HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS FOR YOUR PET
know what to look for
Animal herbal and nutritional supplements are easily obtained on the Internet complete with testimonials from pet owners enthusiastic about endorsing the effectiveness of the product.
Animal supplements can be found to treat cancer, arthritis, kidney failure, heart disease, anxiety, seizures, diabetes and many more ailments.
This "cottage industry" has flourished in the last several years as more and more pet owners seek gentle and effective medicine to use instead of pharmaceuticals.
However, the variety of animal supplements available are staggering and with little to no oversight on the production, quality, and labeling of these products the potential danger to animals in using herbal and nutritional supplement increases.
Where are the herbs grown? Are pesticides used? Is what is listed on the label truly what is to be found in the product?
What is the actual amount of the herb, vitamin, or mineral in the product? A label listing percentages does not provide the information needed to assess the product's safe use on animals.
In 2001 the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) was formed for companies producing animal supplements to join so that a clear set of guidelines could be followed.
With a product labeled with the NASC seal, veterinarians and consumers could be assured that the highest current standards of supplement quality were being followed in order to protect the health of horses and small animals. Listed below is taken directly from the NASC website:
NASC members must agree to adhere to NASC’s quality standards which include submitting to an independent audit to ensure conformance with quality system requirements.
- The company must have a Quality Control Manual in place that provides written Standard Operating Procedures for production process control. This helps ensure the company is providing a consistent and quality product.
- The company must have an Adverse Event Reporting/Complaint System in place to continually monitor and evaluate products and ingredients.
- The company must follow proper Label Guidelines for all products and all forms of labeling.
- The company's product labels must include any specific Warning and Caution Statements recommended by the Food & Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and the NASC Scientific Advisory Committee for particular ingredients.
Purchasing animal supplements from NASC members is the best way consumers can support efforts to improve the quality of animal health products. For more information check out www.nasc.cc/index.php. This website has a list of member companies to purchase from.