Does my puppy need vitamins?

April 13, 2012

Fantastic! You have finally decided to get a puppy. Welcome to the world of dog lovers. The cuddly adorable puppy will certainly make a significant difference to your life. Dogs are very affectionate animals thus owners usually consider the pet as a baby – as a member of the family. It would not be uncommon then for an owner to go gaga over the pet. The health and the happiness of the pet will be prime concerns of the owner. As such not only high quality food will be provided but vitamins and supplements as well.

Vitamins as we all know are necessary for the body’s metabolism, for good vision and for bone growth. Vitamins for dogs have similar effects and give similar benefits as human vitamins. For instance, vitamin C when correctly given will be the ally of the dog’s immune system as it is essential in the dog’s fight against viral and bacterial infections. Correct dosage will help in the maintenance of the dog’s coat and skin. Dogs have a reputation for having huge appetites but some individuals are noted to be finicky eaters. Dog owners turn to vitamin B12. Given in correct dosage, vitamin B12 will improve the dog’s appetite. Vitamin supplementation will be necessary for dogs under heavy stress. Vitamins would give the dog good vision by getting the eyesight more sharp. Vitamin E helps in the maintenance of good foot pads. This mild anti inflammatory vitamin will minimize bone and joint discomfort thus would allow the dog to stay active well into advanced age.

Dog owners know that vitamins would be good for the pet. Providing the pet with vitamin supplementation will be an additional expense. Dog owners though would not mind dipping into their pockets if it is for the good of the pet. Dog experts have differing opinions on giving puppies vitamins. Supposedly, puppy vitamins will make the puppy big and strong. The concern with vitamin supplementation is the fact that it can make the dog big but not strong enough. Studies conducted on this subject have pointed the dangers of giving vitamins for puppies.

Pro vitamin dog experts argue that vitamins must be given to puppies as the dog may not obtain the right amount of nutrients from its diet. Although the commercial dog food is specifically formulated for puppies and that the food is a balanced diet the fiber, the protein as well the other essential nutrients may not be sufficient as puppies would have different nutritional needs. If this is the case, vitamin supplementation would be a big help. Giving the puppy vitamins is largely debated. Some dog experts aver that there is a danger in giving puppy vitamins as this supplementation can make the puppy grow too quickly. The body cannot cope with the fast rate of growth of the frame. The accelerated growth result to deformities and orthopedic concerns as it would abnormally extend the bone structure of the body. Basically, the bones that have grown quite long are weak to support the body. Rapid growth spurts can damage the immature bones and ligaments. Vitamin supplementation in this case is akin to flooding a plant with loads of fertilizer to speed up growth. Vitamins would be essential to the growth of the puppy but it has to be given in minute quantities. Supercharging the growth of the puppy with vitamins and other micronutrients can result to acute toxicity. Needless to say, the life of the pet will be put in jeopardy.

Dog owners would always want the best for the dog. Similar to fashionable dog accessories, the market is flooded with fashionable puppy vitamins. Your friendly pet shop clerk may entice you to get these vitamins for your pet. Beware – read the ingredients carefully. Be sure that it is not harmful to your puppy.

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