I rotate homemade recipes that don’t require a multivitamin and mineral supplement in order to be balanced with recipes that do require a multivitamin and mineral supplement.  And I rotate Isabella’s proteins, 3 minimum. Using this method promotes variety and is a solid foundation for good nutrition.

The recipes that don’t require a supplement to be balanced have more whole food ingredients that fill in the blanks of the required minerals and vitamins. You may have heard the term “Balance Over Time”,  I use this method of feeding, it’s working great for us.

I also give daily supplements that cant’ be filled in with diet alone.

Feed a Fresh, Nutritionally Complete, Species Appropriate Diet to prevent IVDD episodes

Feed a Fresh, Nutritionally Complete, Species Appropriate Diet to prevent IVDD episodes

On my trusted resources page, you will find the two multivitamin and mineral supplements I rotate in my recipes. They are Hilary’s Blend and Meal Mix.

Meal Mix is formulated by Dr. Karen Becker for Mercola Healthy Pets.  Dr. Becker is one of my primary trusted resources.  So, I have full confidence in using Meal Mix to balance Isabella’s recipes.

On my recipe page, you will find balanced homemade recipes and more information about the importance of rotation and variety.

Note: Daily supplements are different from a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Daily supplements are supplements that you need to give daily.

A multivitamin and mineral supplement is used to balance homemade recipes or to balance your dog’s overall diet.

Daily Supplements I use for Isabella:

  1. Love Bugs (probiotic) 1/8 Tsp daily
  2. Actistatin Joint Supplement – 2 soft chews daily with meals
  3. Phyto Synergy (phytoplankton) 1/16 Tsp every other day
  4. Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet – dogs need 150 mg of combined EPA/DHA per 10 lbs of body weight daily (as per Mary Strauss – Dogaware). This was affirmed by Dr. Karen Becker in a facebook live in September 2018. Based on her raw fresh food diet Isabella is definitely getting some very healthy and necessary Omega 3’s from her diet. So with supplementation, we are ensured she will be getting the minimum she needs daily and then some. See more on Omega 3’s below.
  5.  Vitamin E – 30 IU daily you can read more from Mary Strauss at Dogaware regarding recommendations on IU’s per lb, but here are her general guidelines:

    DogAware general conclusions regarding appropriate doses of vitamin E for dogs

    • For healthy dogs, particularly those eating a fresh food diet, 1-2 IUs per pound of body weight daily (or an equivalent amount less often) is likely plenty. Healthy dogs eating kibble, especially small dogs, might benefit from slightly higher amounts.

    • For dogs with a variety of health problems, including kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, cataracts, allergies, skin problems, arthritis, and other diseases involving inflammation or the immune system, and for dogs receiving high doses of polyunsaturated oils (PUFAs) such as fish oil or vegetable oils, dosages up to 3-4 IUs per pound of bodyweight daily for large dogs, 3.5-4.5 IUs per pound of bodyweight for medium-sized dogs, and 5-7 IUs per pound of bodyweight for small dogs, may provide additional benefits.

      Examples of maximum amounts of vitamin E recommended on a long-term basis based on body weight:

      • 10 lbs: 50-70 IUs daily, or 200 IUs every 3-4 days, or 400 IUs once a week.
      • 20 lbs: 85-115 IUs daily, or 200 IUs every other day, or 400 IUs twice a week.
      • 30 lbs: 120-150 IUs daily, or 200 IUs every other day, or 400 IUs every 3 days.
      • 40 lbs: 150-200 IUs daily, or 400 IUs every 2 or 3 days.
      • 50 lbs: 170-230 IUs daily, or 400 IUs every other day.
      • 60 lbs: 200-265 IUs daily, or 400 IUs every other day up to 5 times a week.
      • 70 lbs: 220-300 IUs daily, or 400 IUs every other day up to 5 times a week.
      • 80 lbs: 250-330 IUs daily, or 400 IUs up to 6 times a week.
      • 90 lbs: 265-360 IUs daily, or 400 IUs up to 6 times a week.
      • 100 lbs: 300-400 IUs daily.
      • 125 lbs: 340-470 IUs daily.
      • 150 lbs: 400-525 IUs daily.”

