Multivitamins for your dog and cat
There is a wide range of multivitamins for your pets available. What is a multivitamin and when is it needed?
Multivitamin for dogs and cats
Multivitamin is the term for a supplement that contains multiple vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins are substances that humans and animals should extract from food as they are necessary for the natural functioning of the body. Vitamins are also necessary for the proper functioning of enzymatic processes. It is not possible for humans or animals to produce vitamins by themselves. This is why Vetsend offers a wide range in dog vitamins and cat vitamins online.
Which vitamins are there and what do they do?
There are 13 different vitamins:
This is important for maintaining healthy mucous membranes and good vision. Vitamin A is also important for the growth of bones and teeth. Most mammals can convert beta-carotene from plant material into vitamin A. Cats cannot do this and extract vitamin A from their diet. Organ meat is a good source of vitamin A. However, too much vitamin A is harmful. The recommended daily amount of vitamin A for an adult cat is between 650 – 850 IU (international units).
We are familiar with the following B vitamins: Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8, B11 (folic acid) and B12. These play an important role in digestion and cell metabolism and work together for a healthy nervous system. They play a role in the energy supply of the body and provide a healthy skin and coat.
Vitamin C is especially known for its resistance. It is an antioxidant that is important for the immune system. It also helps in the absorption of iron. Dogs and cats can make vitamin C themselves. Too much vitamin C can lead to the formation of calcium oxalate bladder stones.
Vitamin D3 is the most important vitamin D and is involved in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and thus in the formation of strong bones and teeth. A shortage can lead to bone deformities. It is also important for a well-functioning immune system. Dogs and cats cannot convert vitamin D through the skin, as humans can. It is commonly found in meat and oily fish.
Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that protects cells, cell walls, blood vessels and other tissues from oxidative stress. Too much vitamin E is never actually harmful because the body disposes the excess itself.
Vitamin K is important for blood clotting and is also important for bone metabolism. A deficiency of vitamin K is rare, but can occur, for example, after rat poison intoxication. This deficiency can lead to bleeding.
In addition to the ‘real’ vitamins, there are other vitamin-like substances such as L-carnithin (an amino acid that plays an important role in fat metabolism). There are also plant substances that act as antioxidants in the body.
The following minerals should be absorbed through the diet:
In addition to minerals, so-called trace elements are also important. These are minerals of which the body needs very little. These trace elements are:
Vitamins come from so-called ‘living’ nature, where the minerals and trace elements come from ‘dead’ nature. Minerals are absorbed by plants from the earth and by animals from food or water.
For humans, the recommended daily amounts of all vitamins, minerals and trace elements are known. For dogs and cats there is no clear overview. The FEDIAF (the European dietary guidelines for dogs and cats) do give guidelines on how many vitamins and minerals should be in a diet. Most pet food comply with these guidelines.
When does my pet need multivitamins?
In most cases it is not necessary to give your animal extra vitamins or minerals if your animal gets a good, quality diet.
Of course, there are cases where the amounts of vitamins and minerals fall short. This differs for each animal type. The amounts your pet makes are often not enough to replace the amounts from the diet. Unlike humans and guinea pigs, most animal species can develop vitamin C themselves. Because this vitamin has important properties, it can still be useful to provide additional vitamin C.
Which animals are eligible for a multivitamin?
As your pet ages, its ability to absorb digestive substances decreases. At this stage, a broad supply of nutrients is very important. It is also good for older animals to consume smaller quantities instead of a large portion once or twice a day.
Animals recovering from disease or surgery
When animals are recovering, the body has an increased need for nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc, certain B vitamins, vitamin E and selenium.
Animals that are subject to heavy physical strain need more nutrients that act as antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. In addition, there is an increased need for, for example, magnesium.
Animals with low immunity
A multivitamin is ideally suited for a longer period of time, for example to support the immune system. A multivitamin contains many substances that contribute to maintaining good resistance, including zinc, vitamin C and D.
Pets on a diet or animals that eat poorly
If animals eat less due to circumstances (for example if they are on a diet or eat poorly because of dental problems), feeding a multivitamin is a good idea. After all, if an animal consumes less, it also gets less essential nutrients. Of course, the number one priority is to tackle the cause if an animal eats poorly.
Complementary to your pet’s diet
It can be quite complicated for many animal species to feed them in the most natural way possible while still providing sufficient nutrients. Horses should ideally only be fed herbal hay, but is our British grass really suited for this? Even if you yourself prepare the menu for your dog or cat, there may be shortages of vitamins and minerals. To be on the safe side, a multivitamin can be useful.
What are good supplements for my pet?
It is very important that the supplements are presented in a way that allows the body to use them. For example, zinc can only be absorbed as zinc citrate and not as zinc oxide. So you have to look at this carefully before you choose a preparation.
Examples of good multivitamin preparations are:
- Phytonics multivit dog and cat
- Groene Os Multivitamin and Mineral Complex for Cats & Dogs
- Puur Vita-min for Dogs & Cats
Do you want to know more about the use of vitamins and minerals for your pet? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for our in-house veterinarian or at email@example.com for our customer service team.