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Pet Supplements for Dogs & Cats: Benefits & Recommendations

Table of Contents

Like most issues with our beloved pets, it can seem like they are fine one moment and in dire straights the next.


Like humans, dogs and cats need certain vitamins and minerals in their diet to maintain optimal body condition. If the delicate balance of these essential dietary inclusions tips either way (where it’s too much of one thing or not enough), all sorts of negative signs and symptoms can arise in your pet.

On the other hand, your cat or dog could be getting all the nutrition they need from their food on paper. Still, an underlying condition could mean their bodies aren’t using those necessary vitamins and minerals as they should—meaning your pet needs extra to compensate, or the underlying condition needs to be treated with medication.

Pet supplements can sometimes be an essential therapy, just like medication.

  • As many as 20% of dogs (1 in 5) in North America suffer from joint pain and mobility issues
  • 40–92% of cats (4–9 out of 10, with advanced age being a significant factor) suffer pain from degenerative joint disease (DJD)

With such high rates of joint issues in pets, incorporating a pet joint supplement into your canine or feline’s diet is a no-brainer.

With pet supplements, you can ensure that your dog or cat gets what they need in their regular diet or help compensate for losing vitamins and minerals from a disease or other condition. Pet supplements are essential for helping your fur baby feel better so they can get back to playing and walkies as soon as possible.

What Are Pet Supplements?

Supplements for pets are a huge category and can mean many different things, from nutritional additions to herbal to therapeutic, depending on what the pet owner is looking for. In some cases, pet health supplements can be essential to the overall health and wellness of the dog or cat, and in other cases, they can simply be an excellent addition to a pet’s overall diet.

Types of Supplements

As we mentioned, many pet health supplements are on the market, which can prove overwhelming to a dog or cat owner who just wants to give their fur baby what they need to feel happy and healthy.

The key types of pet health supplements are outlined in the table below:

Pet Health Supplement Type

Description and What it’s Used For

Pet nutrition supplements / pet food supplements

Usually containing one or two key ingredients, pet food or nutrition supplements are key additions to a pet’s diet to ensure they get enough of an essential vitamin or mineral. For example, a cat needs taurine (an amino acid) in their diet to maintain their immune system and other critical bodily functions.

Organic pet supplements

Organic means ingredients without using man-made fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, and other additives. Some pet owners prefer organic products because they match their belief system. However, the nutritional benefits are the same, like buying a banana at the grocery store labeled “organic” versus one that isn’t.

Pet vitamin supplements

Vitamins contain one or two key minerals or ingredients your pet’s body naturally produces or uses, such as magnesium, vitamin C, or calcium.

Pet supplements for joints

Helps maintain joint health. Ingredients like glucosamine, chondroitin, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and hyaluronic acid help to repair, support, and strengthen joints and joint tissues. (Take a look at TRI-ACTA and TR-ACTA H.A. for more information.)

Pet herbal supplements / pet natural supplements

Some pet health supplements contain only plant-based “natural” or herbal ingredients, such as turmeric (anti-inflammatory), devil’s claw (joint pain relief), probiotics (often fruits like blueberry, cranberry, etc.), and more. However, not all natural supplements are plant-based. The ingredients in natural supplements must be from natural sources. For example, glucosamine, sourced from shellfish, is a natural ingredient, as is chondroitin, sourced from cows. TRI-ACTA products use 100% natural ingredients.

Common Ingredients in Pet Health Supplements


Depending on the pet supplement you’re looking at for your dog or cat, you’ll probably notice a few different ingredients that keep popping up repeatedly. Sometimes, you'll find similar ingredients even when looking for different types of supplements (pet supplements for joints versus pet natural supplements).

Some of the common ingredients in animal supplements include:

1. Amino acids

Every dog and cat needs amino acids. Some of these acids are naturally produced in your pet’s body, while your pet relies on their food to obtain others. Taurine is an example of one crucial amino acid you’ll find in every commercial dog and cat food, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are both necessary for overall gut health.

