Every dog, just like its human owner, requires additional vitamins and supplements for good health. When you walk into a pet store, you will be overwhelmed by the variety of supplements and vitamins available for your canine. So, how do you choose the right product?
The first step to finding the best supplements for your dog is considering the nutritional needs. Supplements and vitamins are meant to provide nutrients that are missing or inadequate in your dog’s diet. The vet should also be your best friend.
Whether your dog is ailing or you are just looking to supplement his diet for better health, remember that your vet knows best. The best place to start is taking your dog for examination, which may include blood samples and any other test the vet deems fit.
The tests should determine whether your dog is ailing from joint problems, arthritis, inflammation and such other medical problem or whether its inefficiencies in his diet. Depending on the results from the tests, the vet may recommend a vitamin or supplement which is suitable for your dog.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the best vitamins and supplements. It can be difficult to choose the best supplements for your best friend, especially because there are so many products in the market purporting to better the health of your dog.
However, do not put your dog on supplements without a recommendation from your vet. You may end up picking a vitamin or supplement that is incompatible with your canine. We cannot emphasize the importance of a vets visit before putting your pup on supplements.
Benefits of Vitamins and Supplements
Many dog foods lack essential nutrients that are vital to your dog’s health. How do you know if your pup is getting all the essential nutrients from his diet? There are warning signs of a poor or inadequate diet, such as:
- Stomach Upsets
- Malfunctions of body organs such as liver, heart, and kidneys
If you observe any of the signs in your dog, vitamin or supplement will come in handy. Supplements contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties as well as minerals such as sodium, phosphorus, and iron.
Supplements support the functioning of the brain, liver, kidneys, and eyes. These supplements are a lifesaver for elderly dogs too. Supplements also improve your dog’s skin and coat for a shiny and healthy look.
Vitamin supplements can offer a bunch of benefits for your pup. Some include increased energy, improved immune system, and a generally healthy body.
If you notice that your dog is no longer active does not enjoy playing but would rather lie around all day, it is an indication of low energy levels. Vitamins will get your canine friend on his feet before you know it!
Are you a proud owner of a senior dog? It can be frustrating to watch your best friend deteriorate with age. There isn’t much you can do for them, but you give them vitamin supplements.
Healthy Skin and Coat
Vitamin supplements are also beneficial to your pup’s coat and skin. These supplements reduce shedding of fur and result in a shiny, healthy coat. They can also prevent itching as a result of dry skin.
These supplements help with the functioning of vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidney, and protect your elderly dog from joint inflammation and arthritis pain.
Helps With Digestion
Are you familiar with brewer’s yeast? Well, if not, we are here for you! Brewer’s yeast is loaded in Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, and antioxidants. The vitamin supplements are responsible for healthy eyes and proper liver functioning in canines.
Also, due to the high levels of vitamins in brewer’s yeast, it can be used as a probiotic to assist in digestive aid. Even better, brewer’s yeast can be used to battle depression and anxiety in dogs!
Vitamins and supplements strengthen the immunity system of your canine to enable him to ward off diseases successfully. When you see your dog easily gets sick, you should consider getting Proanthozone.
Proanthozone is a supplement that strengthens your dog’s immune system. The supplement contains bio flavanol, which is from grape seed extract. Bio flavanol is one of the most powerful antioxidants known to date.
Proanthozone improves the functioning of the liver and kidneys. It also maintains healthy cells in your dog’s body.
Since the supplement contains bio flavonol, which is an antioxidant, it prevents the enzymatic break down in a dog suffering from chronic illnesses.
Are supplements and vitamins all good? No! Supplements also have their downside. Let’s take a look.
Dangers of Supplements and Vitamins
Vitamin and Supplement Overdose
Too much of anything is poison. If your pup already gets enough vitamins and a balanced diet, any additional vitamins may be harmful.
For instance, excessive calcium may lead to skeletal complications. Large-breed puppies are most prone to such problems.
Also, the excessive vitamin can lead to ruptured blood vessels. It can also cause dehydration and joint pains and inflammation.
Excessive vitamins, on the other hand, can lead to a lack of appetite in your dog. It can also, cause muscle complications and do irreversible damage to the dog’s bones. You should, therefore, never administer supplements without a vet’s prescription.
Vitamins overdose, which is commonly referred to as vitamin toxicity, is a serious health complication that can lead to kidney failure and even heart problems. In fatal cases, it can lead to death!
Glucosamine has been known to cost a fortune. However, lately, inexpensive glucosamine has entered the market and is proving to be very popular with new dog owners.
However, every canine parent is advised to be cautious as these glucosamine products are made and obtained from china, hence unsafe.
Some dog products manufactured in china are not FDA approved as they do not meet then standards fit for your dog’s consumption.
A survey carried out have shown that although most products are labeled to be made in the USA, they are actually manufactured from outside the country. Some have been found to contain toxic chemicals which cause food poisoning and salmonella.
