While most of your dog’s nutritional needs should be met with a proper and healthy diet, a lot of the time your dog will require a little something extra in their diet – especially as they start to get a little bit older. Vitamin supplements can also help to prevent illness, and keep your dog feeling their very best!
Most dog foods (the commercially prepared brands) can help provide your dog with full and proper nutrition. However, if you feed your dog a lot of homemade dog food, you have to keep in mind how difficult it is to replicate that type of nutrition into their diet. In these cases, giving your dog a vitamin supplement may be a great choice to ensure that your dog is getting the nutrition that they need.
Some vitamin supplements can be dangerous for dogs, so the best thing to do is to ask your veterinarian for a recommendation before beginning to give your German Shepherd ay type of supplement.
Benefits of Vitamin Supplements
As with people, dogs tend to all have all kinds of nutritional needs. Based on the diet they consume (is it commercial or homemade), and their health (do they have any current health problems, such as a disorder of their bones or joints?) you may need to talk to your veterinarian about choosing a supplement that may help to provide the proper support. For example, if your dog has arthritis of problems with their joints, which is common among older German Shepherds, you might choose a vitamin specific for bone and joint health. These vitamins can include compounds such as Glucosamine (a cartilage building agent), Hyaluronic Acid (which acts as a lubricant between joints to help with smooth movement), and vitamin C (which helps protect tissue in the joints).
There are vitamins created specifically with the German Shepherd breed and the health concerns surrounding the breed in mind, and while many of these can be purchased over the counter in pet stores or online, the best thing you can do is to first visit your dog’s veterinarian if you have concerns. If the vet decides that yes, a vitamin may be beneficial to your dog’s health, he or she will give you a sample, write you a special prescription, or give you a product recommendation based on your dog’s needs.
Some prescription dog foods can also contain special vitamins that commercially prepared foods do not – this eliminates the need for a special multivitamin, as it is provided in the food. Since many dogs do not enjoy taking a vitamin each day, it can be a great choice for some.
When giving your dog vitamin supplements, it is important to keep track of how much of each he or she will be getting each day. You can give your dog too much of certain vitamins, which can lead to health problems. For example, giving your dog too much calcium will lead to skeletal issues, while giving them too much vitamin A can cause dehydration and joint pain. A proper balance is essential, which is why your veterinarian is a key player in deciding on proper nutrition for your dog.