Friday, September 01, 2006

Supplements for Pets

Supplements for Pets: "Supplements for Pets

According to the ASPCA, if your pet is eating a healthful, balanced diet of high-quality food, then vitamin supplementation is not necessary. Even pets eating kibble are more likely to suffer from vitamin overdoses (due to the amount manufacturers add to the finished product) than vitamin deficiencies. Give your pets the extra boost they need by feeding them raw vegetables and fruits as treats.
The ASPCA also advises that it is not necessary to supplement unless a specific deficiency is diagnosed by your veterinarian. However, some people subscribe to the view that optimal pet health is more than just avoiding a marked deficiency, and that their pets may benefit from daily supplements. Here are the vitamins that dogs and cats need most, and why:
Vitamin A: For healthy tissues, inside and out. The best form is from fish oils, like cod-liver, and is beneficial to dogs and cats.

B Vitamins: Promote growth and aid in healing. B Vitamins are also necessary for fat and protein assimilation, as well as metabolic processes. They are found naturally in eggs, yogurt and kefir (an enzyme-rich yogurt-like product that stimulates digestion and peristalsis).

Vitamin C: An essential antioxidant that helps eliminate free radicals. Carnivores can produce their own vitamin C, but their need for it increases in stressful situations. The best form for dogs is calcium ascorbate, which is water-soluble and causes the fewest side effects (such as nausea or diarrhea).

Vitamin E: An essential antioxidant. Promotes healthy circulation in the heart and arteries. It also helps protect the lungs from the effects of pollution. Senior cats especially can benefit from increased vitamin E intake to maintain their immune system responses.

Probiotics: Just as we need active, �friendly� i"
--read the rest by clicking the title link - bulldogs need supplements too! VL

Your Bulldog Could Benefit from a Little Dirt!

: "Hygiene Hypothesis Vindicated

Improvements in sanitation over the last century have led to longer, healthier lives in the industrialized world � but like most things in life, cleanliness can be taken too far. A new study suggests that overly hygienic environments increase the tendency to develop allergic reactions and autoimmune disease.
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center compared the antibodies in the blood of laboratory rats and mice, which grow in a virtually germ-free environment, with those of wild rats and mice. All of the wild rodents had higher levels of IgG and IgE, classes of antibodies associated with immune and allergic diseases, but the wild rodents� antibodies did not tend to bind to the rat�s own cells, as did the antibodies produced by the hygienically raised rodents. Instead, the wild rodents� antibodies efficiently and effectively attacked invading organisms. The researchers published their results early on-line in the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology.
The �hygiene hypotheses� is perfectly sensible to me. I think it is extremely important for children and adults to spend significant amounts of time outdoors, where they can interact with all manner of environmental stresses and build strong, healthy immune systems. I also discourage the indiscriminate use of antibacterial soaps for the same reason. The immune system is like any other system � it needs exercise and challenges to grow and function effectively."
--this applies to bulldogs too, especially where allergies are concerned! VL