Many of us like to add vitamins into our dogs diet to make sure they are getting all the nutrients they need. And this is especially so for those dogs on a kibble diet. But are these vitamins doing your dog more harm than good? Let’s take a look in todays short video at why vitamins may not always be the best choice for your dogs health so stay tuned to learn more
So we all want our dogs to be happy and healthy and to be getting all the nutrients that they need to stay this way. So you might be opting for a vitamin mineral enriched commercial food or you might be adding in extra supplements like vitamin B or C. And here is where some of the issues start.
These vitamins are SYNTHETIC: Both vitamins and minerals added into foods such as commercial kibbles or straight vitamin mineral supplements on their own are made synthetically. Synthetic vitamins are prepared from chemicals instead of nature, which means they are less active biologically than their natural counterparts, thereby reducing any beneficial effect they may have. For example vitamin B6 is derived from petroleum products and vitamin B1 from coal tar and hydrochloric acid. Studies have shown that natural vitamins and minerals have higher bioavailability compared to synthetic ones. For example, natural vitamin E is absorbed twice as much as synthetic vitamin E. Similarly, the bioavailability of natural vitamin C is higher than synthetic vitamin C.
SAFETY: When it comes to the vitamins and minerals found naturally in whole foods, it is unlikely that your dog will be able to overdose on any one particular vitamin. The most that is likely to happen is a little diarrhoea as the body attempts to push out any excess nutrient and in these cases, the body can easily recognise the nutrients and respond easily to any potential excess. However, when to comes to synthetic vitamins your dog’s body is not able to respond as easily with higher levels of specific nutrients. The higher doses found in vitamin and mineral supplements are made to counteract potential low levels within the body but this is what can lead to the overdosing as the body cannot eliminate due to the synthetic nature and this can lead to toxicity in extreme cases.
QUALITY AND EFFECTIVENESS: Synthetic vitamins are cheap to make and this is great for the companies that produce them and improvements in manufacturing has seen even cheap production costs in recent years. But despite them being cheaper than wholefood or organic vitamins that are derived from natural foods, they tend not to have the same benefits as those found in nature. Naturally derived wholefood vitamins and mineral provide a wide range of nutrients that work together synergistically. In your dogs body. In the long run, investing in natural supplements and foods will be more cost-effective than taking synthetic supplements that may not provide the same level of supplementation.
But what if your dog is on a kibble diet ?? We know that kibble as a processed food is lacking in many specific nutrients including antioxidants like vitamin A and E, protein, magnesium and certain B vitamins. Dog food companies do enrich their product with added vitamins and minerals but these are synthetic as I mentioned earlier so whether your dog is absorbing and utilising them is a big question. So if you are still wanting to feed your dog a kibble based diet, consider adding in an organic wholefood supplement such as a super green and red powder or similar at least a few times a week to boost their nutrient levels with nutrients they can easily assimilate. But even better still consider transitioning to a natural raw diet that will form the basis of strong nutrition.
Now there are times when I will certainly prescribe a single vitamin or mineral for a certain amount of time especially where a deficiency may be obvious such as zinc, magnesium or one of the b vitamins. But long term you are far better to focus on giving your dog a good variety of whole foods where the nutrients including antioxidants and minerals are in balanced form that your dogs body will easily recognise and assimilate. And if your dog does need a short term boost look for whole food vitamin and mineral supplements that have been derived from natural fruits and vegetables and are safe and effective for our dogs.
And don’t forget that herbs also contain many vitamins and minerals in that natural wholefood form that our dogs can really benefit from. For example Rosehips is naturally high in vitamin C and flavonoids, Chamomile is rich in magnesium, Nettles is rich in calcium and many other minerals and adding in culinary fresh herbs such as parsley, oregano, coriander, basil and rosemary will provide many vitamins and minerals in small absorbable amounts.