Why Are Vitamins Important for Dogs? Your Detailed Guide
Why do dogs need vitamins? Wellllll, to put it simply:
Your furry friend needs vitamins to rejuvenate their health, extend their longevity, and improve their overall vitality (AKA how much joy they get out of life!).
While most vitamins can naturally be found in a diet rich in vegetables, whole meat, and oils, many highly processed dog foods lose crucial natural nutrients during the manufacturing process.
So, do dogs need daily vitamins?
Let's look at 4 ways vitamins can benefit your dog in both the short and long run.
1 - Improve Skin and Coat
Nothing beats unwinding while petting your dog’s silky, soft coat after a long day. In fact, research shows that petting your pup actually lowers your blood pressure (and dog owners have better heart health than non-dog owners)!
But if your pup’s skin is dry and flaky, or they’re constantly shedding, then petting them can be… considerably less pleasurable. 😬
Hair loss and skin irritation are among the most common problems dogs face. Luckily, they’re also some of the easiest to solve.
Vitamins A, E, and C promote skin development and repair, protect skin cells from oxidative damage, and assist in wound healing.
Introducing these vitamins to your dog can help them fight common problems and symptoms like:
- Allergic reactions to environmental stimuli
- Fungal infections
- Bacterial infections
- Excess shedding
- Hotspots and overgrooming
- Irritation from lice, fleas, and ticks
Adding a supplement rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like Fish Oil for Dogs, can also help hydrate and soothe dry skin.
2 - Provide Essential Nutrients
Quick chemistry lesson:
Vitamins are organic compounds. They’re necessary for the body to perform certain chemical reactions and metabolic activities that influence your dog’s overall health.
There are two types of vitamins: water-soluble and fat-soluble.
Water-soluble vitamins are readily absorbed into the bloodstream, and anything the dog’s body doesn't need is excreted through urine.
Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed and stored in the dog’s liver and fat tissues.
Water-soluble vitamins include vitamins B and C, while fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K.
Each of these vitamins impacts your dog's health, development, and daily function in a number of ways:
- Vitamin A: Essential for eyesight, growth, development, and infection resistance. Where you can find it: In animal products such as eggs and milk, as well as some plant-based sources like carrots
- Vitamin C: Supports immune functions, red blood cell production, and collagen synthesis. Where you can find it: Broccoli, blackcurrants, peppers, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, and green vegetables
- Vitamin D: Required for calcium absorption, bone health, and normal nerve function. Where you can find it: In fatty fish like salmon and tuna and fortified dog foods, and breakfast cereals
- Vitamin E: Protects cells from damage by free radicals and promotes a healthy neurological system. Vitamin E for dogs is a potent antioxidant. Where you can find it: Vegetable oils, such as olive oil, and almonds
- Vitamin K: Necessary for blood clotting and heart disease prevention. Where you can find it: Animal-based products like beef, lamb, cheese, and fortified dog food products
Holistic veterinarians recommend supplementing your dog's diet with essential vitamins to enhance the effectiveness of the nutrients in the food, or replenish missing nutrients.
3 - Improve & Maintain Cognition
Your dog's cognitive capability gradually declines as they age. (Don't worry — it'll happen to you, too.)
This decline can lead to a progressive neurodegenerative disorder known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CCDS) in senior dogs. Another name for CCD? "Doggie dementia".
Some decreases in cognitive performance have been linked to neurochemical changes and decreased antioxidant synthesis. That means it’s crucial to supply your dog with the right antioxidants in the right amounts.
Several studies suggest that dogs that eat a diet supplemented with dog vitamins and minerals have better cognitive function than those that don’t.
Moreover, the omega-3 fatty acids found in some supplements can reduce inflammation on a cellular level, which may positively impact brain function.
The table below shows other common supplements that improve a dog’s cognitive development.
Co-factor in neurotransmitter synthesis
In English: Helps the brain create more of its necessary chemicals
Reduces blood pressure by improving nitrous oxide synthesis
In English: Helps the body create more of a certain gas that lowers blood pressure
|EPA and DHA||
Reduces chronic inflammation
In English: Helps keep the body from attacking its own cells
Improves mitochondrial function
In English: Gives a performance boost to mitochondrial cells, which are partly responsible for your dog’s energy levels
Improves cholinergic transmission
In English: Supports the brain and behavioral systems responsible for your dog’s attention, learning, and memory function
Along with mental stimulation through play, training, and walks, these dietary supplements can help to prevent and fight signs of cognitive aging in your dog — so they stay alert, playful, and healthy well into their senior years.
