Dogs, like humans can suffer from deficiency of vitamins and minerals. They require both fat soluble and water soluble vitamins in their diet. Dog vitamins are usually already present in most high quality dog foods. However for dogs that live on homemade diets, there might be a need to include dog vitamin to supplement in their foods. Also, for those who are not sure whether their dogs get enough vitamins and mineral in their food, there might be a window for supplementing with dog vitamins.
Dogs need vitamins for their general physical well being. This is because vitamins are needed in the body for good immunity, breakdown of toxic substances, lubrication of joints and strengthening of bones, good skin and for preventing gastrointestinal problems. However, dog vitamins also have side effects when used in excess. For example, an excess of vitamin A is harmful to joints and blood vessels.
Dogs that benefit most from vitamin supplements are those which have been diagnosed with a certain deficiency of vitamins, those that are fed entirely on home cooked meals and those which have an underlying disease that has been shown to be alleviated by use of vitamins. Dogs that lose vitamins through gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease my also benefit. All in all, dogs are different and some may require a little help by supplementing.
Vitamins for dogs, especially those that contain glucosamine or chondroitin, have been shown to be helpful to dogs that are suffering from osteoarthritis and arthritis. There is reduced pain and more mobility after the use of these supplements. Some dog food contains glucosamine and chondroitin. However, the quantity is not usually therapeutic. It is important to check the quantity therefore, before buying the dog vitamins separately. This ensures the dogs are not getting an amount that is above the therapeutic levels.
Antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamin C and E are contents of some of the best dog vitamins. They are active in reducing inflammation in joints, skin and basically anywhere there is inflammation. The two vitamins are also useful in maintaining good functioning of the nervous system and aging. Vitamins like B6 and pyridoxine are good for the brain health of dogs.
Finding the best vitamins for dogs is a tough decision. However some tips to help get the best are making sure to pick a product that specializes in one line products. It is much better to buy a product that only contains a single vitamin as opposed to buying one that contains a mixture of everything. It is also important to know the ingredients before picking a product. The best dog vitamins usually have clinical trials to back up their use. Looking for certification and approval is also paramount.
Despite the benefits of dog vitamins, it is important to discuss with a veterinary doctor before giving them to a dog. Once the decision to use them is arrived at, one should watch out for adverse effects and discontinue the use of the vitamins.