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Vitamins Play an Important Role in the Health of Your Dog

Vitamins are organic compounds which dogs take in through food, just like we do. Dogs absolutely need vitamins in order to be healthy. Look at these vitamins and learn why your pet needs each.

Vitamin

Good for:

Foods that contain it:

Vitamin A

vision, immune system, healthy growth, bone health, proper weight

beef, liver, eggs, carrots, pumpkin, leafy greens

Vitamin B complex

(B-1) energy regulation, carb metabolism
(B-2, B-3, B-12) facilitate enzyme function (B-5) energy metabolism
(B6) glucose generation, red blood cell function, hormone regulation, niacin synthesis, gene activation

(B-7) healthy skin and coat, muscle formation (B-9) metabolism of amino acids and nucleotides, protein synthesis in mitochondria

nutritional yeast, liver, turkey, green vegetables, kelp

Vitamin C

antioxidant, inflammation reduction, preserving cognitive functions, iron wound healing, cartilage, bone, and teeth support

fruits, vegetables, organ meats

Vitamin D

healthy bones and muscles, balancing phosphorus and calcium, supporting nervous and immune system, lungs and cardiovascular health

beef, liver, egg yolks

Vitamin E

fat metabolism, skin health, healthy cell function, eye, muscle, and reproductive health, antioxidant

plant oils, leafy green vegetables, liver

Vitamin K

blood clotting (helping in wound healing), bone metabolism, regulates blood calcium levels

liver, eggs, plant oils, leafy green vegetables

Vitamins fall in two main groups: water soluble (B-complex, C) and fat soluble (A, D, E, and K). If they are water soluble, the body stores them in water and they can easily leave the body through excretion. The body stores fat soluble vitamins in the fatty tissue and liver. Dogs which lack fats in their diet run a high risk of having deficiencies of fat soluble vitamins.

Does my dog have a vitamin deficiency?

Vitamin deficiency is followed by specific symptoms. Here is how you may recognize if your dog desperately needs certain vitamins.

Vitamin A deficiency – weak immune system, blindness at night, dry skin Vitamin B-2 deficiency – dry and flaky skin, eye and heart problems, fainting

Vitamin B-3 deficiency – brown or black tongue, gum inflammation, no appetite, and bloody diarrhea

Vitamin B-6 deficiency – allergies, epilepsy, asthma, kidney problems, cancer

Vitamin D deficiency – bone problems, swollen joints, legs are bowed Vitamin E deficiency – nerve problems, eye, heart, muscle and liver issues Vitamin K deficiency – hemorrhaging (blood can’t clot)

Certain antibiotics and poisons (like rat poison) can cause vitamin B and K deficiency in dogs.

Should I give my dog vitamin supplements?

If you feed your dog plenty of raw meat and veggies, you shouldn’t be worried about vitamin balance in his body. Outpost recipes are carefully made to meet the nutritional needs of your dog – he can get all the important vitamins from the combination of meat (chicken, turkey, or beef are great for vitamins A, B, and D) and just the right amount of veggies for vitamins C, E, and K. Some recipes offer molasses, fruit, and eggs for an additional boost in all these vitamins.

Vitamin supplements may harm dogs who have a diverse raw diet because those puppies already have everything they need and an extra dose of, say, vitamin B or vitamin A can result in imbalance and even vitamin toxicity.

On the other hand, if your dog eats processed food most of the time, he only receives artificial vitamins made in labs. Natural nutrients get destroyed when food is processed, so makers of kibble and similar food have to add synthetic vitamins. Unlike natural vitamins, the artificial ones are hardly absorbed by the body, which makes them less efficient. How these vitamins exactly react with the body isn’t clear; what we do know is that synthetic vitamins can increase the risk of various health issues and even cancer.

With plenty of wholesome food which contains natural vitamins, one should really stop and think – Should I give my dog synthetic vitamins when we are surrounded with vitamin-abundant raw food?

Your vet may recommend vitamins for certain conditions in which case you might want to accept the recommendation. 

 xo Outpost

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