Do dogs need vitamins? If yes, then what vitamins do dogs need? Is there any risk associated with dog vitamins? These are some of the questions that you are probably asking yourself. Just like humans, dogs also need vitamins in order for their bodies to function optimally. According to the FDA, dogs that feed homemade food need vitamin supplements to enhance their overall health and wellness. For more info on this topic, please see my article on what supplements are needed for homemade dog food.
Vitamins don’t pose any health risk to the dog if used in the right proportions. However, the kind of vitamin that you give to your dog should match with its diet. So the big question is; What vitamins does a dog need to enhance its general health and wellness? In this article, we are going to tell you vitamins that your dog needs for a healthy lifestyle.
1. Vitamin A
Dogs usually store vitamin A in their bodies until when they need it. Vitamin A plays a big role in enhancing the overall health and well-being of your dog. Vitamin A is specifically very important for enhancing your dog’s vision. If your dog is vitamin A deficient, then it might have vision problem, especially during old age. Vitamin A also helps to enhance the dog’s skin and coat, including a dull coat. If you have noticed that your dog likes to scratch or lick its fur, then that is a clear sign that it does not have sufficient vitamin A.
If you want to enhance the skin and coats health of your dog, then you need to ensure that it gets enough vitamin A. If you have also noticed that your dog growth is extremely slow or is not able to reach its full potential, then it needs additional vitamin A supplementation. Vitamin A also helps to improve and maintain the reproductive health of your dog. If you notice that your dog lacks sufficient vitamin A, then you are advised to consult your local vet to give you advice on the best vitamin A supplement to purchase.
2. Vitamin C
For humans, vitamin C is necessary for survival. People who are deprived of vitamin C are usually at risk of suffering from Scurvy, a condition that is characterized by gum bleeding, loss of teeth and in worst cases death. Unlike humans, dog’s bodies are able to produce their own vitamin C. That explains why nutritionist have for a long period of time considered it unnecessary to formulate vitamin supplements for dogs. However, recent studies showed that dogs can also benefit from vitamin C supplements.
Studies have shown that vitamin C supplements can help cool down a stressed dog. When dogs are stressed, they usually deplete vitamin C in their bodies. This makes them susceptible to disease and infections. Physical stress in dogs can come in many different ways including growth, lactation, gestation and hard work from dogs that are usually involved in hunting and herding.
Multiples studies have revealed that dogs that are supplemented with vitamin C have a greater resistance to common disease. In addition to that, such dogs are able to recover from illness or injury fast. vitamin C also helps to improve the immune system of the dog by improving white blood cell function. It also increases the blood levels of antibodies and interferon.
Many veterinarians recommend that you should give your dog a vitamin C before and after vaccination. You should also give vitamin C to your dog it is has been previously exposed to a contagious disease. It is also recommended for pregnant or lactating dogs.
3. Vitamin E
More and more pet owners have released the benefit of supplementing their dog’s diet with vitamin E. That explains why the popularity of vitamin E has been on the rise amongst dog owners. One of the biggest benefits of vitamin E is the enhancement of your dog’s coat. If you notice that your dog’s coat is shiny, then that is a clear sign that it is well nourished with vitamin E.
On the other hand, if you notice that your dog’s skin is dry or has rashes, dandruff or skin lesion, then that is a clear sign that your dog is vitamin E deficient. Vitamin E also plays a big role in fastening the recovery process of a sick or injured dog. It is also high in anti-inflammatory properties, a factor that enables it to soothe the skin and restore the luster of your dog’s health.
Vitamin E also plays a crucial role in strengthening the immune system of your dog. It combines with other minerals such as phosphorous and zinc to increases your dog’s ability to fight infections and diseases. In addition to that, vitamin E also natural antioxidants that help to fight free radicals in your dog’s body.
If your dog is pregnant and you want it to give birth to healthy bouncing puppies, then you need to ensure that it gets sufficient vitamin E. Multiple studies have also revealed that vitamin E helps to improve fertility in dogs. When you feed your dog with healthy food, ensure that you supplement it with vitamin E capsules. Vitamin E also helps to boost joint lubrication.
There are 3 ways to feed your dog vitamin E supplement. They include oral supplement, feeding quality kibble and giving your dog vitamin E through shampoos or oil that is applied to the skin. As a dog owner, you need to sit down and research to see which method works best for your dog.
4. Vitamin D
Just like humans, dogs also need vitamin D to enhance their health and well-being. Without it, then your dog is likely to suffer from bone diseases among many other health problems. Although vitamin D helps to enhance the dog’s health, too much of it can harm the dog. Research has shown vitamin D is fat soluble. This means that it accumulates in body fat. It should therefore be administered in moderation so as not to harm the dog.
Many animals can synthesize vitamin D by themselves with the help of sunlight exposure. However, dogs are not so good at that and that is why they need additional help. According to the Association of Feed Control, dog owners are supposed to provide 500IU of vitamin D per each kilogram of food. If well-administered vitamin D can help enhance your dog’s bone and cardiovascular health.
5. Vitamin B
Vitamin B is essential to your dog especially if its diet mainly comprises of homemade food. These water solution nutrients play a big part in enhancing your dog’s growth and development, immune and nervous system function, cell metabolism, appetite, and digestion, improve muscles, eye and skin health as well as in improving tissue and organ health.
Vitamin B usually acts as a coenzyme and plays a major role in the metabolism of fat, protein, and carbohydrate. They also play a key role in the enhancement of the nervous system. Vitamin B is available in many varieties and each of them plays a key role in enhancing the health and wellness of the dog. They all work together to support energy production, enhance the liver, brain, nervous system, skin, coat and the eyes of your dog.
If enhancing your dog’s liver health is what you’re trying to do, please see my article on the best dog liver supplements.
Recent studies conducted revealed that dogs that feed on vitamin B supplements are usually less attractive to flies. Therefore, if your dog is struggling to keep flies at bay, adding vitamin B to its diet (especially thiamine) can really help. However, it should be administered in moderation because too much can harm the dog.
6. Vitamin K
A recent study revealed that the majority of dog owners have never feed their dog with vitamin K. Vitamin K is widely referred to as super vitamin because of its amazing health benefits. They are available in two forms including K1 and K2. The functions of vitamin K in dogs is similar to that in humans. One of the main roles of vitamin K is helping calcium to strengthen the dog’s teeth and bones. Vitamin K also reduces the risk of osteoporosis in dogs.
Vitamin K1 helps to reduce blood clotting on your dog’s body while vitamin K2 helps to regulate calcium levels. If you feed your dog with vitamin K supplement, you will help to prevent osteoporosis, arterial calcification, heart-related diseases, and several other blood-related diseases. It can also help your dog recover if it accidentally swallows rat poison.
To find out more reasons as to why you could give a dog vitamin K, read my linked article.
It’s a Good Idea to Supplement Your Dog’s Diet With Vitamins
If your dog diet mainly comprises of home cooked food, then you need to supplement it with vitamins. However, if it is factory prepared, then it is not mandatory to supplement the diet with vitamins supplements because most of them already contain essential vitamins. Supplementing your dog’s diet with the vitamin will help to enhance its overall health and wellness.
However, you need to be very careful when shopping for dog’s vitamins. Nowadays, there are many fake vitamin supplements on the market that can harm your dog. If you want to be on the safe side, then you need to ensure that you only buy from authorized dealers who have proven beyond a reasonable doubt to sell high-quality vitamin supplements for dogs.