Many people use vitamins or dietary supplements. They're also increasingly inclined to add them to their pet’s diet. However, as the number of individuals giving supplements to their dogs grows, the question emerges. Do dogs require such vitamins and supplements? Are they even safe? Some work, some don't, and some aren't required or even hazardous to dogs. Here’s what we’ve learnt from the experts:
Does my dog require vitamin supplements?
Commercially processed dog food provides a comprehensive and balanced diet for most dogs, containing essential vitamins and minerals. Supplements may be required for dogs on a homemade diet. It's vital; however it should be carried out in compliance with the diet. It’s best not to add a mix of vitamins to your dog's food without knowing if it’s really required, or if your dog is deficient towards that specific nutrient. Consult a veterinarian or a nutritionist for advice on what, if anything is required.
Is it dangerous to give my dog vitamins?
If an animal consumes a well-balanced diet and obtains excessive amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, it may be detrimental.
Too much calcium, especially in large-breed puppies, can create skeletal difficulties; too much vitamin A can injure blood vessels, causing dehydration and joint discomfort. Vitamin D deficiency can cause a dog to stop eating, weaken his bones, and cause muscular atrophy.
Should I see my dog’s veterinarian before adding supplements?
If your dog is unwell, make sure you follow a standard of care and take the supplements for what they are designed: to be supplemented with other nutrition. Some supplements, such as herbals, may mix with other medication that your dog is receiving. Your veterinarian can help you choose the right mix.
How effective are dog supplements?
Veterinarians believe it depends on the supplement's purpose and manufacturing method. Clinical trials are quite uncommon. Finding good proof for the efficacy, much alone the necessity for these products, is difficult.
- Supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin, which are widely given to dogs with osteoarthritis, have had conflicting effects in human and animal studies. After 70 days of therapy, dogs treated with glucosamine-chondroitin sulphate showed decreased discomfort and more mobility, according to a 2007 research published in The Veterinary Journal.
- Fatty acids can improve the appearance of coats. According to research published in the American Journal of Veterinary Research, fish oil supplementation can also help to decrease inflammation.
- Antioxidants such as vitamins C and E also aid older dogs with cognitive difficulties, according to Wynn. However, she is hesitant to offer supplements, especially for young animals that may have been on them for years. Nearly none of them have undergone long-term safety testing.
Who oversees the regulation of dog vitamins and supplements?
Animal supplements are regulated by the FDA. The National Research Council, a scientific research arm of the nonprofit National Academies, reported in 2008 that there was inadequate data on the safety of pet supplements. Some of these issues are being addressed by the National Animal Supplement Council. The council establishes labelling criteria, mandates adverse event reporting for supplement-related issues, and tests select products to ensure they contain the amount of substances listed on the label. However, the integrity of these goods is a big problem.
How do I select a dog supplement?
Veterinarians and people who test supplements or work in the business provide advice:
- Look for a company that focuses on a certain sector or has commissioned clinical tests on its goods.
- Check the labels. To avoid being duped by lookalikes, know the name of the chemical you're looking for.
- On the label, look for a phone number for the firm. Call and inquire about who created the product, their level of competence, and how long the company has been in operation.
- Be sceptical of statements that seem too wonderful to be true, such as promises to cure parvovirus, cancer, or hip dysplasia.
- Talk to a vet or nutritionist before starting any new supplements and stop immediately if you see any side effects.
We really hope that this article will help you understand and give your kiddos supplements accordingly!