Thursday, September 15, 2011

10 Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Dogs

The following article was submitted to me from the Vitamins and website, and I thought it was worth passing along.

10 Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Dogs

Although dogs and cats love to eat each other’s food, their nutritional needs are very different. They each would be able to survive, but soon would develop health problems. A dog’s nutritional requirements are more similar to humans since they are omnivorous and not carnivorous like cats. They get their nutrients from both animals and plants in their food and you should make sure they are getting enough of these essential vitamins and minerals.

  1. Vitamin A – Dogs need vitamin A for good vision and a strong immune system. Since it’s a fat soluble vitamin and stored in your dog’s body fat, you should be careful not to overdose.
  2. Vitamin D – This essential vitamin is important for strong bones and muscles in your dog. It’s also fat soluble, so take care not to give your dog too much vitamin D.
  3. Vitamin B1 – The B vitamins are all water soluble, so any excess will be flushed out in your dog’s urine. Your dog needs vitamin B1 or thiamin for high energy and carbohydrate metabolism.
  4. Vitamin B6 – Dogs also need vitamin B6 for healthy blood, nervous and immune systems. A deficiency of this essential nutrient can cause weight loss, muscle twitching and anemia.
  5. Vitamin B12 – Along with other B vitamins like niacin and riboflavin, vitamin B12 is necessary for enzyme functions in your dog. A loss of appetite, low white blood cells and anemia can be signs of a B12 deficiency.
  6. Calcium – All dogs need calcium for strong bones and teeth plus a healthy nervous system and blood coagulation. A lack of this mineral in your dog’s diet can cause major skeletal abnormalities.
  7. Copper – An unusual mineral, copper is important for a dog’s proper formation of bone, tissue and cells. Loss of hair pigmentation can mean your puppy isn’t getting enough copper in his diet.
  8. Iron – Canines need iron for the proper function of red blood cells that transport oxygen in their bodies. If your dog is lethargic and weak, he may not be getting enough iron.
  9. Iodine – Your dog needs this mineral for healthy thyroid function and proper metabolism. Enlargement of thyroid glands, dry, sparse hair coat, and weight gain are signs your dog isn’t getting enough iodine.
  10. Zinc – This mineral is important for your dog maintaining healthy hair and skin. A lack of zinc in his diet can cause poor weight gain, vomiting and skin lesions.
Most people love having dogs for pets and they also can be trained to be very useful to law enforcement and the disabled. They are devoted companions with unconditional love for their owners. Make sure your dog is getting proper nutrition from his dog food and supplement his diet for any deficiencies. Ensure your best friend is getting the essential vitamins and minerals to live a long, healthy, happy life.

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