The best pet health supplements and probiotics

We’ve put together a guide to what your pet may need

Cat and Dog Eating Together

by Piper Huxley |

Vitamins help your body process other nutrients. Similarly, with your furry friends, without the right balance of vitamins, their bodies may not grow or repair themselves properly. So, what can be done about it? The best way to get that right balance of vitamins is to supplement your pet’s diet. At Take a Break, we’ve made a guide to the best pet health supplements and probiotics.

What are probiotics?

Put simply, probiotics are live microorganisms – similar to those found naturally in the intestines. They help maintain balance in the digestive tract. After consumption, they help fight nasty pathogens. With more probiotics in the body, your furry friend has a better chance of fighting off illness, as well as achieving healthy digestion.

So, if you've noticed your pet has had some toilet-related incidents, like diarrhoea or excessive gas, your perfect pooch or kitty might benefit from a probiotic supplement. After all, pets of any age can experience digestive problems, so probiotics can be introduced at any time of their lives.

Best pet health supplements and probiotics

Ingredients: Meat, Minerals, Live Probiotic Bacteria

Preparation: Sachets - Take with Regular Food, 30

Suitability: Adult Cats

Dosage: One Sachet Daily for 30 Days

Pros: Sachets, Easy to Hide in Food

Cons: Some Cats Haven't Eaten It

Review: "My cat has IBD. Since using this, he's been so much happier. He used to sometime have bouts of aggression, but this has stopped. He's more energetic and seems more loving with a more soppy and affectionate nature. We sprinkle half a packet on his wet food and he gobbles it up!"

Ingredients: Probiotic E. faecium, MOS and Beta-glucans, ScFOS

Preparation: Tablets, 120

Suitability: All Dogs

Dosage: Small Dogs - 1, Medium Dogs - 2, Large Dogs - 3 & Very Large Dogs - 4 Tablets

Pros: Large Pack, Great Reviews

Cons: Tablets are Large

Review: "I must say I’m always a bit sceptical when buying remedies etc as I’m sure some people would feel they benefit from placebos. However... these are doing wonders for my dog and for our noses. My rescue has an extremely sensitive belly caused by eating rubbish on the streets. He is intolerant of many foods and has the smelliest bum ever…..until now. I saw definite benefits from these within 3 days and he takes them like treats (although I think they smell of vomit). I will be buying these again."

Ingredients: Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamins C, E & B, Zinc, MOS and FOS prebiotics, DHA and Beta-glucans

Preparation: Soft Chews, 120

Suitability: Adult Dogs - Other Age Ranges are Available

Dosage: Small Dogs - 1, Medium Dogs - 2, Large Dogs - 3 & Very Large Dogs - 4 Bites.

Pros: Large Pack, Delicious

Cons: Expensive

Review: "This is for dogs, so I have no idea how they taste. I know my Silky terrier loves them. She was having bad problems itching with allergies. I had tried everything including pills from the vet and itch spray. Since taking one a day of these vitamins she has completely stopped. So grateful for this product."

Ingredients: Derivatives of Vegetable Origin, Oils and Fats, Beta-glucans

Preparation: Paste, 200g

Suitability: All Cats

Dosage: Pea-Sized Amount, Daily

Pros: Easy to Put in Food

Cons: Cheese Flavour is Strong - May not Appeal to Cats

Review: "My old cat Whiskers who is 20 - started to show signs of fatigue and an early sign of dementia (forgetting she'd eaten/sticking her tongue out and staring at walls!) I've had her on this paste for a month now, not even a month about 18 days and she has started climbing again. She must have suffered from some joint pain so for around 4 years now she hasn't ever jumped up on my cabinets or the fence outside, but I can't get her off anything more than 4 feet high now, she absolutely seems like a kitten again, just how I remember her being when I was 4. It's amazing."

