If you’re a health-conscious person, you probably take multivitamins every day or at least pay attention to the foods you’re eating that will give you more of certain vitamins. You probably also make sure that your family also gets the best nutrition. But what about your beloved pet? Do dogs need vitamins?
Well, the answer is yes! All living organisms need some vitamins and organic compounds essential for normal growth and balanced nutrition. The body does not naturally synthesize vitamins, so people and animals have to consume foods that don’t provide them. So, we eat fruits and vegetables, and sometimes some supplements to ensure we get the right amount.
Does Your Dog Need Vitamin Supplements?
If you’re feeding your dog commercial dog food that is labeled “complete and balanced,” it means they are specially formulated to contain all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your dog needs.
Foods that are catered toward different life stages, like puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs, contain different levels of specific vitamins, depending on the requirements of that life stage. This is important, especially for large dog breeds that can develop diseases like hip dysplasia if they consume calcium-rich foods that make them grow too quickly.
If your dogs are fed commercial dog food that’s appropriate for their age, they won’t need vitamin supplements unless recommended by a veterinarian.
If your dog is eating a complete and balanced homemade diet and not exhibiting any health issues, they probably don’t need a supplement. You can always feed them fresh fruits and vegetables for a boost of natural nutrition.
Sometimes, dogs that are fed a homemade diet may need supplements to ensure that they are getting enough vitamins. For dogs that are demonstrating health or behavioral issues, veterinarians can test if your dog has any vitamin deficiencies.
Vitamins must be given to dogs to match their diet. Too many vitamins may sometimes cause more harm than good. For instance, too much calcium can cause skeletal problems in large breed dogs. Too much vitamin A can cause joint pain, dehydration, and even damage to the blood vessels. You can avoid these risks by working out a nutritional plan with a vet. Also, do not give human supplements to dogs as they may contain harmful ingredients to dogs.
What Vitamins Do Dogs Need?
Dogs have specific vitamin requirements, which may include:
- Vitamin A – for good vision, growth, fetal development, immune function, and cell function
- Vitamin B1 (thiamin) – for carbohydrate metabolism, activation of ion channels in the neural tissues
- Vitamin B6 – for glucose generation, nervous system function, red blood cell function, immune response, hormone regulation, gene activation, and niacin synthesis
- Vitamin B12, riboflavin, niacin – helps facilitate enzyme function
- Vitamin C – antioxidant, helps remove harmful free radicals in the body, reduces inflammation
- Vitamin D – for balancing minerals like calcium and phosphorous for healthy bone growth
- Vitamin E – for cell function, fat metabolism, defense against oxidative damage
- Vitamin K – for activation of clotting factors, bone proteins, and other proteins
- Folic acid – amino acid metabolism, nucleotide metabolism, protein synthesis
- Choline – supports healthy brain and liver function
Best Multivitamins for Dogs
Here are some great over-the-counter multivitamin supplements for dogs that are suitable for maintenance and prevention.
If you’re looking for one of the best multivitamin supplements to keep your pooch in the best health, try this one out. It’s an all-in-one supplement containing vitamins, minerals, probiotics, prebiotics, fatty acids, and antioxidants essential to good canine health. It’s an all-natural product made with natural, whole-food ingredients and no artificial additives. In addition to that, it’s certified by the USA’s National Animal Supplement Council (NASC).
If you’re looking for a single pet vitamin with multiple benefits, then this one would probably suit your needs. It offers ten benefits, including joint and bone support, healthy digestion and immune system, and maintaining healthy skin and coat. It’s made of a blend of vitamins, including vitamins A, C, and D3, that offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to improve the immune system and keep the heart strong and healthy. These soft chew treats taste like chicken, making it easy for you to give them.
Zesty Paw’s 8-in-1 formula contains vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and even powerful antioxidants to help maintain your pet’s health. It can support the hip and joint, heart, immune response, digestion, skin and coat, and liver health for dogs of all ages, breeds, and sizes. These vitamins are free of grain, corn, and soy derivatives and have no preservatives or artificial flavoring. With a chewable, bite-sized, chicken-flavored tablet, you can give this as a treat for your pooch.
Packed with essential nutrients, this dog vitamin supplement offers four different health benefits: support for the hip and joints, digestive enzymes and probiotics, skin and coat, and the vitamins and minerals essential to overall health. These soft, chewy supplements taste like a treat, making it enjoyable for your pup to take in.
Support your puppy’s health and development with these multivitamins that are designed to support a growing puppy’s needs, such as vitamins A, D, and B-complex for strong bones, healthy joints, a healthy coat, and robust immunity. This supplement is easy to give to puppies because it’s great tasting for the pooches.
This multivitamin supplement is vet-formulated for geriatric dogs to support their heart, brain, liver, and eye function. It also helps promote the physical and mental well-being that can be challenging for older dogs to keep. These vegetable-flavored chews contain vitamins A, C, D3, E, and B, antioxidants, amino acids, and omega fish oil. It incorporates over 25 balanced ingredients that aren’t found in most dog foods and dog multivitamins.
Always talk to the vet first to find out if vitamins can benefit your dog. Read the labels on your dog’s food to see if your dog is getting enough, and always look at your pet for cues regarding their health.
If you want to address a health condition, go to your veterinarian and ask for prescription supplements that may be healthy.