Vitamins For Dogs: Does Your Pet Need Them?
Dogs are part of the family, so we spend a lot of time making sure they are happy and healthy. However, our dog’s diet is not always as optimal as we might like to think it is. Sometimes dogs can be a little finicky about their food, or we might feed them human food a little too often. To to make sure your dog is getting all the vitamins and minerals he or she needs, dog vitamins can help.
Unfortunately, buying vitamins for dogs can be more than a bit confusing. Most people are not even familiar with what vitamins, and in what quantities, dogs really need. To confuse the matter even more, some dogs may have special medical or nutritional needs.
Understanding the nutritional content of your dog’s regular food is the best place to start. Some foods are already supplemented, and you would not want to over-supplement your dog’s diet. After all, a dog vitamin is only needed if the dog’s nutritional needs are not already being met by his or her regular food. If you are feeding your dog a high quality commercial dog food, you might discover that it is all your dog needs to stay healthy.
However, some dog food brands are better than others. If your dog is a picky eater, and will only eat a brand that may not be the best from a nutritional standpoint, then a vitamin supplement could be needed. Also, commercial dog foods are formulated to be nutritionally complete, based on the assumption that the food is the only thing in the dog’s diet. If this is not the case, and your dog tends to snack on treats or human food as part of his or her daily food consumption, then vitamins could help even things out nutritionally.
The best vitamins for dogs are ones that are designed specifically for your dog’s nutritional needs. A dog’s breed, lifestyle and age are factors to consider when deciding if your dog needs vitamins. As a dog ages, he or she can develop physical conditions that could be helped by taking a supplement. The best dog vitamins for your pet may be ones that are specific to a certain condition. For example, as a dog ages, his or her joints may become arthritic. In this case, a supplement containing chondroitin and glucosamine could help slow the progression of the arthritis, and make your pet feel more comfortable.
It is definitely a plus if your dog is willing to take the vitamin without a struggle. Fortunately, many dog vitamins on the market today are designed to seem like a treat for your dog. In some cases, you might even be able to substitute a supplement for one of your dog’s regular treats, without him or her even realizing it.
Consult with your dog’s veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns about giving him or her vitamins. Not only will your veterinarian be knowledgeable about the vitamin needs of dogs, but he or she is also knows your specific dog well.