Throughout a dog’s life cycle, it will encounter stages and situations that call for an increase in certain vitamins for dogs. Much like the vast choice of supplements available to people, pets have an equally wide range of supplements that can be added to their normal diets.
Dog owners should know, however, that it is not wise to begin administering a supplement to a dog without the approval of trained professionals. Not only can veterinarians advise dog owners on what vitamins to give to their pets, but they can also guide them in the proper dosage of each. Making these kind of judgement calls on one’s own can lead to harming the pet. As you navigate through life with your pet, you may find your vet recommending some of the following vitamins for your dog’s health. Although commercial dog food is designed to provide your animal with a well-balanced diet, there may be times in which your dog can greatly benefit from additional vitamins.
Vitamin C for Dogs
Vitamin C is one of the most essential vitamins that vets often recommend dogs receive more of. This vitamin acts as an antioxidant, helping to rid the body of free radicals that can cause internal harm to the dog. It can reduce inflammation as well as cognitive aging. Dogs fighting off an illness or healing from a wound can benefit from additional vitamin C in their diets. Owners planning to breed their dogs are often encouraged to add more vitamin C or C-Complex to the diet to help increase the litter’s survival rate. Vitamin C benefits the immune system by helping it to work properly. Aging dogs are often recommended to take in more A, E, and B vitamins, but vitamin C can be a tremendous help to their overall health.
Vitamin K for Dogs
Another vitamin that veterinarians also suggest dogs receive more of is vitamin K. This fat-soluble vitamin is an essential nutrient that activates a dog’s blood-clotting ability as well as builds healthy bones. Dogs recovering from an illness or health event are often prescribed vitamin supplements. Unfortunately, too many dogs fall victim to their own curiosity and digest household poisons, often rat killer. Vitamin K is unable to be used properly in their bodies when this happens. Immediate treatment is required for dogs that ingest the poison because of this.
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Vitamin E for Dogs
The role vitamin E plays for dogs is related to its metabolism of fat and proper functioning of cells. Too little vitamin E and a dog may find itself with problems in vision, muscular structure, and the reproductive system. Geriatric dogs benefit from additional vitamin E in their diets, too. No matter a dog’s age, if it has undergone surgery, vitamin E supplements may be on the plan for recovery.
Supplements are often available in pill form, as a liquid, or as a powder. Administering pills to dogs can be a challenge. Sometimes, you will be required to practically shove the capsule down the dog’s throat. Sometimes, you will be able to slip it to the dog inside a piece of cheese. Liquids are squirted into the dog’s mouth with a special syringe, and powders are sprinkled on top of the dog’s regular food. While powders, like Joint Health OA, are the easiest form for owners to give, there’s no guarantee that the dog will willingly eat the food it’s used to once the powder is there.
Remember that it is dangerous for you to blindly choose extra vitamins to give to your dog. For there to be any real benefit, the dog must have a real reason for needing it. Too much of one type of vitamin, and real harm can be done. Also remember interactions can occur between vitamin supplements and medication. Your veterinarian will be well informed about what extra vitamins your dog needs and which ones are unnecessary.