Healthy Multivitamins For Dogs
The pet nutritional supplement market is big business, with over $1billion in sales annually and dog owners accounting for the majority of sales by some margin. With so much money at stake, and so many options for consumers, what do you, as a conscientious dog owner, need to know about dog multivitamins?
Common Multivitamins Given to Dogs
Concerned dog owners buy multivitamins for their furry loved ones for a range of reasons, from ongoing health maintenance to combating age, boosting the immune system, correcting a deficiency or to make up for a poor diet. The eight most common multivitamins given to dogs are:
- Nutri-Vet Multi-Vite, a chewable multivitamin for promoting general health.
- VitaHealth Dog Glucosamine, a multivitamin for giving dogs of all ages more energy and better breath.
- Pro-Sense Multivitamins, a chewable multivitamin for all-around health.
- Nupro Nutri-Pet Dog Multivitamins, a multivitamin that improves your dog’s coat.
- Pet Tabs Dog Multivitamins, designed for senior and working dogs.
- Buddy & Lola Multivit, a chewable multivitamin for overall health and energy.
- 8in1 Excel Multivitamin, a time-release chewable multivitamin for active healthy pets.
Benefits of Multivitamins
There is conflicting research on whether multivitamins actually boost a dog’s health, with some brands and active ingredients providing noticeable benefits, and others not. To ensure you are choosing the right multivitamin, always read the label to check its contents. Key ingredients to look out for are:
- Vitamin A: responsible for growth, immune function and cell function.
- Vitamin B6: responsible for blood and nervous system function, hormone regulation, and immune response.
- Folic acid: helps the body metabolize and protein synthesis.
- Vitamin C: reduces inflammation and combats aging.
- Vitamin D:assists in healthy bone and muscle growth.
- Vitamin E: essential for cell function and muscle generation.
- Vitamin K: promotes clotting.
- Choline: supports liver and brain function.
Picking a multivitamin that complements your dog’s existing diet and provides them with the above minerals can be an aid in ensuring they get all the goodness they need, especially if feeding a raw or homemade diet rather than a designed, nutritionally balanced food.
Downsides of Multivitamins
Given the size of the pet supplement industry, there is a surprising lack of regulation, meaning vitamins and supplements can be marketed as providing specific health benefits without a solid scientific basis for these claims. It is important to know both the potential benefits and the potential downsides of giving your furry loved one nutritional supplements so that you can make informed decisions about what is truly best for your pet.
Among the most common downsides of dog multivitamins are:
- Vague dosing information
- Taste and getting your dog to actually eat them
- Sugar content
- Allergic reactions
It is also possible for your dog to get sick from an excess of certain vitamins. For example, too much vitamin A can cause joint pain or dehydration. Knowing appropriate doses and what is safe for your pet given their diet is paramount.
Multivitamins are not a replacement for a healthy diet and they are not a one-stop solution for any health problem, but they may be effective at ensuring your little one is getting the balance they need. Always speak with your veterinarian before starting your pet on any new supplement. Pet insurance policies don’t cover the cost of supplements and vitamin, but a solid insurance plan is a great first step in protecting your pet and your wallet from unexpected medical costs. Click here for a free quote from 4Paws.