I always celebrate when pet food companies I trust roll out new products like chewable supplements for dogs. So when the folks at Dr. Harvey’s introduced their new functional soft chews, I couldn’t wait to try them and see what the fuss was all about.
All dogs need water, protein, fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals to survive. Like people, some dogs require more, and some require less. It all depends on your dog’s activity level, age, health issues, genetic concerns, and nutritional requirements. I always recommend you talk to a veterinary nutritionist, holistic veterinarian, and/or your regular veterinarian to determine what’s best for your dog.
Like people, dogs can benefit from the right high-quality supplements. You should always start with a nutritious, safe diet for dogs to ensure he is getting all the essential vitamins and minerals he needs.
Here’s everything you need to know about chewable supplements for dogs, what to look for, how they work, and what ingredients to avoid.
Disclaimer: I am a proud Dr. Harvey’s brand ambassador and have been feeding my their food to my Cocker Spaniels for over 20 years. I also use their supplements as part of my dog’s daily routine. I received a complimentary sample of all three Dr. Harvey’s chewable dog supplements in preparation for this article. Dr. Harvey’s is not responsible for the contents of this article. I cannot guarantee the same results for your dogs.
Are Chewable Supplements for Dogs Safe?
No, not all chewable supplements are safe for dogs. A branch of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) regulates animal food products.
Despite the thousands of dog chewables on the market, supplements for companion animals do not fall under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA.) In 2001, things changed.
The National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) was formed as a nonprofit group to place safety standards on supplements for companion animals like dogs, cats, and horses. The NASC Quality Seal Program awards a special seal to companies that meet their organization’s standards. This is very important when selecting supplements for your pets.
Manufacturers are not required to have their products tested without mandated oversight. In the dog world, the most popular chewable supplements are those for digestive health, joint health, and supplements for cognition, skin and coat, and heart health.
Always read the label, understand the ingredients, call the manufacturer to ask questions, speak with your veterinarian/holistic veterinarian/animal nutritionist, and be sure they have the NASC seal clearly seen on the packaging.
How Do I Choose the Right Chewable Supplement for My Dog?
When looking for a chewable supplement for your dog, here are the factors to consider:
- Purpose: What is the supplement designed to address?
- Ingredient Quality: Look for high-quality, natural ingredients that are free of artificial colors and preservatives.
- Manufacturer Reputation: Do some research to ensure the manufacturer has a good reputation free of recalls.
- Dosing: Check the recommended dosage for your dog’s size.
- Price: Oftentimes, you get what you pay for. The cheapest option may also be the least effective and may lack quality.
- Chewability: Some so-called ‘dog chews’ are akin to tiny rocks in texture. If it’s chewable, it should be easily breakable so dogs enjoy it and don’t struggle.
- Taste: Like kids, dogs are more likely to take their ‘medicine’ if it tastes good. Check if the supplements are available in a palatable flavor for your dog.
- Certifications: Look for a chewable that is certified by NASC, which ensures quality and safety standards are met.
- Packaging: Is the supplement packaged in a way that will preserve its quality and freshness?
- Expiration Date: Always look for the expiration date to know when the chewables must be used.
- Customer Reviews: What are other pet parents saying about the supplement? Look at a variety of sites where the supplement is sold. I add up the percentage of five- and four-star reviews for an overall number.
- Safety: Can your dog consume the chewable without having it interact with other supplements or medications he is taking? Talk to your veterinarian.
- Convenience: Do you prefer giving your dog a chewable or sneaking it into his food or popping it into his throat? Again, something to consider.
- Allergies: Does your dog have any allergies or sensitivities to the ingredients?
Of note, you’d be surprised how many ‘peanut butter’ flavored supplements list chicken as their first ingredient. Not all dogs can have chicken.
What Functional Chewable Supplements Does Dr. Harvey’s Offer?
Dr. Harvey’s is a company that leverages its 30+ years of expertise in herbal supplement research, premium ingredient sourcing, and product safety to off three chewable supplements for dogs.
Your dog’s immune system shields dogs from illness and other environmental toxins. According to Dr. Donna Raditic, an American College of Veterinary Nutrition (ACVN) diplomate, “When other cells are aging or functioning abnormally—such as a cancer cell reproducing too rapidly—the immune system attempts to step in and maintain proper physiological function and balance.”
These 90-count salmon chews from Dr. Harvey’s are made with colostrum to support the immune and digestive systems, an organic mushroom blend for immune response boosting, white turmeric root for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and a six-strain immunity probiotic blends for immune and digestive health.
A high-quality digestive probiotic may help your dog digest his food better, absorb vitamins and minerals, and build a strong immune system. Dr. Harvey’s 90-count peanut butter-flavored chews contain a seven-strain probiotic blend for gut health. They are designed to calm your dog’s tummy and help maintain solid poops.
