There are maybe a ZILLION products out there for pets. It doesn't take super-smarts to know that many of these products are packaged and advertised to appeal to our very human emotions. After all, our pets certainly don't have tiny little wallets to pay for these products. It is rumored that our pets can't even read, although I'm certain the experts weren't talking about OUR pets. Who'd even suggest these little darlings are less than brilliant?? That's another blog post for another day....
So...since we discuss all things pets all day long, we've decided to bring a few of those discussions to the Northwood Hills Animal Hospital Blog. We promise to include cute pictures and not-too-tedious information. Naturally, you can email us or call us if you have questions about any of the products mentioned. If you want to purchase them, we can order them if we don't have them in stock. (Some items have a short shelf life so we don't hold them in stock. Most of our suppliers can get products to us within 72 business hours.)
Our first product review is for a multi-vitamin supplement for dogs. (At the end of this blog entry, we'll discuss whether or not your pet really NEEDS vitamin supplementation.) It is called Canine Plus Bite-Sized Chews produced by Vetri-Science Laboratories. Here is a picture of a bag we've been using at home the past few weeks.
The first reason we love this product:
It really does look like a tiny treat and the two guinea pigs, uh..I mean DOGS... devoured it. One of the dogs is picky and turns her snooty little nose up at new treats and foods. The other one will eat anything because he is a very good boy. They've rejected plenty of flavored supplements and medications in the past. They accepted it eagerly. Taking photos of the bag and the vitamin supplements was a challenge with these two.
Here are some photos of the label:
The second reason we love this product:
It contains digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes added to vitamin supplements are believed to assist in absorption and assimilation of those vitamins. We've used a different brand of vitamin supplement with digestive enzymes before and the dogs developed loose stools. It may have been because the vitamin levels were much higher than the ones in this product. In any case, the Canine Plus Bite-Sized Chews have not caused any tummy upset.
The third reason we love this product:
The size is perfect for small dogs and the dose per chew makes it easy to administer to larger dogs. (Your sub-standard photographer didn't think to put something in the photo to demonstrate scale.) Each chew is approximately one inch long and about half an inch thick. Refer to the label photos above for dosing to see how economical it can be. Be sure to follow package directions and the recommendation of your veterinarian.
*About dosing: these are vitamins in a treat form. They are NOT treats. There is no reason to increase vitamin dosages in your pets. Some vitamins can be toxic if given in high doses. If you believe your dog is unhealthy and needs a boost of extra vitamins, please see your veterinarian immediately.
Your dog WILL beg for more of these. Be strong!
She's licking the fabric where the chews were placed for the photos.
I promise, these are candid snapshots. These dogs wouldn't pose for me if I grilled steak for them.
One final reason we love this product:
It may sound "cheesy" but, as a pet owner, I FEEL better knowing I'm supplementing my dogs' highly varied diets. They do eat a high-quality kibble but they also get some home-prepared meals. The male, who is neutered, really began to pick up weight when the puppy came along. I've fed some of the diet foods with excellent results but, in his case, had to contend with the return of tear stains and crust around his eyes. I decided to follow Dr. Selig's long-standing recommendation of reducing kibble and adding green beans or other low-calorie vegetables to help my dog feel full.
This reduction in kibble, combined with my choice to replace some conventional meals with healthy home-prepared dog foods, make me wonder if they are truly getting the complete range of nutrients they need. Using the Canine Plus bite-sized chews make me feel as if I'm bridging any nutritional gaps I may be creating without making me concerned about overdosing them on vitamins.
Why we think you'll like this product:
It is easy to administer.
It is affordable and economical.
**If your dog will only eat chicken and rice or similar limited diets, you really should discuss this product with your vet. We know several people whose dogs will only eat chicken and rice or beef and rice. Those diets can be dangerously deficient in vitamins and minerals and can cause problems as the pet ages.
Does your pet really NEED this product?
Only you and your veterinarian, a complete physical exam and comprehensive blood, urine and stool testing can determine if your pet is suffering from conditions related to vitamin deficiencies. If your pet has known food allergies, this product may contain items that can trigger a sensitivity or reaction. Read the ingredients label first.
WE love the product and believe it has played a positive role in our dogs' health and well-being. We hope you will consider using it and that your results are as positive. We like to think these two are representative of healthy, happy dogs who bring joy to their family every day. (We may be a little biased.)
We hope you've enjoyed our first product review. We are providing reviews of products our staff members have used and recommend. If you have a product you'd like to suggest, please give us a call or send us an email! We'd love to hear from you!