Multivitamins are a massive part of the health and wellbeing market with just under half the people in the UK taking a multivitamin of some sort. So why then are people so confused when it comes to multivitamins for dogs? As loving pet owners, we want to give our furry friends the best, and a great way to do this is through providing them with the right nutrition, especially when it comes to vitamins and minerals. So what are dog vitamins, which should you choose and how can you get them into your dog’s diet?
What are dog vitamins?
Vitamins are vitamins regardless of the animal eating them, however, there are certain ones in specific amounts that dogs need more than humans. The key dog vitamins are A, B, C, D & E; these can be found in a variety of different foods and all have their own benefits. When it comes to dog nutrition though, as with the diet of any animal, it is all about balance. Making sure your dog is getting the right amount of vitamins is just as important as getting the whole range, as a lack of just one can result in a number of dog health problems related to vitamin deficiencies.
Vitamins for dogs
So what do each of the key vitamins do? And why should you be trying so hard to make sure they’re all in your dog’s diet? Here are the top 5 vitamins for dogs and their benefits:
Vitamin A for dogs
A fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin A is stored in the fat surrounding the liver until it is needed. The main natural source of Vitamin A is the yellow pigment found in plants called carotene. This is why key plant-based sources are carrots and sweet potato. In your dog’s body, this is easily converted into usable Vitamin A. This vitamin has many benefits as it can contribute towards the immune system as well as to healthy mucous membranes and vision.
Vitamin B for dogs
There is a whole range of B vitamins, but these are generally all classed under Vitamin B or can also be seen as a ‘Vitamin B complex’. As there are so many in this group, they have a whole range of benefits including supporting your dog’s brain, metabolism and skin. One of the most popular of this group is Vitamin B12 for dogs as this can help with their natural immunity, nervous system and red blood cell formation.
Vitamin C for dogs
Also known as Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin C is commonly associated with citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons. But did you know you can also find it in vegetables such as spinach? Vitamin C is well-known for supporting the immune system but also plays a major role in the formation of collagen in your dog’s body, particularly within their bones, gums, teeth and cartilage, making it great for dental as well as joint health.
Vitamin D for dogs
For people, Vitamin D is called the ‘sunshine vitamin’ as your body gets active Vitamin D through the sun's UV rays. In dogs, however, as they generally are covered in fur, the conversion from UV rays is insufficient so it is required from their diet. Vitamin D plays a role in regulating calcium and phosphorus levels in your dog’s body, making it important for muscles, bones and teeth. It is also known to contribute to the immune system.
Vitamin E for dogs
This amazing vitamin can be found in foods such as whole grains, nuts and leafy greens. Vitamin E contributes towards the protection of cells from oxidative stress. This is caused by free radicals, molecules found in harmful substances such as processed foods, smoke and pollution. Oxidative damage can affect any cell, so Vitamin E can help to protect your dog’s whole body including their heart, brain, muscles and skin.
|Vitamin A||Immune system, mucous membranes, skin & vision||Fish oils, liver, carrots, sweet potatoes & spinach|
|Vitamin B||Psychological function, metabolism, vision, mucous membranes, skin, hair, tiredness & fatigue||Fish, poultry, eggs, whole grains, seeds & nuts|
|Vitamin C||Collagen formation for bones, cartilage, gums, teeth and the immune system||Citrus fruits, broccoli, potatoes, peppers & spinach|
|Vitamin D||Muscles, bones, teeth & the immune system||Milk, fatty fish, beef liver cheese & egg yolks|
|Vitamin E||Protects cells from oxidative stress||Vegetable oils, whole grains, leafy green vegetables & nuts|
How to get vitamins into your dog’s diet
So now you know about dog vitamins and their benefits, you need to put that knowledge into action. But how can you get them to consume all these amazing vitamins? In general, there are 2 main ways to get all the essential nutrients your dog needs into their body where they can get to work for your dog’s health. This is either through their food or through daily supplementation.
Healthy dog foods
With all the choice out there for healthy dog food, it’s no surprise many of us can struggle with choosing the right one. The first step to take is to think about your dog and their needs. They will all require different dog food nutrition depending on their size, activity levels, age and sometimes even breed. You can also get organic dog food as well as ones that are dairy or grain-free for dogs with allergies or intolerances.
In addition to this, there are also a number of wellness dog foods that claim to provide your pooch with everything they need to be healthy. The problem with this though is that most of the times the vitamins often found in both dry or wet foods are processed and so, therefore, lose a lot of their strength and benefits. Your dog still needs to eat though, so when choosing, go for the one that has the most vitamins and minerals suitable for your dog’s needs, and anything that is missing or not in enough quantity you can then add to their diet in the form of supplements.
Vitamin supplements for dogs
The best way to provide your dog with all the vitamins they need in their precise measurements is through a natural supplement. You can either get these in the form of supplements with just one specific vitamin, a multivitamin or through general wellbeing products. These dog supplements make giving your pet vitamins super easy, as you generally give them to your dog on a daily basis and they mean you don’t have to think about the complexities of giving your pet a range of foods each day that they wouldn’t normally eat. You can also get these supplements in a variety of forms, from your typical capsule to more convenient powders and even soft chews for those more fussier furry friends.
So what are the best dog vitamins?
When it comes to deciding on which vitamins are the best for your dog, it really depends on their needs. Certain vitamins are beneficial for different areas of your dog’s health so when choosing which vitamins to give them, choose the ones that focus on their needs. For your dog’s general health and wellbeing though, the best dog vitamins are all of them! Don’t pick one over the other, make sure your dog is getting a complete and balanced diet full of as many vitamins as you can. You can also then supplement their diet with specific dog multivitamins that make caring for their wellbeing easier than ever!