Ingredients: Chondroitin, Glucosamine, Green-Lipped Mussel, Vitamins, Amino Acids, Minerals and Ginseng

Preparation: Tablets, 45

Suitability: Senior Cats and Dogs

Dosage:

Cats Up to 2.5kg - ½ tablet daily & Over 2.5kg - 1 tablet daily

Small Dogs/Puppies (Up to 10kgs) - 2, Medium (10 - 30kgs) - 3 & Larger Dogs (30+ kgs) - 4 tablets daily

Pros: Great Reviews

Cons: None.

Review: "To be honest, with all my sceptical belief it would help, but it is worth at its fullest! I notice huge progress in his arthritis. My 13.5-old cat started to run and jump on chairs after just 1 week of use. After 2 weeks, I notice he is capable now to jump over 1-1.5 meters in height. It makes me so happy to see my fluffy friend more active, and playful. I haven't seen him playing for years and now he is so joyful!"

Ingredients: Salmon Oil 99.5%, Antioxidants 0.5%

Preparation: Fish Oil, 500ml

Suitability: Dogs, Cats, Horses, Ferrets & Other Pets from Two Months

Dosage: Mix with your pets food and introduce gradually over one week. 1 pump ≈ 2ml or 1tsp = 5ml

Cats, 1-2ml Daily; Ferrets 1ml Daily; Horses, 1ml per 100kg Daily

Dogs, Small (<10kg) - 0.5-1 tsp/2-5ml/Daily; Medium (10-25kg) 1-2 tsp/5-10ml/Daily; Large (25-50kg) 2-3 tsp/10-15ml/Daily; X Large (50kg+) 3-4 tsp/15-20ml/Daily

Pros: Tasty, Easily Pumped Onto Food

Cons: Tricky Pump Dispenser

Review: "Excellent product and mess free with the dispenser. Exchanged a few emails with them; really friendly and great customer service. My dog loves it and this has a big part to play in the compliments he receives every day around the park on his coat. Not only that I know it's doing him good internally also when given the correct amount. This isnt the first bottle Ive bought and it won't be the last. I thought it wouldnt last long when I bought the first bottle as my dog is huge, but it lasts ages even when used every day."

Ingredients: L-Tryptophan, L-Arginine, Lemon Balm, Fish Protein Hydrolysate, Vitamin B1, B6 & B12, Niacinamide, Folic Acid

Preparation: Tablets, 60

Suitability: Adult Dogs

Dosage: Very Small Dogs - 1/2, Small Dogs - 1, Medium Dogs - 2, Large Dogs - 3 & Very Large Dogs - 4 Tablets

Pros: Life-Changing Testamonials

Cons: Need a Better Taste

Review: "Absolutely fantastic product- I own a very nervous spaniel who has suffered with severe anxiety for her whole life- this makes her unable to settle, she will go in circles as she can’t calm down!! Even in the home. She is so hyper and crazy because of nerves that she would pee in her bed and on our sofa out of stress. A month into taking this once a day she is a different dog in the best way- her nerves have calmed, she no longer goes in circles, handles stress better and sleeps sounder. She even barks less in general too. She no longer pees in the house at all she is a happier dog!"

Ingredients: L-Tryptophan, GABA Fementate Blend, L-Arginine, Lemon Balm, Fish Protein Hydrolysate, Vitamin B1, B6 & B12, Niacinamide, Folic Acid

Preparation: Capsules, 30

Suitability: Adult Cats

Dosage: Cats (up to 5kg) - 1; Cats (over 5kg) - 2 Capsules Daily

Pros: Easy-Opening Capsule, Great Reviews

Cons: Small Pack

Review: "Our very nervous rescue cat, Wooster, has definitely improved after a month on these tablets - we noticed a difference after 2 weeks. He's not totally cured, but he is definitely more sociable and interacting with us humans better. He still flies out of the house at the first sign of visitors, but when it's just his 'normal' family he's more likely to stick around, sit on a knee or relax in front of the fire.

