Best Supplements for Golden Retrievers (2020)

Best Golden Retriever Supplements

Supplements can be an important part of your Golden Retriever’s health. While not always needed, there are many dogs that depend on them to aid in their quality of life.

Almost all dogs get their essential nutrients from commercial dog diets. However, not every diet is “one size fits all,” and in many cases, supplements may be necessary. Provided below is a list of the best supplements available for your dog.

Our Pick

Purina Pro Plan Calming Care

Purina Pro Plan Calming Care is my choice as the best probiotic available. It comes in a powdered form which is measured out into individual packets. Sprinkle the contents of one packet onto your dog’s food once a day.

For best results, use Calming Care every day for at least three to four weeks. It is safe to use with other recommendations from your veterinarian and works with Golden Retrievers of all ages. Read on for the best supplements on the market.

Best Supplements

Joint, fiber, and probiotic supplements are some of the most important supplements for Golden Retrievers. These aid in many ailments that are common in Goldens including digestion, allergies, joint issues, and much more.

Here are some of the best options for you depending on your budget and what you are looking for in a supplement.

Our Picks

Brand

Best Probiotic Supplement

Best Fiber Supplement

Best Overall Joint Supplement

Best Tablet Joint Supplement

Best Tasting Joint Supplement

Best Budget Joint Supplement 

Best Probiotic Supplement: Purina Pro Plan Calming Care

Purina Pro Plan Calming Care is the best choice for a probiotic supplement. Probiotics have made big waves in both human and veterinary medicine. Both people and animals have a combination of “good” and “bad” bacteria in their gastrointestinal tracts. When there is disease or inflammation, harmful or pathogenic bacteria can displace the beneficial type, causing further illness.

Probiotics are live cultures of beneficial bacteria that can displace most types of harmful bacteria and can facilitate faster response times from the immune system.

Product features:

  • An effective probiotic that benefits the digestive tract
  • Has an anti-anxiety effect after three to four weeks of use
  • Comes in powdered form in individual packets

Purina’s Calming Care probiotic is different from others in its class. The active ingredient known as Bifidobacterium longum BL999 works like most other probiotic cultures, but also has a naturally calming effect. In other words, dogs with both gastrointestinal and behavior problems can greatly benefit from it.

The main reason why Calming Care works is because there is a neurological connection between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain. Studies in mice show that when gastrointestinal bacteria from anxious mice were transferred to the gastrointestinal tracts of calm mice, the latter group began to demonstrate anxiety. Once the clinical trials were performed for use of B. longum BL999 in Labradors, the results showed significant improvement for day-to-day anxiety for the dogs who received B. longum in the study.   

Purina’s Calming Care probiotic comes in a powdered form which is measured out into individual packets. Sprinkle the contents of one packet onto your dog’s food once a day. For best results, use Calming Care every day for at least three to four weeks. It is safe to use with other recommendations from your veterinarian and works with Goldens of all ages.

Pros:

  • Promotes a healthy GI tract and is beneficial for dogs with diarrhea
  • Helps with anxiety disorders such as fear, aggression, and separation anxiety
  • Safe, easy to use, and won’t interfere with other treatment recommendations

Cons:

  • Dogs with severe anxiety or behavioral disorders may need additional treatments/supplements
  • Dogs with severe gastrointestinal disorders may require additional treatments/supplements

Best Fiber Supplement: Glandex Soft Chews

Best Fiber

Glandex Soft Chews

If your Golden has problems with his anal glands, he may have problems with allergies or his digestive tract. In either case, fiber supplements can make a big difference in anal gland health, and Glandex Soft Chews are one of the best fiber supplements available.

Product features:

  • Contains ingredients to help improve stool quality and promote GI health
  • Helps natural anal gland expression by improving stool quality
  • Available in a tasty chewable treat or powder form

Anal glands are the small marble-shaped glands within the anus of a dog. They excrete a viscous (and smelly) fluid that helps make the passing of stools easier. However, when dogs have digestive tract problems or issues with allergies, these glands can become inflamed and more difficult to express. Anal glands can also become impacted and form painful abscesses that require immediate medical attention.

