Pet Vitamins and Supplements

Pet vitamins and special supplements work in much the same way as human vitamins and supplements do. They are designed to provide your pet with a set of nutrients that his body requires in order to function properly, but that he may not receive in adequate amounts based on the foods that he eats. There are a number of great benefits to giving your pet a vitamin supplement. However, before you begin, you should recognize what it is exactly that your pet requires in terms of vitamins. Because some vitamins can be toxic to your pet if given in too great an amount, it's also important that you give your pet a set of vitamins that is appropriate for his weight and size.

Why Pet Vitamins Are Beneficial

A high quality pet food will claim to support all of the necessary functions in your dog's body. In fact, most high quality pet foods will give your dog a great mixture of different vitamins and other nutrients. However, it's important to keep in mind a few reasons why this may not be the case, and why your dog may actually require additional vitamins in order to properly have his dietary needs met.

Dog foods that are heated at the time of processing and manufacture, like canned foods, may have some of the vitamins and other nutrients literally cooked out of them. Other types of dog foods may be left to sit on the shelf for a long time. As this happens, the quantity of vitamins and other beneficial nutrients is reduced greatly throughout the period in time in which the food sits without being eaten. Both of these are potential reasons why giving your pet supplementary vitamins may be helpful.

Characteristics of Good Pet Vitamins

For dogs, vitamin C is not typically an issue. Although vitamin C is very beneficial to include in supplements for humans, healthy dogs will not require this vitamin at all. The reason for this is that vitamin C is actually manufactured in a healthy dog's body.

Otherwise, dogs require a wide mixture of different vitamins and minerals. The quantity of most of these minerals is quite low, so a small multivitamin supplement will typically be more than sufficient.

Good pet vitamins will not have artificial binding agents, preservatives, coloring agents or flavors. This keeps the vitamins as unadulterated and free of potentially harmful chemicals and ingredients as possible.

Other Factors

Be careful when giving your pet vitamins. Certain minerals and fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K can all build up in your pet's body and may even become toxic if given in quantities which are too high. For this reason, it's best to always consult with a vet before you begin any type of vitamin regimen for your pet. Ask a vet with any other questions about pet vitamins you may have.