Multivitamins for Your Dog. There are manyMultivitamins supplements now available that will satisfy the basic daily requirements a pet needs to maintain a good quality of life. Most of these products are dosed according to a pet’s body weight, and suggested doses are listed on the label. When choosing a multivitamin supplement for your dog, I recommend you ask these important questions:
What are the most critical ingredients dogs need? First of all, a good Multivitamins product designed for dogs should include the basics:
- Antioxidants: Vitamins A, C and E.
- Vitamin B Complex—the full spectrum which includes Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 (Folic Acid), B12, and Biotin.
- Minerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Selenium and Zinc
Is the Multivitamins company reputable? Look for products made in the USA, backed by published double blind clinical trials, like PAAWS and VitaLife. The manufacturer should stand behind its product and offer complete satisfaction with a money back guarantee.
Does this product have the right dosage for my dog? The amount of each ingredient needs to be appropriate for your dog’s age and health status. More is not necessarily better. Excessive levels of some vitamins can be toxic, while overdoses of others simply create expensive urine. Have you ever given your dog B Multivitamins and noticed that his urine has changed color? That means there were more nutrients than his body was able to absorb, so the excess was eliminated in the urine.
What are the nutrient sources? Check that the ingredients are derived from water soluble sources and Chelated or mixed with a nutrient, which allows for optimal absorption and utilization by your dog’s body. When four vitamins—A, D, E, and K—come from fat soluble sources, they don’t get eliminated from your pet’s body each day. Instead they accumulate and are stored in fat, which means that excess levels can quickly lead to toxicity.
Vitamin A: is an essential nutrient that acts as an antioxidant. It is also necessary for good vision, proper bone development and healthy skin. The fat soluble source of Vitamin A is called Retinyl Palmitate. It is inexpensive to make but too much can be deadly. The water soluble source of Vitamin A is called Vitamin A Palmitate. This is much more expensive to make, but it is eliminated daily from your dog’s body. It does not accumulate and is very safe, so toxicity is not a factor.
What dosage of Vitamin A does your dog need? Small dogs up to 35 pounds need 1000IU’s (IU means international units) twice a day. Medium dogs 35-60 pounds need 2000IU’s twice daily and large dogs over 60 pounds need 3000IU’s twice daily.
B-Complex MultiVitamins: These are critical cofactors necessary for energy production. They are essential to metabolize proteins, carbohydrates and fats. B-Complex vitamins aid in the release of energy from foods and help to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
Look for a product that contains the full spectrum of B-Complex vitamins, namely B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 (Folic Acid), B12 and Biotin. Next, determine the source from which they are derived. Brewer’s yeast is a common, very inexpensive source of B vitamins. It is also a leading cause of allergies in dogs, resulting in itching and skin eruptions. An appropriate dosage would be 25mg for a small dog, 50mg for a medium dog and 75mg for large dogs over 60 pounds, given twice daily.
Vitamin C: is needed to regenerate and revitalize Vitamin E. It is also essential to normal collagen formation. Collagen is an integral part of the walls of blood vessels and is also a vital component in the matrix of cartilage, tendons, ligaments, bones and skin. Good natural sources include Ascorbic Acid and Ester C. Ester C is a buffered form of Ascorbic Acid which is nonirritating to your dog’s stomach. Appropriate absorbable dosages of Vitamin C for a healthy small dog are 125mg, for a medium dog 250mg and for a large dog 375mg, twice a day.
Vitamin E: is needed to regenerate and revitalize Vitamin C. It is also important to help maintain the integrity of cell membranes, which is essential if they are to function normally. Dl Alpha Tocopherol Succinate is a good natural source of Vitamin E. Synthetic sources of Vitamin E contain Tocopheryl. They are less expensive and less effective. Appropriate dosages of Vitamin E for healthy pets are 25IU for a small dog, 50IU for a medium dog and 75IU for large dogs, given twice daily.
Vitamin C and E work together in your dog’s body synergistically as a team. Either nutrient given alone offers fewer benefits than when given together. Vitamin C helps the body to naturally replenish Vitamin E and vice versa.
