As you reach for your daily multivitamin in the morning, have you ever considered that your dog may benefit from an extra dose of vitamins and minerals, as well? Although most dog foods contain an adequate amount of all necessary canine nutrients, many dogs can benefit from the addition of extra vitamins or minerals in their diet. Listed below are only a handful of advantages that can be gained when supplementing your dog’s nutrition.
Boost Nutrient Absorption
Some breeds, especially northern breeds such as Siberian Huskies, suffer from zinc malabsoprtion. For these dogs, zinc is difficult for the body to absorb, which can lead to problems ranging from skin irritation to epilepsy. A multivitamin that contains zinc, such as Ralphie’s Vitamin Pupliments, can help a dog with malabsorption issues receive the optimal amount of nutrients daily.
Improve the Quality of Life for Seniors
As dogs age, their ability to digest their food properly diminishes. Seniors are also prone to bone and joint ailments, as well. Incorporating a multivitamin into a senior dog’s diet that includes fatty acids and B vitamins can improve overall health and mobility.
Supplements for Homemade Food are Vital
When making a pet’s food at home, special attention must be paid to ensure all the important vitamins and minerals are included. One advantage of commercial dog food is that all the necessary nutrients are available, especially ones that are difficult to provide on a daily basis. For dogs on special diets, vegan dogs, or dogs that eat homemade food, supplementation with a product recommended for such pets is necessary.
Support the Immune System
Just as vitamin C and vitamin A have been suggested to improve the ability of a human’s immune system to ward off illness, the same is true for dogs. During times when dogs are at risk for illness, such as when pregnant or in a new or stressful environment, a vitamin supplement can help boost a dog’s immune system against potential threats.
Prevent Injury or Illness in Working Dogs
Working dogs have higher energy requirements that may not be adequately met by their dog food. Additionally, certain vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are necessary for proper recovery from strenuous work. Just as elite athletes use a number of supplements to keep their bodies in top shape, canine athletes can benefit from added nutrients in their diets.
Improve Skin, Coat, and Vision
Dogs suffering from a lackluster coat or dry and itchy skin can benefit from adding extra A and B vitamins to their diet, as well as certain fatty and amino acids. Additionally, vitamin A is important for protecting against blindness, which makes supplementation necessary for dogs that are at risk for insufficient vitamin and mineral intake.
For anxious pets, such as those suffering from separation anxiety, an amino acid supplement may be helpful. The protein tryptophan (the same protein found in turkey) has been suggested to have calming effects for pets when fed in the form of treats.