Vitamins for dogs: suitable for vet-recommended cases

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  • Dogs that eat a balanced and complete diet should not ordinarily need extra vitamin supplements. Of course, vitamins are vital for dogs, but commercial dog food is formulated to provide canines with exactly the right levels of vitamins that they require. However, under certain circumstances or due to specific health conditions – and only under veterinary advice – your dog may need additional supplementation. We must emphasise that a quick internet search on “best vitamins for dogs” is ill-advised, because excessive supplementation may not only be unnecessary but harmful. It could be that you’re actually looking for one of the best joint supplements for dogs or best calming supplements for dogs.

    Randomly adding even the best vitamins for dogs to their diet on the advice of a friend or simple hearsay could in fact be dangerous. This is particularly of concern with the fat-soluble, rather than water-soluble vitamins. Excess of the latter will ordinarily be excreted in the urine, but if there is too much of the fat-soluble vitamin, it will be stored in the fat tissue and liver, where it can cause serious problems.

    For example, vitamin A is essential for dogs. Remember your mum telling you that if you eat carrots, you’ll see in the dark? That partial old wives’ tale is because vitamin A (as provided by carrots) is responsible for good vision – as well as growth, development, immunity and cell function. However, too much vitamin A has multiple side-effects in dogs, such as poor coat and skin, weakness, excessive bone development, weight loss and pain.

    Another vital vitamin is D, which contributes to calcium absorption and bone health. Sunlight exposure enables dogs to produce vitamin D themselves. But overdosing on supplements can cause poisoning, with symptoms from vomiting and diarrhoea to kidney failure and eventually death, if untreated. High doses of vitamin D are in fact used in rat poison, which goes to show quite how toxic it can be in the wrong quantities.

    Like A and D, vitamin K is another fat-soluble vitamin. It is typically prescribed when a dog has ingested certain poisons, such as rat poison, as an antidote to its anti-clotting effects. Vitamin K1 is a blood coagulant, so reverses these anti-clotting effects and preventing internal bleeding. However, its synthetic counterpart vitamin K3, can cause allergic reactions and liver damage.

    The bottom line is that while your pet may require vitamin supplementation, it is essential that you only do so under veterinary guidance. Your vet will assess your dog’s specific needs and history and recommend supplements appropriately, at the correct dosage.

    Best vitamins for dogs

    Vitamin B Complex tub

    GreenPet Vitamin B Complex

    Form: Tablets
    Quantity: 120 tablets
    Dosage: 1 tablet per 10kg bodyweight daily
    RRP: £15.99

    This vitamin B complex contains B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12 vitamins, to support normal mental performance and reduce tiredness where the dog’s diet is insufficient. It is also good for the skin and coat. It has been developed with vets to balance out diet-related deficiency problems – which can arise from a home-made diet – or for dogs suffering specific illnesses that benefit from vitamin B supplementation.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk

    Vetzyme B plus E tub

    Vetzyme B plus E

    Form: Tablets
    Quantity: 200 tablets
    RRP: £7.59

    This supplement contains vitamins B and E, with zinc and selenium, and is designed to support healthy muscle tone. It is intended to complement the nutrition gained from the dog’s regular diet by releasing energy to muscles. It also boosts heart health and provides immune support.

    It is designed with the working dog in mind, promoting fitness and vitality.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or viovet.co.uk

    Collo-Cal D

    Form: Liquid
    Quantity: 250ml, 1 litre
    Dosage: 1ml per 2kg (puppies/dogs) or 1kg (whelping bitches) bodyweight per day
    RRP: £14.14 for 250ml

    A calcium and vitamin D supplement specifically designed to meet the nutritional requirements of young dogs and whelping bitches, and also older animals. It can be added to drinking water.

    Calcium is an essential component for optimal bone growth and structure, while vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. However, be aware that excess calcium can be detrimental to large breed puppies and cause skeletal malformations.

    In the UK? View now at amazon.co.uk or viovet.co.uk 

    TVM Vitamin K1

    Form: Tablet
    Quantity: 14 tablets
    Dosage: 1x 50mg tablet per 10kg bodyweight
    RRP: £38.76

    Vitamin K is typically advised after your dog is known or suspected to have eaten rodent poison, which causes internal bleeding. Vitamin K, which acts as an anticoagulant, can reverse the effects but needs to be given for the entire time that the poison is active within the dog.

    In the UK? View now at viovet.co.uk

    Nutriscience Ultra E

    Nutriscience Ultra E

    Form: Powder
    Quantity: 400g–1.2kg
    Dosage: Quarter scoop daily for training
    RRP: From £24.48 |

    This powerful antioxidant supplement is designed for racing greyhounds and performance dogs, to protect them from muscle damage, soreness, stiffness and fatigue. Ultra E contains a blend of vitamin E and selenium for optimum muscle health and nutrition.

    This supplement is designed for dogs performing at peak athleticism.

    In the UK? View now at viovet.co.uk or gsequestrian.co.uk

    Best vitamins for dogs: tub of joint mobility supplement

    Natural VetCare Mobility

    Form: Pellets
    Quantity: 75g, 150g or 300g
    Dosage: 1.25–6.25g per day
    RRP: From £8.99

    Not strictly speaking a vitamin supplement, this is one of the best joint supplements for dogs. It designed to promote joint flexibility and health during a dog’s most active years. Among other nutrients, minerals and herbs, it contains vitamins B6, which is good for immunity and red blood cells, and vitamin C, which can boost growth, the production of collagen and repair body tissues.

    It also contains glucosamine, MSM and chondroitin sulphate which are great for joint health, while essential fatty acids from salmon and linseed oil also promote good overall health.

    In the UK? View now at viovet.co.uk or amazon.co.uk

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