Glandex is a soft chew treat that contains high amounts of fiber and pumpkin. These ingredients absorb water which results in bulkier, healthier stools. These bowel movements promote the natural expression of your dog’s anal glands so that they are less likely to become infected. Glandex also contains omega 3 fatty acids that can help prevent inflammation, and it also contains probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus to promote a healthy digestive tract.  

Pros:

  • Ingredients can help improve your Golden’s digestive tract health
  • Decreases the likelihood for full or impacted anal glands
  • Available in two forms – powder or soft chew treat

Cons:

  • May cause an increase in frequency of bowel movements  
  • May temporarily increase flatulence or gas
  • May take three to five weeks of use for best results

Best Joint Supplement: Krillex Joint Supplement

Best For Joints

Krillex Joint Supplement

Almost every dog will encounter some form of orthopedic disease in their lifetime. Golden Retrievers have an increased risk of inherited orthopedic issues such as elbow and hip dysplasia, and older Goldens will most certainly develop arthritis over time.

Joint supplements can delay the progression of these issues and help improve joint function, thereby alleviating discomfort and helping quality of life. Krillex Joint Supplements is one such supplement that combines the elements of many joint supplements into a single chewable treat.

Product features:

  • Contains glycosaminoglycans which protect cartilage and promote cartilage regeneration
  • Krill oil is a source of omega 3 fatty acids that helps alleviate inflammation
  • Available in a tasty chewable treat  

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are naturally occurring building blocks for cartilage in your dog’s body, and they also inhibit the production of cartilage-destroying enzymes and inflammatory mediators. Glucosamine, chondroitin, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and hyaluronic acid are four of the most common GAGs found in dog joint supplements, but most joint supplements only contain one or two of these ingredients.

Krillex not only combines all four of the above-mentioned GAGs into one chewable treat, it also contains krill oil which is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. The most important omega 3s are EPA and DHA. They are found in your dog’s food, but usually at low levels. By supplementing extra fatty acids, inflammation in the joints, digestive tract, and urinary bladder can be decreased. Omega 3s are also beneficial for the heart.

Pros:

  • Combines multiple glycosaminoglycans with omega 3 fatty acids into one treat
  • Has other health benefits besides helping dogs with arthritis
  • Tasty, easy to give, and can also be used in cats

Cons:

  • Only available with a prescription from your veterinarian
  • May take 4-6 weeks of use to achieve full effect
  • Harder to cut in smaller pieces for small dog breeds (the chew crumbles a bit)

Best Tablet Joint Supplement: Dasuquin Advanced

Joint Tablet

Dasuquin Advanced

Dasuquin Advanced

*Prescription Required

Supplements in tablet form tend to be a little more shelf-stable compared to chewable treats. Dasuquin Advanced is the best joint supplement tablet available. Not only does it remain effective for over one year after opening the bottle, it provides an effective combination of glycosaminoglycans and herbal ingredients that are proven to help dogs with arthritis.

Product features:

  • Combines three GAGs with herbal ingredients to provide an anti-inflammatory effect
  • Also includes manganese, an effective antioxidant ingredient
  • Comes in 64 or 140 count bottles and is effective for dogs of all sizes   

Dasuquin Advanced is a supplement that is available through your veterinarian prescription only. It contains glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM, all of which have a protective effect on joint cartilage. Dasuquin also contains herbal ingredients such as Boswellia serrata and Curcuma longa, also known as turmeric. These anti-inflammatory ingredients are used in human supplements as well, and there is scientific research that proves their effectiveness for dogs with arthritis pain. Dasuquin also contains manganese, an antioxidant which helps rid the body of harmful free radicals.

Like with most joint supplements, it takes 4-6 weeks of higher doses of Dasuquin before it becomes fully effective. After that time period, you will cut the daily dose in half for your Golden. Larger sized bottles are more cost effective and have a shelf-life of one year and four months.

