How can I select a multi-vitamin for my dog?
First, you need to understand the importance of vitamins. They’re
necessary for the many thousands of different chemical reactions in the body. Vitamins work together with minerals and enzymes to assure normal digestion, reproduction, muscle and bone growth and function, healthy skin and hair, clotting of blood, and the use of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates by the body.
In the past, we got all the vitamins we needed from diet. Now, however, especially with things liked depleted soils and environmental and chemical toxins, we need to rely on supplements. Sadly, not all vitamins are made with quality ingredients, so you’ll need to read labels carefully and also take into consideration such factors as your dog’s age, activity level, diet and health concerns.
You first need to know that vitamins are broken into two categories: Fat soluble and water soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissue; these include vitamins A, E, D and K. Since these vitamins are stored, and not excreted, it’s easy to build up toxicity.
Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are stored in only very small amounts by the body. They need to be taken in daily, and any excesses are excreted by the body each day. These include the Cs, Bs, and all others.
Read labels thoroughly and then, look for the following when selecting a vitamin for your dog:
• 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 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.
• High palatability—some vitamins are specially flavored to enhance taste.
• Source: This simply means from where the vitamin and mineral was extracted; for instance, Magnesium from wheat germ and fish or fatty acids from cod liver oil.
• Calcium from non-fat dried milk, and other sources
• Fatty acids from marine sources, such as cod liver oil