Are supplemental puppy vitamins necessary?

To many, supplementing puppy vitamins always seem like the right choice, but for the most part that might not be true. In-fact, over-supplementing would actually do more harm than good for them.


Quality commercial puppy foods will include most, if not all the vitamins and minerals your puppy needs. If you're unsure if your puppy's diet is a balanced one, always consult your vet. 


The same is true if you have any 'hunch' that your puppy isn't growing properly, a checkup can help you adjust your puppy's diet to correct any imbalances. Trust your gut feeling!

When supplementing puppy vitamins is necessary...

Like humans, feeding your puppy a balanced diet is the best and most natural way for them to acquire all their vitamins and minerals need. 


Supplementing puppy vitamins are only recommended if your puppy has a deficiency or health disorder ( breed related or otherwise). Your vet may then prescribe additional supplements as needed.


Some common conditions that require supplements include: 

Low metabolism

Vitamin or mineral deficiencies

Epilepsy


Essential vitamins and what they do:

Vitamin A

B Vitamins

Vitamin C

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin K

Choline


Vitamin A is commonly found in veggies and fruits like cantaloupe, green beans, and sweet potatoes. Vitamin A promotes healthy cell growth, vision, and immunity. It is also easy to digest and helps with liver function in addition to keeping your puppy's coat healthy and shiny.


Vitamin B is essential for a puppy's life-long health.  There are several B vitamins, include B1, B2 (riboflavin which you will often see listed as an ingredient in quality dog foods), B3 (niacin), B5, B6, B7, and B-12. When these are combined, they create Vitamin B Complex which is what you want for your puppy.


Vitamin B Complex supports your puppy's nerve system, immune system, energy production, cell metabolism, organ health, digestion, eyesight, coat, muscles, and skin. In addition, Vitamin B supports metabolizes of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. 


Most puppies receive their Vitamin C by processing the glucose in their diets. So, they do not need additional vitamin C. High doses of vitamin C can harm your dog's liver, kidneys, or result in bone disease.


Vitamin D and E aid in a shiny coat and healthy skin, but too much can make it difficult to diagnose potential diseases since they mask true skin health.  


Vitamin K plays a role in your dog's ability to metabolize protein and bind calcium to her bones. Vitamin K is often found in vegetables and in commercial dog's food (always check nutrition sheet on the package), a deficiency in this vitamin can result in internal hemorrhages. 


Choline is often found in canine vitamins supplements, but most puppy parents have never heard of it. Choline keeps the liver and brain functioning properly. Supplementing Choline is rarely needed unless treatment for a disorder such as seizure.


In conclusion...

A balanced diet will provide all the essential vitamins that your puppy needs. Supplementing puppy vitamins should only come when a certain deficiency or disorder arise after consultation with your vet.

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