6 Essential Vitamins for Dogs and Their Benefits
If you're a health-conscious person, you probably take some vitamins or supplements yourself. Studies show that more than 4 in 5 American adults use vitamins or supplements to help boost their health. Naturally, for those who love their furry family members as much as we do, seeking out supplements for pets is a no-brainer — especially if you're concerned about a specific issue that may be causing them some discomfort.
Vitamins for dogs are growing in popularity as a part of pet care in our modern age. As many as a third of U.S. dogs and cats have owners who regularly offer specialty supplements for pets to aid in arthritic joints, shedding issues, and more.
Here's how to choose which vitamins for dogs you should add to your pet supplies list to help your favorite pup live his best life.
When to Consider Vitamins for Dogs
Like humans, dogs receive most of their nutrition from their food. Honestly, if your dog is eating a balanced diet, they probably do not need to take extra vitamins. However, if they are eating a diet primarily comprised of homemade dog food or even a vegan diet, there is a greater risk that your pup could be suffering from a vitamin deficiency. In that case, it is necessary to consult your vet to see what supplements for pets your dog may need added to their daily food.
Sometimes, even with the best store-bought dog food, your pet could be suffering from gaps in their diet, warns veterinarian and author of the award-winning book The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats, Shawn Messonnier DVM.
"Diet contains minimal amounts needed to prevent deficiencies," he said. "Supplements are added to maximize health."
If you think your pet may be experiencing health issues due to not getting adequate nutrition from their diet, consult your veterinarian right away and ask what vitamins for dogs you should consider. Here are some symptoms of vitamin deficiency to look out for in your dog:
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive drooling
- Joint disease
- Weight loss
However, it is impossible to know for certain without a medical test. Dr. Messonier recommends finding a holistic veterinarian to run blood tests and even a fecal microbiome test to determine what vitamins for dogs you should add to their dietary routine.
Having a veterinarian's expertise is valuable because over-dosing on supplements for your pet can also cause health problems. Excessive calcium intake can cause bone issues, too much Vitamin A can have a negative impact on blood vessels and joint pain, and overdosing on Vitamin D can cause a dog to stop eating and even result in muscle atrophy.
The Most Important Vitamins for Dogs
Want to know which vitamins for dogs you to consider asking your veterinarian about at your pet's next check-up? Here are the main nutrients required to put more pep if your puppy's step.
Vitamin A is essential for your pet's vision, growth, immune system and organ function. If you have a female dog you're planning to breed or one that is already pregnant, Vitamin A is crucial for puppy growth and muscle and brain development.
Naturally, it can be found in these dog-safe food sources:
- Fish oil
- Sweet potatoes
Vitamin B for dogs directly impacts brain function, overall energy levels and cell metabolism. When a dog has a sufficient amount of this nutrient in their diet, they can better prevent infections and have healthier skin and a shinier coat.
Dog-safe foods rich in Vitamin B include:
- Whole grains
- Leafy green vegetables
- Beef and pork
Vitamin C is essential for a dog's body to perform properly. Responsible for tissue growth and repair, this vitamin for dogs is necessary for a thriving immune system and healthy cartilage, teeth and bones.
Instead of throwing your pet a bone for a treat, try these dog-safe sources of Vitamin C:
- Oranges (minus the peel and seeds)
- Pears (which can also cut the risk of stroke by 50 percent)
- Organ meat
While humans can absorb Vitamin D from the sun to help give their nutrient intake a boost, dogs aren't quite as lucky. This vitamin for dogs must be taken through diet. Vitamin D is important for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus in your dog's body, aiding in bone, teeth and muscle health.
Dog-safe foods you can give to your pet include:
- Fatty fish
- Egg yolks
Crucial for cell function and fat metabolism, when this vitamin for dogs is lacking, it can lead to muscle and eye degeneration. Vitamin E helps stabilize cell membranes which play a role in pain management and skin health. In fact, one study found a suggested correlation between low Vitamin E levels in dogs who suffered from canine atopic dermatitis, also known as CAD.
Incorporate these dog-safe foods in your pup's diet for added Vitamin E support:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Wheat germ
- Whole grains
- Salmon and trout
When your dog has enough Vitamin K, you don't have to worry about blood clotting issues when they find themselves in an unfortunate situation. Dogs typically produce their own Vitamin K due to their gut bacteria, so supplements for pets in this area are not usually necessary. However, if your dog does experience a deficiency in Vitamin K, they could have prolonged bleeding, pale gums, weakness and bruises.
Need some additional sources for K vitamins for dogs? Try these whole food treats:
- Green beans
- Beef liver
- Chicken and pork
- Leafy green vegetables
Choosing the Right Supplements For Your Pet
Sometimes, diet alone can’t offer the nutritional support your dog needs to be the best he can be. That’s when you need a supplement for pets you can trust. Swaggy Tails strives to offer health support for your furry friend's most vital needs. From taming tummy woes to ensuring their joints aren't jammed with pain as they age, Swaggy Tails offers supplements for pets that even the most medicine-adverse pup will love because it looks and tastes just like a treat.
Swaggy Tails Joint Support Chews are rich in Vitamin C and include a live source of naturally occurring microorganisms to support proper gut health. It also has Yucca Schidigera on its ingredient list, which is an excellent source of Vitamin A for dogs.
If your four-legged buddy struggles with bloat and other gut health issues, Swaggy Tails Digestive Enzymes are here to help. This supplement for pets includes nutrients that aid as an effective probiotic while also serving as a fantastic source of Lecithin — which provides Vitamin B. Lecithin is a natural emulsifier of fats and oils that increase a dog's ability to absorb nutrients properly.
And for those skittish dogs who need to take a chill pill — literally — Swaggy Tails Hemp Calming Chews With CBD is an excellent supplement for pets that offers ginger as an ingredient, which helps with the natural absorption of nutrients and supports your dog's natural inflammatory response.Ask your dog's vet if you should incorporate supplements for pets in their daily routine and start seeing what proper nutritional support can offer your best friend for a better, healthier life.