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Can dogs take human vitamins? We consider and review the best multivitamin for dogs on homemade diet.
A few months back we posted a couple of new Blogs relating to making your own Dog Food and/or Treats; ‘The 10 Best Balanced Homemade Dog Food Recipes’ and ‘The Top 10 – Homemade Dog Treats Recipes Vet Approved Australia’.
Without doubt these have been 2 of the most successful blogs we have posted, especially in terms of traffic to read them and in feedback from customers.
This is both rewarding and humbling for us.
This customer feedback has also included requests from customers regarding whether they should be giving their dogs vitamins and/or supplements and in particular ‘can dogs take human vitamins?’.
Our initial private thoughts were, ‘are extra Vitamins or Supplements necessary for your dog?’
Up until now we have left those requests without a public response.
The main reason for this is that we don’t want to be seen as giving advice in an area that is best discussed between the dog owner and their local Veterinarian who knows the health status of your dog.
That is still our stance, however this is some information where anecdotal reports have suggested potential benefits for dogs.
We have included this information here so that you have some background information to then discuss with your local Veterinarian.
What are the best multivitamin for dogs on homemade diet?
From our own personal experience, we have always taken the approach that making our own dog food was a way of ensuring our dogs get balanced and nutritious food.
The same could be argued for good quality commercially available dry and/or wet food; where certain standards have been followed, for both food safety reasons and for being balanced and nutritious for dogs.
In our case we prefer to make our own dog food from those recipes posted elsewhere in this blog.
Do we need dog supplements for homemade food?
We have had all of our recipes checked by a Veterinarian and therefore the answer to that question for us would have to be ‘No’.
Other homemade dog food may not have the same balance as ours.
The choice always remains with the dog owner.
What is the best dog food with vitamins and minerals?
Some of the questions we have received on the topic of vitamins and supplements include:
- Are there dog supplements for homemade food?
- Are there dog supplements for weight gain?
- What is the best joint supplement for dogs with hip dysplasia?
- What is the best multivitamin for dogs on homemade diet?
- Can dogs take human vitamins?
- Is there a liquid joint supplement for dogs?
- What is the best dog food supplement powder?
- What is the best dog food to build muscle?
- Are there dog supplements for muscle growth?
- What is the best dog food with vitamins and minerals?
Anecdotal reports in the marketplace suggest that dogs may gain benefit from the following vitamins and/or supplements in their diet.
We have put together information we have found that responds to the various customer questions above.
Here are some of the types of products available, for you to discuss suitability with your local Veterinarian:
We read and hear a lot about the use of Probiotics in the human diet; in particular with regard to gut health.
For dogs there is the suggestion of Prebiotics (to promote and nourish colon health through the growth of good bacteria), and Probiotics (direct-fed microbials – products that contain live bacteria and/or yeast).
The types of commercially available products where these supplements could be found include:
- Some dog foods
- Kefir or Yoghurt with live capsules. Some dogs can suffer things such as diarrhea with dairy products.
It has been suggested that fish oil can provide benefits to a dog such as giving them a silk coat, promoting good heart health, joint pain reduction, allergy reduction and with dry and flaky skin.
Other reports go further and suggest it promotes a good immune system and could benefit dog cancer.
If you have ever read reports on fish oil before, it has long been suggested that the health benefits come from the Omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil.
For dogs this has been suggested as being beneficial for their body and brain.
One suggestion of why fish oil is necessary today is because many commercial dog foods and processed foods as well as grains contain higher levels of Omega-6.
The suggestion is that increased Omega-3 through fish oil will help balance out the ration of Omega-6 and Omega-3 in the dog’s diet.
Fish oil comes in the following 3 types:
- Synthetic triglyceride oil, which is synthetic. Its absorption level can be less.
- Natural triglyceride oil, which is the most natural of the 3 types available. It is also considered the easiest to absorb. As this oil has usually not been purified there can be instances where it may contain contaminants.
- Ethyl ester oil, which is distilled and is concentrated to remove impurities.
This is considered to be the most popular supplement used with dogs. It is actually an amino sugar, found around the joints in fluid form and helps cartilage to form.
In natural form it can be extracted from the shells of some shellfish, or synthetically made in a laboratory.
The anecdotal reports bring varying suggestions; from helping to remove joint pain, or arthritis and mobility, through to others who suggest it makes little to no effect.
It is available in many forms including powders, pills and supplements where it is included with a mixture of other ingredients.
There is thought that antioxidants can help the fight against aging, such as cognitive dysfunction and memory loss as well as helping reduce inflammation in heart disease.
It can be found naturally, such as in Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
Vitamins for dogs
There are a range of vitamins that are needed in a dog’s diet such as:
- Vitamin A. A great source is in Carrots; which is why you will see it included in many of our homemade recipes (see link at the top of this Post). It is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for immune function, cell function and for growth and fetal development.
