Have you taken some vitamins this morning? How about your fur baby, has he taken his vitamins too? With so many commercial dog foods available in the market today, it has become harder to keep track on how balanced our dog’s diet is and if the food we are feeding our canine companions is enough for their daily nutritional needs.
Vitamins and minerals are essential in helping with the complex chemical processes of our dog’s body and sometimes the food we give to our dog is not enough to supply their needs. Our furry friends are not much different from us, in the way that our dogs need some aid in their essential vitamins and minerals daily requirement.
But, what kind of vitamins should I give my dog? Should I rush to the store and start giving him pills right away?
Here are 7 Vitamin deficiency to look out for and what vitamins to give your dog to prevent it from happening.
What Kind Of Vitamins Should I Give My Dog?
Vitamin A (Beta-carotene) Deficiency
Have you noticed that your dog has been feeling under the weather more than usual and that it seems harder for him to see at night? Your dog might have some vitamin A deficiency.
But, what is Vitamin A? It is an essential vitamin that promotes good vision, muscles, and nerves, as well as maintains healthy skin and hair. The first vitamin A that your dog receives is from the mother’s colostrum after birth and helps in the physiological development of a puppy.
Puppies that are deficient in Vitamin A usually grow slowly and will often have very weak muscles. Dogs and puppies that have a Vitamin A deficiency will be prone to sickness, has dry and flaky skin, has difficulty seeing at night time, hair has poor quality or sheds heavily, and has stunted growth or abnormal bone growth.
If you are worried that your fur baby might be Vitamin A deficient, you may start adding carrots, fish oil, eggs, or pumpkin in his diet or may give him vitamin A supplements that are available in the market. You may also ask your vet for a proper diagnosis and best course of action for your dog.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) Deficiency
We always want the best for our fur baby, and what better way to do that than to improve his overall health. Your dog might benefit from some Vitamin C in his daily diet if you are looking to boost his immune system.
Vitamin C is a major aid in a dog’s immune system, it is a water-soluble vitamin that is created in the dog’s liver to meet his nutritional needs each day. A dog that has a Vitamin C deficiency is more susceptible to diseases, has slower healing times, and experiences more muscle and joint pain.
As its main effect in a dog’s body is to boost the immune system, it promotes a better overall health for your dog and helps aid in better muscle and joint development that is crucial in the early puppy years.
You may increase your fur baby’s citrus fruit and vegetable intake to meet his daily needs and please do consult your vet if your dog is showing symptoms of vitamin C deficiency for some proper diagnosis.
Vitamin E Deficiency
Antioxidant is something that we humans look for in the products we buy and we are willing to pay top dollar for it. But, did you know that antioxidant is very important to our canine pals too?
Vitamin E is a very powerful antioxidant that helps improve your dog’s overall health. Since antioxidant fights free radicals and promotes protection against cell damage in your dog’s body, it decreases the chances of the dog to contract several disorders like cancer.
It is also known to be of great help to dogs that have major and minor skin problems such as allergies, and dry skin. Though no experimental evidence proves that Vitamin E boosts a dog’s gestational ability, it is widely prescribed as a supplement to boost fertility in dogs.
If you want your dog to get more vitamin E, you can try feeding him more meat (I’m sure your dog will love you more), some leafy vegetables (Dogs will still love you for veggies), and corn. You can also check out Vitamin E supplements in the market to make sure your dog’s daily requirement is met.
Did you notice how slow your puppy’s permanent teeth grow out? Or maybe your dog seems to injure himself easily lately? Maybe you should check out your fur baby’s Calcium intake. You see, calcium deficiency is one of the most common vitamin deficiencies in dogs.
Calcium is an essential vitamin for dogs and lack of it is the same as when humans are calcium deficient too. Since calcium deficiency mainly affects the bones and teeth it causes stiff and painful joints, bones fractures easily, lack on bone density, and hard to grow teeth.
Sometimes, though, our dogs lack calcium not because we are not giving them enough but because of kidney failure and this might be serious. You may feed your dog milk, fish oil, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products to increase your pup’s calcium intake.
Some people swear by eggshells as a calcium supplement for their dogs, do check out this video on how to make your own egg shell calcium powder for pets. But if you suspect that your dog lacks calcium or is having some kidney problems, have your vet check just to be sure so she can recommend the best course of action.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Deficiency
Your dog might be niacin deficient if you have noticed him have loose bowel lately, has inflamed gums, and loss of appetite.
Niacin or what others know as Vitamin B3 is an essential vitamin that is necessary for able to convert fats into carbohydrates and eventually into energy as it aids in the proper functioning of your dog’s nervous system and digestion.
It is also a known vitamin to aid in the lowering of cholesterol. Deficiency in niacin may cause black tongue which is the dog equivalent of pellagra and if untreated, it may be fatal. To supplement your dog’s daily vitamin B3 you can try feeding him some meat products, nuts, fish, legumes, oats, and vegetables.
You may check out this video that talks about the recently found benefits of Niacin in arthritic dogs. But if your dog manifests any of the symptoms of niacin deficiency, have a vet check him just so you can be sure if its vitamin B3 deficiency or something else.
Vitamin B7 (Biotin) Deficiency
If your dog’s coat has been looking dull recently, he might benefit in some extra biotin in his diet. Biotin is the recommended treatment when it comes to skin problems and allergic reactions, it aids in your fur baby’s digestion, and muscle growth.
You can give your dog liver, brewer’s yeast, seed oils, or biotin supplements for better skin and better hair. Try avoiding raw eggs in your dog’s diet as this destroys biotin in your dog’s body.
Though very rare, biotin deficiency may cause depression and diabetes. If you want to be sure, have your dog checked regularly by the vet.
Vitamin K Deficiency
Vitamin K promotes a dog’s overall health but it is surprising that not too many pet owners know about how important this vitamin is to dogs.
Vitamin K assists calcium in strengthening you dog’s bones and teeth; it is a very effective blood coagulant which helps in wounds repairs and injury. A lack of vitamin K in your dog’s body might cause internal bleeding and anemia.
It is very important that you take him to the vet immediately if you suspect your dog to be vitamin K deficient. If you want to prevent your dog from being vitamin K deficient, you can inject more green leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage, and kale.
Vitamin K will be absorbed faster by the body if you add some fats in your fur baby’s diet too like oils and even butter.
How To Choose Vitamins For My Dog
Our canine companions can live long with happy lives with just a good diet, plenty of exercises, and some tender loving care from their masters. But as you can see from what I have written above, vitamins can aid in certain cases and situations.
But always practice caution and learn more about your dog’s need through your trusted vet before just suddenly implementing a vitamin regimen. Nothing beats the expert opinion of trained animal doctors.
But if you do decide to start giving your dog vitamins always get from well-known and trustworthy sources. Always remember that nothing is too good for our loyal dog pals. It might be a bit more expensive but you can bet that the quality of these pet products is better than from those unknown sources.
I hope this helped you in your quest for canine vitamin knowledge and answers the question “what vitamins should I give my dog?”. If you have any stories and comments about this topic feel free to write it down in the comments below.
Read more: Can Dogs Have Human Vitamins?