Q&A: Should I give my dog and cat vitamins?

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Today’s guest blogger, Dr. Lauren Brickman, started as a veterinary technician at Garden City Park in 1997 and went on to veterinary school at Ross University. She currently writes a popular pet health and care column for Petside.com that she has shared with us today.

Q: I take vitamins every day. Should my dog and cat take vitamins too?

See Dr. Lauren’s answer after the jump.

A: Dogs and cats do require vitamins as part of their diet
just as we do. Vitamins keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy, strengthen bones and teeth, and give them the overall energy that they need to function.

However, most dogs and cats that are on well-balanced, quality pet foods do not need extra supplementation of vitamins. The pet food companies do this for us and add the required amounts to their food. (Find out more about your dog’s necessary nutrients.)

There are certain disease states and conditions that exist in animals that can benefit from additional vitamin supplementation. This is something that your veterinarian can discuss with you in detail.

It is very important, however, not to give pets human vitamins. Since pets have different requirements than we do, supplementing your dog or cat with human vitamins can actually be harmful to them. To much calcium, for instance, can make your pet very sick.

If you think your pet needs a vitamin or nutritional supplement, talk to your veterinarian. He or she will be able to help you determine whether your pet may benefit from a supplement and will have vitamins designed especially for pets.

If you have questions about your pet’s health, you can submit them to Dr. Lauren at drlauren@petside.com.

You might also like:

Your Dog’s Necessary Nutrients

Reading Dog Food Labels

Nine Beneficial Dog Food Ingredients

Common Dog Food Issues

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