Have you wondered if your senior dog would benefit from taking vitamins and/or supplements? Does your pet companion have a medical condition that requires he take extra supplements or vitamins? Can you give your dog too many vitamins? This article is a guide to help answer your questions. We’ll take a look at vitamins and supplements for older dogs, how to know if your dog needs supplements, and then take a look at several vitamin supplements to help you choose one for your senior furry pal.
What are Dog Vitamins?
Just like us, our canine companions need the right mix of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. We humans tend to take vitamins on a regular basis, and believe our canine friends should, too. So, just what are vitamins?
Vitamins are organic compounds and essential nutrients that humans and animals need to survive and thrive. Humans and our pet companions (along with other animals) can’t make these substances within our bodies, so we have get our nutrients from the foods we eat.
Essential nutrients enable many functions within our bodies—everything from regulating cell and tissue growth to supporting the nervous system and organs to work correctly. Vitamins also help with the growth and development of the fetus, childhood/puppyhood development and ongoing adult health. Certain medical conditions in humans and animals also require specific nutrients in order to maintain health or to heal from disease and infections, etc.
As you can see, vitamins are essential for us and our pet companions. Without proper nutrition we quickly become weak and more susceptible to illness and possibly even death.
Do Dogs Need Vitamin Supplements?
Your dog may be getting all the vitamins he needs in his dog food. Most commercial dog foods include a label that includes the phrase “complete and balanced,” meaning the food contains all the nutrients a dog needs on a daily basis. The nutritional requirements your dog needs typically vary by age—puppies have different nutritional requirements than adults dogs, while senior dogs require a different balance of nutrients than their younger adult canine friends.
Your fur baby is more than likely getting the vitamins he requires to stay healthy and active, as long as you’re feeding him the proper diet for his life stage
On the other hand, dogs who are on a homemade diet may need vitamin supplementation, as homemade diet may not include all the necessary vitamins your pet needs.
Are There Risks with Giving My Dog Vitamins?
Yes, there are some risks involved with giving your fur baby vitamins. An overdose of certain vitamins can upset your pet’s health. Vitamin toxicity (vitamin overdose) is a serious condition and can cause everything from liver problems to problems with the nervous system and even death.
So, it pays to be careful with any vitamin supplements you’re giving your pup. Pay attention to daily recommended nutritional values and don’t go over these, unless directed to by your veterinarian.
Why Would My Senior Dog Need Vitamins?
Some older dogs need daily vitamin supplements if they’re on a homemade diet, but there are other instances where your fur baby may need to take vitamins. A dog may need supplements in these cases:
- Dogs with a vitamin or mineral deficiency (diagnosed by a vet)
- Dogs diagnosed with a disease that responds well to specific supplements
- Dogs who aren’t eating well or eating enough
- Dogs who have osteoarthritis and/or other painful conditions
Dogs in these cases can benefit from the nutrients provided by vitamins. However, it’s a good idea to check with your veterinarian before giving your furry canine friend any type of vitamin supplement.
Vitamins for Older Dogs
Dogs go through many physical changes as they age, just as we do. Our furry canine companions have special nutritional requirements when they reach their senior years. Your pet may need a different balance of nutrients as he ages, with specific vitamins and minerals aimed at any health issues he may have:
- Dental issues: older dogs can suffer from dental problems, like their humans. Softer foods and supplements are recommended for dogs with this health issue. The minerals contained in these supplements can help your senior pup retain his teeth.
- Joint problems: our senior canine companions often have to deal with osteoarthritis, which leaves them coping with pain that may lower their activity levels. Supplements offering nutrients that support joint health are a great option for these pups.
- Mental health: dogs, just like us, also have to deal with cognition problems as they age. Vitamins and supplements with ingredients that support mental health are helpful.
- Decreased liver function: some senior dogs may face decreased liver function and liver disease. These can be dangerous conditions. Vitamin supplements that promote liver health can help improve your older dog’s liver over time.
These are only a few of the conditions your older fur baby can face as he ages.
