Vitamin Supplements For Dogs

dogsIf you feed your dog on good food, whether it be homemade or not, then they should get all the vitamins and nutrients they need from their diet. For some breeds of dogs however, especially large breeds, it may be necessary to supplement their diet with additional vitamins. Just like us humans, not all dogs are the same and, just like us, dogs may need extra vitamins from time to time.  The fact is that regardless of your dog’s diet, there will be times when additional nutrients and vitamins are required.  Older dogs in particular tend not to eat as much food, which in turn means they are not getting as many nutrients.  Therefore, adding an appropriate vitamin supplement to their diet will have a very beneficial effect on their general health.

Which Vitamin?
So, exactly what sort of vitamin supplements does your dog actually need?  Before you can answer this, the first thing you need to know is what each vitamin is used for:

  • Vitamin A – Helps with, skin problems; bladder and kidneys; strong bones and teeth; eyesight; digestion; immune system
  • Vitamin B – Helps with, reducing stress and promoting calmness; healthy coat; digestion; immune system; bad breath; loss of appetite
  • Vitamin C – Helps with, allergies; immune system; bacterial infections; skin disorders; anemia; swollen joints and arthritis
  • Vitamin D – Helps with, increasing calcium absorption and bone development; arthritis; eyesight; nervous system; heart function
  • Vitamin E – Helps with, protection against infections; improving blood; preventing abnormal blood clots; supporting the gallbladder, liver, kidneys and pancreas
  • Vitamin K – Helps with, enabling proper blood clotting; liver; reproductive system; diarrhea

Note: The above are only some of the benefits associated with each vitamin and, some conditions can be treated with more than one vitamin supplement

Vitamin Categories
There are two categories of vitamins.  The first is classified as water soluble and includes vitamins B and C.  Because they are not stored in the body they have to be replenished every day.  The second type of vitamin is known as fat soluble and includes vitamins A, D, E and K.  These are stored in fatty tissue and the liver and therefore do not need to be replenished daily.

If you choose the recommended route of preparing your own dog food, then you will know what vitamins your dog is receiving through the ingredients contained in the recipe.  The problem with commercially bought dog food is that the cooking process that most of the pre made dog foods undergo may actually get rid of essential nutrients.  The fact is that whilst commercial dog foods will contain an array of important vitamins, they are unlikely to provide the additional vitamins that are essential for your dog’s overall health and wellbeing.  Basically, the optimum level of vitamin intake will help to regulate your dogs metabolism and keep everything in balance.

Observation
No-one knows your dog better than you, so it is you who should first notice any change or decline in your dog’s health.  If you notice they are losing weight, have poor skin, or losing their coat, then this would be indicative of a vitamin A deficiency.  If they lose muscle tone, there could be a vitamin D deficiency.  In the event that you think your dog could possibly have a vitamin deficiency, speak to your vet who will most likely advise that your dog is given the appropriate vitamin supplements.

 

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