Having a sick puppy is a nightmare for all of us, and I knew it myself as I have been there once. I mean, what’s worse than a sick puppy who is vomiting everywhere? Costly vet invoices? And a mess everywhere? So does my puppy need vitamins?
Adding some vitamins to my dog’s diet has been magic, and I have seen the advancements myself. However, giving your dog lots of unneeded vitamins is risky as well. That’s why we will figure it through this short article this critical question, Does my Puppy need vitamins?
Puppy vitamins may be essential for your dog if he has a homemade diet. However, canine foods are designed to be rich in nutrients, and therefore, your puppy will not need more vitamins. Always ask your vet before giving your dog any extra vitamin so that you won’t harm your dog, and give your puppy only the vitamin that he needs.
Should Dogs Take Vitamins As Humans Do?
Well, this was the first question I started to ask myself. The answer is yes; dogs need vitamins to keep their skin and coat healthy, strengthen their teeth and bones, and give them the overall energy they need.
But, they are not given human vitamins, since their requirements are different from ours. As a matter of fact, human vitamins can be harmful to dogs. For example, too much calcium might make your dog sick.
Don’t worry; the pet food companies help us with this issue. Dogs that are on a well-balanced, good quality pet food do not need additional supplementation of vitamins.
However, dogs that are on a homemade diet may need such supplements. Accordingly, it is best to check with your veterinarian to determine precisely what is required.
What Vitamins Are Good For Puppies?
Probably you might be familiar with the kinds of vitamins that both humans and dogs need:
- Vitamin A or Beta-Carotene: I’m quite sure you know that this is the carrot vitamin. Usually, parents promise their kids with good sight to eat carrots. It also helps growth, immune and cell functions, hair follicles, the rapid division of skin cells as well as fetal development. Its deficiency would cause night blindness and skin issues.
- Vitamin B: It’s a group of vitamins that is important for your dog’s health.
- Biotin, which is a B-Complex vitamin, helps promote the growth of healthy tissues.
- Vitamin B-6 or Pyridoxine: is exceptionally vital for the generation of glucose, red blood cells, and nervous system function. It regulates hormones, immune responses, and gene activation. Its deficiency may cause epilepsy, kidney damage, and allergy issues.
- Vitamin B-12, Riboflavin, and niacin or Vitamin B3: are essential to facilitate the enzyme function. Their deficiency can cause the dog’s tongue to turn dark (brown or black), lips and gums inflammation, no appetite, seizures, and bloody diarrhea.
- Thiamine: regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and activates the ion channels in neural tissues.
- Folic acid is essential for amino acid and nucleotide metabolism, as well as protein synthesis.
- Pantothenic acid helps with energy metabolism.
- Vitamin C: It’s an antioxidant. It also reduces inflammation and cognitive aging. However, this vitamin can be synthesized in the dog’s liver, but supplements might have health benefits in some cases.
- Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin): It is vital for bone health just like in humans. It enables your dog’s body to balance the minerals, especially phosphorous and calcium, which are needed for bone growth and healthy muscles. Its deficiency causes Rickets, swollen joints, and (bowed) misshaped legs.
- Vitamin E: It is vital for many important organs including the liver and heart; it’s a defense against oxidative damages. Also, it is crucial for the dog’s functions and fat metabolism and helps to reduce the dog’s hair loss and restores skin health. The deficiency of this vitamin might cause degeneration of eye health, muscles, and nerve problems as well as reproductive issues.
- Vitamin K: This should be the worst of all, as it activates the dog’s blood’s ability to clot. Accordingly, its deficiency will cause hemorrhaging and death.
- Chlorine: is a critical component of the phospholipid cell membrane. It is essential for a healthy brain and supports liver function.
How Do I know If My Puppy has A Vitamin deficiency?
The need for dietary supplements for your dog is a result of two main reasons:
- If your dog’s digestive system is not absorbing enough nutrients and a supplement is needed to provide him with suitable amounts of vitamins and minerals.
- The dog’s diet is not providing him with enough nutrients in the first place.
So, to use dietary supplements, you need to talk to your veterinarian and have the necessary tests for vitamins and nutrient deficiencies. You have to make sure that you’re not overdoing it with unnecessary supplements, bearing in mind that dietary supplements overdose might lead to kidney stones or copper and zinc toxicity.
Signs showing that your dog is having nutrient deficiency:
There are some general symptoms showing that your dog is not having the proper diet:
- Change in feces: the standard feature of the dog feces is chocolate brown, malleable like playdoh, doesn’t contain foreign objects, and free from mucus residues. If you notice any abnormalities for more than 24-48 hours, this might be a signal of health digestive issues, including nutritional deficiencies.
- Depression: pretty much like humans, an unhealthy gut biome may cause depression. Accordingly, if you notice any change in your dog’s food or behavior can be a sign of malnutrition.
- Coat or skin disorders: to maintain healthy skin and fur, your dog need quite a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Their deficiency will cause hair loss, skin diseases, and infection.
- Lack of energy: the deficiency of carbohydrate components will cause a lack of energy for your dog.
However, your dog can get the necessary vitamins from food. The dog food labeled “complete and Balanced” contains all the required vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for your dog.
They are formulated towards the different life stages of your dog, like a puppy, adult, and senior food. They contain varying levels of vitamins and minerals according to the requirements of the dog’s life stage.
How To Choose Your Dog’s Vitamins?
As mentioned, human vitamins contain different concentrations and additives that are not suitable for dogs.
Accordingly, it is best to stick to a veterinary vitamin supplement dosage or what is specially made for dogs.
Also, take extra care in checking the label of the vitamin to contain the suitable amount that the dog needs.
If you feel that your dog needs a nutritional supplement, just talk to your veterinarian who will be able to help in determining if your dog needs supplements or have some vitamins that are designed especially for your dog’s problem.
What Are The Risks Of Providing Too Many Vitamins To My Dog?
Based on the fact that vitamins are vital to the dog’s health, using them in large quantities may be dangerous.
Providing copious quantities of vitamin A may cause dehydration, joint pain, and may harm the dog’s blood vessels. The same applies to vitamin D, which causes bone harm and muscles atrophy to the dog. Additionally, excessive amounts of calcium may cause skeletal problems.
Accordingly, to avoid these risks, it is recommended to work out a nutritional plan with your veterinarian.
Finally, talking about good nutritious dog food, we shouldn’t focus only on protein and fat content.
The need for vitamins and minerals is not of less importance. So, as a pet owner, you should regularly observe your dog’s diet and behavior to notice any health issues at an early stage.
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