Looking for the right vitamin supplements can take time and research, but the health of your pet is worth all the extra effort to find the optimal vitamin supplement to give him better quality of life in his elder years
Which Vitamin Supplement Should My Dog Have?
This will depend on your dog’s diet, his age and the state of his health. The best judge of whether or not your pet needs vitamins will be your veterinarian. They will know your dog inside and out, be familiar with his medical conditions, diet, etc. Your vet is your best guide in this instance.
If your vet recommends vitamins for your pup, they may make a recommendation on the brand and the daily requirement for each vitamin your dog needs. However, your vet may just offer a general idea about the need for multivitamin, without naming a specific brand. If you’re in this situation, we’ve got information to help you find the best multivitamins for your fur baby!
The Best Vitamins & Supplements for Your Older Canine Companion
We’ve compiled a list of the seven best senior dog vitamin and supplement products that have received the highest rated reviews and are recommended by veterinarians. These are all available at local stores or online.
1). Purina 3-Pack Fortiflora Canine Supplement
This supplement works to keep your pup’s gastrointestinal tract and immune system healthy. The formula contains probiotics (beneficial microorganisms) that are completely natural. It helps to ease and stop diarrhea caused by diet changes, antibiotic treatment, etc. The supplement can also help with dogs who have excessive flatulence. This supplement is easy to give your dog—just sprinkle over his food!
2). VitaHealth Senior Dog Vitamins
Older dogs may be missing important vitamins in their diet. This could be due to poor eating or medical conditions that come with getting older. This vitamin supplement is made especially for senior pups. It’s an all-natural product packed with maximum strength daily vitamins need by senior dogs. The product supplies vitamins and supplements to support joints, skin, nails, coat and heart health. These chewy tablets are made in the USA and the company regular tests the safety, purity and consistency of their product(s).
3). NaturVet VitaPet Senior Daily Vitamins
This is another healthy option for senior dogs, though it’s also safe for all dogs (and all dog breeds) over the age of one year. This full-spectrum supplement provides all the essential vitamins and minerals your senior canine friend needs on a daily basis. The added glucosamine works to provide support to your pup’s joints and maintain healthy joint function. This vet-formulated vitamin supplement is manufactured in the USA. The chews are flavored and soft—making them a treat for your fur baby.
4). Nutri Vet Senior Vite Chewables
These once-a-day vitamin supplements offer a complete spectrum of vitamins and minerals that will ensure your senior pet is getting his essential nutrients. Along with vitamins and minerals, this supplement contains antioxidants to ensure your older dog stays active and mentally healthy. He’ll love the yummy liver flavoring that are soft and easy to chew! You can rest assured your fur baby will receive the nutrients he needs from this natural and holistic vitamin supplement.
5). VetriScience Laboratories Canine Plus Senior Multivitamin
These tasty veggie-flavored vitamins are soft chews your dog will love! Each tasty chewable provides all the essential minerals and vitamins your senior pup needs each day. These chews help support heart, liver, brain and eye functions. They also support your canine companion’s mental well-being. This formula has been developed by veterinarians and is manufactured in the US.
6). Pro Sense Daily Multivitamin Chewable Tablets
This daily multivitamin supplement provides all the essential nutrients for your dog through each life stage, including his senior years. This formula includes beneficial antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support your pup’s overall health and wellness.
7). Excel 8 in 1 Multivitamin
This daily multivitamin supplement is formulated for adult dogs, including senior pups. This veterinarian-recommended supplement contains the right balance of essential nutrients your dog needs each day. These chews are flavored with chicken liver—a taste your dog will love!
Vitamin supplements can be helpful if your fur baby needs the extra nutrients to keep him healthy and active in his senior years. It’s important to first check with your veterinarian to see if your dog really needs supplemental vitamins. If so, then your vet will be the best guide as to exactly which vitamins and minerals will provide your pup with optimal health. They’ll also tell you how much of each vitamin your fur baby needs each day. Use this information to find the best vitamin supplement for your precious canine companion.