Your dog appears healthy and happy, but you want your animal to be at his or her absolute best. Should you give you pet dog vitamins or dog supplements? You possibly take vitamins, but is this something your do needs?
Estimates suggest that a third of dog owners provide their pets with dog vitamins or dog supplements. Most commonly, these are provided for joint health, or to improve the condition of the coat and prevent shedding. Probiotics are also given to reduce gastro-intestinal problems.
But just because other dog owners are giving dog vitamins or dog supplements, this doesn’t mean you have to. Like the human debate over antioxidants, experts don’t always agree about dog vitamins or dog supplements. Some may be useful, but others may just be a waste of money. And some dog vitamins or dog supplements may actually harm your dog.
Fortunately, most dog owners provide their animal with a well-balanced, nutritious diet. Most commercial dog foods have vitamins added. Giving your dog additional dog vitamins or dog supplements can possibly lead to too much of some nutrients. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Pet owners who make their own dog food may have to consider adding dog vitamins or dog supplements.
According to many veterinarians and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and excess of calcium might cause skeletal problems, particularly in the larger breeds. Too much vitamin D can damage bone health, lead to atrophied muscles or affect your dog’s hunger or appetite. Vitamin A in excess can affect joint health, cause dehydration or damage blood vessels. You need to be extremely careful which dog vitamins or dog supplements you are giving your pet, and in which quantity.
Of course, you should always consult your veterinarian before starting you animal on any dog vitamins or dog supplements. Your vet is an expert and will know what your dog needs, how much and why. They have the knowledge and equipment to determine a correct analysis. For example, let’s say your dog has a poor coat. It doesn’t shine like it should. So you give your dog fish oil pills. However, coat health can be affected by hormonal or metabolic issues, stress, or other diseases. Fish oil won’t help these problems. At best, you are wasting your money; at worst, you are wasting critical time to give your animal proper treatment.
Short-term studies of certain dog vitamins or dog supplements have indicated that some of them, such as fish oil and vitamins C and E, may have minor positive effects. However, due to the recent rise of so much use of dog vitamins or dog supplements, we don’t yet have an idea on the long-term effects of these supplements. Be extra wary of giving your puppy dog vitamins or dog supplements; not only is he or she less likely to even need such a thing, but you don’t know how it will affect him or her further down the road.
To add to concerns about giving your animal dog vitamins or dog supplements, industry tests have found that 25 to 60 percent of dog vitamins or dog supplements don’t meet the claims of their labels, often falling far short in the actually contained amount of the advertised nutrient.
Again, always consult your veterinarian before giving dog vitamins or dog supplements. If your vet suggests such a program, also ask for suggestions on brand. On labels, look for third party certifications and other indicators of quality control.
Dogs have lived beside us for ages without dog vitamins or dog supplements. Be very cautious about what you decide to put in your dog’s body.