Did you take your multivitamins this morning? One in three Brits take some sort of vitamin supplement every day. Just like with people, dog supplements are a huge business. But do our dogs really need them?
The short answer is – it depends. Most dogs do not need any food supplement if they’re active, looking happy and fed quality food. Generally, you don’t need to worry and add any multivitamins or joint supplements if your dog is not showing signs of being unwell.
Vet professionals believe that supplements for dogs should be introduced if:
- Your dog has been diagnosed with a vitamin/mineral deficiency or a disease that responds to supplementation (e.g., zinc-responsive dermatosis or vitamin E supplementation for osteoarthritis). However, you should be giving your dog specific vitamins and minerals, not a “multivitamin.”
- Your dog regularly eats home-prepared food. In most cases, you’ll need to add a vitamin and mineral supplement to homemade foods. Alternatively, you can mix up your homemade recipes with high-quality dry food.
- Your dog is having a poor diet. Multivitamins can never substitute quality food, but it’s still better than eating only the cheapest food brands.
- You have a senior dog that’s struggling with mobility and joint paint. There are some really efficient supplements to support dog joint health. Ask your vet for recommendations.
If your dog is eating a well-balanced and nutritionally complete dog food that is made from high-quality ingredients, a vitamin and mineral supplement is not necessary unless problems are spotted. So rest assured, go and spend the extra bucks on a new toy or new high-quality food.