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Most modern dog foods are designed to include all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that a dog needs. However, if a dog has allergies or the pet parent chooses to feed them a homemade diet, they might not get all their necessary vitamins.
In the case of raw or home cooked pet diets, vets commonly recommend adding a multivitamin for dogs to provide micronutrients and other essentials often lacking in raw dog diets. Dog health care products aren't always easy to understand, however. For pet parents with dog health questions, here are the five most important vitamins to look for in a dog’s multivitamin.
Choline is a crucial vitamin for every mammal, dogs included. It helps make up the membrane of every cell in a dog’s body. It’s also important for dog joint health and for keeping the liver and brain healthy and functioning smoothly. Some vets even use choline supplements during the treatment of dogs with epilepsy.
Advice from the Association of American Feed Control Officials suggests that dogs get 340 milligrams of choline daily for every 1,000 calories they eat. Every dog has their own caloric needs, so a pet parent can judge how much choline to give their dog based on how much they eat.
Many vitamins make up the B-complex. B vitamins that a dog needs include:
Thiamine regulates a dog’s metabolism, energy level, and neural activity.
Riboflavin and B12 help a dog’s enzymes function.
B6 is crucial for the formation of blood cells, nerve function, glucose creation, immune response, and more.
Pantothenic acid helps give dogs energy.
Folic acid helps dogs use crucial amino acids more efficiently.
B vitamins may be listed separately or together. Multivitamins that list them separately offer more control over how much of each type the dog is getting.
Dogs need their vitamin A just like people do. Vitamin A is connected to healthy cells and a strong immune system. It’s also connected to better eyesight. Nutritionally it is an important vitamin for a growing or aging dog’s retinas.
For those who feed their dog a homemade diet, vitamin A can be found in many organ meats. However, for dogs with allergies, a multivitamin with vitamin A can be used to supplement their diet.
Dogs need vitamin E to help digest fat, keep their muscles strong, and keep their eyes healthy. It’s also crucial for the reproductive system, so if a dog is intact (not spayed or neutered) or breeding vitamin E is particularly important. It may even help to keep dogs feeling young, because it helps defend against oxidative damage, improving dog skin and coat health.
Vitamin K is one of the most crucial vitamins for dog health supplements. This vitamin is in charge of causing dogs’ blood to clot.
Certain rodent poisons block the body’s ability to use vitamin K, which leads to hemorrhaging and death. A deficit of vitamin K can cause similar problems, so making sure they get enough is important to dog care.
There’s more to a well-rounded diet than just multivitamins for dogs, of course. They may also need supplements like probiotics. A well-rounded diet helps dogs maintain good joint health, skin and coat health, healthy blood, strong internal organs, and an overall good gut biome.
If pet parents are concerned about keeping their dog’s digestive system healthy, they can check out Fuzzy’s digestive health solutions for the perfect remedy, or get in touch with a Fuzzy Vet to learn more about their dog’s digestive needs and what they may be overlooking.