Because of the importance of amino acids, some pet supplements will include them and other ingredients.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids serve as a source of calories and are also essential for the development and function of the brain, the central nervous system tissues, and vision. Omega-3 fatty acids also help manage inflammation in the skin and joints, which is why some pet supplements for joints will include them.
  • Omega-6 fatty acids help maintain optimal cell membrane structure and cell function. Remember how the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell? Omega 6’s make sure it stays that way! Omega-6 fatty acids also help with reproductive health, immune function, and skin and coat health.

Omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids also add healthy calories to your dog’s diet, which is also essential for their development and growth.

2. Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Any pet supplements for joints worth looking at will contain glucosamine and chondroitin. These essential ingredients work together to repair, regenerate, and protect joint cartilage. Sometimes, pet supplements for joints include two types of glucosamine: sulfate and hydrochloride (HCl). TRI-ACTA is one example. The reason why both types of glucosamine are included is because they each provide unique benefits.

  1. Sulfur is an essential component of overall joint tissue health
  2. Glucosamine HCl is more bioavailable (meaning your pet’s body can absorb and use it faster).

By including both types of glucosamine, TRI-ACTA ensures that your pet gets the maximum possible benefit from the supplement.

TRI-ACTA for Pets

A proactive approach for developing and younger adult pets to maintain optimal joint health mobility, minimize inflammation and fend off age-related ailments.


3. Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, K, and Choline

If you look at different pet supplements, you’ll likely see some type of vitamin included—usually, it’s one of the above-listed varieties. Supplements will include one or more of these vitamins simply because they are essential for your pet’s overall health, but sometimes because they provide additional benefits that complement the supplement’s purpose. For instance, sometimes Vitamin C and D will be included in pet supplements for joints because the former helps reduce inflammation, and the latter helps facilitate healthy bone growth.

Benefits of Pet Nutrition Supplements

With so many different diet options available for your pets, pet nutrition supplements for your dog or cat may be essential to keep them happy and healthy. Raw cat food and raw food diet for dogs has become popular because of the many health benefits that pet owners have realized these diets provide, including more energy, better quality stools, and more excellent skin and coat, but preparing a raw diet and ensuring that it contains all the nutritional elements that your pet needs can be difficult and expensive.

Incorporating different nutritional supplements into your pet’s raw food diet is often more cost-effective than trying to source additional ingredients (especially with grocery prices these days), and it’s easier to control how much of each essential ingredient your pet is getting with each meal.

While most dry and wet commercial pet food varieties that are labeled “complete and balanced” or “nutritionally complete” contain what your dog or cat needs to stay healthy, certain health conditions can prevent your pet’s body from being able to use certain nutrients they’re provided effectively, which means that they sometimes need more of it to make up the difference.

Why Pet Vitamins and Supplements are Recommended

Pet vitamins and supplements are often recommended to give to your dog or cat because they provide exceptional health benefits and are cost-effective ways to maintain or improve your pet’s health.

Given that most cats and dogs experience joint issues, it makes sense to incorporate a joint supplement into your pet’s diet as either a preventative measure or a treatment option. On the other hand, certain vitamins and minerals can help reduce inflammation, fix gut health issues, improve cognitive function, improve vision, and much more. Often, your pet can’t overdose on a pet supplement, as their bodies will naturally filter out what’s not needed. However, you should always check with your veterinarian to fully understand the benefits, risks, and cautions with any supplement you give your pet.

How Effective Are Pet Nutritional Supplements?


Pet nutritional supplements' effectiveness varies depending on your pet's needs. A 2020 study suggests that as many as 10–33% of dog and cat owners in the United States feed their pets supplements of some variety. The reason for such high usage of pet supplements is likely because supplement use is popular among Americans in general, and the thought is, “If it’s useful for me, it’s useful for my pet.”

However, pet supplement regulations in the USA and Canada are rather loose. For the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) places supplements for humans and pets under the food category, which means that all ingredients must be listed on the label, and the product has to be safe to consume, but effectiveness isn’t measured. In Canada, pet supplements are not regulated because they are considered a low-risk veterinary product.

