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How Pet Food Supplementation Can Help Pets’ Health and Happiness

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Pet parents want the best nutrition for their pets. But with modern diets, it can be challenging for domestic animals to eat like they would in the wild. 

Marjorie Murray

Senior Brand Manager, W.F. Young Inc.

“Sometimes it can be hard to believe that our couch-napping pups and kittens are related to their wolf and mountain lion cousins in the wild, but many of their nutritional health needs are the same,” said Marjorie Murray, senior brand manager at W.F. Young Inc., the health and wellness product company that manufactures and distributes the pet food supplement brand The Missing Link®.

She says variety is the biggest difference between wild-animal and domestic-pet diets. Wild animals get the nutrients they need from both what they eat and what their prey has eaten. On the other hand, while dogs are omnivores that eat meat and plants, cats are obligate carnivores — but much of their natural prey are herbivores that consume plants.

In the wild, these animals would benefit from meat, especially organ meat, and plants since these foods naturally provide protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Plus, consuming omega fatty acids, including omega-3’s found in fish, seeds, and in the animal’s prey would help them with inflammation and immunity.

Supplementation can help pets get the nutrients they need for overall health.

“While pet food has come a long way and includes good, healthy ingredients, no one food source can truly provide all of the health support our pets need,” explained Murray, noting that some commercial pet foods may lack high-quality protein, healthy fats like omega-3, and natural vitamins and minerals. 

“Many commercial kibble pet foods are highly processed and made with such high temperatures that the natural vitamins and minerals may have been leeched right out of the food – in effect, ‘denatured,'” Murray said.

Veterinarian Robert Collette developed The Missing Link, the first powder supplement of its kind, more than 30 years ago after he noticed his pet patients had recurring health issues. He researched the cause of these health issues and realized many essential nutrients pets need were depleted during the production of commercial pet foods. Dr. Collette created the powdered supplement to close that nutritional gap in pets.

Supplementation benefits

The Missing Link’s key ingredient is flaxseed, which is rich in essential fatty acids like omega-3 and dietary fiber. It’s ground right before packaging to preserve freshness. These supplements, which have probiotics and prebiotics to support gut health, are also made with superfood ingredients, including hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate for joint health, ginkgo biloba for cognitive functions, vitamin E and biotin (which benefit skin health and furry coats), dried chicory root for digestion, chamomile for calming gastrointestinal distress, and dried egg powder, which is a good source of protein.

Supplements can also benefit specific types of animals. For example, cats’ digestive and immune systems thrive with probiotics and cranberry. At the same time, birds’ plumage can benefit from yucca, kelp, and flaxseed.

The Missing Link uses a proprietary cold-processing manufacturing process for ingredient integrity. It doesn’t use high heat, fillers, preservatives, or binders.

Overall health support

When considering supplements, review the label to ensure you recognize the ingredients and whether the product has a limited amount of (or no) fillers. Look for the National Animal Supplement Council seal and that the supplement is made in America. 

Murray applauds pet parents for making healthier choices for their pets, including serving them quality proteins, adding plant-based foods, and avoiding fillers.

“Even with that extra effort, food supplementation is the best and easiest way to make sure pets are not only getting the overall health support they need, but can receive nutrients that can target specific common concerns like joint pain and digestive support,” she said.

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