While dogs are generally best known for their stong sense of smell, it is important to pay attention to your pup’s eye health too. Conditions like blindness, cataracts, and glaucoma can negatively impact your pup’s quality of life.
This is yet another reason why it is extremely important to keep up with your pup’s wellness checkups. This way your vet can do a thorough nose to tail exam and ensure that your pup is living their happiest and healthiest best life.
If your pup does have issues with their eyes, whether it is genetic or environmental your vet will have an opportunity to catch it before it becomes a bigger issue. Common eye issues your vet will check for include conjunctivitis, dry eye, cherry eye, and corneal damage. While most of these conditions are relatively easy to treat they can cause more serious health problems if left untreated. Your vet may also screen for more serious conditions like infections or cancer. If you think your pup is having issues with their eyes, you will want to get them to the vet ASAP.
According to the American Association of Animal Feed Control Officials, most healthy dogs do not require the use of dietary supplements. In fact, feeding supplements along with a complete and balanced diet can risk exceeding the upper limit of certain nutrients. There are also cases where over supplementation can make your dog sick. That is why it is important to discuss the use of supplements with your vet to ensure you choose products that are safe and appropriate for your pet.
We’ve broken down a few of the most common supplements that can help support your pup’s eye health and what they’re best for. While most of these supplements can improve the health of your pet’s eyes, they do not necessarily treat acute medical conditions so if your dog does have an eye issue, you’ll want to discuss appropriate medical treatment or surgical options with your vet.
Best supplements for eye health
Lutein is an antioxidant that has been shown to boost retinal response and visual function in dogs. It can be found in spinach and other leafy greens. If your pup is hesitant to chow down on a pile of raw or steamed spinach, we understand. This is why at Ollie we sneak some greens like spinach into our recipes! Our beef recipe contains peas which are also high in lutein to help support your pup’s vision. Should your vet recommend more lutein than your pup is getting from their diet, you can also provide a dietary supplement containing lutein.
What can’t this magical elixir do? Fish Oil tops our supplement list for many health issues including skin, cardiac, and even joint pain. It has proven to reduce inflammation. When it comes to your pup’s eyes, they can also benefit from Fish Oil because of DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid) a fatty acid that is naturally present in the retina. Consider offering some Salmon, Krill, or Cod Liver Oil. If your pup loves Ollie’s Chicken Recipe, they’re already getting a healthy dose of Cod Liver Oil with every meal. If your pup needs an extra boost, you can purchase fish oil capsules or just put oil directly on your pup's meals. Remember to store their fish oil in the refrigerator.
Adequate vitamin A levels are critical to healthy vision. To keep your pup’s eyes sharp enough to spot the tasty treat across the kitchen, consider offering foods rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene. This includes foods like carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes. At Ollie, we put plenty of carrots and pumpkin into our Turkey Recipe. Our Lamb Recipe includes Kale which is another great choice to add some beta-carotene to your pup’s diet. If you want to offer your pup some extra veggies, they're a great treat. Consider gently steaming carrots as some pups prefer cooked carrots to raw ones.
This bright fruit also known as the European Blueberry is loaded with antioxidants. It is commonly used to treat eye problems in dogs. It has also shown promise as a treatment for some types of tumors. If you are considering using bilberry supplements, consult your vet first to make sure your dog is a good candidate for this supplement.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.