Does My Dog Need a Vitamin?While not all dogs need vitamins, many benefit from this addition to their diets. Consider your dog's age, activity level and general health as you decide whether vitamin supplementation is right for him.
Growing PuppiesPuppies benefit from additional vitamins during their first year of life in particular. The extra nutrients are especially important for giant breeds; they need all the help they can get to grow those big bones and strong muscles! Lost growth cannot be regained, so any deficiency impacts your dog for the rest of his life. Continue giving vitamins until your dog is three years old. While your dog might not appear to be growing bigger, he is developing important muscle definition and physically maturing.
Active DogsIs your dog an athlete? Whether she's a show dog, an avid swimmer or your favorite jogging pal, active dogs benefit from the extra support vitamins provide. Consistent exercise requires the body to perform a dual function: to heal stressed muscles and to build them back up stronger. A nutrient deficiency prevents muscles from recovering, making the next training session stress them even more. Vitamins ensure that your buddy gets the most out of her workout without hurting herself.
Senior DogsWe all need a little extra help as we grow older, and our pets are no exception. We often hear owners worry about thinning hair coats, incorrect shedding, matted hair and decreased activity in their aging dogs. The extra support of vitamins can help an older pet feel more like their former self; you may hardly recognize the rejuvenated dog you see!
Breeding MomsBreeding dogs also do well on a daily vitamin. Supplementing ensures that mom has all the building blocks for healthy, predictable and fertile cycles. It also helps her rebuild her nutrient stores after weaning. No need for a prenatal vitamin between cycles - an inexpensive daily vitamin will successfully supplement dietary vitamins.
Other CasesWhat if your dog just doesn't seem as healthy as he should be? Trust your instincts on this; you know your pet, and when something seems strange, it's important to pay attention. Some animals simply require more minerals than others, and such supplementation is a big benefit to their immune systems. While the causes may vary, the cure is often the same: support their immune functions, and they will begin to thrive without constant treatment for various illnesses. It is always important to consult your veterinarian if your pet's behavior changes or if they appear ill, however, to ensure the issue is not more serious.
Who doesn't need a vitamin, then? If your dog's primary job is hanging out inside and watching Netflix with you, he probably doesn't need additional vitamins. The middle-aged couch potato pup usually gets all that he needs from a traditional, high quality dog food diet. For other dogs, however, a dependable daily vitamin may be the key to improved health and a happier life. We recommend Doc Roy's Daily Care for most dogs. It's made in the USA – in Nebraska, in fact – and its formula includes 34 vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, making it the most comprehensive canine supplement on the market.
Call us at 800.786.4751. Our Pet Care Pros are happy to help.
- Dr. B
Don Bramlage, DVM, Former Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health
The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your personal veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.