Dog vitamins guide from a vet

Table of Contents
Dog vitamins guide

We all strive to care for our pets in the best ways possible. Since many of us humans take health supplements and vitamins, it may leave us wondering whether our pets could benefit from vitamins too. 

In this article, we’ll guide you through vitamins for dogs, by breaking it down into the following sections:

  • Dog prenatal vitamins.
  • Dog vitamins for joints.
  • Senior dog vitamins.
  • Dog vitamins for homemade food.
  • Dog multivitamins.

Disclaimer: Please refer to the information in this article as a guide only. If you want more information about whether or not your dog could benefit from supplements such as vitamins, contact your veterinarian.

Dog vitamins – an introduction

Before we start, we want to reiterate that you shouldn’t add anything to your pet’s diet unless following guidance or a recommendation from your veterinarian. 

It’s also important to only buy the highest quality, veterinarian-approved products for your pet and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when it comes to dosage.

Feeding your dog a high-quality, complete dog food in the correct amount, likely means they will get all the vitamins they need, without the need for extra supplementation. However, there are a few circumstances in which your dog may benefit from extra supplementation which we’ll discus in this section.

Dog prenatal vitamins

Naturally, if your dog is going to have puppies, it’s normal that you may feel particularly concerned or worried about them. Since it’s likely your veterinarian will be assisting you during your dog’s pregnancy, the best thing is to consult with them directly as to whether your pet may benefit from any supplementation.

We’d like to point out that giving dogs human prenatal vitamins is never a good idea. It’s important to only give your pet products that are designed specially for them and under the guidance of your veterinarian.

Dog vitamins for joints

If your dog suffers from osteoarthritis, achiness, pain or soreness in their joints, your vet may have recommended you supplement their diet. 

Some known ingredients which can help your dog’s joints according to the American Kennel Club include:

  • Glucosamine – with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Green-lipped mussel – contains a variety of components which can help your dog’s joints.
  • Chondroitin – which helps joints and minimizes pain.

Senior dog vitamins

As your dog gets older, different parts of their body such as their organs and joints, function less effectively. This means they may benefit from some extra supplementation as part of their balanced diet.

Some examples of nutrients known to benefit older dogs, include:

  • Glucosamine.
  • Antioxidants (for example vitamin E).
  • L – carnitine.

You can read more about how to help your older dog in our article Caring for Dog Seniors: Hygiene Considerations for Older Dogs

Dog vitamins for homemade food

If you’ve decided to make your dog’s food at home it’s important to do so only under the guidance of a specialist veterinary nutritionist, certified by the American Board of Veterinary Specialisation. Attempting to make your dog’s food without this guidance, often means that your dog will not get all the nutritional components they need from their food, which can affect their health and wellbeing. 

If you make your dog’s food, the best thing to do is consult your veterinary nutritionist to find out whether your pet may benefit from extra supplementation in their diet. 

Vitamins for deficiency diseases

Sometimes, dogs can become unwell if they are lacking in a specific nutritional component, such as a specific vitamin in their diet. Deficiency diseases can be linked to other aspects of your pet’s health, and not just their diet.

Deficiency diseases are something best diagnosed by a veterinarian, however, we’ve listed some examples of things to look for below:

  • Poor condition of skin and or fur.
  • Weight loss.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Bone injuries or changes.

Conclusion

With so many options available, it can be tricky to know whether extra supplementation is really necessary or will benefit your pet. We hope that after reading this article, you have more of an understanding of how and when to seek supplements for your pet.

Don’t forget, it’s best not to modify your dog’s diet unless following the guidance of your veterinarian. You can read more about caring for your dog in our article How to Take Care of a Dog for Their Good Health: A Comprehensive Guide.

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