Dietary supplement sales saw an increase of 12% since the start of the pandemic, but the sale of pet supplements soared to a whopping 21% increase. Prior to the pandemic, pet supplement sales sat at a steady 5%. Why are people now deciding to give their pets these unregulated alternative medicines? People are paying closer attention to their own health and their pets' health thanks to the pandemic, which is great, but are supplements effective? The answer is actually no.
“I guess it is a measure of the completely understandable fear and anxiety that so many of us are feeling during this pandemic," said Tony Buffington, a clinical veterinarian with UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Pets, however, don't need the additional boost “because satisfactory diets — complete, balanced, digestible, palatable and safe — don’t need them. It's the responsibility of the supplement manufacturer to demonstrate the usefulness of their supplement. Sadly, this is rarely done,” he said, “since it is easier to design attractive marketing strategies for what one has than learn what works.”
“I think people are looking for ways to make their dogs healthier since we perpetuate that dog food is not enough — when in reality it is,” Joseph J. Wakshlag, a professor of veterinary nutrition at Cornell University, adding that claims by makers of pet supplements are “mostly marketing.” Keep feeding your pet a healthy and fulfilling diet, and you won't need to give them any added supplements. They're not necessarily doing any harm, but they also aren't doing any good.