No matter how diligent you are at researching and sourcing the most well-balanced dog food with essential nutrients, there are myriad issues that could be preventing your pet from absorbing and retaining what they need. Just one day of too much human food or eating grass or being fussy could cause them to have a deficiency.
Supplementing is undoubtedly one key to prolonging your dog’s life. Yes, your dog food brand of choice may say “complete and nutritionally-balanced,” but is it balanced for every dog, every day? The answer is unfortunately no.
Each dog’s digestion is a little bit different—this is what makes your dog the best dog in the world—and it’s why adding a boost to their diet can help. But what form should that come in: vitamins or supplements?
Vitamin Tablets vs Supplements
Not to be pedantic here, but it’s important to point out the differences between vitamins and supplements. Vitamins, even multivitamins, are singular sources of nutrients. Whereas a supplement can provide the vitamins your dog needs and the proteins, amino acids, antioxidants, and probiotics necessary for absorption and overall health.
It’s like a restaurant that only serves one item on the menu (and you get a lot of it), versus one that lets you sample everything on the menu (and they have plenty to try).
This has further repercussions than you might initially think. And we’re talking about the vitamins, not the restaurants…
Vitamins: A Comprehensive Look
Let’s start with a basic example: think of a vitamin C pill made of 100% ascorbic acid (another term for vitamin C). You’ve probably noticed that these pills or chewable tablets usually come with enough vitamin C for the next three years. On the bottle, it says 16,667% of your daily recommended value. Why is that?
- Water- vs Fat-Soluble Nutrients – First off, certain nutrients are water-soluble, which means they dissolve in water. When your dog’s body has too many water-soluble nutrients, it gets flushed out through their urine. This is not the case with something like vitamin D, which is fat-soluble and can remain stored in fatty tissue until it reaches toxic levels.
- Absorption Conundrum – Moving beyond the vitamin C example. Most vitamin pills and multivitamins for dogs are synthetic and not organic. Synthetic nutrients, while technically the same at a molecular level, aren’t absorbed like their natural counterparts. This is because digestion is a complex procedure, and organic foods have other micronutrients and proteins that help in the absorption process. Thus, higher doses are needed to achieve the same results.
You might already see where this is leading…
When Vitamins Become Dangerous
Two things are occurring simultaneously with vitamins. One, they’re singular sources. Two, their absorption rates are low so the doses are high. Many responsible dog owners, such as yourself, are keenly aware of their dog’s needs. When they notice that their dog’s mood has been suffering, they might treat them with a B-complex vitamin, as many of the B-vitamins are key for proper brain development and functionality.
Next, their dog also visits the dog park where sharing water bowls and playing with other dogs is going to be a germ-infested (and fun) wonderland. To boost their immune system, they offer their dog a vitamin E tablet.
And maybe their skin and coat are a little dry—vitamin A!
Rinse and repeat these scenarios, and you’ll find a dog on three, four, sometimes five different vitamin pills. First of all, this is a hassle to keep track of for the owner. Second of all, this is potentially dangerous for the dog.
Vitaminosis is a disease caused by excess vitamins in the body. And the most common cause is from offering too many vitamins and supplements in an attempt to treat multiple different conditions of the dog.
To avoid this, consider the original reason why vitamins were being considered in the first place—a boost to their diet.
Supplement: An All In One Solution
Look at all the reasons you might consider supplementing. You want them to have a healthy gut, a properly functioning brain, strong joints, and a thick coat. This is only going to be possible with natural ingredients that include bioavailable amounts of a wide range of nutrients.
- Amino acids – Great for boosting the immune system, promoting hormone production, and for healthy skin, coat, and nails.
- Zinc – Zinc helps with immune system health, thyroid health, overall digestive health, and it is the second most commonly used mineral in dogs. Zinc cannot be stored in a dog’s body and has to be ingested every day.
- Prebiotics and Probiotics – For a healthy gut flora, pre- and probiotics aid in digestive and intestinal health. This helps to lessen allergies and promote overall health by keeping bad systemwide bacteria at bay.
- Fatty acids – Fatty acids reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and lessen skin allergies and issues.
- Antioxidants – To reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and improve alertness in older dogs, antioxidants are a must-consume.
Consider having all of these in one daily dose.
It’s for all the above that Vetericyn’s ALL-IN supplement was created. It takes the hassle of tracking multiple vitamin bottles out of the equation, and more importantly, it ensures the dog is never subject to deadly amounts of certain vitamins, which could lead to hypervitaminosis.
Additionally, the ALL-IN supplement comes with prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes for gut health and enhanced absorption. This allows the vitamins and minerals to end up in your dog, not on the lawn.
For a boost to your dog’s diet, choose one supplement over multiple different vitamin tablets. Choose ALL-IN.
- PetMD. Vitamin D Poisoning in Dogs. https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/toxicity/c_dg_vitamin_d_toxicity?page=2
- The Balance. What is Bioavailability? https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-bioavailability-4041140
Dr. Melinda J. Mayfield-Davis, DVM, WCHP-AH, brings over 20 years of experience in veterinary medicine. She is the Technical Services Veterinarian with Innovacyn, Inc., parent company of Vetericyn Animal Wellness. She received her DVM from Oklahoma State University and now resides in Southeast Kansas with her husband, two children, four dogs, and six horses. Prior to working with Innovacyn, Dr. Mayfield owned and operated the Animal Care Center in Columbus, KS.