In a nutshell, the effectiveness of pet supplements in the USA and Canada cannot be guaranteed unless the pet supplements manufacturer chooses to obtain designations that demonstrate the quality of the product (Veterinary Health Product designation in Canada and the NASC seal of quality in the US). The good thing is that designations are attractive to manufacturers because they often translate to increased customer buy-in.

Even still, pet owners are responsible for researching any supplement they purchase to determine its potential effectiveness. This often requires speaking with a veterinarian or a pet nutritionist as part of the research process to gain a professional opinion on how much of a particular vitamin or mineral your pet needs and compare that with different supplement options to ensure your pet is getting enough.

For example, the following chart outlines typical dosages of glucosamine for dogs and cats:

Glucosamine For Dogs Dosage

Glucosamine for Cats Dosage

  • 250–500 mg for dogs weighing 5–20 lbs
  • 500 mg for dogs weighing 25–40 lbs
  • 1,000 mg for dogs weighing 45–90 lbs
  • 1,500 mg for dogs weighing over 90 lbs

120 and 500 mg of glucosamine for a typical cat (the average healthy weight for a cat is typically around 10 lbs). For cats, starting with a lower dose and increasing it gradually over time is better.

Table Sources: 1, 2

By choosing a pet joint supplement that provides at least the minimum required recommended active ingredients per dose, you’re not only saving money, but you’re also giving the best option to help maintain or improve your pet’s health.

Best Pet Supplements

The accessibility of pet supplements has increased exponentially with online shopping. While it’s great to have a better selection of any product, it also means that pet owners need to be more discerning about the supplements they purchase.

To make it easier to choose a great product that you know will benefit your pet, here are some actionable tips:

  1. Check the ingredients. The best pet supplements will freely list their ingredients, including how much each recommended dose contains. Learning how to read a supplement label, especially for calculating the number of ingredients where the pet supplements manufacturer doesn’t break ingredients down for each dose. For example, let’s say a pet supplement for joints brand says that each serving contains 500 mg of active ingredients, but a serving size is 1 g (1000 mg). This means half of the dose is inactive ingredients—stuff like fillers, additives, and binders that provide no value to your pet. You want to choose a product with as many active ingredients as possible per dose—ideally 100% as this would indicate that there are no fillers.
  2. Look for designations. Some pet supplement manufacturers will go the extra mile and obtain a designation that showcases their commitment to quality. In Canada, the Veterinary Health Product designation (located just above the barcode on the product’s packaging) means that the pet supplement is made with independently batch-tested ingredients with scientific evidence of effectiveness and quality.
  3. Read reviews and feedback. To get a good idea of what other people think of the supplement, it’s essential to read online reviews and product feedback. Check social media, search engines like Google, and the pet supplements manufacturer’s website to understand how their customers feel about their products. Don’t just focus on the star rating; look for the reviews that provide a detailed opinion.

Pet Supplements for Dogs

Below are recommendations for the best pet supplements for dogs, including ones for mobility, gut health, and calming.

Mobility: TRI-ACTA Products


When supporting your pup’s joint health most cost-effectively while still providing the maximum benefit, it’s tough to beat TRI-ACTA products. Our supplement includes two types of glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM. Here is a breakdown of what each of these ingredients does to contribute to your dog’s joint health:

  • Glucosamine sulfate provides sulfur to your pup’s joints and the cartilage healing benefits of glucosamine. Sulfur is essential for overall joint health, helping maintain the tissues surrounding your pup’s joints.
  • Glucosamine HCl is a highly bioavailable version of glucosamine, meaning your dog’s body can absorb and use it faster.
  • Chondroitin works alongside both types of glucosamine to assist with cartilage repair, regeneration, and protection.
  • MSM is a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce swelling and pain in your dog’s joints.

TRI-ACTA H.A., our extra-strength version, adds hyaluronic acid, increasing the viscosity of the synovial fluid in your pup’s joints. This aids significantly in their ability to move around comfortably due to the extra lubrication.

TRI-ACTA products are made with 100% natural ingredients. They also contain no fillers, binders, or preservatives. Plus, TRI-ACTA products are designated Veterinary Health Products and follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). The ingredients used in TRI-ACTA are also independently batch-tested for quality and effectiveness.

