Many pet owners who feel they benefit from taking supplements also want their pets to experience these same positive impacts on their health. Supplements can benefit pets through every stage of life, both to support good health and to help as pets age.
Pet supplements are products that contain ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and herbs, with targeted health benefits that can help pets maintain the healthy function of their bodies. They can come in many forms, such as tablets, capsules, powders, pastes, liquids, and soft chews.
There are two categories of pet supplements: food supplements and health supplements.
Food supplements are products formulated to provide nutritional benefits in conjunction with a complete and balanced diet and are not considered treats.
Products that fit into this category may include:
- Vitamins and minerals
- Skin and coat products
- Fiber-based products
- Essential fatty acid products
The labels on pet food supplements have information similar to that found on dog and cat food/treat packages. The front panel shows the brand name, the product name, the intended use (what it is for), and the animal species it is for. The back and or side panels display nutritional information about the product, including guaranteed analysis, calorie content, ingredients, directions for use, and feeding directions, as well as contact information. Additionally, a lot number should also appear somewhere on the label or container.
The labeling requirements for pet food, including food supplements, will be changing nationwide. Starting in 2024, you may begin to see two different label formats on pet food products during the transition period. The goal is to align label information more closely with human food labeling. Hopefully, you will like what you see!
Health supplements are products with active ingredients that may help maintain normal physiological structure and function of the body and typically support a specific body system.
Many products fit into this category. A few of them are:
- Hip & joint support
- Calming aids
- Organ-specific support (heart, brain)
- Immune support
The front panel on an animal health supplement label shows the brand name, the product name, the intended use (what it is for), and the animal species it is for. The back or side panels display beneficial active ingredients, inactive ingredients, cautions, and claims indicating the targeted health benefit of the product, as well as directions for use, warnings, and contact information. In addition, a lot number should also appear somewhere on the label or container.