Vitamins are one of the essential parts of the nutritional chart for humans. But what about dogs? Like humans, dogs need their fair share of vitamins too. Unfortunately, some pets are underprivileged and do not get the benefit of a healthy home and pet owners either. Vitamins for dogs are available in the groceries lined rows after rows. It is completely logical to provide your pet the dog vitamins.
The number of essential vitamins that are not being fulfilled by the food can be taken care of with the help of dog vitamin supplements.
But do dogs really need the vitamins? And if they do, how often vitamins should be given? We have listed out all the possible details you will be interested to learn.
7 Basic Vitamins for Dogs
What are vitamins? The organic compound vital to sustaining life and is found in natural food. Some of the most common types of vitamins usually are;
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
As a loving pet owner, you want your dog to live a full life, to be healthy, and to jump all around. Sometimes dogs do not eat food enough to absorb all the necessary nutrients and vitamins they need for healthy growth. Luckily, we have configured a list of 7 vitamins down below that are extremely helpful to ensure your dog is able to get the best vitamins.
1- Vitamin A for Dogs is Essential
Carrots are safe vegetables for dogs. If you ever imagined, carrots contain vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin. It is responsible for good vision and immune function. Many of the eye supplements for dogs include vitamin A. You can add liver, fish liver oil and egg yolks in your dog’s diet plan as they are a rich source of Vitamin A. Some of the other rich resources also include vegetables like sweet potato, carrots and kale besides carrots.
According to The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), 5000 IU is a recommended dose of vitamin A for dogs (per kilogram of food).
2- Nutrients for Dogs in Vitamin B
Dirty teeth, excessive shedding, stool eating, weight gain, and sores, what is a common symptom here? The lack of vitamin B in dogs can become a reason for all of these mentioned problems. Even if a dog owner provides the necessary nutrients but lacks the vitamin B complex then it is not good for dogs.
Vitamin B helps to produce the biochemical reaction that changes carbs into glucose. It helps to provide the necessary energy and also assimilates the protein and fat.
Wheat bran, wheat germ, kelp, molasses, live, milk, eggs, kidney and heart etc are just to name a few, some of the best sources of vitamin B. For an an adult dog it is highly recommended to give at at least 0.1 mg for the each pound (the recommended dose can vary according to the breed type and size).
3- Relief Stress with Vitamin C for Dogs
Dogs have a natural ability to produce vitamin C. so it is vital to provide foods or supplements that are a rich source of vitamin C. If a dog lacks vitamin C then it can cause stress and a severe case of depression.
So, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that helps to process the food and also produces bodily heat and energy. Lettuce is a cheap source of vitamin and also helps hydrate a dog’s body besides you can also give kelp, parsley and alfalfa. The use of vitamin C helps boost immunity and also promotes healthy teeth and gums in older dogs. So, in a routine it is suggested to give about 500 mg for a dog who weighs 28-lb.
4- Resolve Internal Functioning of Dogs with Vitamin E
If you want optimal health for your dog, vitamin E is one of the substantial nutrients you need to add to their diet. It also acts as an antioxidant that helps protect the cells from any oxidative damage. In case of deficiency of vitamin E in dogs, it can cause harm to cell membranes, cardiovascular health, and even vision alongside improper neurological functioning.
It is produced in plants and also in liver and animal fat. So provide your dog with the best meat and veggie infused diet fulfilling the vitamin E needs. Dogs can tolerate a high dosage of 1000-2000 IU/KG of food without any reverse effects.
5- Vitamin K in the Shape of Veggies
The resulting blood flow in dogs is important. In case vitamin K lacks, it results in a form of blood clots. It is suggested to add at least 25mg of vitamin K for a dog that weighs 11 to 22 pounds while a dose of 50 mg daily for dogs who weigh up to 44 pounds.
Broccoli, soybeans, liver egg yolks, parsley, cabbage, and asparagus are high resources of vitamin K. If you are giving vitamin E supplements to your dog; it takes approximately 24 hours to work. However, do remember to give the diet with E vitamins in moderation. For instance if your dog weighs around 11-22 pounds a 25 mg dose will do good. if a dog weighs around 22-44 pounds then a 50 mg dose suffice for him and so on.
6- Vitamin D for Dogs makes them Strong
Vitamin D is important for humans and also for dogs. It helps in multiple aspects of promoting good health in both. But too much vitamin D can be toxic for your dog’s health. In case you notice increased thirst, loss of appetite, excessive drooling, diarrhea, or weight loss in the dog after taking vitamin D food/supplements consult your vet immediately.
A suitable amount helps to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus too. Still, you need to be careful about which ingredients you include in their diet.
7- Choline for Dogs
A vitamin that is used to detoxify the liver and acts as a boosting agent for the nervous system and metabolism is called Choline. Chemicals like acetylcholine and dopamine are counter attacked by giving a dose of choline on a regular basis.
It is commonly used for dogs (and cats too) to help with seizures or any cognitive dysfunction. so you can give meat, fish, dairy or eggs to your dogs as they are a rich source of choline. According to the NRC recommendation, a dose of 1700 mg/kg of diet can be given to dogs.
Are there any possible Downsides to taking the Dog Vitamins?
It is possible. A balanced diet and exercise routine means that any extra doses of vitamins can actually do more harm than good. For instance, too much calcium can cause skeletal problems, especially in large breed puppies.
Even an extra dose of vitamin A can cause harm to blood vessels causing dehydration and joint pain too. Or if vitamin D is given in excess it can cause muscles to atrophy. Whenever you choose to give any of the vitamins, you must consult your vet beforehand.
Ways to Choose the Best Vitamin Supplements for Dogs
It’s’ easy to get confused to choose the right vitamins, so veterinarians have shared their perspective;
- Look for a uni-brand, one that specializes in the category.
- Always read the labels. It’s important to learn about the ingredients so you are aware of your buy.
- Look for the product number to see if the company has set up quality control checks.
- A contact number should be given on the product.
- Be wary of the product that claims to alleviate diseases like cancer or hip dysplasia.
- Do not give human supplements to dogs. Some products can be dangerous.
All you need to do is verify the proper brands that are certified and well researched. Take care of your dog and vitamin supplements to let them live a healthy life.