Oxbow’s Natural Science supplements were designed with the natural diet of small mammals in mind to address some of their most common health ailments. With the help of leading exotic animal veterinarians and nutritionists, these supplements were developed with herbal ingredients targeted toward mitigating these issues.
When considering adding supplements to your pet’s diet, it should always start with a conversation with your veterinarian about what is best for your pet. To help facilitate this conversation, we’ve put together answers to some of our most commonly asked supplement-related questions:
Q: Is it possible to overfeed Natural Science supplements?
A: Yes. As with any supplement, it’s important to follow feeding guidelines at all times. Some ingredients used in our supplements may cause GI upset or other health issues if consumed in excess. It is highly recommended to consult with your veterinarian before incorporating any new supplements into your pet’s diet.
Q: Can I feed multiple Natural Science supplements at the same time?
A: Yes, you can feed multiple Natural Science supplements at the same time but be sure you follow the feeding directions and do not exceed the daily recommended amount of any of the supplements. Also, we recommend that your veterinarian confirm that your pet can benefit from the addition of any of the Natural Science supplements before feeding them.
Q: Can Natural Science supplements be given with prescription or over-the-counter medications?
A: Yes, but it is imperative you first consult with your veterinarian to ensure there are no potential negative interactions between the Natural Science supplements and pharmaceuticals your little one may be taking.
Q: Can any of the Natural Science supplements be fed to young, growing, pregnant or lactating animals?
A: The following Natural Science supplements are appropriate for young, growing, pregnant or lactating animals:
- Vitamin C
The following Natural Science supplements are NOT intended for young, growing, pregnant or lactating animals and should not be fed during these life stages unless otherwise recommended by your veterinarian.
- Digestive Support
- Urinary Support
- Skin & Coat
- Joint Support
- Papaya Support
Q: Will Natural Science supplements help cure my pet? Or do they work as a preventative?
A: Natural Science supplements were designed for:
- Small animals with particular conditions as diagnosed by their veterinarian
- Small animals in need of supplemental or additional vitamins/support as recommended by their vet.
Natural Science supplements are designed to support animals with acute or chronic disease as well as minimize the disease impacts on their bodies.
Q: Are Natural Science supplements safe to give animals with bladder health concerns? Do they have a low calcium content?
A: All of our Natural Science supplements, when given as recommended, contribute very little calcium to a pet’s overall diet. Only two Natural Science supplements, Multi-Vitamin and Papaya Support, have added calcium which is specially added in minimal amounts solely for functional processing purposes. All other Natural Science supplements only contain the small amount of calcium naturally found in the ingredients.
If your little one has a history of bladder health concerns, it is always important to make sure your veterinarian is comfortable with the addition of the supplement before adding it to your pet’s feeding regime. You can find the guaranteed analysis for each of our supplement varieties on their respective product pages or you can reach out to us directly if the information cannot be found or you would like additional insight.
Q: Why is there molasses in these supplements?
A: Cane molasses is included in small amounts in most of our Natural Science supplements to act as a natural binding agent to help hold the high fiber, plant-based ingredients together, providing a uniform source of nutrition to your pet. Other types of binders can be synthetic or derived from animal sources and are not appropriate for small mammal species.
Plant-based cane molasses is an unrefined carbohydrate, meaning it is absorbed much slower over time when compared to rapidly-absorbed, refined carbohydrates. This prevents sudden spikes in blood sugar that are often noted with the consumption of simple carbohydrates.
You can learn even more about cane molasses and why it is included in some of our formulas in one of our previous blogs.
Q: What if my pet won’t eat their new supplements?
A: Most pets readily accept Natural Science supplements. However, as with any new food item, there is sometimes a transition period that is needed to help your pet become familiar with new flavors and ingredients. Below are a couple of tips that often work to encourage even the pickiest pet to accept a new supplement.
- Release the natural aroma of the supplement by rolling one of the tablets in a warm, damp (not overly wet) towel for a couple of seconds/minutes before offering the tablet to your pet. You can even use a towel from the dryer that has not finished drying. This will soften the supplement and release the natural aromas to increase your pet’s interest.
- Impart a hint of sweetness by adding a small amount of diluted, unsweetened (preferably organic) 100% apple juice. Only use a couple of drops to provide that enticing flavor without adding excessive sugar.
- Offer the supplements during daily floor or snuggle time. You can also break the supplements up and offer them by hand. This can lead to a positive association between the supplements and fun, favored activities.
- Break the supplements up or crush them into a powder and add them to the dish with your pet’s daily allotment of pellets or leafy greens. As your pet roots around to pick out the pellets or greens, they will usually bite into a piece of supplement and realize how tasty it is.
- Remember that introducing a new food or treat can take a lot of time and patience. While some animals take to new things very quickly, others can take weeks or even months. Patient persistence is often the key.
Q: Can Natural Science supplements be offered to dogs or cats?
A: Our hay-based Natural Science supplements were specifically created to help assuage common health concerns faced by exotic companion mammals. As a hay-based product, they are intended to be used for small herbivores (rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, etc.) or small omnivores (hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats, etc.) who naturally thrive on a high-fiber diet.
Dogs and cats both have significant protein requirements, meaning their nutritional needs are quite different from that of any of our core species. While none of the products in our Natural Science supplements would be toxic to dogs or cats, they could lead to digestive upset, stool abnormalities, or other undesirable effects.
We have not completed trials regarding the use of any of our Natural Science supplements in canines or felines and cannot guarantee the safety or efficacy of using this product in these species. Thus, we do not recommend the use of any Natural Science supplements in dogs or cats of any age or health status.
Q: Why does my bag of supplements look different than the last one?
A: Our supplements are fixed formulas, meaning that we use the same ingredients from the same sources for a consistent product. However, due to the ingredients of the supplements being derived from nature and subject to natural variation, it is possible for there to be slight differences in taste, color, aroma, and/or texture from batch to batch.
Our Natural Science supplements take the safety and health of your pet into the highest consideration, but we know there is a lot to consider when evaluating a supplement with your veterinarian. We’ve covered some of the most frequently asked supplement questions here, but there is no doubt a plethora of others that may come to your mind. If you don’t see your question addressed above, please always feel free to reach out to us directly with any product questions you have.