Some of the powerful ingredients in each chew are pumpkin for digestion and bowel regularity, papaya juice powder to support digestive inflammation, organic ginger root to soothe upset stomachs, and a probiotic blend for healthy digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune system support.
Hip + Joint
These 90-count chicken-flavored chews are expertly formulated to help your dog’s joint health and mobility. Key ingredients are glucosamine HCl for healthy joints and cartilage, MSM for joint health, chondroitin sulfate for joint structure integrity and function, and white turmeric root for joint health.
Each chew also contains green-lipped mussel, organic ginger root, yucca schidigera extract, Boswellia serrata extract, and eggshell membrane. The combined is designed to support your dog’s health and mobility throughout their lives.
What Makes Dr. Harvey’s Chewable Supplements Different?
I am incredibly fussy and have a helicopter mom mentality when it comes to anything my Cocker Spaniels eat or ingest.
Here’s what makes Dr. Harvey’s chewable supplements for canines different and why I felt safe trying them on my 14-month-old dog:
- Reputation: Dr. Harvey’s are pioneers in canine herbal health. I visited their headquarters in New Jersey and will be returning soon to their new facility. They are completely transparent and honest.
- Chew Factor: When Dr. Harvey’s says their chews are soft, they mean it. They easily break apart yet hold their structure until your dog chomps down on the tender functional treats.
- Ingredients: Each chewable supplement is made with top-tier ingredients.
- Location: All Dr. Harvey’s products are made in the USA with US and globally-sourced ingredients.
- NASC Label: Dr. Harvey’s has the NASC seal of approval for unrivaled manufacturing standards and product excellence.
- Palatability: Each chew is flavored with chicken, peanut butter, or salmon, making them palatable for all dogs of all ages.
- Generous Portion: 90 chews in each container lasts a long time for my 24-pound Cocker Spaniel. Over 50 pounds requires three tasty chews daily, so it’s still a nice amount.
- Packaging and Convenience: The chews arrive in a container so you can transport and store them easily versus a liquid.
- Safety: Dr. Harvey’s boasts the SQF (Safe Quality Food) designation and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) and all products are made in their FDA-registered facility.
- Multiple Chew Factor: It is safe to give different Dr. Harvey’s chewables since they are all compatible. They recommend you start slow, cut the dosage at first, and give your dog a few days to monitor their reaction and adaptability.
- Specific Needs: Each chew targets a specific need so you can choose only what your dog needs.
- Portability: My wife and I travel with our dog, so having a portable supplement is important to me. I carry these with us on day trips and long road trips.
How Do Chewable Supplements Differ?
There are clear differences between chewable supplements and liquids or pills for dogs. Namely:
- Easier administration: No more hiding the pill in food or a treat or trying to put it in your dog’s throat
- Treat time: Dogs think they are getting a tasty treat (and they are), but you know it doubles as a healthy reward.
- Picky eaters: Even the most discriminatory palates like the taste of these chews.
- Great start to life: Dr. Harvey’s chews are designed for dogs of all ages, so you can start your younger dog off on the right paw.
- Travel factor: It’s easier to travel with a container of soft chews versus a liquid or pill that may require special storage. Always keep these chews in a cool dry place.
Chewable supplements may take a bit longer for a dog to absorb due to their format. However, they still get to savor the treat and reap the benefits.
My dog, Alvin, enjoyed sampling the various chewables from Dr. Harvey’s. He will regularly take the immune support supplement for overall immune health.
Ingredients To Avoid in Chewable Supplements for Dogs
Like all supplements for dogs, there are certain ingredients you should avoid. Dr. Harvey’s does not include any of these ingredients in their products:
- Alpha lipoic acid
- Coffee extracts
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamins B and D (can produce iron toxicity)
- Any sugar-free sweeteners
You can read more toxic ingredients to avoid in dogs from the Pet Poison Helpline.
Where To Buy Dr. Harvey’s Chewable Supplements
Head to DrHarveys.com to purchase the three chewable supplements for your dogs. Use code FDRLUV2023 for 10 percent off and receive free shipping on orders of $59 or more.
FAQs About Chewable Supplements For Your Dog
Yes, Dr. Harvey’s chewables are designed to be compatible with one another. Start slowly, adjust as needed, and monitor any reactions your dog has. You can log the results in the DogMinder we created for pet parents.
Never give your dog human supplements. Human vitamins and supplements are not designed for dogs.
According to Dr. Harvey’s, it probably isn’t necessary to give both Ortho-Flex and this Hip + Joint chew and Emune-Boost and this Immune Support chew, but they can be given with our other supplements and all three can be used together if so desired.
According to Dr. Harvey’s, “Most customers notice positive changes within 30 days of consistent and proper usage. However, some may see improvements in their pets in just a few days! Ensure you follow the daily recommended dosage as stated on the product label.”
According to Dr. Harvey’s on-staff nutritionist, rosemary is included as a natural preservative.