Do dogs really need vitamin supplements for optimal health and nutrition? The answer depends on several factors including their diet, age, activity level, and any special needs that the dog may have. Most dogs can obtain all the vitamins they need in a quality dog food, but there are circumstances where it may be prudent and beneficial to give supplements.
Dogs need to obtain vitamins and minerals from their diet just like humans do in order to maintain a healthy coat, body, and mind. If they don’t get these vitamins from their food sources, it can lead to a myriad of health problems that substantially reduce the quality of life of the dog. Just like a person’s energy and vitality can get a boost by introducing supplements into the diet, the same applies to a dog.
Most quality dog foods are already supplemented with vitamins
The most important factor in determining whether your dog needs a vitamin supplement is its diet.the good news is that the majority of high-quality commercial dog food brands supplement their product with most of the vitamins and minerals that your dog will need. So if you give your dog a high-quality dog food such as Eukanuba, he should be able to acquire all the vitamins he needs without having to add a supplement. Check the labeling of your dog food to make sure.
Some argue that the quality of the vitamins included in commercial dog food is of low quality, having been degraded during the processing and refining of the product. These people often make the choice to add a dog vitamin daily to their pets diet. In our experience, it is not really necessary to supplement your dogs diet with vitamins if you feed him a high quality dog food, as millions of dogs live happy and healthy lives without one, but it is a personal choice.
If you feed your dog table scraps, however, it might be a good idea to give a supplement your dog. Because of the variety and lack of consistency in his foods, a dog may develop a deficiency in one or more vitamins. Just as it is recommended that people take a once in a multivitamin just to ensure that they get the recommended levels of all vitamins and minerals, a dog in this situation can benefit also. Dogs who eat people food are more likely to develop a vitamin deficiency than those that eat dog foods that have been supplemented.
Circumstances where dogs may benefit from vitamins
There are certain situations where you may want to augment your dogs diet with a supplement. Elderly dogs, for example, have special dietary needs. They may benefit from calcium supplements to increase bone strength and density.for older dogs suffering from arthritis and joint pain, glucosamine supplements can be helpful.
If your dog is sickly and does not seem to be feeling well, his immune system may get a shot from introducing vitamin supplements into his diet. If the dog seems to be listless and lacking in energy, you may want to experiment and see if some vitamins will make a difference. If the problems are a symptom of vitamin deficiency, you should see an improvement in a matter of days.
Dog supplements and vitamin toxicity
Be aware that giving your dog too much of a vitamin can lead to vitamin toxicity which can damage organs such as the kidneys and liver. It applies mainly to fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin E because they cannot be expelled from the body as easily as water-soluble vitamins. So if you decide to give your dog vitamins, always follow proper guidelines with regards to how much you give.