Dogs need vitamins for their body to function correctly. Vitamins are organic compounds that are important for a healthy body. This carries a specific role in improving the overall wellness of the body, and it continually replenishes the vitamins and minerals if there are any deficiencies to be able to have a healthy lifestyle.
Knowing which vitamin your dogs need can be tricky. However, here is an in-depth discussion as to which vitamins can be beneficial for your dogs:
Types of Vitamins: An Overview
Vitamins are naturally found in the food we take as they convert it into energy to repair any cellular damage and are considered as essential nutrients. Just like us, our pets need vitamins to sustain their diet and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, some vitamins can do more harm than we think, so here is a comprehensive guide to correctly choose the best vitamins for your dogs.
It has many benefits like it helps our vision as it is mainly found in carrots. Its other advantages are keeping the skin, coat, and muscles well; this makes the nerves to function correctly as well. Dogs with vitamin A deficiency might face difficulties seeing in the dark and might get blind early.
Also, Vitamin A is vital for pregnant dogs and their puppies since tho is very critical for the puppies’ growth, muscles, and neurological development.
If you noticed that your dog’s behavior changed lately like they seem to be lethargic, eating less and have lost their excitement, this could be a sign that they lack some B vitamins, which can also make them weak and sleep more. There are different kinds of Vitamin B, and these are:
- Thiamine: This is used for regulating metabolism by converting carbohydrates into energy. Thiamine also helps our nerves as it is responsible for activating ion channels in our neural tissue; hence this is vital for our nerves. Thiamine deficiency can cause heart problems and neurological disorders.
- Vitamin B12, Niacin, and Riboflavin: These three help our enzymes to function correctly.
- Vitamin B6: This is important for glucose production, red blood cell, and overall nervous system function like thiamine, it also helps niacin synthesis, hormone regulation, gene activation, and improves immune response.
- Pantothenic Acid: Also known as Vitamin B5, a water-soluble vitamin which animals need to regulate carbohydrates, fats, and their metabolism.
- Folic Acid: This is used to regulate small intestine diseases and helps animals with folate deficiency and those who suffer malabsorption.
Vitamin B deficiency is caused by an inherited condition, being unable to absorb the vitamins or insufficiency in their overall diet. You can check with the veterinarian if you’re worried that this might be something else, hopefully not something rare and life-threatening. When left untreated, this can lead to severe illnesses such as kidney disease, issues in the gastrointestinal tract, which can cause severe weight loss. Keeping your pet happy during lockdown can be tedious, especially if they are aggressive due to health issues.
Dogs, unlike us humans, can produce vitamin C, and it has been considered that it’s not useful to add this as a supplement to their diet, but some companies who make dog food add vitamin C to their products for preservatives purposes than it’s nutrition value. Taking vitamin C can be beneficial to those who are sick and easily get stressed. Stress is what causes vitamin C deficiency.
You should also check if your dog has any skin diseases, as it only means that the vitamin C in their body has been depleted. Taking vitamin C can help in developing resistance to many illnesses, and this is also beneficial when recovering from any injuries.
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs as it contributes to their bone health by helping them balance out phosphorus and calcium absorption. It also helps their muscles and nerves; if dogs don’t have enough vitamin D in their body, they might suffer from bone disorders and complications due to heart diseases. However, high levels of vitamin D intake can cause severe illnesses and might cause poisoning when not ingested adequately by dogs.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that can help your dogs defend their body from free radicals. This is good for your dog’s muscles, heart, liver, immune system, and it helps them to have a healthy skin and coat. Insufficient Vitamin E can cause reproductive problems, and their muscles and eyes might deteriorate.
Also known as phytonadione, this is commonly used in treating blood clots and bleeding problems in dogs; it takes 24 hours to take effect, and you might need a blood transfusion if the situation gets worse. Also, this is used when your dogs accidentally ingested rat poison.
Choline is essential for your dog’s liver as it prevents fatty liver syndrome, which is beneficial to a healthy functioning liver. Moreover, it supports the health of brain function and can be used to reduce seizures in dogs, which makes it useful when treating epilepsy. Here are the other benefits of taking choline for your dogs:
- It helps aging dogs in producing primary nerve transmitters.
- Maintains the body’s water balance.
- Reduces cardiac disease.
- Controls cell growth.
- Keeps their lungs healthy.
Do Dogs Need Vitamin Supplements?
There are dog foods that are already packed with essential vitamins and minerals that your dog needs. You just have to choose wisely depending on their age and nutritional requirements and issues they’re encountering as they grow up.
Under certain circumstances, the veterinarian might recommend a combination of supplements for your dogs. Which happens to usually have coat issues and itchy skin; they may suggest that it’s best to make them take fatty acid supplements such as Omega-3 or feed them dog foods infused with Omega-3 to prevent skin issues and dull coats. This will help to lessen the time you always spend on cleaning up pet fur.
Risks Associated with Vitamin Supplements
If your veterinarian chances do not recommend vitamin supplements, you are putting your dog into a risk of overdosing and exposing them to high levels of toxicity that leads to many ailments.
For example, calcium overdose can cause bone diseases, while overdosing in vitamin A can cause dehydration and can be harmful to your dog’s blood vessels. It is best to work out a nutritional plan with your veterinarian to administer proper supplements to your dogs.
Overdosing can cause many health conditions, so it’s best to consult a professional. If your dog’s health is deteriorating, then you should seek professional health and discuss the prospects of integrating supplements in their diet. However, they may say supplements are not necessary if they deemed your dogs healthy enough.
Routine check-ups from the veterinarian are essential to know if your dogs have any medical needs or if they’re developing vitamin deficiencies. Though these deficiencies can be addressed by feeding them the right food, if your dog’s health is not improving, then you need to consider a nutrition plan and supplements for your dog seriously.
Vitamin dosage for humans is entirely different from dogs, and even different breeds require different dosages. Hence it is something you cannot figure out on your own without professional help, do not self medicate as it will be harmful to your dogs.
Notable Signs of Deficiencies
Signs of deficiencies can be observed in many ways. Although it may be ambiguous here are some significant changes to consider concluding that your dog is not in good health:
- Changes in feces
- Skin or coat disorders
- Night blindness
Aside from these, if you notice any drastic changes from your dog, it’s best to see a veterinarian.
The right vitamins can help your dog’s overall health, and it’s best to consult a veterinarian to have your dogs properly medicated with the vitamins they need. Especially if there are any noticeable signs of vitamin deficiencies and to avoid any other health problems.