Dog Vitamins And Supplementation: Does Your Dog Need The Extra Boost?
Giving your pet dog vitamin may seem like the responsible thing to do, especially if you want your pet to enjoy a happy, healthy life. Dog vitamins are helpful in maintaining your pet’s quality of life and preventing problems that may result from deficiencies. By understanding what vitamins can do and which nutrients are best, you can ensure that your pet is cared for.
The Best Vitamins for Dogs
The best dog vitamins perform a number of functions that are vital for promoting good health and for correcting certain deficiencies that come from an incomplete diet, a disease or a condition. Note, however, that vitamins are categorized into two types – fat-soluble and water-soluble.
These vitamins for dogs are nutrients that are stored in the fatty tissue and in the liver. Once they are stored in the dog’s body, they will remain there. If too much of fat-soluble vitamins are taken, they can build up and lead to a condition known as hypervitaminosis, which is potentially dangerous. Taken in moderation and only when needed, however, fat-soluble vitamins can be very beneficial. These vitamins include:
Vit. A – helps prevent night blindness and promote normal growth. It also helps prevent hair and skin problems. It is sourced from fish liver oil, liver, dairy products and vegetables.
Vit. D – prevents rickets, a condition that results in weak and soft bones. It also helps ensure that your dog grows healthy permanent teeth. It is primarily found in sunshine, so let your dog enjoy the outdoors. It is also be found in smaller amounts in fish liver oil and dairy products.
Vit. E – helps maintain your dog’s reproductive health and improve skin. It is found in meats and green leafy vegetables.
Vit. K – improves the body’s blood clotting ability and prevents hemorrhage. It is sourced from kelp, egg yolks and alfalfa.
These vitamins are retained in very small amounts in the dog’s body because these are easily flushed via urine. Hence, water-soluble vitamins are generally recommended for daily intake among dogs that are deficient. These vitamins include:
Vit. B complex – may include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12. These vitamins help correct weight loss and lack of appetite, improve growth, prevent heart failure and eye abnormalities, and improve nerve control and reflexes. It also helps prevent anemia, diarrhea and inflamed gums. The B vitamins are mostly found in meats, organ meats, meat by-products, milk and vegetables.
Biotin – the hair vitamin, responsible for keeping your dog’s coat soft and shiny. It also helps prevent diarrhea and dry skin. It is found in beef liver, soybeans and corn.
Folic Acid – helps prevent macrocytic anemia and bone marrow hypoplasia. It is mostly sourced from organ meats.
Vit. C – increases the dog’s ability to heal naturally and improves his immune system. It is found in vegetables and citrus fruits.
Does Your Pet Need a Dog Vitamin?
If you feed your dog a good, healthy diet, he likely will not require vitamin supplementation. Most dogs receive the nutrients they need from the food they eat. If you are unsure, discuss your concerns with your veterinarian to determine if your pet is getting enough. Keep in mind that while your intentions are good, too much of a good thing is still bad. By working with a veterinarian, you will ensure that your dog receives the care he deserves.