Improve Your Pet’s Health with Multivitamins and Minerals
Household pets, particularly of the mammalian order, for example dogs and cats require the same sort of medications and dietary supplements as we humans do. While humans knowingly obtain vitamins and minerals from various sources, animals in the wild also do the same as they are predisposed to find necessary supplements in their natural food cycle. Unfortunately pets are not able to do that so it is up to the pet owners to look after their nutritional needs and provide them with supplements where required.
Benefits of nutrition supplements for pets
- Vitamins and minerals are necessary for improving the quality of your pet’s life.
- Multivitamins break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats so the body can utilize them.
- Vitamins work with minerals and enzymes for digestion, reproduction, and muscle and bone growth.
- Vitamins maintain healthy skin and coat shine in pets.
- Vitamins and minerals help regulate body processes and protect the body from environmental toxins.
Vitamins are of two types:
- Fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E and K.
- Water-soluble vitamins include folic acid, biotin and vitamins C, thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6) and cyanocobalamin (B12)
The following table explains in detail the functions of major vitamins, their sources and possible deficiency symptoms.
|Type of Vitamins||Sources||Deficiency Symptoms|
|Vitamin A||Fish oil, eggs, liver, carrot, spinach, dairy products||Poor skin, retarded growth, night vision problems|
|Vitamin D||Dairy products, fish, fish oil, egg yolk, liver, beef and sunshine||Teething problems, rickets,|
|Vitamin E||Meats, nuts, vegetable oils, green vegetables||Brown bowel syndrome, reproductive system problems|
|Vitamin K||Egg yolk, milk, cabbage, fish||Clotting problems, hemorrhage|
|Vitamin C||Citrus fruits and vegetables, organ meats||Slowed healing, vulnerability to disease|
|Thiamin (Vitamin B1)||Milk, meat, fruits, vegetables||Loss of appetite, slow reflexes, problems in nerve control, weakness|
|Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)||Organ meats and dairy products||Poor growth, eye problems, heart failure|
|Niacin (Vitamin B3)||Meat products||Loss of appetite, inflamed gums, diarrhea|
|Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)||Found in most foods||Anemia, poor growth, skin lesions|
|Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)||Organ meats||Anemia|
In addition to multivitamins, the following minerals are important:
Calcium: milk, yogurt, broccoli, cauliflower, bones
Phosphorus: eggs, fish, milk
Zinc: poultry, whole grains, spinach, yogurt, beef
Sulfur: meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, legumes
Iodine: seafood, dairy products, salt, kelp
Copper: seafood, nuts, whole grains, legumes
Iron: red meats, poultry, eggs, shellfish, legumes
Is it necessary to give your dog commercially processed vitamins and supplements? Well, the jury is equally divided on that question. If you feed your dog well-balanced dog food, supplements are not necessary. However aging and sick dogs may require extra nutritional supplements
The cardinal rules to follow are:
1) Don’t feed your dog home-cooked or raw diet;
2) When buying dog food, check the label to see whether it contains the multivitamins for dogs listed above or not.