Daily vitamins and supplements have been a part of our morning ritual for years, and are a familiar sight next to our mugs of morning coffee and orange juice. These supplements provide a variety of health benefits for us - so can they be beneficial to your pet? In some cases, yes, but it's most likely not necessary.
Many pet owners give supplements to their pets. The most common supplements given are daily multivitamins, supplements for arthritic joints, fatty acids to promote healthy coats, and probiotics for digestion. However, in many cases, your pet simply doesn't need any dietary supplements.
Our pets, unlike us, eat mostly the same thing every day. For this reason, pet foods are regulated to meet the dietary standards your pet needs. If you are worried about your pet not getting the nutrients they need, talk to your veterinarian to determine if there is actually a problem. If you find your pet is not getting the nutrients that it needs, you may consider researching better food options for your pet.
If your pet is healthy and eating a properly balanced diet, it doesn't need to take any supplements, and giving them may actually be harmful to your pet. Just as a vitamin deficiency is harmful, too much of a particular vitamin can be harmful as well. This is particularly a problem with fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, and E.
There are cases, however, where supplements can be beneficial. If your pet eats a homemade diet, is living with arthritis, or has been diagnosed with a vitamin deficiency, it may need to take supplements. It is important to talk to your veterinarian to see what supplements are needed, and which ones are the best fit for your pet. When talking to your veterinarian, be sure to mention any medications your pet is taking, since some supplements may interact with your pet's medication.