What are the best forms of multi-vitamins for dogs?

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Vitamins are essential, and one of the best things you can do for a dog is giving her a multi-vitamin. These vitamins maintain normal body function and promote growth.

Seek your veterinarian’s guidance, however, because there might be specific items that your dog needs more of less of—and the vet can suggest the right one for you.

For instance, puppies grow 20 times faster than adult dogs, so you need to be sure you’re responding to her needs to help fuel that growth; she may need extra B and E vitamins, or some other nutrient. On the other hand, your dog may be a senior– and seniors tend to be more prone to kidney disease. You’ll want to be sure your vitamin contains adequate amounts of substances to balance electrolytes and control blood pressure.

Canine multi-vitamins can be found in most pet supply stores, or your veterinarian may want you to give one directly from the vet’s pharmacy. They come in different forms, from pill to liquid and to tasty chewable. The supplements are often formulated to canine specifics, such as age, activity level, illness, etc.

A lot of people ask if they can give their dog a human vitamin. The answer is an emphatic NO. Dogs and humans have different needs, so the supplement could contain more or less of a particular vitamin that your dog needs.

You should also know that both vitamins A and C are produced naturally in the dog’s body, rendering it unnecessary to supplement. Moreover, vitamin A is a fat soluble one, which means it can’t be excreted but, rather, is stored in the dog’s fat cells and too much can create toxicity. Although vitamin C is water-based, it can be excreted–but it’s still a waste.

Human supplements tend to contain a lot of iron, which we need. Too much, though, will damage your dog’s liver. Also watch for those other fat soluble vitamins, D, E and K, because they can also cause overdose.

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