Does Your Dog Need Vitamins?
You’re probably taking vitamins and supplements to support your own health, and you may wonder if your dog needs vitamins, too. After all, you’d like to be sure you’re doing everything possible to maintain his good health. Well, the answer to the question depends on your pup’s diet and health.
Commercial Dog Diet & Vitamins
Most commercial dog food brands contain a label that has an AAFCO statement. What’s that, you say? Well, the AAFCO stands for the Association of American Feed Control Officials, which is an organization that makes recommendations for laws, policies, etc. for all animal feed, including pet foods. The organization works to ensure that all animal feed meets certain nutritional requirements and is free of harmful ingredients.
When you buy a bag of dog food, it should contain an AAFCO label certifying that the food is “complete and balanced” and state what life stage the food is for (ex. puppies, seniors, etc.).
If your commercial dog food includes this label, then you can rest assured your dog is receiving the right number of vitamins he needs each day. This is true, as long as the food fits your dog’s specific life stage. Most dogs eating AAFCO “complete and balanced” dog foods don’t require additional supplementation with vitamins.
What If My Dog Eats Homemade Dog Food?
Dogs on a homemade dogfood diet may need to take extra vitamins. This is because you can’t be completely certain as to the nutritional value provided by the meals you cook for your dog. The nutrition your pup receives in each homecooked meal will depend on the ingredients, the amount of each ingredient, etc. This may vary from meal to meal.
In this case, you might check with your vet to see if your fur baby needs vitamin supplements to ensure he’s meeting his daily nutritional requirements. Your vet may recommend doggie vitamins and/or may suggest you get with a dog nutritionist to make sure the homemade meals are healthy and adequate.
What If my Dog is on a Prescription Diet?
Here, again, it will depend on your dog’s health and life stage. Most prescription dog food diets should be able to meet your fur baby’s daily nutritional requirements.
If the vet suggests your dog may do well on a vitamin, be sure to check out Dinovites! These vitamins can be added to either commercial or homecooked meals for your fur baby!
Can My Dog Have Too Many Vitamins and Get Sick?
Yes, too much of a good thing can make your pup sick. For instance, too much calcium can cause problems with your dog’s bones, while too much Vitamin A can cause everything from painful joints to dehydration.
Another problem with vitamins is that they may contain other ingredients that are harmful for dogs. So, you’ll need to read labels to avoid harmful herbs and other ingredients.
Which Vitamins to Choose?
Deciding whether or not to give your fur baby vitamins is not easy. It all depends on your dog’s age and health. The amount of nutrition your pup needs at any time of life can vary—puppies need more of some vitamins than mature dogs, while pregnant and lactating mother pups have different requirements than dogs in their middle years.
Your veterinarian will be the best one to offer advice on which vitamins and the proper doses for your dog. If you’re still wondering if your dog needs to take vitamins, be sure to check with your veterinarian. They know your dog (inside and out!) and will be sure to have just the right answer to help you decide!
We hope this guide has provided you with some background information on vitamins, along with information that helps you decide on whether or not your pup needs vitamins in addition to his regular dog food.