Vitamins are nutrients that have health significance in both humans and animals. Dogs, self-explanatorily, are no exception. However, it should not be assumed that vitamin requirements in dogs are similar to those in humans. While there are similarities, there are at least as many clear differences.
As a rule, dogs absorb the vitamins they need through their food. Under certain circumstances, for example in the case of illness, an additional vitamin supply can make sense. However, it is better for owners to clarify this with their vet. Nevertheless, it can't hurt to know a little about dogs' vitamin needs.
So let's take a closer look.
Vitamins Essential for Bones and TeethOneof the most important vitamins for dogs is undeniably vitamin D. The daily intake for adult dogs should be 10 IU (International Unit) per kilogram of body weight. If the dog is still a puppy or even a pregnant bitch, double the amount is required. Basically, dogs take vitamin D in sufficient quantities from their food.
An additional administration of supplements is therefore rarely necessary. Especially since too much of the vitamin can even have harmful effects. The vitamin is important for bones and teeth, among other things, but can also strengthen the immune system and contribute to an increase in general well-being.
Vitamins to protect cellsVitaminE is known as a cell protection vitamin and is one of the most important antioxidants. So it's important that dogs get enough vitamin E.
Unlike vitamin D, however, this is a little more complex. This is because a dog's requirement is based on their intake of unsaturated fatty acids as well as their activity level. Sporting dogs, for example, require relatively high amounts of vitamin E. The same is true for dogs that suffer from mobility limitations.
The problem is that animal feeds usually do not contain enough vitamin E. Furthermore, feeding low quality fats increases the dog's need for it. Therefore, among other things, the administration of high-quality oils may be a good idea.
Vitamins for the eyesIn humans, the eyes are the most important sensory organ. In dogs, however, it is the nose.
However, this does not mean that healthy eyes are not also important for our beloved four-legged friends. For this reason, the intake of vitamin A is essential. Vitamin A supports the vision process and brings other health benefits. You could even say that it is an all-rounder among vitamins.
Vitamin A additionally helps with bone growth, strengthens mucous membranes, and has positive effects on the immune system. And these are not even all possible effects. However, the need for vitamin A is high. Dogs should therefore eat enough liver and kidney through their food, as both organs have a high vitamin A content.
When owners should pay attention to vitamin requirementsAlthoughvitamins are essential in dogs, in many cases owners do not need to pay explicit attention to them.
However, old, young and sick dogs are exempt from this. In the case of these, it makes sense to consult with the vet as to whether a supplementation of supplements is advisable. The same applies to dogs that are about to undergo an operation or something similar.