He's so much better that I've just ordered another 3 months. I'll keep him on these for the foreseeable future as he's easier to live with while on them. I do find them quite hard to 'twist and split' to sprinkle on his food. We've used a little chopped chicken rather than his usual cat food to give him his dose in the morning and he hasn't noticed it at all. It's worth the cost of a bit of chicken to make sure he has it! I'd definitely recommend trying it."

Ingredients: Glucosamine HCI, Green Lipped Mussel, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins C & E

Preparation: Capsules, 60

Suitability: Adult Cats

Dosage: Double dosage for the first 4-6 weeks. After, consult the following:

Average Cats (4-5kg) - 1 Capsule Daily

Pros: Life-Chaning Testamonials, Large Pack

Cons: None.

Review: "Her coat was dull, appetite down and she slept most of the time. Saw this on Amazon and thought 'worth a try'. Best thing we have done. All limping gone and she is jumping up on things again. Clear eyes, shiny fur and eating like a horse! She loves it and asks for more. We give her one capsule in the morning. We have land backing onto trees so always get her in at night. A few nights ago we were out with torches laughing while she ran around the garden like a kitten. Really can recommend this."

Ingredients: Green Lipped Mussel, Vitamins C and E, Glucosamine, Manganese, Hyaluronic Acid

Preparation: Tablets, 120

Suitability: Adult Dogs, Any Size

Dosage: Double dosage for the first 4-6 weeks. After, consult the following:

Small Dogs - 1, Medium Dogs - 2, Large Dogs - 3 & Very Large Dogs - 4 Tablets.

Pros: Improved Mobility in Dogs, Great Value

Cons: May Refuse Hand-Feed; Put in Food

Review: "Our Labrador Retriever 9 years old was limping badly and went lame, visit to vets and they recommended using these before any x rays etc and within 3 weeks he was back to normal. Have been using these for over a year now and is very agile and happy. Can't recommend these enough."

Read More: The best joint supplements for dogs in the UK

Ingredients: Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E

Preparation: 150ml oil

Suitability: Dogs, Cats, Horses, Budgerigars, Parrots, Canaries, Rabbits and Guinea Pigs

Dosage: Not Specified.

Pros: Benefits Bones, Teeth and Skin; Easy to Administer

Cons: Some Pets Won't Like It

Review: "Beau's coat was very dull and shredding excessively. Something young boxers wouldn't do. Started this a month ago and OMG what a difference. Soft, glossy and shredding less."

Ingredients: Potassium, B-vitamins, Amino Acids

Preparation: Liquid, 120ml

Suitability: For Cats Diagnosed with Low Potassium from a Vet

Dosage: 2ml per 4.5kg, 1 to 3 times daily; can be given directly or added to food

Pros: Given Directly or Added to Food

Cons: None.

Review: "Brilliant service - a great product and an excellent price."

Ingredients: Omega-6 from Borage Oil, Omega-3 from Salmon Oil, Vitamin E

Preparation: Oil, 500ml

Suitability: All Dogs

Dosage: Very Small Dogs (up to 5kg) - 1, Small Dogs (5-10kg) - 2, Medium Dogs (11-20kg) - 3, Large Dogs (21-30kg) - 4, Very Large Dogs (31-40kg) - 5 and Extra Large Dogs (over 40kg) - 6-8 Pumps.

Pros: Suitable for All Dogs, Great Value & Reviews

Cons: Fishy Taste - May Not Appeal to all Pooches

Review: "My dog was doing a lot of licking and biting of legs and tummy and I noticed a red patch of skin on her tummy. I usually buy the Yumega Derm without the salmon oil included but thought as my dog was itching, I’d try the Itching Dog. Within a few days of taking this, the irritation improved and after a few weeks, it has gone. It’s quite a pricey product but cheaper than a vet's bill and worth it for my peace of mind. Think I’ll stick with this one now."

Ingredients: N-Acetyl D-Glucosamine

Preparation: Caspules, 120

Suitability: Adult Dogs

Dosage: Capsule can be opened and mixed with food or given whole.