Calcium and magnesium: Calcium is not only essential to help dogs maintain strong bones and teeth; it also helps prevent high blood pressure, heart attacks and colon cancer. Magnesium acts like a catalyst for calcium, so they work in tandem. Both may be derived from cheap, unreliable sources such as ground bone or egg shells. Viable sources, such as Calcium Citrate and Magnesium Maleate, are more costly but much more effective. Excess levels of these vitamins can also be harmful and lead to stone formation in the kidneys and/or urinary bladder.
Selenium: This mineral is incorporated into many vital enzymes, is important for many of the body’s critical processes and promotes immune system function. Selenium also works with Vitamin E as an antioxidant to help protect against free radical oxidative damage.
Zinc: is another essential mineral and is a vital component of several biochemical and enzymatic reactions in your pet’s body. In addition, zinc is needed to maintain the health and integrity of the skin and hair coat and promotes the integrity of the immune system.
Other Essential Nutrients for Dogs
Not every nutrient your dog needs on a daily basis is contained in a standard Multivitamins, so you need to buy these supplements separately and give them to your dog daily.
Digestive enzymes: are important in maintaining overall health. The body’s production of enzymes naturally decreases as pet’s age. Using enzymes properly can enhance your pet’s ability to digest, absorb and utilize what you feed him, which is essential for energy production and, ultimately, for life itself. The stomach and intestines play a vital role in keeping the immune system functioning properly and absorbing all of the key nutrients from your dog’s diet.
The digestive enzymes pets receive should be full spectrum. They include amylase to digest carbohydrates, protease to digest proteins, lactase to digest lactose, lipase to digest fat and cellulase to digest cellulose or plant fibers.
Probiotics: These friendly bacteria boost your pet’s immune system, improve digestion,
control yeast overgrowth, remove waste and toxins from the body and help manufacture B vitamins and promote proper elimination.
When there’s any type of GI upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea, it results in a buildup of harmful bacteria. So it’s vital to repopulate the GI tract with healthy bacteria to promote wellness and quickly reverse the negative effects of those destructive bacteria.
Together digestive enzymes and probiotics help to promote a speedy recovery. They also relieve stress on the body and help avoid negative consequences later on, including developing problems such as diabetes or pancreatitis. Because so much food for people is highly processed with little nutrient value, probiotics are now being advertised on TV and promoted everywhere.
Research has shown that eating yogurt with live cultures of bacteria called lactobacilli promotes proper digestion and overall health. The problem is that a 60 pound dog needs to eat a lot of yogurt to get the right amounts of those healthful bacteria. A better source is through supplements.
Glucosamine: is an amino sugar made of molecules called Glucosaminolglycans or “GAGS.” Gags are found in almost every tissue of the body including joints, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, urinary bladder and blood vessels. Glucosamine is needed to maintain normal joint fluid, which surrounds the joints providing them with important nutrients. It helps to lubricate and cushion the joints, acting like a shock absorber during movement and insulating the bones from friction.
Glucosamine is necessary to maintain the overall health and integrity of cartilage, articular surfaces, bones and joints. It also enhance your pet’s mobility and flexibility, and plays a role in the healthy formation of many bodily structures including ligaments, tendons, joint fluid, skin, bone and nails. For healthy small dogs 125mg, for medium dogs 250mg and for large dogs 500 mg twice daily is ideal.
MSM: (methyl-sulfonyl-methane) A unique natural, organic form of sulfur that helps reduce arthritic joint pain and acts together with glucosamine to restore normal joint function and integrity. Dosages for healthy dogs are one-half of those required for glucosamine.
Essential Omega 3 & /b> Fatty Acids: are essential to life. These Multivitamins help maintain the health and normal function of your dog’s cell membranes so they can absorb the nutrients in his system. They also help maintain the health of the skin and hair coat. Fatty acids are necessary for the normal structure, function and integrity of your pet’s heart and brain and joints.
Studies have shown that pets who consume Omega-3 rich oils, which are high in fatty acids such as DHA and EPA, tend to display stronger cardiovascular function than those who do not receive these supplements. Also, add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to your pet’s food. It smells good, tastes great, adds flavor and is a great source of Essential Omega 3 Fatty Acids.