Only fifty percent of these products meet quality standards. We are not trying to scare you. However, it is key to do intensive research before purchasing any supplement or vitamin product. It is also advisable to buy from a reputable seller, and remember, cheap is expensive!
Improper Dosage Danger
If you love your dog as we do, you should always purchase lab-grade glucosamine and chondroitin. You should also ensure these products are in the correct dosage, depending on your dogs’ size. You can do this by checking the labels of the products.
These products are used to create osteoarthritis in elderly dogs and heavy dog breeds which are prone to painful joints. It can also be used to curb musculoskeletal pains, gastrointestinal upset, and allergies.
You must have come across products labeled “one size fits all.” they may come off as a great saving option, especially if you have several dogs.
However, you should avoid them like the plague. Such a product is not safe as it may not have the same effects in each size of the dog.
Last but definitely not least, let’s take a look at the different types of vitamins and supplements available in the market for your canine.
If you are planning on introducing vitamins and supplements to your dog’s diet, whether young or old, liquid vitamins are a good place to start.
As your canine ages, joint pains, and inflammation will be inevitable. Some dogs suffer from painful joints and other issues such as arthritis, which is a stubborn and progressive joint condition.
Arthritis affects your dog’s elbows, wrists, lower back, knees, and hips. If not treated, it causes intense pain to your dog, making him inactive and sad.
How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Suffering From Arthritis?
Elderly dogs and some dog breeds are known to be prone to arthritis. If your dog is battling this joint trauma, you will begin to observe the following:
- Stiff joints- if you have one of those utterly playful and active dog breeds, it is common to notice they will have a problem climbing on the couch or running around during play on the onset of arthritis.
- Decreased mobility- you will notice that your dog stays away from activities such as playing in the park, climbing on the couch, or walking around the garden. Your pup will prefer sitting and lying around on a single position all day.
- Tender areas- you may also observe your dog will have tender areas. If left untreated, these tender areas may cause lameness and permanent immobility. They may also grow into bigger parts.
A dog with arthritis is likely to gain weight due to immobility, leading to further complications. In such an event, the vet should recommend a high-quality and effective supplement such as joint supplements.
Joint supplements are also recommended for hip dysplasia, inflammation, ligament injury, elbow dysplasia, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal arthritis, and dislocating knee cap.
Calcium is a necessary component for dogs as for humans. Calcium is required for healthy bones and teeth. However, calcium should be administered in small doses. Otherwise, it can be harmful.
In-organic calcium supplements such as calcium carbonate can be challenging to absorb.
Therefore, dog owners prefer calcium supplements that contain certain organic acids for faster absorption.
Bone meal is a commonly prescribed source of calcium, especially for dogs on a natural diet. Calcium is essential as calcium deficiencies are common in dogs after they have given birth, and the calcium levels have dropped. Calcium deficiencies may manifest in the form of seizures and weak knees and elbows.
If left untreated, these seizures can get fatal. If your dog suffers seizures due to calcium inefficiency, they should have a calcium supplement offered to them intravenously.
Calcium supplements should not be administered without a vet’s prescription. Excessive calcium in the body can lead to complications such as bladder stones in the urinary tract, even in healthy dogs.
Omega 3 fatty acids are a potent nutritional fat that you can add to your pup’s diet.
Omega fatty acids have a load of benefits for your dog, such as a healthy brain and heart, reduced inflammation, strengthened immune system, brain developments, and increased ability to fight cancer.
There are two categories of fatty acid which form national fats. They include omega three and omega 6. Omega 3 is found in Flax Seed, Soy, Canola, and Alphanueconic Acid.
Both Omega 3 And Omega 6 fatty acids are mainly found in deep-sea fish of old waters.
Omega 3 also improves the health of your dog’s coat and skin and reduces itching, and it also reduces stress, anxiety, and hyperactivity.
Since dog foods are low in omega-three acids, you should supplement your dogs but with the help of your vet.
What Vitamins Do Dogs Need?
The body of a dog, similar to that of a human, does not produce its own vitamins. Therefore, you need to supplement through diet and vitamin supplements. It is crucial for every dog owner to note that different dogs require different vitamins.
The vitamins your dog may require includes vitamins A, B (B-6, Niacin, Folate, Biotin, Flavin) C, D, E, and K. These vitamins should be administered after tests to determine the needs of your canine friend.
What’s The Final Word?
Most vitamins and supplements are provided in your dog’s food. You will notice that dog foods are labeled as complete and balanced. Therefore, before giving any supplements, you should consult with your vet. We cannot emphasize that enough!
Finally, always ensure to go for the food leveled for your dog’s age, such as puppy food, elderly food, and adult foods. These foods have a prescribed level of supplements and vitamins.
Do you give you dog vitamins and/or supplements? What has been your experience with them? I would like to hear what you think about the benefits of giving your dog vitamins and/or supplements. You may share your questions and comments in the section below and I will be happy to respond.
All the best!
Founder/Creator: Love A Rescue Dog 🐶
“Saving one animal won’t change the world, but for that one animal, the world changes forever”