4 - Boost Their Immune System
Vitamins improve your dog’s immune system’s ability to fight off common illnesses, such as ear infections, canine influenza, and even chronic immune-related conditions like osteoarthritis.
Along with regular exercise and a well-balanced diet, science-backed vitamins are safe and can help your dog automatically eliminate pathogens from their body — before they cause any problems.
Some vitamins required for a healthy immune system include:
- Vitamin A: These vitamins are responsible for the functioning of B and T cells, which influence the production of antibodies (defenders) in response to antigens (attackers). They are necessary for TH2 “helper” immune cell responses, and the activities of macrophages, neutrophils, and natural killer cells (types of cells that help locate, destroy, and remove harmful cells from the body).
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Many research studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids, especially those rich in DHA and EPA, can help your dog produce more antibodies and reduce the severity of allergies.
- B vitamins: Vitamin B for dogs, particularly Vitamin B6, are crucial for immunological responses, hormone control, and the formation of protein structures (such as nails and hair).
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that decreases potentially harmful free radicals (you can think of free radicals as molecules that damage healthy cells) in your dog’s body. It also reduces inflammation, and can provide relief when your pup has a UTI.
Feeding these vitamins to your dog will strengthen their immune system, especially if they’re not getting adequate nutrition from their food.
Extra Tip: Along with nutrition, make sure your pup gets regular exercise and lives in a clean environment! Physical health is a huge contributor to a healthy immune system.
Paramount Pet Health’s Liquid Vitamins for Dogs
Paramount Pet’s Liquid Vitamins for Dogs is a vitamin supplement made with 100% safe natural ingredients to support your four-legged companion’s long, happy, and healthy life.
The easy-to-dose liquid formula includes vet-recommended amounts of:
- Vitamins A, C, D3, E, and K2
- Essential Minerals
- Essential Amino Acids
- Fatty Acids
- Probiotics and Prebiotics
Our liquid vitamins are ideal for dogs at any stage of life,from puppyhood to gray-nosed senior. With a tasty bacon flavor, they’re easy to mix right in with your dog’s food or drink.
But don’t take it from us. Take it from Paramount Pet Health customer Donald:
Paramount Dog liquid vitamins are a great product with great results, I would highly recommend all their products.
— Donald M, USA
Liquid vs Tablets Vitamins
Whether you’re supplementing your dog’s diet for a healthy gut, strong joints, thick coat, better brain health, or all of the above, it’s important to choose the most appropriate vitamin supplement.
Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of different vitamin delivery formats, including liquids vs. tablets, can help you make informed decisions on what’s best for your dog.
Below are some of the major differences between liquid and tablet vitamins:
|Criteria||Liquid Vitamins||Tablet Vitamins|
|Absorption||Absorbed into the bloodstream faster than tablets (beneficial for dogs who have trouble digesting tablets)||Tablets have a lower absorption rate and may take longer to work|
|Water solubility||Contains more water-soluble vitamins and minerals, making it more convenient for dogs that take their supplement with water and food||Most are not water-soluble, leading to lower bioavailability|
|Ease of administration||Easy to administer since you can mix it directly into food or water||Difficult to administer to bigger dogs, picky dogs, or smart dogs who learn “Uh oh, it’s pill time”|
|Taste||Flavored liquid supplements are designed to appeal to your dog’s palate||May have an unpleasant taste or aftertaste|
Choosing between liquid and tablet vitamins comes down to convenience, taste, and the vitamins your dog needs the most.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there risks associated with dog vitamins?
There is no evidence that dog vitamins are harmful. However, some fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, can be toxic in high doses. Always consult with your veterinarian before adding supplements to your dog’s diet.
Can vitamins affect other medications?
Yes, some vitamins can interfere with your dog’s medication. These interactions may affect medicine absorption and/or excretion rates, thus reducing or increasing a medicine’s effectiveness.
You already know what we’re going to say: This is why it’s important to consult with your vet before supplementing your dog’s diet with vitamins! Your vet will be able to check for any medication interactions.
Should I give my dog vitamins everyday?
Yes, if your veterinarian recommends it. Your dog may not be getting enough vitamins from their food and would need to take vitamins to ensure that they get enough with each meal.
When should dogs start taking vitamins?
Many proactive dog owners start their dogs on “pupplements” as early as 1 year old!
So what are you waiting for? Get your pup started on vitamins today so you can spend more quality time with them! You win. They win. We all win!
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