Taking care of a dog is always a rewarding responsibility, but it is not without its challenges. Every dog breed tends to have its own specific requirements, along with a need for patience and energy to ensure they are feeling and looking their healthy best. Most importantly, dog owners should have a good understanding of how to support their pet's health, in particular their diet and any vitamins and mineral supplements for dogs they may need.
What Vitamins and Minerals Do Dogs Need?
The most important vitamins and minerals for dogs are:
1. Calcium & Joint Support
Vitamins and minerals for dogs that support their bones, teeth and joints are among the most important in both puppyhood and senior years. When they are young and their bones and teeth are just developing, calcium is an important mineral in ensuring your dog grows up strong and healthy. As they grow older, some dogs may put more stress and strain on their joints, and many will end up with various joint issues or tooth problems. Getting the right amount of calcium can support strong bones, and dog supplements that contain ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid can help reduce symptoms of joint inflammation so the joints continue to be lubricated appropriately.
2. Vitamin C
Dogs naturally synthesise produce Vitamin C in their livers anyway, but however there are certainly cases where a supplement or food containing Vitamin C can be extra beneficial, particularly if your dog has any underlying health conditions or needs help reducing inflammation. Vitamin C is a free radical scavenger, so it can have a positive effect on your dog's brain, aiding cognition and slowing the symptoms of age-related cognitive decline.
3. Vitamin E
As your dog gets older, it may find it difficult to digest certain foods and could, as a result, start to suffer from vitamin deficiencies. These nutritional gaps may lead to a decline in certain areas of the body such as muscle mass, eye health and skin cell rejuvenation. Vitamin E is an important part of your dog's diet and can help slow this decline and rejuvenate cell growth. It also helps your dog metabolise fat more quickly and protects its skin cells from the effects of free radicals that cause oxidative damage and destruction. Supplements containing Vitamin E are also a great way of keeping your dog's skin and coat healthy, as well as improving overall health.
Though technically a compound rather than a vitamin or mineral, antioxidants nevertheless play an important role in maintaining your dog's health. Often found in supplements and mineral vitamins for dogs that contain Vitamins C, these antioxidants are natural defenders against free radicals, the molecules which can cause oxidative damage against the cells. They can be especially useful in supplements that are formulated to support kidney and bladder function. (free radicals cause oxidative damage to all cells in the body so a bit of a stretch to say especially useful in supplements formulated to support kidney & bladder function)
The benefits comprehensive formulas for dogs
It is important to add that all of these vitamins are useful in their own way and should be given under the guidance of your vet. Every vitamin or mineral has its own function in the body and it would be unwise to focus on just one type at the expense of others. This is why many dog foods and dog mineral supplements have been formulated to focus on offering a comprehensive range of vitamins and minerals ensuring your dog has a complete and balanced nutritional intake that best supports their overall health, energy and a strong immune system.
The information in this article was checked by ZamiPet Veterinarian and General Manager Dr Andrew McKay, BVSc, University of Melbourne, 2000. Vet Registration No: V3985
Disclaimer: This information is general advice only. Before starting any treatment or supplement with your pet, please consult your vet first for the best approach to getting your pet back to their best health.