Vitamin supplementation is not necessary for dogs of all life stages, both for prophylactic purposes and for therapeutic purposes. In this article, we will show you how to choose vitamins for dogs based on their type and health benefits.
Types of vitamins supplements
Dog vitamins have several basic forms of release, and you can easily find the most suitable option for your pet:
Separately, it is worth highlighting snacks and sticks – fortified treats that can be given to the dog in the intervals between main meals or as a reward for completed commands or obedient behavior. Such vitamins have an attractive taste and aroma for the dog, and he eats them with appetite without a trace, receiving the necessary dose of nutrients.
Fortified porridge is introduced into the diet of bottle-fed puppies. It is given to grown-up and strengthened young animals, who ate milk replacer for the first weeks of life.
Dosage and method of administration
If the introduction of a fortified supplement into the diet becomes one of the components of treatment or rehabilitation after an illness, you should first undergo a veterinary examination and consult a doctor. He will help to prescribe the required dose based on the age, size, weight and health of the animal.
Vitamins are introduced into the dog’s diet for preventive purposes. For example, to support the pet’s body during the autumn and spring molting season. In this case, you should adhere to the dosage indicated on the package. Most often, it is calculated based on the weight of the animal – a certain amount of the drug per 1 kg.
Vitamins for dogs can be given either in pure form, by pouring or inserting directly into the pet’s mouth, or adding to a serving of food in a bowl.
What problems are they designed to solve?
According to their beneficial properties, vitamins supplements can be divided into general and special ones. The first category includes multivitamins – a balanced complex of vitamins, minerals and trace elements necessary for comprehensive support of the body.
Special vitamins contain components aimed at solving specific problems.
Skin and wool care
Vitamins of this type are used in several cases:
- The return to the fur coat of density and beauty after abundant seasonal molting;
- Preparation of the dog for specialized exhibitions and competitions;
- Recovery from dermatitis and other diseases associated with loss of hair and undercoat, the appearance of skin irritations;
- Rehabilitation after prolonged illnesses and taking a course of medications that negatively affected the condition of the coat – it became dull, brittle, and lost its luster.
The composition of vitamins for wool and leather includes the following components:
- Biotin: prevents profuse hair loss, enhances the brightness of the pile pigmentation;
- Brewer’s yeast and garlic: have a general strengthening effect, stimulate the blood supply to the hair follicles;
- Fatty acids: have a beneficial effect on the skin, increase the level of elasticity, help to cope with itching, irritation and flaking.
It is a mistake to believe that specialized skin and coat care is necessary only for long-haired breeds. Short-haired dogs also need it.
Weak and tiny teeth not only cause discomfort to the animal when eating, but also deteriorate faster, causing an inflammatory process in the mouth. Supplements high in vitamin D3, calcium and phosphorus help keep your dog’s teeth strong and healthy until old age.
Fortified delicacies are very popular – hard sticks made from pressed meat components, crispy biscuits with and without filling, dried offal, enriched with a complex of vitamins and minerals. While eating them, the dog not only receives a portion of useful substances, but also cleans teeth from plaque and trains the gums.
Strengthens joints, bones and claws
Canine joint strengthening vitamins are prescribed both as a prophylaxis and as an adjunct to treatment. Supplements of this type, in addition to the vitamins and mineral complex, act as chondroprotectors – they contain chondroitin and glucosamine, which are necessary for the restoration and strengthening of cartilage and connective tissue, slowing down its destruction. It also contains components with anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
Joint nutrition is especially relevant for pets of certain categories:
- Problems with the musculoskeletal system are most often observed in representatives of large breeds – mastiffs, St. Bernards, Newfoundlands and other giants. Fast-growing puppies in the first year of life need additional support of ligaments and bone tissue to form a strong skeleton and reduce the risk of developing rickets. In adulthood, having gained a large muscle mass, canine giants receive a high load on the joints. As a result, in older dogs weighing 40 kg or more, depletion of cartilaginous tissue and the development of inflammatory processes are more often observed compared to smaller breeds.
- Service and hunting dogs face increased physical stress and need additional support for the musculoskeletal system.
- With age, problems of this nature can appear in any dog - the bones become more fragile, the cartilaginous and connective tissue is depleted. Therefore, a special feed for dog pensioners will not be superfluous.
- Supportive vitamins complexes are necessary for pets during the period of rehabilitation after injuries of the musculoskeletal system and associated surgical interventions.
Vitamins of this category have a complex effect, while simultaneously feeding the bones and claws of the animal, so that they remain strong and healthy at all stages of life.
Strengthening the immune system
Weak immunity is the cause of many problems with the external and internal state of the dog. It becomes lethargic, already existing chronic diseases become aggravated, the risk of catching a new infection increases, the coat loses its healthy shine and density.
Special vitamins supplements will help to strengthen the animal’s body and create a protective barrier. Most often they are prescribed:
- During the rehabilitation period after prolonged treatment with the use of potent drugs, after injuries and operations;
- To restore the body of females after a difficult pregnancy and childbirth;
- Pets that have experienced a stressful situation: change of place of residence or owner, participation in a tiresome exhibition, fight with other dogs;
- Smoothing the consequences of damage to the body by parasites: fleas, ticks, worms;
- Correction of the condition of the dog after exhaustion or prolonged improper diet.
Many vitamins of this type have antioxidant properties, not only strengthening, but also cleansing the body. Natural fatty oils obtained from fish give a good effect, saturating the body with fatty acids, which have a beneficial effect on the general condition and increase resistance to many negative factors.
Vitamins supplements to normalize digestion are prescribed to pets who suffer from intestinal gas and constipation, diarrhea and poor digestibility of food eaten. In many cases, digestive problems are the result of taking antibiotics and other potent medications that irritate the intestinal mucosa, as well as improperly selected diet, regular overeating.
Many vitamins for improving digestion include prebiotics, which stimulate the vital activity of microflora in the intestines. They are naturally found in corn, garlic, yeast and many other foods that not all pets are willing to eat voluntarily. But in the form of vitamins, it will not be difficult to introduce them into the diet.
Cardiovascular system care
Special vitamins complexes work to nourish the heart muscle and strengthen blood vessels.
Large breed dogs, overweight dogs and the elderly are most susceptible to cardiovascular problems.
Symptoms of the disease are severe fatigue, pronounced shortness of breath even after minor physical exertion, as well as attacks of a suffocating barking cough.
Exacerbations of heart problems are observed in hot weather, for example, during long walks or trips in a stuffy car in the summer.
Heart diseases are congenital, caused by a genetic predisposition, and acquired as a result of a serious illness that the animal has suffered, exhausting physical exertion.
One of the important components of these vitamins is L-Carnitine, which stabilizes the heart.
Improved growth and development
Vitamins complex, which stimulates growth and development processes, is used for puppies in the early stages of life. It is especially relevant for fast-growing breeds in order to avoid pathologies in the formation of the skeleton, internal organs, and mass gain. Nutrition is also useful for young animals, which were early separated from their mother, and he could not get all the necessary components with milk, as well as for puppies weakened by various diseases.
Such vitamins are also introduced into the diet of dogs at the stage of gestation and lactation to replenish the resources spent by the body.
Important! This article is merely informative, at Petsfeed.co we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.