Dogs who consume a balanced diet may not require vitamins to remain healthy. Most commercially produced dog food products are formulated with a combination of vitamins and minerals to maintain your pet’s health. However, some dogs who do not eat well or suffer from certain diseases and conditions may require supplementation to improve their health. One of the most important nutrients to consider is Vitamin B for dogs. It can help prevent and correct certain health problems when given at the proper dosage and circumstances.
Signs Your Dog Needs Vitamin B Supplementation
Supplementation is necessary for pets who suffer from vitamin deficiency as a result of poor diet or health issue. Some of the most common symptoms of Vit. B deficiency include:
– Loss of appetite
– Weight loss
– Eye abnormalities
– Slow growth
– Loss of reflexes
– Unexplained hair loss, often preceded by dullness and dryness of the coat
– Dry skin (some dogs may show lesions)
– Heart failure
What Vitamin B for Dogs Can Do
Vitamin B refers to one, several or the whole group of B vitamins that include vitamins B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B12(cyanocobalamin/cobalamin) and biotin. Each type of Vit. B offers a number of benefits for the dog.
Vit. B1 – helps convert glucose in the dog’s body to energy, hence ensuring that the dog has enough energy to burn. It also helps ensure normal growth and aids in proper nerve impulse transmission. It is found in cooked fish, liver, brewer’s yeast, milk and meats.
Vit. B2 – also aids in the dog’s proper growth and muscle development. It is also helpful in maintaining a healthy coat. Vit. B2 helps prevent leg weakness, heart failure and eye abnormalities. It is found in dairy products and organ meats.
Vit. B3 – aids in the proper functions of enzymes to help the dog maintain a healthy body weight and appetite. It is found in meat and meat-by products, hence the need for supplementation among dogs that consume mostly vegetables.
Vit. B5 – helps in the proper metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It helps promote a healthy gastrointestinal system and in keeping the dog’s hair strong and shiny. It occurs naturally in raw meats and is often destroyed during cooking or processing, hence the need for supplementation in case of deficiency.
Vit. B6 – enhances the the dog’s ability to metabolize amino acids, which are the building blocks of the muscles and tissues. Amino acids maintain the structure of the cells, transport and store nutrients, and play key roles in the function of the dog’s glands, arteries, tendons and organs. Healthy amounts of amino acids in the dog’s body also helps him heal faster and eliminate waste more efficiently.
Vit. B12 – helps in the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow, hence preventing anemia. It is generally paired with folic acid, a vitamin with similar properties.
Biotin – known mainly for promoting healthy hair and skin, but it also aids in proper digestion, muscle function and growth.
The B vitamins are water-soluble, in that only small amounts of these vitamins are stored in the body while the rest are flushed out through the urine. Water-soluble vitamins are considered as low-risk vitamins because they can be eliminated easily.