Initially: give 1 capsule per 10kg Daily.

Maintenance: 1 capsule per 10kg every other day.

Pros: Easy-Open Capsule; Mix with Food

Cons: Pricey

Review: "Since my dog has been taking these Capsules No stones in her Bladder have come back have been on them nearly two years"

Ingredients: N-Acetyl D-Glucosamine, Hyaluronic Acid, L-tryptohan

Preparation: Caspules, 30

Suitability: Cats - Five Years and Up

Dosage: Not Specified.

Pros: Great Reviews & Value

Cons: Not Flavoured; Adult Cats Only

Review: "I can't say how grateful I am to have used this product. I spent almost £2,000 at the vets after my 12-year-old Tom cat suddenly suffered a life-threatening urinary blockage (the vet said he had from crystals due to stress). I was devastated and so was my bank account! He had surgery to release his bladder and was on VERY expensive tablets.

Then, a friend advised me to use these. Now I don't know if they work because his anxiety has decreased or because they make him drink about 3 mugs of water a day but they work so I'm delighted. He is calmer, more active and his overall health has improved massively….even his coat is fuller! My boy is 12 going on 2 now. Thank you so much."

Ingredients: Calcium carbonate 240mg and bismuth subcarbonate 30mg

Preparation: Tablets, 12

Suitability: For Dogs and Cats - Over 12 Weeks

Dosage: Can be given whole or crushed into food; Not Specified - See Box

Pros: For Dogs and Cats, Crushed into Food

Cons: Small Pack

Review: "We had been back and forth to our vets with our elderly dog who had a fairly bad stomach bug. We'd had blood tests done, costing £160 and we spent £130 on various treatments with them. Then they started trying to push us into admitting him to hospital for a week where they said he needed to be on a drip. We took him home for the afternoon to get our heads around this and I thought 'what the hell?' and gave him 2 of these tablets.

Within an hour his 'runs' had stopped and he picked up enough to eat some boiled rice and have a big drink. His sickness also stopped within 12 hours and we never looked back with him. He is back to his normal self now. I wish we'd tried these before we ever set foot in the vets. I won't be without them now. And I must stress his diarrhea was absolutely awful. Every ten minutes it was pouring out of him like gravy. These pills are just fantastic."

FAQs

What vitamins do my pets need?

Feeding your pet a balanced diet will do it the world of good.

Dogs

Your dog needs vitamins from two different groups:

Water Soluble Vitamins C and B-Complex

These vitamins help a dog’s body to build bones, teeth and connective tissues. However, because the vitamins are water-soluble, they’re flushed out of the body regularly. So, your pooch may may need regular supplements.

Your dog produces Vitamin C naturally, therefore, you should not buy Vitamin C supplements unless instructed by a vet. Excess Vitamin C can be dangerous for a dog. On the other hand, Vitamin B needs to come from your dog’s diet and topped up with supplements if needed.

Fat Soluble Vitamins A, D, E and K

Whereas, the above vitamins are found in animal fat. Unlike the water-soluble vitamins, these are absorbed by the gut and stored for later use. However, a build-up of these can cause problems. So, it’s not a good idea to give your dog any supplements unless a vet has recommended them.

Cats

Most of us are familiar with taking supplements. However, just like a pooch, cats only need supplements in special situations and when instructed by a vet.

Dr Sherry Sanderson says: “The key point is that most cats consuming a complete and balanced diet probably have a better-balanced diet than most humans.”

So, with this in mind, if you’re feeding your kitty a good diet, they’re probably going to be getting all of the goodies they need. Like dogs, you should avoid exceeding recommended vitamin intakes.

Though there are different supplements available – including multivitamins – the bottom line is: that you should talk to your vet before giving your pet any supplements.

That being said, we have rounded up all the vitamins needed in your cat’s diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle: Vitamins A, D, E and K, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Pantothenic Acid, Niacin, Pyridoxine, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 and Choline. Plus, they need lots of minerals, too – which includes calcium.

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