Just like humans, dogs need vitamins to keep them healthy and active throughout their lives.
Some supplements take a one-size-fits-all approach. But not all vitamins are created equal. And every pup is unique. So how can you choose the right vitamins to keep your best fur friend happy and healthy?
Here are eight things to consider.
8 Key Factors To Help You Choose the Right Dog Vitamins
Before selecting a vitamin for your dog, it’s a great idea to check with your veterinarian first. They may have expert input based on your dog’s medical history and specific needs according to their breed and life stage.
Then, as you do your research, keep the following factors in mind.
Your Dog’s Age
Your dog’s life is a journey. A rambunctious puppy has very different needs than a senior pup in their golden years.
Puppies and young dogs under 18 months of age are in a serious growth phase! Their immune system is growing stronger. And their joints and muscles are developing rapidly to support their active adult years.
Mature, adult dogs are in their prime and living their best lives. Yet, they may already be showing signs of stiff joints, allergies, and skin problems, as well as problems with anxiety.
Senior dogs, on the other hand, may still be puppies at heart but are prone to developing osteoarthritis and cognitive issues.
Understanding your dog’s needs at each life stage is crucial to choosing the right vitamin for them.
Are the Vitamins Dosed According to Weight?
This is important because the efficacy of any supplement will depend upon the dosage and how often your dog takes them. To see the benefits, you need to give your dog their vitamins daily.
The amount that works best for a small breed like a Chihuahua may have very little effect on a large Rottweiler.
In contrast, the effective dosage one might give to a fully grown Great Dane could potentially be dangerous for a tiny Maltese puppy.
When choosing the right dog vitamin, be sure to select a brand that doses according to weight. The instructions should be clearly labeled on the packaging.
Where Is the Supplement Made?
You’ll also want to factor in where the supplement is manufactured. We’d like to trust that each supplement brand is advocating for your dog’s best interests, creating the vitamins with integrity and according to strict production standards.
But the truth of the matter is, you are your dog’s best advocate.
Choosing a vitamin that’s manufactured in a safe and ethical way will ensure your pup gets just what they need to support their wellness.
In our own journey to create Pawsomely Healthy, we chose to manufacture our dog vitamins in an FDA-approved, CGMP-compliant facility in the US. Why is that so important?
Put simply: safety matters. So you’ll want to choose a brand of vitamins that adheres to consistent standards of safety. After all, it’s your best fur friend’s health we’re talking about.
What Are the Ingredients?
You’ll also want to find out if the ingredients are natural or synthetic. Supplements come in a wide range of formulas. Natural options are obtained from whole foods, whereas synthetic ingredients are usually made artificially.
Check the label closely to determine if the vitamins are natural or synthetic.
There are a wide variety of ingredients that can enhance your dog’s wellness. Doing your own research to understand the ingredients can help you choose the best dog vitamin for your furry friend.
The ingredient list for some vitamins is pretty straightforward: vitamin C, magnesium, and glucosamine. Other supplements come as a blend, and they may include additional ingredients that you aren’t familiar with.
For example, did you know that passionflower is commonly used to manage anxiety in dogs?
Or how about Frankincense? We typically think of it in its fragrant essential oil form, but did you know that as a supplement it can also address chronic inflammation in dogs?
To read more about some of our favorite ingredients, go to our ingredients page.
What Are the Health Benefits?
Once you’ve identified the ingredients in your dog’s new vitamin, do some research to understand their health benefits.
Does it work best as a preventative treatment? For instance, Aquamin™ is a multi-mineral compound that is rich in calcium, magnesium, and 72 other minerals and trace elements.
As a result, it’s a powerhouse ingredient that can prevent future joint issues in active dogs.
On the other hand, some ingredients provide more immediate relief. Take valerian root for example. It’s commonly used to provide relief from stress and anxiety in both humans and animals.
For dogs who struggle with noise anxiety from thunderstorms or fireworks, a supplement that contains valerian root can help them find peace and calm without any unwanted side effects.
Knowing the unique health benefits of each ingredient can help you choose what’s best for your dog’s specific needs and health goals.
Is It Bioavailable?
Bioavailability is an important topic when it comes to choosing the right dog vitamin. In the simplest terms, bioavailability is the ability of a substance to be absorbed and used by the body.
It would be a literal waste to make a large investment in dog vitamins only for them not to be absorbed by your dog and end up as waste on your lawn!
So when selecting a supplement for your pup, look for brands that are formulated for maximum absorption. That way you know your dog is getting the full benefit from the ingredients you’ve carefully chosen.
Are They Reasonably Priced?
As the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” So there’s a caution against selecting dog vitamins that are very low-priced. You may end up with a low-quality substance that won’t benefit your dog.
Yet, choosing a supplement that breaks the budget isn’t sustainable either. When deciding upon a brand of vitamin supplements, look for a product that is reasonably priced when you factor in the dosage.
In general, for most supplements, it will take at least 30 days or more to see noticeable results. And your dog will need to continue taking them for the maximum benefits to be seen.
So as you contemplate the price of your new dog vitamins, take that into consideration.
Are They Appropriate for Sensitive Tummies?
Some dogs can eat nearly anything without problems, while others are highly sensitive and prone to upset tummies. If your pup has a sensitive stomach, then you’ll especially want to keep that in mind when choosing a supplement.
Dogs with sensitive stomachs may develop nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or excess gas. Introducing new vitamins could potentially irritate their sensitive digestive system.
So as you select the right supplement for your dog, look for ingredients that also promote good digestive health, such as ginger root.
The Final Woof
When it’s all said and done, choosing the right dog vitamins is no small feat! There are lots of factors to consider.
Before purchasing a new supplement, take time to understand your dog’s unique needs and learn about the many health benefits of various natural ingredients. Taking these extra steps will ensure that your best fur friend receives just what they need.
After all, best friends take care of each other!