Just like their owners, canines need vitamins too. In fact, many of the same vitamins and minerals that dogs need are the very same ones that humans do—just in different amounts. Of course, dogs don’t get to choose what to take out of the medicine cabinet each day, which leaves that responsibility to fall upon the shoulders of their owners.
Don’t Dogs Get Ample Nutrition from Pet Foods?
While it is true that there are commercial dog foods that are veterinarian-recommended and labeled as being “complete and balanced,” whether the animal actually eats enough food to get the full balance of nutrition they need is questionable.
It is also important to keep in mind that animals have different vitamin intake needs throughout the various stages of their life. Pups will need puppy vitamins with more of certain minerals than senior dogs, as growing and highly active pets will need more ‘go-go’ vitamins during their youthful years. Giving dogs the wrong type of foods can actually cause problems. For example, too much of a dog calcium supplement as a pup can result in hip dysplasia because they grow too quickly with over-nourishment.
The real deal is that dogs that do not have any type of chronic or acute illnesses or diseases should get ample vitamins from their food. Of course, this is only true as long as it is a high-quality food (such as organic dog food) or one without unnecessary additives (such as a grain free dog food) and is chosen appropriately for a dog’s age, size, and that they eat the recommended amount daily.
What’s the Best Form of Dog Vitamins?
Again, getting nutrients from their normal diet is optimal, but dogs that predominantly or exclusively eat a home-made pet food diet will definitely need to supplement their daily vitamin intake with dog vitamins. Here are some ways canines can get the goods they need outside of food sources.
Pill Form Pet Vitamins
These are similar to those for humans, so if dogs aren’t hesitant to take such a pill, these are relatively inexpensive and easy to find. The key to choosing the best pill type of vitamin for dogs is to make sure they can comfortably swallow the tablet. Fortunately, most major manufacturers of premium pet vitamins offer a variety of sizes ranging from tiny tablets for pocket pets to larger capsules to keep the big dogs going. Be sure the vitamin covers any special needs of the pet, such as choosing a senior dog vitamin. Have a stubborn pooch? Many companies offer treat packs that have a vitamin ‘snuck’ in, but powders, liquids or chews might be a better option.
Liquid and Powder Vitamins
Some pups just don’t like to swallow on command, so owners can get a bit sneaky through adding a powder or oral liquid supplement to their moist food mixtures. Easy to administer and quick to absorb into the bloodstream, this is an exceptional pet vitamin option for owners. The trick is ensuring that the dog eats all the food to receive the full amount of nutrition.
Chews: These are by far the most popular options for doggies today, as they love chew treats and generally cannot tell the difference, so they gobble it right up. If getting every bit of vitamins in the dog is vital, go this route with a recommended brand from the veterinarian.
Injection: Giving dogs vitamin by injection is reserved for animals with extreme circumstances. These involve senior pets, those on IV diets, and dogs in need of a serious vitamin boost post injury, surgery or to combat an acute medical condition such as allergies or digestive issues.
Discuss with a vet the lifestyle of the dog, bring along their regular food and be ready to talk about any concerns when inquiring about vitamin regimens. Be sure to discuss with your veterinarian carefully what the specific needs are for your dog’s health, weight, age, and breed.