To all our fur friends here is  a 20% discount off Actistatin® Joint Supplement just click the link below

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More on Omega 3’s

Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet is a very high-quality Brand for pets.

Omega 3 Fish Oil

Omega 3 Fish Oil Capsules

Why I chose this Omega 3

I have chosen Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet at this point in time because it is high quality, clean and is in the bioactive triglyceride (TG) form which is more bioavailable.

Just like humans, dogs and cats need omega-3s to stay healthy. Made exclusively from sustainably-sourced sardines and anchovies, their award-winning Omega-3 Pet formulas give dogs and cats the daily serving of omega-3 EPA+DHA they need to live active, happy lives. Omega-3 Pet does not contain rosemary oil, or flavorings, in order to ensure the safety of your pets.


All Nordic Naturals’ fish oil products are offered in the triglyceride molecular form—the form naturally found in fish, and the form your body most easily absorbs.* Everything we make is non-GMO and third-party tested, surpassing the strictest international standards for purity and freshness. Certificates of Analysis are available for any product. Nordic Naturals fish oils are Friend of the Sea (FOS) certified and sustainably made in a zero waste facility powered by biofuel.

With this anchovy, sardine blend, it is therefore, lower on the chain for mercury contamination.  Plus this product is molecularly distilled meaning they purify it.  So, any contamination including from any potential mercury is cleaned out.

Benefits of Omega 3’s for your dog

Multiple clinical studies have shown that Omega 3’s are beneficial for:

  1. Reducing Inflammation, therefore, assisting with good joint health. Helps with conditions like osteoarthritis
  2. Helps with neurological health
  3. Promotes cardiovascular health
  4. Improves cognitive health especially as your pet ages
  5. Alleviates inflammatory skin disorders

Another great way to reduce inflammation is Laser Therapy.

Don’t miss our article: Laser Therapy for IVDD Dogs: Best Protocols.


There are omega-3 essential fatty acids (both EPA and DHA) in phytoplankton too!  However, I have not seen anywhere the values of how much EPA/DHA is in Phytoplankton.  So, for this reason, you can not use phytoplankton as your Omega 3 supplement.

Phytoplankton Powder

Phytoplankton Powder

Phytoplankton has many other great things such as:

  • Protein
  • Amino acids
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Antioxidants
  • Carotenoids
  • Phytonutrients

Finally a happy comfort level with supplements!

To be honest, this is the most comfortable in her whole life (12 years) that I have ever been with her blend of supplements, brands, types, and dosages.

Boy, it takes a long time to fine-tune things for their individual needs.  And their needs change over time as well. What worked when she was 5 is different at the age of 12. Not to mention sourcing the best quality and the right supplements for your individual dog. It’s a moving a target to be sure.

I think an article is warranted on the process of selecting an Omega 3 as this seems to be one of the trickiest to select.  Stay tuned!

Probiotic infographic

Probiotics | Digestive Health

Before you start any new protocol with your dog, particularly if they are on medication, or suffering from an acute illness or condition, you MUST check with your veterinarian prior to starting any new protocol.  Please do not use the content from this blog in place of veterinary care!

I love connecting with pet parents. You might even see the answer to your question in an upcoming blog article! Feel free to reach out, and be sure to stay tuned for more!

Do you have a question for the IVDD pet community? Or a topic you would like to see covered. Click here to send us an email!!!


About the author: Wendy Haines is a dog health blogger and devoted dog mom with 12 years of experience creating optimal health for her dog. Wendy’s goal is to help fellow dog owners manage an IVDD diagnosis, prevent IVDD episodes, make healthy diet choices and lifestyle changes with the goal of creating optimal health for your dog!

2 comments… add one
  • Gina Floryan Jun 28, 2019 @ 13:28

    Very informative and helpful.
    Thank you so much!

    • Wendy Haines Jun 28, 2019 @ 18:33

      Hi Gina!

      Thank you so much for taking the time out, to let me know you found this helpful. Keep in touch, I love connecting with other pet parents. As you sift through the other articles that you have an interest in, please feel free to send me your feedback and questions. Warmest Regards! Wendy H.

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