Most dog’s get their required daily dose of vitamins in their food as most dog food manufacturers include ingredients to be well-balanced to provide everything your dog needs. Supplementing when your dog is already receiving their recommended doses can be dangerous so only supplement when there is a reason too, e.g.) an actually deficiency. So, Should My Dog Be Taking A Multivitamin?
There are two main types of vitamins: water soluble and fat soluble. Excess water soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin B1, are eliminated in urination, so don’t typically cause long term issues.
However, fat soluble vitamins that are stored in the liver and fatty tissue, can cause serious problems. For example, larger breeds can suffer from skeletal problems due to too much calcium. An excess of vitamin A can cause dehydration, joint pain, or damage to blood vessels. And high levels of vitamin D can cause a loss of appetite, bone damage, and muscle atrophy.
So how do you know if your dog could benefit from a vitamin supplement?
- Your Dog Is Diagnosed With a Vitamin or Mineral Deficiency
If that’s the case, your veterinarian will recommend a single vitamin supplement, not a multivitamin.
- Your Dog Is Diagnosed with a Disease
For example, a dog with dermatosis may respond to zinc, and osteoarthritis can be eased with a vitamin E or a glucosamine-chondroitin supplement. Again, you should consult with your veterinarian for recommendations, and only use such supplements upon your vet’s advice.
- You Cook Your Dog’s Meals
Preparing fresh foods for your dog can be a wonderful way to provide nutritious, healthy meals, particularly if done with the help of a veterinary nutritionist, but it’s unlikely that you’re calculating exactly how much of each vitamin your dog is getting unless you’re practically scientific with your doses! A multivitamin can help fill any gaps that you may be unaware of.
- Your Dog Is a Poor Eater
Maybe your dog is a fussy eater and refuses to eat certain types of foods or is suffering from a loss of appetite. There can be a number of reasons for this: a medical condition, behavioural issues, and even old age. You can help make sure their daily vitamin and mineral needs are topped up by supplementing with a multivitamin as you deal with any underlying health conditions that may be causing lack of appetite in the first place.