Does my puppy need vitamins?

“Hey kiddo, eat your veggies, they are rich in vitamins and good for you”. “Don’t forget to take your vitamins”. How many times have you heard these reminders from your parents? You may be a parent now and this time you are the one reminding your kids. What exactly are vitamins? Dogs are considered as members of the family. Do puppies need vitamins too?

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What are vitamins?

Vitamins are the substances found in foods necessary for the body’s growth and metabolism. Dog owners are aware that vitamins for canines would have the same benefits as vitamins for humans. Dogs are special pets. Along with all the imaginable things that will make a dog comfortable, pet shops are flooded with canine vitamins and supplements. Dogs are provided with high quality nutrient rich foods. Dog owners would even take extra effort to prepare home cooked meals for the pet. Why are vitamins necessary? Are the benefits of vitamin supplementation proven by dog owners or are these people swayed by marketing blitzkriegs?

Benefits of vitamins

If you ask a pet owner why he/she is giving the dog vitamins, the most common answer is to ensure the health and well being of the pet so that it will live a happier and longer life. Pet owners that do not support the practice of vitamin supplementation will argue that as long as the dog is provided with enough amount of high quality food, vitamins will not be necessary. Actually it would be much better to give the dog vitamin enriched food rather than to depend on vitamin supplementation. However, as dogs would have different nutrient requirements, the nutrients that can be obtained even from a balanced diet may not be sufficient for the needs of a particular dog. Similar to the benefits humans can get from vitamins, canine vitamins will promote bone growth, improve appetite and improve the immune system. Sharp vision and a healthy and impressive looking coat are other benefits a dog can gain from vitamins.

Dangers of vitamins in puppies

Responsible pet owners would take a new puppy to the vet for the necessary vaccinations. Knowing about the benefits of vitamins, an owner would ask a vitamin prescription for the puppy. There is no doubt that vitamins can help the pup grow into a healthy adult dog but recent findings have warned pet owners about vitamin supplementation for puppies. Vitamins that include tar and lead in the ingredients would be harmful to the dogs. Aside from this argument, dog experts believe that vitamins that result to growth spurts would be detrimental to the health of the puppy. The puppy owner delighted with the rapid growth of the pet would keep on giving vitamins. However, studies have proven that the body that has grown so big cannot be supported by the still weak bones. The growth spurts that abnormally lengthen the bones can cause deformities. Wouldn’t it be best to let the pup grow naturally as nature intended it to?

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