Humans have long since made up nutritional supplements for the purpose of improving their athletic ability when they were in the morning or when they were doing rough work. Recently, as the pet market grows, nutritional supplements for dogs and cats are being released.
According to market research firm Packaged Facts, the most commonly purchased nutritional supplements by pet owners are joint health supplements. Followed by nutritional supplements for heart, skin, hides and digestive functions.
Veterinarians, however, replied that most nutritional supplements have little effect on pets.
The American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) is responsible for investigating official recommendations for supplements and other treatments.
The committee recently issued a statement jointly with the AVMA Clinical Practice Advisory Board, which said that they need to be more careful about unapproved drugs that have been used for a long time without consideration of safety concerns.
Without data on drug efficacy, he added, he could not reflect the view of AVMA, which is centered on science.
"We need a broader policy on the use of common nutritional supplements," said Jennifer L. Birr, US clinical pharmacology representative.
"Veterinarians and pet owners should understand that nutritional supplements do not have the same oversight functions as those approved by the Food and Drug Administration. While there may be concerns about safety, efficacy and quality control of supplements, supplements are also an important part of our integrated veterinary care. "
While additional regulations can help ensure the safety of supplements, experts say they are different from proving that supplements are effective or requiring pets to have supplements.
Lisa M. Freeman, a professor of clinical nutrition at Cummings University in Tufts University, says, "There are some medicines that perform the original function of nutritional supplements, but there are many things that do not work or can be harmful.
Freeman also said veterinarians should pay more attention and provide appropriate information to their caregivers to feed their pets with nutritional supplements.
"Every time I visit a veterinary clinic, I need to perform a nutritional assessment of my pets, and in addition to diet, snacks and other food, I need to find out what kind of supplements the animal feeds to the caregiver. You should also consider whether the supplements are beneficial in terms of nutrition or adversely affect your health, and whether your caregiver is feeding the right amount of food, keeping the shelf life and how to keep it. "
In the United States, about one-third of dog owners feed dogs with nutritional supplements, and one-fifth of cat owners feed nutritional supplements to cats. Also, most supplements were bought at veterinary clinics.
"If a pet is eating a complete, well-balanced commercial animal feed, the veterinarian does not recommend nutritional supplements unless specifically prescribed," said the American College of Veterinary Nutrition.
Current nutrition experts are working on what veterinarians and consumers need to know about supplements.