The Benefits Of Your Dog Taking A Vitamin Supplement
All dog owners want the best for their pets. We tend to pamper our dogs in the hopes of giving them the love that they deserve. They make our lives so much more meaningful.
They give us all the comfort that we need when we need it. They give us the best lessons that we never knew we needed. And the best thing about our dogs is that they love us unconditionally. It is probably why we do not think twice about giving them the best of care.
The best way to keep a dog healthy
Because we love our dogs, we want them to live as long as possible. We, thus, find ways to keep them healthy in order to ensure that we can grow old with our dogs as much as possible.
The easiest way to keep our dogs in tiptop shape is to make sure that they are not deficient in nutrients and exercising regularly. All dog parents know that walking dogs or ensuring they get plenty of exercise is very important in making sure that they do not fall ill.
Exercise is important to prevent your dog from exhibiting behavioral problems. Dog owners are familiar with instances where dogs who do not have enough exercise either chew on things, exhibit scratching behaviors, or emit noisy sounds.
Likewise, making sure that your dog gets enough exercise will prevent your dog from becoming obese, which is also likely to result in health complications. Some dog breeds are also prone to experiencing joint problems and bone cancer if they do not get the exercise they need.
A nutritious diet for dogs, meanwhile, includes food that contains carbohydrates, fats, protein, water, minerals, and vitamins. The amount of the said nutrients needed by a dog depends on each individual dog’s overall condition, age, and even specific health concerns.
This means that a dog of a more advanced age may need certain vitamins and minerals that a dog of a relatively younger age may not need, and vice versa. Likewise, it may not be advisable to provide a vitamin supplement to a dog suffering from a certain condition.
It is, therefore, important that we understand our dog’s age, health concerns, activity level, and even genetic predispositions in order to assess their nutritional requirements.
What vitamins do dogs need?
The best practice, of course, is to seek your veterinarian’s advice. They are, after all, the experts in assessing our dogs’ health needs. Sometimes, a veterinarian may find it necessary to prescribe vitamins for your dog.
There are a variety of benefits that dogs will have from taking multivitamins such as healthy nail and hair growth, inhibition of bad breath-causing bacteria, a healthier immune system, and having an improved energy and vitality.
A dog, in particular, may need the same vitamins that are essential in humans such as Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K, and choline. These vitamins address specific health needs in both dogs and humans.
Vitamin A, for instance, ensures that dogs have excellent eyesight, good fetal development, healthy immune and cell function, and normal growth. It also provides a good repair mechanism for your dog’s internal organs.
Meanwhile, Vitamin B provides a variety of benefits such as regulating energy and metabolism of carbohydrates as well as activating the neural tissue’s ion channels.
Specific Vitamin B such as Riboflavin, Niacin, and B12 helps in ensuring that your dog’s enzyme function works properly. You can help your dog’s energy metabolism with pantothenic acid.
Vitamin B6 is important in facilitating glucose generation as well as ensuring a well-functioning nervous system and red blood cell. It also plays a helpful role in hormone generation, gene activation, and niacin synthesis.
Although dogs are capable of synthesizing Vitamin C on their own livers, giving your dog Vitamin C supplement helps in eliminating free radicals that can harm your dog’s body. It also helps in reducing inflammations as well as preventing rapid aging in our dog’s cognitive function.
Studies also show that a sufficient supply of Vitamin C in your dog’s system helps him or her become more disease resistant as well as better recover from illnesses and injuries.
Your dog is likely to suffer from Vitamin C deficiency due to physical and emotional stress. In fact, researchers measured the stress level of dogs through the amount of Vitamin C that was depleted in a dog’s blood.
As for Vitamin D, it helps in keeping our dog’s bones and muscles healthy by balancing minerals such as phosphorus and calcium. An insufficient supply of Vitamin D in your dog’s diet prevents your dog from having healthy and well-developed bones and muscles.
A sufficient supply of Vitamin E in dogs prevents them from experiencing degeneration in the eyes and muscles and also helps them avoid reproductive problems. It is helpful in ensuring that your dog has a defense against oxidative damage.
It is particularly helpful to ensure sufficient Vitamin K in dogs because it helps blood-clotting abilities in their bodies. This helps keep them from hemorrhaging when they accidentally ingest poisons used to eliminate rodents.
Choline supports healthy functioning of our dog’s liver and brain. Dogs who suffer from epilepsy are also given Choline in order to treat their condition.
Keep in mind, however, that although these vitamins have similar benefits in dogs as in humans, you should avoid giving your dogs the same kind of vitamin supplements that are meant for humans unless you have an approval from your veterinarian.
Doing so may potentially harm your dogs. Although there are a lot of human foods and health supplements that contain the same nutrients needed by dogs, they can contain substances that are not automatically safe to be ingested by our pets.
There are certain human foods that are safe to be eaten by dogs but you have to do sufficient research or consult your veterinarian to make sure that your pet will be able to digest whatever you want to share.
Can vitamins be harmful for dogs?
Although vitamins are generally helpful to dogs, it can also potentially harm them if taken in excessive amounts. There is no need to give your dog more vitamins and minerals when your dog is already eating a relatively healthy and balanced diet as it can lead to health complications.
For instance, excessive amounts of Vitamin A in dogs can harm their blood vessels and cause them to suffer from dehydration and joint pains. Vitamin D, on the other hand, when given in an amount more than necessary, can cause your dog to stop eating, suffer from muscle atrophy, and also harm your dog’s bones.
What is really important is to ensure that our dogs have good sources of vitamins from their daily diet. If your dog shows signs of health problems, it is best to take your dog to the veterinarian.
If your veterinarian finds that your dog suffers from vitamin deficiency, he or she is likely to prescribe vitamins and supplements. If your veterinarian determines your dog to be in a tiptop condition, then vitamins may not be necessary.
However, if you are curious if your dog can safely take some vitamins and supplements in the form of treats, you can ask your veterinarian the right amount of dosage you should give.
Laura Robinson, DMV
Dr Laura practices at the Antonio Animal Hospital in California, where she was born and raised. She is an advisor to Wuffes, ensuring all our products and content is of the highest standard