Vitamins Your Dog Needs for a Healthy Life
Everyone needs a variety of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and animals are no exception. When you look at your pup's diet, you want to ensure they have all the necessary nutrients to thrive and develop properly.
But choosing the right set of vitamins can be challenging, especially with so many options available. Just think about pharmacies and grocery stores that are stocked with row upon row of human vitamins. Well the same goes for dogs.
In fact, vitamins for dogs are so widespread that pet parents have a hard time choosing the right one. Before giving your pet any vitamins, you need to know what they actually need. In this article, we will discuss some of the vitamins that might be beneficial for your canine's health.
What are the most important vitamins for dogs?
The following list contains some of the vitamins and functions they have in a dog's body:
Vitamin A is crucial for keeping your pet's coat shiny and healthy. It is also significant for maintaining proper muscle and nerve function.
You will notice the first signs of vitamin A deficiency based on a dull coat. Your pet may also experience weakness, inability to move around and eyesight deterioration. Experts recommend that dogs should intake 500 IU of vitamin A daily.
You can easily find it in kale, sweet potato, carrots, egg yolks, fish oil and liver. You can always use supplements if it's too complicated to feed your dog with all this stuff.
Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is responsible for carbohydrate metabolism, energy levels and ion channels in the neural tissue. You will find B1 in nuts, cereals, yeast and beans.
Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, is a water-soluble substance that helps form energy metabolism and coenzyme A. This vitamin is crucial for dogs' maintenance, growth and reproduction.
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine is a water-soluble substance that maintains a proper red blood cell function, generates glucose, improves nervous system function, regulates hormones and synthesises niacin. B6 is crucial for adult canines' maintenance, growth and reproduction.
Folic acid, or vitamin B9, is important for the metabolism of amino acids. One of its functions is the synthesis of mitochondrial proteins.
Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin that heals the canine's body and promotes blood cell regrowth. It is also significant for developing puppies because it helps them grow normally and develop their mind.
Weight loss is one of the first symptoms of B12 deficiency. If your pup starts losing weight suddenly, take them to the vet because it could be an early sign of a more serious health issue. B12 is found in eggs, poultry, fish, liver and full-fat dairy products.
Also known as the sunshine vitamin, it helps pups maintain calcium and phosphorus balance, which are necessary for muscle growth and healthy bones.
This fat-soluble vitamin supports the growth of developing puppies while improving cell function and metabolism. Vitamin E also helps fight oxidative damage, while deficiency causes reproductive issues and muscle degeneration.
Vitamin K improves blood clotting and prevents bleeding problems. If a canine eats some poisonous ingredient or a substance, their ability to use vitamin K decreases. If not treated on time, it results in excessive bleeding, with a fatal outcome.
Dog multivitamins – benefits
Let's check how multivitamins contribute to your pet's overall well-being:
Provide necessary nutrients
Many popular dog food brands claim their products contain the necessary nutrients and vitamins for your pup's development. While this might be true, some canines require an additional boost. Even though carbohydrates and fats are a standard part of dog food, particular fatty acids, minerals and vitamins can be destroyed during the cooking process.
Many vets suggest supplementing your pet with important vitamins to enhance efficiency while replacing any missing nutrients.
Dog vitamins improve the immune system
A well-balanced immune system minimises your canine's diabetes, osteoarthritis, cancer, inflammation and heart disease risks. Their body automatically regulates cells to ensure everything is working properly while taking care of harmful pathogens before they become an issue.
Supplements help their immune system stay alert and uncompromised. Along with a balanced diet, vitamins increase your pet's ability to fight illness throughout their life.
Boost skin and coat
Hair loss and skin irritation are common problems for many pups. Even though different external factors affect this condition, specific vitamins can prevent this problem from spreading further. Supplements like biotin, fish oil and amino acids can fight problems like bacterial infections, lice, ticks, fleas, fungal infections, excessive shedding, environmental allergies, itchy skin and hotspots.
Dogs get to age gracefully
As your pup ages, their needs change as well as their supplement and vitamin requirements. Now you can buy a specific combination of vitamins that support the biological needs of canines in various age groups.
For instance, puppies will require additional help in growth, cognitive development and energy levels, while senior dogs demand inflammation relief, full-body restoration and joint care. Between these two groups, we have adult dogs that need to be able to recover and recharge properly.
One of the main goals of vitamins and supplements is to decrease the effects of aging. Make sure to look for age-specific formulas that ensure your pet receives exactly what they need to lead a long and healthy life.
Promote cognitive development
You need to feed your pet with nutritional supplements and vitamins that will boost their cognitive development over time. The best supplements are those that contain antioxidants, which have been known to improve spatial and learning attention within two weeks.
A diet packed with antioxidants can prevent cognitive dysfunction syndrome in aging canines. Include vitamins E and C, L-Carnitine and coenzyme Q-10 to ensure the long-term brain health of your pet.
How to choose a multivitamin for dogs?
The best way to choose multivitamins for dogs is to talk to your vet and check your dog’s requirements. Usually, pet parents choose to give multivitamins to their pups because they want to, not because dogs actually need them.
There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, using a multivitamin powder is great for boosting their overall well-being.
On the other hand, some pet parents need to give their pups vitamins either to complement their diet, compensate for deficiency or due to a medical condition. In that case, you should use a specific vitamin supplement.
Probiotic for dogs – why use them?
Not sure about probiotics for dogs? Here are a few reasons to convince you otherwise.
Alleviate digestive issues caused by illness or stress
When your pup is sick or under a lot of stress, the balance in their gut between illness-causing and healthy microbes changes, leading to bad breath, cramping, gas and diarrhoea. Some studies have proved that probiotics reduce diarrhoea's duration from seven to four days.
Minimise the side effects of antibiotics
Antibiotics don't make a difference between good and bad bacteria; they destroy everything. While they are successful in fighting infection, antibiotics also cause diarrhoea and gastrointestinal (GI) side effects in canines. So if you know your pet will be taking antibiotics, start them on probiotics a couple of days earlier and continue beyond the duration of their treatment.
Help with Chronic GI distress symptoms
If you have canine suffering from chronic intestinal distress, try giving them probiotics because they will replenish healthy gut bacteria. Ultimately, your pet will feel better.
Might affect their behaviour
When your pet starts taking probiotics, one of the first things you will notice is behavioural changes. Canines that combat digestion issues and unhealthy gut bacteria are under a lot of emotional distress. These actions usually include obsessive-compulsive action or excessive licking. Therefore, while supporting their gut health, probiotics also improve your pup's behaviour.
Help with skin allergy symptoms
Allergies are on the rise, not only in humans but in dogs as well. Some studies confirmed that, in part, allergies happen due to an imbalance of bacteria in the gut. Considering immune health and gut are so closely connected, supplying your dog with probiotics may minimise skin allergy symptoms.
Healthier skin and coat
Boosting healthy bacteria in your pet's gut can have all sorts of benefits on their body. When you give them probiotics for a while, you will notice how their skin and coat start to look better and feel softer.
Are there risks linked to a dog multivitamin?
Vitamins are crucial for life. Therefore, it shouldn't surprise you that something so essential can be potentially dangerous at the same time, but only in large quantities.
For instance, too much vitamin A can cause your pet to experience joint pain, dehydration or even harm blood vessels.
We all want what's best for our dogs but sometimes knowing what vitamins and supplements to use can be tough. That's why we've made this list you can access anytime you need. We hope this post will help you find a good match for your pup so they can have a long and healthy life.