Why You Should Add Multivitamins to Your Dog's Diet.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, roughly one-third of dogs used supplements in 2017. Just like humans, dogs require a balanced diet of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Some dogs will need a boost in nutrients if they are not getting enough from their food. So, you may want to add multivitamins to their diet.

Does Your Dog Need Supplements?

A dog's diet should have all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Most store-bought dog food already comes with all the nutrients. There are different types of dog food for each stage of life, and they each have varying amounts of certain vitamins. If a puppy of a large breed is not getting the right levels, they may develop diseases.

However, some will need multivitamins if a veterinarian suggests it. Dogs may end up facing a deficiency and require extra vitamins to go with their meals. Some pet owners choose to make their own dog food instead of buying brands from the store. If you are providing your dog with a homemade diet, you may need to give them certain supplements. You will need to speak with a vet to make sure the vitamins your dog is getting match their diet.

Vitamin supplements can be necessary, especially for those who need it. You will have to make sure that you do not give your dog too much of one vitamin.

Are Multivitamins Safe?

Multivitamins are generally safe for dogs, especially when they need them. They only pose a risk if they are receiving too much of a specific nutrient. Just like in humans, having too much of one nutrient can be hazardous for a pet's health. Some vitamins are fat-soluble, which means excess amounts do not leave the body.

An excess of vitamin D may lead to kidney failure. Signs of surplus vitamin D are vomiting, drinking and urinating more, and increased drooling. If a dog has too much vitamin A in their system, they may experience arthritis and an increase in liver enzymes. Dogs also may end up dehydrated.

Be careful that the supplements you use do not have ingredients that will interact with certain medications. If you are worried that your dog is getting too much of a specific vitamin, talk to your vet.

Each Vitamin Supplement Can Help

When you use multivitamins, vitamins will benefit in different ways. It is important to make sure they have enough of each nutrient.

Vitamin A

A dog's skin, coat, and muscles require sufficient amounts of vitamin A. It also improves cell function and immune function. A 2014 study shows the effects of vitamin A supplementation in early life. In the study, the supplements were tested on rats in early life or during gestation. 

The results showed that vitamin A during gestation and prenatal helped improve the immune response by increasing the number of immune cells. This suggests that pregnant dogs and puppies may benefit from supplements.

Vitamin B

There are a few different types of vitamin B, and each one is necessary for a dog's health. Thiamine plays a part in carbohydrate metabolism. Vitamin B6 makes sure the nervous system is working and regulates hormones. B12, or riboflavin, promotes enzyme function. It is recommended that older pets take multivitamins that contain the vitamin B complex. The vitamins will counter fatigue while improving appetite. One of the benefits is that the risk of toxicity is low due to being water-soluble.

Vitamin C

Another important vitamin is vitamin C. It acts as an antioxidant and reduces inflammation. Dogs can normally create their own vitamin C using their livers. However, supplementation may provide health benefits. One study investigated the effects that vitamin C had on infections. Dogs that suffered from the canine distemper virus benefited from supplementation. Typically, around 5–10% of dogs recover. The results showed that 44% recovered after receiving vitamin C.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D contributes to bone growth by allowing the dog's body to balance minerals like calcium. Low levels of the vitamin may lead to rickets and complications due to heart disease. A 2015 Study examined German Shepherds, White Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers. Researchers found that the dogs who were given a homemade diet had lower concentrations of vitamin D than those fed commercial food. The dogs that were given salmon oil as supplements ended up with higher levels of vitamin D. If you are using a homemade diet, you may want to add in a supplement.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is known to protect your dog from oxidative damage. It also helps with fat metabolism, and having too little can lead to eye degeneration. Research shows that dogs treated with vitamin E had improved symptoms of canine atopic dermatitis, which is a skin disease found in dogs. Those that were given supplements showed to have lower scores on the Canine Atopic Dermatitis Extent and Severity Index. The right dosage may improve your dog's health.

Vitamin K

Dogs require vitamin K to make sure their blood clots when it is necessary. Supplements are critical if your dog has a deficiency. Phytonadione is a vitamin K1 supplement. Not only does it help manage vitamin K deficiency, but it also treats bleeding disorders in several animals, including dogs.

For some dogs, multivitamins may not be necessary. However, it is important to evaluate your dog's diet. You will need to optimize their content to make sure they are getting everything they need. Vitamin supplements can help treat deficiency and offer other benefits. Speak with your vet to see what is best for your pet.