good pill hunting: picking pet health supplements

Posted by Dr. Jules Benson on Aug 12 2014


Your dog gets the best of everything. High-quality food, fresh air, exercise, and of course, loves -- what more could she need? Other than comprehensive pet insurance, dogs really benefit from the nutritional boost of vitamin supplements to help keep them healthy. And supplements such as glucosamine or chondroitin can actually prevent and manage joint pain. But with so many supplements to choose from, how can you decide what’s best for your pet?


Petplan veterinarians encourage you to ask your vet before offering any vitamin or minerals supplements to your pet. She’ll likely consider your pet’s age, breed, diet and medical conditions before recommending supplements she trusts. Your vet’s recommendation is also important because pet supplements are not reviewed or approved by the FDA and have absolutely no manufacture restrictions requiring consistent formulations. Ultimately, by heeding your vet’s advice, you can avoid choosing poor-quality pet supplements with improper ingredient levels or even heavy metals and pesticides.

To help your vet select safe, reliable veterinary supplements, they learn to follow the ACCLAIM system below. Check it out. It can really come in handy when reviewing any products for your pet.

A = A name you recognize. Choose an established company that provides educational materials for veterinarians and other consumers. Is it a company that is well established?

C = Clinical experience. Companies that support clinical research and have their products used in clinical trials that are published in peer-reviewed journals to which veterinarians have access are more likely to have a quality product.

C = Contents. All ingredients should be clearly indicated on the product label.

L = Label claims. Label claims that sound too good to be true likely are. Choose products with realistic label claims, which applies to meeting the levels of ingredients present on the label, as well as those with a lot number and expiration, which shows that the company is testing the stability of the product as well as the container.

A = Administration recommendations.Dosing instructions should be accurate and easy to follow. It should be easy to calculate the amount of active ingredient administered per dose per day.

I = Identification of lot. A lot identification number indicates that a surveillance system exists to ensure product quality.

M = Manufacturer information. Basic company information should be clearly stated on the label including a website (that is up and running) or some other means of contacting customer support.