Vitamins are essential to a dog’s health and life, just like human rely of vitamins as part of our diet. But most dogs don’t need additional vitamin supplements outside of what you’re already feeding them. The vitamins the average pet needs will be found in the right proportions in commercially prepared food labeled “complete” or “balanced” and with the seal “Meets the nutritional requirements of dogs established by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).”
If your dog follows a home-prepared diet, you’ll want to seek the help of a veterinarian or board certified veterinary nutritionist to ensure your pooch is getting the necessary vitamins. Extra supplements should only be administered with the guidance of a veterinarian as too many vitamins or too much of a given vitamin can be detrimental. More pets suffer from issues related to over-supplementation than from vitamin deficiencies.
If your pet is in need of a supplement, the following vitamins have been found to help with several issues. Please speak with a vet before changing your pet’s diet or starting your dog on a new vitamin.
- EPA and DHA: Is your little guy living with serious illness, such as osteoarthritis, heart disease, kidney issues, or cancer? These polyunsaturated fatty acids have been found to help with inflammation.
- Vitamins A and E: These antioxidants can help your dog feel younger for longer by combatting aging-related diseases. They’ve been linked to improving eye and skin health, too. For the dog that needs to lose weight, vitamin Vitamin A may help with burning fat, too. But take care -- too much vitamin A could cause bone, skin, or skin issues.
- Iron: This mineral works to keep blood healthy.
- Potassium: This mineral benefits heart health.
- Calcium, Phosphorus, and Vitamin D: For strengthening bones and teeth, these nutrients can assist. Be careful: Giving your dog too much vitamin D may cause issues with your pet’s bone density, soft tissues, and joints.
- L-Carnitine: This nutrient is believed to boost heart and skeletal muscle function and health.
What about Vitamin C? Dogs (and cats) can produce this vitamin on their own and don’t need to be given supplemental vitamin C.
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