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Kodee just turned one, and he has been on a high-quality grain-free dog food since shortly after I got him. He also gets Salmon Oil and Vitamin E daily. In addition, I "supplement" his diet with raw mixed with THK Force, about 1-2 times/week.

My question is, are there any vitamins or supplements that a GSD should be getting at this age? My vet advised me that as far as joint health, glucosamine and chondroitin aren't really of any benefit as far as preventing joint problems, just in relieving symptoms once joint problems have developed. These are the only 2 supplements that I had seriously considered giving Kodee besides the Vit E and fish oil. However, now I'm wondering if he should get anything else? A multivitamin or anything? I don't want him on anything that won't benefit him, but I don't want to leave anything out that would help him healthwise, either.

What are your suggestions and/or experiences with supplements and your dogs' health? Any input would be appreciated! TIA!
 

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My thoughts on vitamin suppliments are: if the dog is getting a good quality kibble (which I know he is), you can actually do more harm than good supplimenting.

Some vits/mins don't cause any harm if you "over dose" on them, but some DO.
 

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I don't agree that glu/chon don't prevent joint problems and arthritis. I've always started my kids on these supplements when they're about 4ish and they just don't develop the issues. Zamboni is 15 years old. After her ACL surgeries in 2001, I started to give her supplements because I was worried that arthritis was a risk.

We took xrays of her last year and the only bit of arthritis we found was in two of her toes. That's pretty good for a dog that's been highly active (and rather reckless) her whole life. I don't know that you need to start them at 1 year old. I rather my GSD finish growing first. I've just started giving Camper glu/chond supplements (half strength) this month. He's a bit over two, and super active, so I didn't want to wait too long. He also just finished a major filling-out growth spurt, so I think he's probably about 97-99% done growing.

In your shoes, I'd wait to give Kodee glu/chond. Fish oil is ok, although I don't know that you even need to give that every day. (I don't. I don't think it's necessary that frequently. And I worry about pollutants even in the stuff that claims to be contaminant-free. Mercury is a serious toxin). Watch your multi-vitamin. If it has a bunch of listings for 100%, 150% or 1000% of certain vitamins (vitamin A for example), it isn't safe. You can break it up and give pieces a couple times a week.

My vet does recommend multi-vitamins, and I think they're a pretty good idea, overall. But the doses in multivitamins tend to be obscene. So if you want to give one, just read the label and adjust accordingly. But if you can feed veggies (cooked, pureed, whatever) and fruit, to go with your fresh meat, strive for variety and you'll be WAY ahead of the game and don't need synthetic vitamins and minerals at all.
 

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Re: Should I give my 1 year old GSD any supplement

I personally believe that no kibble is complete and balanced.

I also believe that glucosamine and chondroitin do help to either prevent, or greatly slow the progression of joint disease. I don't want to wait until my dog starts showing the pain that s/he has probably been in for a long time.
 

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Re: Should I give my 1 year old GSD any supplement

Glad to hear your opinion, Lisa. My digs are on a great kibble, but I give all three of my dogs a product that has glucosamine and chondroitin and other joint compounds in it.

My 15 year old mix does have arthritis (for years) and does well with no pain meds, my 7 year old is a tri-pod and I felt it might help him down the road and Skye, almost 5 is a long legged, slender GSD.

I just felt it helped all and will continue to give it to them.

What do you think about vitimin C for GSDs? Worth giving them daily?
 

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Re: Should I give my 1 year old GSD any supplement

Indy had hip surgery about 10 years ago, and the surgeons told me that she will develop arthritis. I've given her the joint supplements since then and so far, so good, knock on wood.

I do give both the dogs vitamin C daily, but I also give them extra bioflavanoids. I don't give them much, but I know that of all animals that "make their own" vitamin C, dogs make the least, and they don't make enough to have stores of it in stressful times. Added to that, it's made in the liver, so any dog with liver problems, or stresses on the liver, is probably a bit deficient in vitamin C. I actually use sodium ascorbate, it's the only one that doesn't give the GSD loose stools.

It's supposed to be helpful in joint conditions, not only from anecdotal info, but you'll notice it's in things like Cosequin, that are very well studied. Both my dogs have allergies, and I think it helps with that.
 
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