Essential Vitamins for Dog Health
Vitamins are extremely important for dogs as it helps with the metabolic activities of the body, aids in growing and maintaining strong bones and teeth and helps maintain healthy vision.
Since they are capable of aiding the body processes, they are able to protect it from toxic substances found in the environment to a large extent. They help to break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and thereby aid in the digestive as well as reproductive processes.
To determine what vitamins to feed your dog, it is important to consult your veterinarian as this is dependent upon the dog’s age, breed and medical history. A young puppy would require vitamins for healthy tissues, bones and so on.
On the other hand an older dog may require vitamin supplements as their ability to absorb vitamins from food reduces with age and the tendency to lose a substantial amount through the urinary tract is high. Vitamins A, C and E which function as antioxidants are also known to protect the canine from some of the effects of ageing.
Vitamin C for dogs aids in fighting off infections and strengthens the immune system. This vitamin is beneficial for the upkeep of the dog’s coat and when combined with Vitamin D, it boosts collagen production which improves the elasticity of the skin, while also strengthening its tendons and ligaments. While vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, the dog may not need supplements as they are naturally synthesized in the liver of healthy dogs. However, if the dog is unhealthy, a Vitamin C deficiency may show up as a slow healing process in case of trauma or injury and a weak immune system that causes it to fall sick often. Vitamin E is essential for dogs as it ensures a healthy reproductive system and prevents what is known as brown bowel syndrome. Meat, vegetables (particularly green leafy ones), nuts and cold pressed vegetable oils contain this vitamin and if you take care of its protein requirements through meat and vegetables, this should ensure that it has the required amount of Vitamin E. Some dog owners prefer to give their pets table scraps and a home cooked diet, believing it to be better health wise for the animal. In this case, vitamin supplements may be necessary as the dog may not be getting sufficient nutrition from this food. However, over supplementation must not occur as it can lead to vitamin toxicity and hence it supplements must be given only under a veterinarian’s orders.