. Look for brands that prioritize high-quality, natural ingredients and avoid products with artificial colors, flavors, or unnecessary fillers. Above all, remember that a multivitamin is not a substitute for a balanced diet. It’s meant to complement your dog’s diet and provide additional support for their overall health and well-being.

8. B Vitamins to Support Energy Production

B vitamins are essential for active dogs, including those originally bred for canine sports or serving as working dogs, as they help support energy production at a cellular level and normal cardiovascular, immune, and neurological function. They also play a crucial role in supporting normal brain and nerve function and a healthy red blood cell count. B vitamins can be found in many dog foods, but additional supplementation can be beneficial for highly active dogs and help keep them mentally stimulated by providing a source of energy at the cellular level.

9. Full Spectrum Hemp Extract to Ease Discomfort

Black, brown and white border collie running in snow with female hand holding a bottle of Earth Buddy Mobility 500mg with CBDa for dog’s joint pain.

Full spectrum hemp extract, often containing cannabinoids like CBD or CBDa for dogs, has become a popular supplement in the pet wellness industry due to its potential health benefits. Active dogs may benefit from it, as it is known to maintain a normal inflammatory response, which may help relieve discomfort associated with normal daily exercise and activity.

Full spectrum hemp extract can also be useful in managing discomfort, which is especially relevant for breeds prone to joint issues or older dogs that are still active. Additionally, full spectrum hemp extract (dog owners should look for full spectrum rather than broad spectrum) can have calming effects, providing high-energy dogs with a sense of relaxation and mental alertness without drowsiness.

A Healthy Diet for Active Dog Breeds

Although supplements can help your active pup stay healthy, there’s no substitute for a healthy, balanced diet to support their high energy levels and physical demands. While high levels of exercise will fulfill your dog’s need for mental stimulation, they will require more to sustain their bodies.

They often require more calories, protein, and certain nutrients than less active dogs to support their increased metabolic rate. High-quality proteins provide the essential amino acids needed for muscle development and repair, while complex carbohydrates offer sustained energy, and promote healthy mental simulation. Fats are also vital, as they are the most concentrated source of energy.

Moreover, active breeds can benefit from certain supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and antioxidants for muscle recovery and immune support. However, it’s essential that the diet be balanced and not lead to excessive weight gain, which can put a strain on the dog’s joints and overall health.

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