Pros:

  • Contains multiple GAG ingredients plus herbal anti-inflammatories and an antioxidant
  • Available in large quantities and is shelf-stable for over one year
  • Larger sized tablets are ideal for large breed dogs like Golden Retrievers   

Cons:

  • Only available with a prescription from your veterinarian
  • May take 4-6 weeks of use to achieve full effect
  • Difficult to quarter the tablets for smaller dogs

Best Tasting Joint Supplement: Glycoflex 3 Hip & Joint

Tasty For Dogs

Glycoflex 3 Hip & Joint

In the rare case that your Golden Retriever is a finicky eater, Glycoflex 3 is one of the tastiest chew treats available. It contains highly effective ingredients to help with arthritis pain.

Product features: 

  • Highly palatable supplement chews that are small and easy to administer
  • Combines GAG ingredients with green-lipped mussel
  • Comes in bags of 120 chews

Glucosamine and MSM are the two main glycosaminoglycans contained within Glycoflex 3. It also contains an ingredient known as green-lipped mussel (GLM). GLM is a kind of shellfish that is native to New Zealand and has many uses in human medicine because it is known for its anti-inflammatory effects. It also is a rich source of omega 3s and also some GAGs such as glucosamine and chondroitin. Studies show that GLM can help dogs with pain due to osteoarthritis.

Pros:

  • Has a highly palatable chicken liver flavor
  • Combines GAGs with GLM, which is scientifically proven to help dogs with arthritis  
  • Available online through Amazon.com

Cons:

  • May take 4-6 weeks of use to achieve full effect
  • Multiple chews are needed for large dogs, so the bag may finish quickly
  • Contraindicated for dogs with chicken allergies

Best Budget Joint Supplement: Cosequin Maximum Strength

Best Budget

Cosequin Maximum Strength

Some dogs require supplements for the short term, but orthopedic procedures, arthritis, and chronic illnesses may mean that your Golden needs to take a joint supplement for the rest of his life.

This can be expensive, especially for large breed dogs! Cosequin Maximum Strength is an effective supplement that won’t break the bank due to how much it cost per serving.

Product features: 

  • Contains three GAG ingredients plus an antioxidant
  • Highly bioavailable ingredients and safe for all dogs
  • Available in 60, 132, 180, and 250 count bottles

Cosequin’s GAG ingredients are glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. Each of the three are provided in high doses for maximum joint support. It also contains manganese, which is an antioxidant.

While it does not contain some of the herbal ingredients or omega 3s found in other supplements, Cosequin is still highly bioavailable which means that your Golden may start to show results a little sooner than the four to six-week mark. Also, fewer ingredients mean a lower overall cost.  

Pros:

  • Contains high amounts of glycosaminoglycan ingredients
  • Available in larger quantities and is very cost effective
  • Can be purchased online through Amazon.com

Cons:

  • May take 4-6 weeks of use to achieve full effect
  • Contains fewer anti-inflammatory ingredients compared to other supplements

What Are Supplements For Dogs

Supplements for Golden Retrievers

Supplements are dietary products that are meant to provide extra ingredients for the benefit of your dog. Typically, they are not meant to treat a particular illness, but can help lessen the severity of certain clinical signs.

Because commercial diets provide the right amounts of vitamins and minerals, owners must be cautious giving certain supplements to their dogs. This is because certain vitamins like A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins, meaning that your dog can develop health problems if he is overdosed.  

Over the past few decades, joint supplements have been very popular for dogs, and fiber supplements and probiotics have recently played an important role in various gastrointestinal ailments. Each of these products contains ingredients that are ancillary to your dog’s diet, and therefore, many of them are safe to give.

Conclusion

From probiotics to fiber and joint supplements, there are simply too many products available to remember them all. Even healthy Goldens can benefit from such supplements, and so it is in your pup’s best interest to be aware of some of the top products.

Remember that if you’re unsure about a product or what your Golden Retriever might need, talk with your veterinarian for more information.

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Dr. Erica Irish

Dr. Erica Irish graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013 and currently practices at a 24/7 small animal hospital in Central Florida. She is particularly interested in cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, and integrative medicine.

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