How To Read And Understand Dog Supplement Labels

Posted by Camelus Grondstowwe on

The information provided in this blog post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health condition in animals. It is not intended to replace professional veterinary advice or care.

As a pet parent, it can be difficult to know what exactly is in the supplements you give your pup. It's important to read and understand dog supplement labels so you know exactly what you're giving them. This article will guide you through all the information on a label, from ingredients to expiration date, and help you make an informed decision when purchasing supplements for your furry friend.

You'll learn how to look out for active ingredients, inactive ingredients, serving size, nutritional information and storage instructions. Knowing how to read these labels will help ensure that your pup is getting the vitamins and minerals they need without any of the extra additives or fillers that could be potentially harmful. After reading this article, you'll have all the knowledge necessary to choose safe and effective supplements for your pup!

Ingredient List

Scanning the list of ingredients gives you a glimpse into what your pup's getting in their daily meal. When reading dog supplement labels, take note of the order that ingredients are listed as well. Ingredients are typically listed from greatest to least volume, and this can be an important factor when determining if a supplement will meet your pup's specific needs. Be sure to look for whole food sources like real meat, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Avoid artificial colours, flavours and preservatives whenever possible. Talk to your vet or pet nutritionist if you have any questions about which supplements are best for your pup's unique dietary requirements.

Serving Size

Have a look at the serving size to get an idea of how much you'll be giving your pup. Serving sizes for dog supplements can vary greatly, so it's important to read the label carefully and understand what is recommended for your pup's weight and age. Some labels may list multiple serving sizes depending on the weight or age of the dog, while others may only provide one measurement. Don't forget that if you're feeding more than one pup, you'll need to adjust accordingly. It's also worth noting that it may take some experimentation with different amounts before finding what works best for your pet. With careful consideration and research, you can ensure that your pup gets just the right amount of supplement for their needs.

Manufacturer Information

Taking the time to learn about the manufacturer of your pup's supplement can give you valuable insight into its quality and effectiveness. It is always important to look for reputable companies that have a long-standing history of producing reliable products. Check out their website and read customer reviews, if available, to get some feedback on their product line. Additionally, contact the company directly with questions or concerns you may have about a particular supplement prior to purchase. This step allows you to make an informed decision when it comes to your pet's health and wellbeing.

It's also beneficial to know where the ingredients in the supplement are sourced from, as well as how they are made and tested for safety. Look for manufacturers that use only high-quality ingredients, process them according to industry standards, and verify their purity using third-party laboratories. Taking these steps will help ensure that your pup is getting only the best supplements available on the market today!

Active Ingredients

Getting to grips with the active ingredients in your pup's supplement is essential, so don't forget to check out what they are before purchasing! Active ingredients are the substances that provide the benefits associated with the supplement. These may include vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other natural or synthetic substances. When looking at a dog supplement label, you should look for a list of active ingredients and their amounts per serving. This will give you an idea of what your pup is getting out of the supplement and whether it meets their needs.

You should also double-check that none of these ingredients could potentially be dangerous for your pup. For example, some breeds have allergies or sensitivities to specific vitamins or herbs that can cause adverse reactions if consumed in large enough quantities. Additionally, certain supplements may contain compounds not suitable for puppies or senior dogs due to potential toxicity risks. Make sure you consult with your veterinarian before giving any new supplements to your pup!

Inactive Ingredients

Familiarising yourself with the inactive ingredients in your pup's supplement is just as important, so take a look and see what they are! Inactive ingredients are components of the supplement that don't have any biological activity or effect on the body. They may be used to bind other active ingredients together, or provide flavour, texture, or colour to the product. It's important to check for any known allergens or substances you may want to avoid when looking over an inactive ingredient list. Some common examples include cornstarch, cellulose, and artificial colours.

In addition to avoiding allergens and additives that could cause adverse reactions in your pet, it's also important to be aware of fillers used in supplements. Fillers can bulk up products at a low cost but offer no nutritional value for your pup. Common examples of fillers include wheat middlings and brewer's rice. Be sure to read through all the inactive ingredients listed on the label before giving your dog a new supplement!

Nutritional Information

Gaining an understanding of the nutritional information provided on your pup's supplement labels is key to making sure they are getting the necessary nutrients. All labels must list a guaranteed analysis, which states the minimum amounts of crude protein and fat, as well as maximum levels of fibre and moisture. If other nutrients are present, like vitamins or minerals, they must also be listed in descending order based on their percentage by weight. It's important to check that all essential vitamins and minerals needed for their breed type are included on the label.

In addition to this guaranteed analysis, many pet food companies will include an 'as fed' or 'calculated' nutrient analysis. This is helpful because it shows how much of each nutrient is actually in the product after processing compared to what was listed in the guarantee analysis. While not mandatory, these analyses can help you make more informed decisions about your pup's diet and health needs.

Directions for Use

Become acquainted with the directions for use of your pup's supplement to ensure they get the best nutrition. Directions for use can vary from supplement to supplement, so make sure to read and understand them carefully. The directions will specify how much of the supplement you should give your pup each day, as well as other important information such as when and how often it should be administered. They may also include advice on what types of food or treats the supplement can be mixed with or served alongside. Pay close attention to these details so you can administer the correct dose in the right way for optimal results.

Storage Instructions

Get acquainted with the storage instructions for your pup's supplement to ensure it stays fresh and effective. It is important to check the label of the product for specific instructions, as different supplements may require different storage methods. Generally speaking, most supplements should be stored at room temperature away from direct heat or sunlight. Furthermore, if you have multiple containers of supplements, make sure they are stored separately so that any potential cross-contamination is avoided. Additionally, look out for expiration dates and throw away expired products immediately as they may not work effectively anymore. Be sure to keep all tablets and capsules in their original packaging; this will help maintain their potency until the expiration date arrives. Finally, always store supplements in a cool and dry place - keeping them in a humid or damp environment can reduce their effectiveness drastically. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your pup gets the full benefits of its dietary supplements!

Expiration Date

Now that you know how to properly store your dog's supplements, it is important to also understand the expiration date. This will ensure the supplement is still safe and effective for use. The expiration date is usually located on the container or packaging of the supplement. It may be written in a variety of ways such as “expires on” or “use by” followed by a specific month and year. Pay attention to when this date comes up so you don't exceed it and risk giving your pet an expired supplement. It is always best practice to check the label for any changes before administering any product to your pet, including supplements.


Reading and understanding a dog supplement label can seem daunting at first, but it doesn't have to be. Knowing what to look for on the label, such as ingredient list, serving size, active and inactive ingredients, nutritional information, directions for use, storage instructions and expiration date can help you make sure you're selecting the right supplement for your dog. You should also take note of the manufacturer's information in order to get in touch with them if there are any issues or questions regarding the product. Taking all this into account will ensure that your pup is getting only the best supplements available.

About Camelus

Camelus, a South African feed additive & supplement consulting and manufacturing company, was founded by SC (Fanus) Cilliers in 1997. Initially serving the ostrich industry via Camelus Voere CC, the company expanded its offerings to cater to a range of animals from ruminants like cattle and sheep to pets like cats and dogs, boasting over 152 product options from dry applications to liquid emulsions. By 1998, Camelus had established its own manufacturing facility and began its foray into international markets, consulting feed companies from Europe to Saudi Arabia, leveraging global experiences to tailor supplements for diverse animal needs. Located at 11 Jones Street, Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape, Camelus Grondstowwe CC oversees its dry supplement manufacturing and liquid emulsion division. With over 21 years in the industry, Camelus remains committed to delivering specialised products that cater uniquely to animals and their owners.


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