Many of us hoomans take our daily vitamins and supplements, and this may have got you wondering if your canine companion should be doing the same. With dog vitamins and supplements increasing in popularity, many owners feel that their pup needs these supplements for a healthy life. But are vitamins even safe for dogs? And does my dog really need them? We're here to answer all your questions and help you decide if your pup should start taking vitamins...
What vitamins and minerals are essential for dogs?
Whilst the ideal diet can vary somewhat from breed to breed, there are a few essential vitamins and minerals that you must ensure your pooch never misses out on. Fortunately, these can all be found in a complete and balanced diet. Most commercial dog food will be clearly labelled as 'complete' which means it contains all essentials vitamins. Many experts agree that food made with higher quality ingredients allow your dog's body to absorb the vitamins more easily.
What about homemade dog food?
If you choose to feed a homemade diet to your pooch, then you may need to add vitamins and minerals to make the food complete and balanced. We recommend talking to your vet or a canine nutritionist to find the right recipes and source the appropriate vitamins, minerals, and supplements. We highly recommend Cam the Dog Nutritionist if you're unsure where to start with a homemade diet.
So, does my dog need vitamins?
If you are feeding your dog a complete and balanced diet, there is generally no reason to supplement with vitamins and minerals. In fact, an excess of certain vitamins can actually be harmful to your hound. It is important to carefully consider why your dog needs a certain supplement before giving them anything. Our top tips to think about before supplementing your dog's diet are;
- Speak to your vet before giving your dog any new vitamins or supplements
- If your dog has a vitamin deficiency, consider changes to their diet as well as supplements
- Do your research on what vitamins are recommended for your dog's specific health concerns
- Never give your dog a higher dose than is recommended
What supplements should I give my dog?
There are a variety of vitamins and supplements that can be used for dogs, such as multivitamins, fatty acids, joint supplements, fibre and probiotics. These are some of the most popular items.
Multivitamins: Never give human multivitamins to dogs. If your vet recommends a daily multivitamin for your dog, you can ask them for specific product recommendations.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These supplements may be beneficial to dogs with joint disease, heart disease, or kidney disease.
Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM: These joint supplements can be very beneficial to dogs with an orthopaedic issue such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. They can reduce inflammation in the body and help provide more lubrication for the joints.
Fibre: Your vet may recommend adding fibre to your dog's diet in some cases. This can help with gastrointestinal issues.
Probiotics: These are nutritional supplements designed to restore healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal system.
What do we recommend?
As older pups, Hiro and Wolf both take supplements to help with their joints. Wolf is also on a special homemade diet devised for him by The Dog Nutritionist to help combat some other health issues. We highly recommend YuMOVE for older dogs or dogs with stiff joints and these are the supplements we have been using for both the boys for a while now! Plus, you can save 25% on your YuMOVE order with code 'GROOVYHIRO' now.