It’s a well known fact that many humans take vitamins to boost their health, but more and more, people are giving dog vitamins to their pet to help prevent and treat certain conditions.
Why Do People Use Dog Vitamins?
There are a number of reasons why people give vitamins to their pets. Most commonly they will use multivitamins for overall health. However, other formulations have also been developed to help support arthritic joints, to help improve the shine of their coat, to help reduce negative effects of aging, to help gastrointestinal problems, or to reduce shedding of hair.
Are Vitamins Safe For Dogs?
Many people choose to give dogs vitamins simply because they want to, not because it’s necessary for their health. The question is, are these vitamins even safe to give your pet? And the answer is complicated, just like in humans.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that some vitamins may be harmful if taken in excess amounts. Some dogs may already be receiving the vitamins they need from eating a balanced diet, so extra portions may do more harm than good. For example, having too much calcium in their diet can lead to skeletal problems. Many vitamins can have a negative effect when taken in large amounts.
The FDA claims that most dogs do receive the vitamins they need from their food, if using commercially manufactured dog food. If you make homemade food for your dog then you may need to supplement the food with vitamins, but it should be well-researched beforehand.
Get Advice From A Veterinarian
Before you start giving your dog vitamins, visit your veterinarian and talk them through the exact reasons why you think your dog could benefit from them. For example, if they show symptoms of arthritis you’ll first want to make sure that it’s not down to some other medical condition. If the problem is what you think it is, then your vet can let you know whether the vitamins you had in mind are a good idea.
It’s crucial that you speak with your veterinarian if your pet is already taking medication. Some of the herbal ingredients in vitamins could interfere with these.
Although this article has generally focused on the risks that dog vitamins may present, the truth is that they may be beneficial as long as you do your research and use them correctly. Some vitamins have shown to produce excellent effects when used correctly to supplement what the dog is already getting from their diet. Just be sure to talk things through with a professional before you use them.