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Bark n Wag 15 Minute Vet Talk

May 7, 2017

Welcome to Bark & Wag 15 Minute Vet Talk – I am your host Polly ReQua

Today we are talking to one of our favorite Vets, Dr. Laura Brown, owner of Green Tree Animal Hospital in Libertyville, IL as we discuss vitamins. Do you need to give your dog vitamins?


Let’s start with puppies….

Do I need to supplement my puppy's diet?

Should I supplement my adult dog's diet?

Talk with your veterinarian to determine which supplements may be beneficial for your dog.

What if my dog is super active?

What if my dog is on a diet?

High quality light foods should contain adequate vitamins and minerals. If you are only feeding your pet less of his regular food to cut down, you may want to supplement with a multivitamin.

Should I give my senior dog supplements?

Aging dogs have special nutritional needs, and some of those can be supplied in the form of supplements.

A large percentage of older dogs suffer from arthritis. We recommend a daily supplement containing glucosamine, for dogs suffering from arthritis, hip dysplasia, or other bone or joint problems. If your dog is not eating a complete balanced diet, then a vitamin/mineral supplement is recommended to prevent any deficiencies.

What traits should I look for in a quality vitamin?

Contains at least 8 essential vitamins including Vitamin A, B-complex, D, and E, as well as the B vitamins. Vitamins A and E are all-important antioxidants that help maintain a healthy immune system and should also be included in the supplement.

Vitamins and minerals should be in the correct ratio for your pet's good health.

In addition, look at the ingredient list of multi-vitamin supplements to see from which sources the vitamins and minerals are coming.

B-Complex and zinc from Brewer's Yeast and other sources

Magnesium from wheat germ and fish, and other sources

Calcium from non-fat dried milk, and other sources

Fatty acids from marine sources, such as cod liver oil

Iron from natural sources, such as liver, as well as other sources

Not all vitamin supplements contain these quality ingredients. And, remember that whatever your particular pet's species or age, the right supplementation will help him live the best quality life possible.

Can I give my pet too many vitamins?

There is always some controversy regarding vitamin supplementation. Many people feel supplements are very necessary. They feel that even when feeding a high quality food, some of the vitamins may have been destroyed by the processing or storage. Pet owners feeding a homemade diet or a diet high in table scraps should give their pet a high quality vitamin/mineral supplement. Ill or recovering pets who may have a poor appetite should also be given a good vitamin/mineral supplement since they are not receiving their daily requirements through the food they eat.

The possibility of vitamin toxicity with the fat-soluble vitamins, especially Vitamin A and D, which are stored in the body, can occur with severe oversupplementation. Toxicities do not occur when you give your pet the recommended amount of high-quality, commercially prepared vitamin/mineral supplements. However, if you give a variety of supplements, each containing Vitamin A or D, oversupplementation is more likely. Supplements must be chosen with care and large numbers of different supplements should not be used together unless prescribed by a veterinarian.