Do I Need To Get Vitamins For My Dog?
Many of us take daily vitamins and minerals for our health. As our pets are becoming more and more part of our families, we want to give them the best lives. We take care of them as good, if not even better, than ourselves. As your pup ages, eventually, health concerns can start showing. In recent years the amount of pets receiving vitamin supplements has been growing. Therefore, it is important to know what you give your dog. Before attempting to add a health supplement or specific vitamin to their diet consult with your vet. But to answer the question “Are extra vitamins for dogs really necessary?” we will look at what vitamins are and what they do.
What is a Vitamin?
Vitamins are organic molecules, sometimes referred to as micro-nutrients, and are essential for the body. Many of these vitamins are not created by the body and need to come from a dogs diet. Unlike humans who can create doses of vitamin D and K, dogs are one step ahead and are able to produce their own vitamin C!
Why Would My Dog Needs Extra Vitamins?
To answer this question, we need to understand that vitamins come from eating a varied, healthy diet. For many of us that means, vegetables, meats, fish and fresh fruits. But how about dogs? Many people assume that dogs are carnivorous, only eat meat, in truth, dogs in the wild dogs just like wolves will eat various things, including fruits and berries. Usually, feeding a high-quality food to your dog will make sure they get all the nutrients their body needs. Unless your dog has medical conditions or is aging. In that case, adding supplements would really benefit them.
For more information on high-quality dog foods please check out our article here.
Essential Vitamins And Minerals For Dogs
Many of the micro-nutrients needed for our dogs are similar to what we take, while this may be true the dosages required vary between species. Therefore, it is important to stray away from the, often cheaper over the counter, human supplements. Because these products specifically created for us, they can contain ingredients that are harmful to your dog.
If you want to read more on surprisingly harmful ingredients for your dog read our article here.
A quick overview of essential micro-nutrients for your dog
- Vitamin A (Vision, immune system, skeletal growth, and healthy skin )
- B vitamins (Metabolism, neurological health, energy levels and hormone production)
- Vitamin C (Immune system, reduces inflammation, except in rare circumstances your dog will create enough vitamin C on its own.)
- Vitamin D (Important to balance electrolytes in the body, created sufficiently by the body if the dog spends ample time outside.)
- Vitamin E (Vision, neurologic health, prevents dry skin, reproduction, and immune system)
- Vitamin K (Blood coagulation, bone, and coronary health)
- Choline (Brain and liver function)
Too Much of a Good Thing
If your dog has a balanced diet, adding vitamins can be harmful. Make sure to discuss with your vet what supplements are needed for your dog. Whereas, just giving too much of certain vitamins can have serious consequences for your pup’s health.
What’s in the Box?
The FDA doesn’t regulate dietary supplements. Twenty-five percent of supplements for humans tested positive for ingredients that did not match those listed on the package. In fact, over sixty percent of those intended for pets failed the same test.
Please make sure to research if you want to supplement your dog. We have included a list of high quality and popular dog supplements to give you a head start.
Fish Oil, multivitamins, minerals