Should I Give My Pet Vitamins?
For people, it is not uncommon for a medical doctor to recommend taking a multivitamin, along with other possible vitamins. So you may be wondering if this same advice would be beneficial to your pet. Just like with humans, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. While vitamins may benefit some pets, they could harm others. Consulting with your veterinarian is the best way to be sure that vitamins are what your pet needs.
Why Would My Pet Need Vitamins?
Let’s think a minute about why medical doctors might recommend a daily vitamin for their human patients. First, if lab testing indicates that a person is deficient in a certain vitamin (vitamin D is a common culprit), then of course they will recommend supplementing with that vitamin orally until the cause of the deficiency can be corrected. This is generally the same with pets. If lab testing shows that your pet is deficient in any vitamin, mineral, or other nutrients, your vet will recommend supplementation to get those levels back to normal.
The other reason medical doctors recommend daily multivitamins to humans is that our diets vary so much. The same person might eat drastically different things from day to day, getting plenty of certain vitamins some days while not getting any of those vitamins on others. Plus, there are some people who eat nutrient-poor, junk food all the time. These people definitely need a multivitamin to feel their best.
Pets don’t typically have so much diversity in their diets. Most pets eat commercial-made foods sold at major retailers. These foods are made to be balanced and everything that a pet needs to thrive. Vitamin supplementation for pets on commercial food diets is not usually recommended as it can lead to toxicity and overdose.
However, the exception is pets who eat homemade diets. Whether it’s homemade kibble or a raw diet, homemade diets present some unique challenges in terms of getting the nutrient balance just right. For these pets, a vet may recommend a daily multivitamin just to be sure they are getting everything they need. However, if you know your homemade pet diet is well-balanced, discuss this with your vet, as extra vitamins may be unnecessary and dangerous.
Pet Care in Tampa
If you’re wondering if vitamin supplementation could benefit or harm your pet, don’t make the decision alone. Trust the experts here at Affordable Pet Hospital to fully evaluate your pet’s condition and provide advice and recommendations meant to give your pet the best quality of life. Call us at (813) 991-9898 or request an appointment online today!