Most of us take vitamins regularly. It is recommended even with a healthy portion of fruits and veggies. It is therefore only natural to wonder if our dogs need any. The answer is yes, our dogs need nutrients and vitamins as well as we do. Even with a balanced diet and raw feeding your pet might need a little extra especially around season’s changing. So we gathered up the best dog nutrients and their health benefits, so you ca provide your pooch with the must haves.
We are all familiar with the essential vitamins we humans need. They are vitamins, A, B, C, D, E, K and some minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron, to mention a few. Most of these are found in raw food and you can add them to your dog’s diet. Just remember, always do your research before you prepare homemade meals for your pet. If you give your pup ready prepped meals, or dry/wet dog food you’ll find that these contain the amount of nutrients needed. If, however you have your pet on a raw or home made diet, you can use this list to see if you provide them with all the necessary vitamins and minerals. I will recommend some really great multi vitamins and supplements too at the end of the article. So let’s dive in.
Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that can be found in carrot, spinach, sweet potatoes, fish oil and eggs. It helps in fighting diseases, prompts eye and skin health and is responsible for growth, immune function, and cell function. Carrot, eggs and spinach can be added to your pet’s diet, raw or cooked. And fish oil is beneficial to them on more levels, as they contain heathy fats, such as omega-3 and 6. Raw egg shells can also be added to dog food. It contains glucosamine, collage and hyaluronic acid, helping to promote joint and bone health.
These vitamins can be found in green vegetables, beans and whole grains. For the best whole grains to add to your pet’s diet see our other article. Vitamin B6 is especially vital. This vitamin is responsible for glucose generation, red blood cell and nervous system function. It regulates hormones, and plays an important role in gene activation. To sum it up, it aids in cell growth and development.
It can be found in most fruits and vegetables, like green beans, zucchini, bell pepper etc. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant. It scavenges potentially harmful free radicals in the body and can help reduce inflammation and cognitive aging. Dogs can actually synthesize vitamin C on their own in their livers. But in some cases supplementation may offer health benefits. One of the highest sources of vitamin C is rose hip. Add this to your pet’s diet in a moderate amount, available in powder form or as dried fruit.
Vitamin D allows your dog’s body to balance minerals like phosphorous and calcium for healthy bone growth. Without it your dog, or in fact you would not be able to maintain healthy bones and muscles. It is found in fish oil, egg yolk and beef.
This very powerful antioxidant is essential for cell function and fat metabolism. Deficiencies can lead to eye and muscle degeneration and reproductive problems. You can find vitamin E is leafy greens, grains and and whole grains, like kale and chia seeds.
Found in liver, leafy greens, milk, cabbage and fish this vitamin is vital in in activating your dog’s blood’s ability to clot. It also makes sure that your pet has healthy bones.
It builds and protects bones and teeth. Helps maintain regular heartbeat. Prevents muscle cramping. Especially in young dogs, it’s important to feed sufficient calcium for bone and muscle development. Note that too much calcium can cause bone deformities and weakness, whereas to little lead to abnormal growth and development. Tofu, green beans, meat, broccoli, egg and cauliflower all contains calcium.
It aids in muscle and bone development and helps with calcium absorption. Whole grains, leafy vegetables and nuts all contain magnesium. Caution, some nuts might be harmful for your dog! You can also find magnesium in rabbit, chicken, turkey, egg, salmon, halibut and sardines.
Zinc promotes growth and mental alertness. It accelerates healing and promotes healthy immune system and healing of wounds. It is found in rabbit, chicken, pork, lamb, salmon, haddock and halibut, as well as rose hip, fennel seeds, milk thistle, sage and many more.
If you have your dog on a raw food diet (which I can only recommend) then be sure to research the healthy portions and ingredients for their age and size. If you include vegetables in their food, then you must know that their digestive system cannot break down the cellulose found in them. So to aid their digestion, steam, chop or grate those vegetables. If you aim to feed your pet a healthy diet, always be sure to provide them all the nutrients appropriate for their size, age and daily habits. I recommend using organic, or all natural pet supplements and vitamins and below are some of the best companies that sell them.
I hope you enjoyed this article. It was prepared with some of the most important vitamins and minerals in mind, and the list is by no means complete. If you wish to learn more, I recommend talking to your vet or conduct an in depth research on the topic. If you have a topic in mind that you’d like us to explore, leave a comment and rating below!