Yes you should, but they do not have to be the way you think. Usually you will get extra vitamins for your dog at their first puppy visit. There are many reasons why your dog should get vitamins and why they might need extra vitamins. All dogs have different nutritional requirements and not all dog food
There are many reasons to give your dog vitamins range from the fact that all dogs have different nutritional requirements to your dogs food not having enough. Even if your dog is on the raw food diet, they still might need additional nutrients depending on their breed sometimes. Older dogs especially need vitamin supplements because they are not eating as much food as they used to and could be lacking certain nutrients.
So what kind of vitamins do dogs need? Well, it helps to know what each vitamin is for. Vitamin A is for the skin. This might help prevent flaky skin and irritable skin in your dogs. Vitamin D is your dogs bone and teeth. Breeds like golden retrievers who are very susceptible to arthritis and hip problems will probably benefit greatly from taking a supplement of vitamin d. Vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin and Vitamin K is the blood clotting vitamin. You also have vitamin b which is for healthy muscles, skin and blood and then vitamin C which is a vitamin for stress and antioxidant.
Some people will argue that a good quality pet food will contain all the vitamins and nutrients your dog needs. Others will tell you that is simply not true. The cooking process that some of the pre made dog foods go through might kill essential nutrients that are needed. While most pet foods will contain the « average » amount of recommended vitamins, they do not provide additional vitamins for protection against diseases.
Vitamins help regulated your dogs metabolism. Vitamins fall into two categories. One is water soluble (vitamin B and C) which have to be replenished every day. Vitamins A, D, E and K are what’s known as fat soluble vitamins. They are stored in fatty tissue and the liver and do not need to be replenished daily.
Also included in these supplements are minerals. Minerals keep our dogs body fluids balanced. Your dog needs minerals like calcium, magnesium, sodium (just a little) and potassium just like we do. You need to be careful though with minerals because they can affect each other if too much is taken.
When we talk about vitamins we do not just mean the pills that you can get from your vet. We are also talking about adding certain foods to their diets to make sure they are getting enough vitamins. If you are following the raw food diet, you want to make sure your dog gets a variety of vegetables to keep their vitamin intakes up.
If you are not giving your dog a vitamin or supplement, take a good long hard look at him. If you see he is losing weight, has skin lesions, or losing his fur he might have a vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency is apparent when your dog loses some of his muscle tone. If you notice your dog might have a vitamin deficiency, talk to your vet to find out for sure. Your vet will either suggest that your dog begins to take the necessary vitamin or for you to change his food.
Most of the time vitamins deficiencies are more common in packaged dog food that you can get from your local supermarket. This is why it is important to read the labels on the dog food you buys if that is your feeding method. You want to make sure it contains all the vitamins your dog needs. If it does not, and you do not feel comfortable going to the raw food diet, talk to your vet about giving your dog vitamin supplements to keep him healthy.