You’re likely aware of how difficult it can be to introduce the right level of nutrition into your diet. So with that in mind, you can probably imagine how incredibly difficult it is for dogs to receive the right level of nutrition in their diet.
To tackle your nutrition problem, you likely regularly take vitamin supplements or have done in the past. However, is it possible to give vitamins to your dog? If so, what vitamins can they take and are there any dangers involved? This article will take a look at everything you need to know about vitamins for dogs.
Do dogs need vitamin?
We’ll start this article with the big question that you’re likely wondering and that’s whether or not your dog actually needs vitamins. You’ll likely be aware that humans don’t need vitamin supplements, but they can definitely help. We’d say that’s generally the case with dogs too. If your dog is eating the healthiest dog food, there’s a good chance that your dog is already getting all of the vitamins that they need from their diet.
If you feed your dog commercially processed and made food, you’ll likely find that the manufacturers of this food have packed it full of nutrients and vitamins. These manufacturers usually have experts at hand when it comes to developing vitamins for dogs and deciding the amount need in each serving of food. Take a look at the packet of your regular dog food and you’ll likely find plenty of information about the vitamins inside.
That being said, dogs fed a homemade diet might actually need supplements. A homemade diet is made with normal food that you’ve put together into a meal for your dog. Many owners see this as the most nutritious option for their dog, but sometimes it isn’t. Obviously you haven’t packed this meal with the necessary vitamins like an expert has done. With that in mind, you’ll want to look into introducing vitamin supplements. However, at the same time, it’s important that you consult with your vet or nutritionist before introducing vitamins into your dog’s diet – they can’t just be chucked in!
Can vitamins be dangerous for dogs?
With all of the above taken into consideration, you’re likely wondering about the dangers involved in giving vitamins to dogs. We should start by saying that there are dangers when it comes to vitamins for dogs, so you’ll need to consider them carefully before proceeding.
Much like with any dog medicine, there’s always going to be the possibility of danger to your dog. Their stomach isn’t like ours and can’t cope with some aspects of diet. For example, if your dog is already receiving the right amount of vitamins and nutrition in general, you could be making them very ill by providing excess vitamins. This is especially the case if you feed your dog processed food; as already mentioned, this usually includes all of the vitamins that your dog needs, so extra nutrition could be dangerous.
Different vitamins can cause a number of different health issues in dogs. For example, you’ll find that whilst calcium is fantastic for bone development in your dog, too much calcium could actually cause some pretty serious skeletal problems. At the same time, too much vitamin A can harm the blood vessels in your dog. This in turn causes both dehydration and join pain, which is incredibly bad in especially small dogs and puppies.
We should also note that giving your dog too much vitamin D can do a number of harmful things to your dog, including preventing them from eating, harm bones and cause muscles to atrophy. The issues caused by too many vitamins are incredibly serious.
What supplements can you give dogs?
As aforementioned, you should always consult your vet or nutritionist before giving vitamins for dogs. Each dog will require very different vitamins depending on their breed and dietary requirements. However, we’ve completed a rundown of some of the vitamins that are frequently given to dogs that you may wish to consider introducing into your dog’s diet.
Calcium – When it comes to vitamins for dogs, the big one that largely tends to be lacking in homemade dog meals is calcium. Dogs generally need a fair amount more calcium than humans do, so when we prepare meals for dogs, we simply don’t give them enough calcium. With that in mind, a supplement that you’re commonly going to need to give to your dog with their homemade meal is calcium. Although, remember that most processed dog food does already come with an adequate level of calcium included.
Oils – Whilst you’re pretty safe to introduce calcium into your dog’s diet without worrying about doing any damage, oils are a very different story. There’s a range of different oils available out there, including fish oil, cod liver oil, plant oils and more. Each of these offer something completely different and which one you choose will depend on your dog’s needs. When it comes to introducing oils to your dog’s diet, it’s of paramount importance that you first consult with a nutritionist or equivalent medical professional.
Vitamin D and E – We’ve already mentioned that both vitamins D and E are incredibly important to your dog’s diet. That being said, giving your dog too much of either vitamins D or E could result in being pretty dangerous. As with all of the other supplements we’ve listed in this section of the article, it’s especially important that you seek appropriate advice before introducing either vitamin D or E into your dog’s diet.
In conclusion, it’s pretty safe to say that if you’re using processed food to feed your dog, it’s going to be getting around the right level of vitamins and nutrition. However, homemade dog meals tend to be pretty lacking. Either way, you’ll need to make sure that you consult with a nutritionist or your vet before making any adjustments to your dog’s diet. Remember that vitamins can be just as dangerous to your dog as they can be helpful.