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Joint Supplements for Dogs and Cats

Is dog beer a healthy choice for your pooch?

If you haven’t heard, commercially available “beer for dogs” can be found at select stores or on-line outlets.  It’s a novel idea, as who doesn’t find appealing the idea of sharing a few sips of one’s brew with a chair-side Bowser during a major sporting event or Hollywood awards ceremony?

Although I’m a fan of the malty and hoppy taste of beer (within moderation, of course), I must speculate that giving beer, even “beer for dogs”, isn’t the most ideal choice of liquid to hydrate our companion pooches.

A unique aspect of commercially available beer for dogs is that it contains meat flavor, like chicken or fish.  Additionally, these Fido-friendly formulas lack alcohol and carbonation.

Who makes beer for dogs?

Bowser Beer claims to be made with USDA beef or chicken, although the assertion to lack “commercial broth” (which reportedly contains “contains loads of salt, fat, MSG, onions and meat of unknown origin) makes me speculate about the meat essence being natural or artificial flavor.  Bowser Beer also contains malt barley, which is a source of B-vitamins and can also support joint health, as it contains glucosamine.  Yet, what is the glucosamine content per bottle and is comparable to the highly pure and well-absorbed Glucosamine Sulfate Potassium as found in FlexPet?

Dog Beer is beef flavored and made of human grade ingredients, so the manufacturer says. “If you like you could even join them [dogs] in a dog beer”.  Before taking a swig, I want to know more about the nature of the beef flavor.  Is it natural or artificial?  Although the website could have more information about the product, Dog Beer does share amusing video that’s worth watching and listening to the appealing Australian accent providing the voice-over.

Should I give my dog a “beer”?

So, should you give your canine companion “beer for dogs”?  It sounds as though it won’t hurt, yet we must consider if it really is the healthiest beverage around.   One vital component is the lack of known calorie content of each bottle of Bowser Beer or Dog Beer.  ShapeFit.com lists the calorie content in a 12-ounce bottle of (human) beer as varying between 95 to 209.

With the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reporting that 53 percent of adult dogs and 55 percent of cats (88.4 million pets) are overweight or obese, it’s best to provide your pets with a fresh drink of water instead of a calorie laden beverage.

Additionally, I don’t advocate dog or cat owners share their carbonated or alcohol-laden beverages with their canine or feline companion.  It’s a slippery slope between having them taking a sip to enjoy the flavor and experiencing intoxication or other health issues.

Smaller-sized, juvenile, sick, and mobility compromised pets are very prone to suffering the intoxicating effects of alcohol as compared to larger and healthy pets.  Carbonation can also cause gastric dilation or even Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV, “bloat”, as covered the Flexcin Blog: What Common Canine Condition Killed Marley of Marley & Me [hyperlink..has this post from 1/11/13 been removed?]), which requires an  emergency visit to your veterinary hospital.

As we pet owners need to always be guardians and facilitators of our pets’ best health, I suggest avoiding giving any food or treats that could potentially cause mild to severe complications, like dog joint painThese Foods Make Great Pet Treats lists the numerous nutritious, human grade options that can be given to both dogs and cats as snacks.

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