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Which Vitamins and Minerals Do Dogs Need?

When it comes to dogs, food is food, right? Wrong. 

Everyone needs a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy, and your dog is no exception. When you look at your dog’s diet, you need to make sure it contains all the essential nutrients they need to thrive. So, which vitamins and minerals do dogs need to have healthy lifestyles? We’re going to break it down.

What’s the Difference Between Vitamins and Minerals? 

Vitamins are organic compounds found throughout nature. They are produced by plants and animals through chemical reactions. For instance, when you step out into the sunlight, your body produces Vitamin D. The main difference between vitamins and minerals is that minerals have an inorganic composition. Minerals are mostly found in soil and water, but they’re also present in fruits, vegetables and animals.

Examples of vitamins: 

  • Vitamin A 
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin D

Examples of minerals: 

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium 
  • Zinc 
  • Chloride 
  • Sodium

What does My Dog Need? 

When it comes to your dog’s nutrition, you want what’s best for them. Essential vitamins and minerals are important for your dog for a variety of reasons. These nutrients improve your pup’s energy levels, help their immune system and much more. 

The best source of vitamins and minerals for your dog is a well-balanced diet. Care First Animal Hospital recommended diets from Royal Canin, Hill’s, or Purina. Some dogs may need supplements for joints, skin, liver or other systems. Consult with your veterinarian to create a customizable treatment plan for your dog. 

The nutritional needs of your dog change as they age and go through different life cycles. For example, as a puppy, they need nutrient and calorie-dense food to encourage healthy growth and development. Mature dogs will not need such a nutrient-dense diet. 

Dog food bags should be labeled with the nutritional stage they are geared for. For example, puppies should receive food labeled for puppies. Dogs ages 1-7 years should be on a maintenance diet. 

All dogs need the same basic vitamins and minerals for general health. However, let’s take a closer look at each vitamin and mineral to see why they’re important. 

Essential Vitamins for Dogs

  • Vitamin A: eye health, fetal development, immune system support and growth
  • Vitamin B: energy, metabolism and brain development & function
  • Vitamin D: bone and muscle growth
  • Vitamin C: inflammation reduction and cognitive health
  • Vitamin E: metabolism support, puppy development and antioxidant properties
  • Vitamin K: healthy blood-clotting function
  • Choline: healthy liver and brain function

Essential Minerals for Dogs

  • Phosphorus: healthy teeth and bone health
  • Calcium: bone, teeth and nerve health
  • Sodium, Potassium, and Chloride: electrolytes that are critical for maintaining proper hydration and nerve function
  • Magnesium: healthy neuromuscular function

Get Expert Guidance at Care First Animal Hospital 

At Care First Animal Hospital, we are proud to serve as the premier veterinary hospital in Raleigh, NC and the surrounding areas. When it comes to your dog’s health, we’re the experts. Our veterinarians would love to hear from you and discuss your pet’s nutritional needs today!

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