Dogs need nutrients and micronutrients — vitamins and minerals — as much as humans. Micronutrients and nutrients for dogs are needed in small amounts for tissue repair, metabolic regulation, and growth. Vitamin deficiency and mineral deficiency can easily cause malaise. This can occur if dogs are not receiving sufficient amounts of trace nutrients in their regular diet.
If you think your dog is suffering from any nutrient deficiency(vitamin or mineral), the first and most important step is to consult with a veterinarian. Never try to self-diagnose a sick pup or adult dog, as this can prove to be disastrous. Always seek the help of qualified professionals when it comes to the health issues of your dogs.
Now, if you’re in the market for some regular supplements for your dog, here are some tips:
1. Dogs that have bone problems or injuries benefit from calcium and phosphorous supplementation. Note that these two minerals have to be given in balanced amounts in order to help the dog. Too much calcium or too much phosphorous can reduce the ability of the dog‟s body to absorb and utilize either of the minerals.
2. Many dog breeders and owners give pregnant dogs a daily dose of vitamin C or ascorbic acid. Do not overdo the vitamin C supplementation, because dogs can actually synthesize ascorbic acid on their own. Too much vitamin C in a dog‟s system will simply be excreted by the dog. Some dogs who are under stress may also be given ascorbic acid.
3. Is your dog suffering from dry, scaly skin due to changes in humidity and temperature? Your dog might benefit from vitamin E supplementation. Vitamin E helps in cellular regeneration, and also helps keep the dog‟s skin and coat in top condition.
4. If your dog is suffering from stress (post-operation, injury, etc.) or is having problems with flea infestation, veterinarians usually recommend B-complex supplementation. A bit of trivia about brewer‟s yeast (which is often given to dogs with fleas): brewer‟s yeast is naturally rich in B vitamins – which makes it a perfect natural remedy.
Vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K are all fat-soluble trace nutrients that help the dog by:
- Improving the dog‟s ability to clot blood and control bleeding
- Improving and maintaining the dog‟s sharp eyesight
- Aiding bone repair and bone growth (this is achieved through the combined action of vitamins and the mineral calcium)
Severe deficiency in the aforementioned vitamins can cause the following problems:
- Weakening of the dog‟s muscles
- Inability to reproduce normally
- Weakened immune system and low immunity
- Vision problems
- Inflammation of the eyes
Members of the B-family of vitamins are water-soluble trace nutrients and are central to the lives of healthy dogs. These vitamins allow canines to store and utilize energy properly.
Giving your dog too many vitamins can also cause problems:
- Calcification can occur in vital organs such as the lungs if the dog is being given too much vitamin D supplementation.
- Too much vitamin A can cause severe bone problems.