TRI-ACTA H.A. for Pets

Our maximum strength formula is optimally designed to accelerate the formation of cartilage, minimize inflammation, expedite the healing process, and improve joint conditions.


TRI-ACTA starts are $23.99 CAD for a 60 g container, and TRI-ACTA H.A. starts at $27.99 for a 60 g container. Pricing as of September 2023.

Probiotic: Fortiflora for Dogs



If your pup is experiencing continuous diarrhea or otherwise poor stool quality, then give Fortiflora a try. It’s a probiotic supplement containing guaranteed amounts of live, active cultures of strain Enterococcus faecium SF68, a good gut health bacteria that helps promote microbiota (a balance of good bacteria in the gut).

$42.99 CAD for a pack of 30. Pricing as of September 2023.

Calming: ADAPTIL Transport Spray

Adaptil Spray


Let’s face facts. Car rides are not always excellent, especially when going to the vet. Helping your pup feel less stressed is essential, as prolonged stress can negatively affect their health. Adaptil is a pheromone spray that calms dogs and puppies when they smell it. You simply spray it on their favorite blanket or soft toy, and when they snuggle with it, the scent helps them relax.

$28.99 CAD per bottle. Pricing as of September 2023.

Pet Supplements for Cats

Below are recommendations for the best pet supplements for cats, including ones for mobility, skin and coat health, and multivitamins

Mobility: TRI-ACTA Products


If your kitty isn’t moving around as well as they used to, or you want to help prevent common joint issues in cats, such as cat arthritis, giving your feline friend a daily joint supplement is important.

With completely natural ingredients, TRI-ACTA products are both cost-effective and give your kitty the maximum possible joint health benefit with each dose. Your kitty's cartilage, joint tissues, and bones are protected with TRI-ACTA because it is formulated with two types of glucosamine (sulfate and HCl), chondroitin and MSM.

If your kitty needs a bit more oomph in the joint support you give them, TRI-ACTA H.A. (the H.A. stands for hyaluronic acid) is our extra-strength joint supplement.

TRI-ACTA for Pets

A proactive approach for developing and younger adult pets to maintain optimal joint health mobility, minimize inflammation and fend off age-related ailments.


TRI-ACTA starts are $23.99 CAD for a 60 g container, and TRI-ACTA H.A. starts at $27.99 for a 60 g container. Pricing as of September 2023.

Skin & Coat: PureBites Squeezables Cat Treats - Skin & Coat



Every kitty deserves a beautiful, luxurious coat and moisturized skin, from fluffy Persians to your standard-issue domestic shorthair. Purebites is a good choice because it contains only five ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • Water
  • Tapioca starch
  • Sunflower oil
  • Tuna oil

Plus, the treat is high in protein and low in calories, so it’s an easy and healthy choice to give to your feline friend. You can give your cat the treat on its own, or squeeze it on top of their regular food.

$2.49 each or $34.99 for a case of 15. Pricing as of September 2023.

Multivitamins: VitaCat Multivitamin + Probiotics Cat Chews - Chicken



Sometimes you need an all-in-one solution for your furry friend, especially if they are a picky eater. VitaCat combines vitamins and minerals that support your cat’s heart, gut, kidney, and eye health through the following ingredients:

  • Taurine: essential for feline heart, kidney, and eye health
  • Pre and probiotics: essential for gut and digestive health
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: essential for healthy skin and coat

$26.99 for 90 chews. Pricing as of September 2023.


Pet health supplements are important to our dogs’ and cats’ daily diets, as they help support every function in their bodies, from their immune system, heart, gut, digestive, and joint health. It is important to understand what your pet needs and how supplements will help their bodies get that missing vitamin or mineral before you give your pet a supplement. Speaking to a veterinarian or pet nutritionist is essential.

When it comes to joint health, TRI-ACTA products are among the best joint supplements you can give your cat or dog. With 100% natural ingredients and in an easy-to-administer powdered formulation, it’s simple to support your pet’s joint health.

Purchase TRI-ACTA online today or learn where to buy at a store near you.