Dogs, just like humans, need many vitamins for proper functioning and stable development. This is quite obvious, but the question we often ask ourselves is how and in what quantity these vitamins should be supplied to the body.
Generally, vitamins are found in dog food and this is their main source. In fact, a proper diet for your dog should provide him with what he needs. This is why synthetic vitamins should only be used if necessary.
In what cases is it necessary to give your dog vitamins in tablet or capsule form?
Such a need may arise if you feed your dog homemade food. It is often difficult to balance your dog’s food in such a way that it contains all the necessary ingredients. It is, of course, much easier with ready-made wet or dry food. This, when fed as recommended, depending on the breed and size of the dog, should provide our pet with everything it needs to live and grow.
In specific cases, supplementation of your dog’s diet with synthetic vitamins may be necessary due to deficiencies. These can have a number of causes such as dog diseases and illnesses, feeding errors, environmental causes and others.
The most important vitamins for dogs
The names of these vitamins are certainly not unfamiliar to anyone. They are needed by humans and dogs alike – the difference is in the amount and their effect.
We will focus on the following vitamins for dogs:
Vitamin A for dogs
Vitamin A is particularly important for a dog’s eyesight. It is also involved in reproductive processes and influences the proper functioning of the immune system, skin and mucous membranes.
Vitamin A deficiency usually manifests itself in problems with your dog’s eyesight, but it can also result in diseases of all systems affected by vitamin A.
A good source of vitamin A is liver, which is often found as one of the ingredients in ready-made dog foods (dry and wet). If you feed your dog homemade food, it’s worth looking out for eggs, milk fat, and carrots, which contain beta-carotene. Związek ten jest przekształcany do witaminy A w organizmach psów. Interestingly, cod liver oil is also very high in vitamin A.
Vitamin B for dogs
B vitamins play an important role in the functioning of the dog’s body. They support the functioning of the kidneys, the digestive system, the eyes or the skin (among other things, they prevent water loss through the epidermis). Vitamin B12 as a coenzyme plays a role in protein synthesis and the production of red blood cells. Its supplementation is also an important part of a dog’s liver diet.
Deficiencies of B vitamins can cause anaemia, oedema, neurological disorders and vomiting.
The most important B vitamins for dogs include vitamin B12, B6, B1, B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5, and vitamin B8 (biotin)
Sources of vitamin B can include meat, poultry, fish, eggs or green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin C for dogs
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant (removes free radicals) and also supports your pet’s immune system. It also has a number of other functions – it aids wound healing, fights bacteria and viruses, prevents high blood pressure, and also helps dogs with allergy problems. Although dogs produce vitamin C themselves, in many cases supplementation is necessary. The reason for this may be, for example, increased prolonged exercise. Before starting vitamin C supplementation for your dog, it is worth consulting your vet.
Often the different types of vitamin C on sale also contain bioflavonoids. These are organic chemical compounds. They occur naturally in fruit and vegetables and have health-promoting effects. For this reason, among others, it is worth considering introducing them into your dog’s diet. First, however, it is worth finding out which fruit and vegetables your dog may eat.
Vitamin D for dogs
Vitamin D is necessary for regulating the calcium-phosphate balance in the body of a dog. It supports bone formation and muscle function. Vitamin D deficiencies in the dog’s body can cause heart disease and skeletal problems.
However, be vigilant as an overdose of vitamin D is toxic to your dog and can lead to a number of complications.
Vitamin E for dogs
Vitamin E has a number of important functions, it is a powerful antioxidant and plays a role in the formation of cell membranes. However, vitamin E deficiencies in dogs are very rare. Most diets and commercial foods contain enough to fully satisfy a dog’s need for this vitamin. You should not decide on supplementation alone. However, if you notice symptoms that may indicate a deficiency such as poor vision, neurological disorders, reproductive problems or a weakened immune system – you should consult your vet.
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