- Vitamin B. This is actually a group of vitamins that can all play a significant role in the health and well-being of your dog. Examples include:
- Vitamin B6 for the generation of Glucose, nervous system and red blood cell function, niacin synthesis, activation of genes, immune response and the regulation of hormones.
- The combination of Vitamin B12, Niacin and Riboflavin, which aide in the function of enzymes.
- Thiamine. This activates ion channels in your dog’s neural tissue as well as aiding the metabolism of carbohydrates and the regulation of energy.
- Folic acid. This is essential for mitochondrial protein synthesis as well as the metabolism of amino acids and nucleotide metabolism.
- Pantothenic acid which aids the metabolism of energy.
- Vitamin C. A vital antioxidant (see above).
- Vitamin D. This one is essential for mineral balancing (such as calcium and phosphorous) and without a sufficient amount in its system it could affect growth, as well as healthy muscles and bones.
- Vitamin E. Your dog’s system needs this as a defense against oxidation damage. It is a fat-soluble vitamin and is essential for fat metabolism and cell function. If deficient, there can be issues for the reproductive system, as well as eye health and the degeneration of muscles.
- Vitamin K. Another fat-soluble vitamin that in this case helps the activation of the clotting ability of your dog’s blood. A lack of Vitamin K can lead to hemorrhaging if your dog has eaten particular mouse and rat poisons.
- Choline. This helps with healthy liver and brain function. There is also evidence that it has been used on occasions with the treatment of dog epilepsy.
This is a supplement used to promote joint health for dogs. It would be a recommendation left with your local Veterinarian to make.
The Dasuquin formula acts to support joint function and to protect cartilage, as well as to stimulate cartilage and matrix production.
Natural alternatives in conjunction with the best multivitamin for dogs on homemade diet
Although natural alternatives you should also discuss the potential suitability of these with your local Veterinarian.
Not all foods are safe for dogs (Chocolate, Onions, Garlic being very bad to the point of being toxic or even fatal).
However, research suggest that certain fruits are great for antioxidants, including:
- Granny Smith apples
- Red Delicious apples
Natural antibiotics can be the best multivitamin for dogs on homemade diet
- Manuka Honey (could be added to some of our homemade dog treat recipes).
- Oil of Oregano (could be added to some of our homemade dog food recipes)
Natural therapies for dogs – are there treatments or supplements for muscle growth or other health and wellbeing issues?
Having spent considerable time in researching the above information on vitamins and supplements we were also conscious of a large number of natural therapies used on dogs.
There has been a large swing into this type of treatment by humans and we were surprised by just how much it was now being use on dogs.
Here is a list of what is available and perhaps after consultation with your local Veterinarian you may find something suitable for your dog’s health and wellbeing.
They are often used in a complimentary way with 2 or more different natural therapies.
This is often used in conjunction with Phyto therapy. The animals can surprisingly be more accepting of the needles than we think given how many dogs can be quite agitated getting their shots at the Vets.
Some of the treatments used successfully include:
- behavioral issues
- osteoarticular pathology
- weak organs
With aromatherapy the treatment process uses aromatic plant extracts (in the form of essential oils and/or essences) for therapeutic purposes. This differs from Phyto therapy all the elements of a plant are used.
Once again, you need to discuss these therapies with your local Veterinarian.
As with Osteopathy and Physiotherapy, this is a modern practice of animal health care that is proving successful with neurological or orthopedic conditions.
As a result it is becoming more frequently practiced in veterinary clinics.
This is a branch of modern alternative therapies where it involves treating animals by means of remedies (this could be in dilution or in small doses).
The theory is that the remedies aid in helping the body to fight back.
This is a practice that we have always used on our dogs due to the calming effect it has on them. It is a great bonding exercise between the dog and owner.
We have written about these previously in a recent Blog Posts; ‘Anxiety In Your Dog – 11 Suggestions On How To Calm Dog Anxiety Naturally’
As with Physiotherapy, this is a practice of animal health care that is proving successful with neurological or orthopedic conditions. As a result, it is becoming more frequently practiced in modern veterinary clinics.
This is a practice of animal health care that is becoming more frequently practiced in modern veterinary clinics.
In particular it is proving successful with neurological or orthopedic conditions.
The use of natural plants in different forms for their chemical components and their therapeutic benefits.
There are suggestions of it being beneficial for helping support the immune system as well as having calming effects on dogs suffering stress and anxiety.
Chinese medicine techniques use this form of therapy with many of their treatments.
Summary – So now you have read it all, what is the best multivitamin for dogs on homemade diet?
We enjoyed doing the research and putting together this Blog Post relating to that question of; ‘are extra Vitamins or Supplements necessary for your dog.’
From our perspective a well balanced and nutritious diet should contain the necessary vitamins and nourishment that your dog needs.
Making our own dog food is something we have done for a long time and the recipes used have that mix. They are also popular with our dogs.
Furthermore, through this COVID-19 isolation period we have had great fun getting different family members and friends involved in the dog food making process; educational and fun.
Economically, it makes a lot of sense too.