When To Add A Vitamin C Supplement To Your Pets Diet
Because dogs and cats are able to generate their own vitamin C, food manufacturers usually dont bother to add it into the ingredients. Still, vets often recommend that pet parents supplement their pet’s food with vitamin C.
That begs the question, “If dogs and cats synthesize their own vitamin C, why should it be added as a supplement to their diets?”
The answer is simple: When animals are stressed, sick, or otherwise worn down, vitamin C levels are used up faster as part of the repair process. This runs down the bodys reserves of vitamin C, and thats when vets often recommend replenishing vitamin C reserves with a supplement.
Vitamin C supplementation is an incredible way to help your pet’s organs function correctly, fight off common illnesses and diseases, and improve bone and joint health.
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Risks Of Vitamin Supplementation
As important as vitamins are to a dogs health, its important to find the supplement that is right for your dog.
In some cases, giving too much of a vitamin can lead to health issues. For example, some experts believe that if a dog gets too much vitamin A, that could result in dehydration and weight loss.9
Thats why you should never give your dog anything before talking to your veterinarian first.
Boosting The Immune System
Vitamin C contributes to the immune system by supporting cellular functions. This vitamin accumulates within phagocytic cells like neutrophils. It enhances phagocytosis and chemotaxis. As well as this, vitamin C helps to generate reactive oxygen species and apoptosis. Spent neutrophils are also removed with the help of vitamin C. This reduces necrosis and damage to tissues. Vitamin C enhances the differentiation of B-cell and T-cell lymphocytes. During stress or anxiety, glucocorticoids suppress the bodys immune response. To counter this, vitamin C reduces glucocorticoid synthesis which helps the dog to maintain some immunocompetence.
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Vitamin C Dosage In Dogs
There is no established dose recommendation for dogs. Researches propose doses of 30mg to 100mg, but none are concrete. Some researchers are adamant that vitamin C supplements offer little benefit to healthy dogs, while other sources suggest that it can significantly help to support your dogs health. Whether you use vitamin C is ultimately your decision as an owner, so be sure to research the benefits and negatives before giving supplements to your dog.
There are two forms of vitamin C that are most recommended: calcium ascorbate and sodium ascorbate. These forms are the most gentle forms of vitamin C. They also produce fewer side effects like heartburn and diarrhea.
Vitamin C For Dogs Vs Retinol For Dogs
Vitamin C and retinol are two powerful anti-oxidants. Retinol is actually a form of vitamin A. Like vitamin C, retinol has been shown to stimulate collagen synthesis to help reverse aging and wrinkles. This means that the main benefits of vitamin C for dogs are also found in retinol .
Retinol plays a role in vision, reproduction, bone growth and a healthy immune system.
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Is Vitamin C Good For Dogs
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Do dogs need vitamin C? Its natural to think that dogs need the same vitamins as humans. Its important to understand the difference between humans and animals. Most dogs can produce their own vitamin C with their liver, humans are unable to do this and must consume it through their foods. Since dogs are carnivores they have no real need for fruits and vegetables. There are some cases where dogs will need to supplement their diets, however, there is vitamin C for dogs out there. Below is a short list of reasons a dog can and may need to supplement for vitamins C.
1. Vet Recommended
Unlike humans, dogs can often eat animal fat, meat and proper dog food to sustain their health for the length of their life span. The animal fats and dog foods include all the necessary vitamins your pet may need. Some dogs may be born with predispositions which require that they supplement their diet, a veterinarian may recommend vita C to help protect your pets liver and vital organs from disease and illness. For all pet vitamin supplementation it is important to consult your vet beforehand. Like a small child or baby, dogs are not able to consume the same types of foods and vitamins in the same quantities as an adult human.
2. Post OP
5. Senior Dog
What Kind Of Vitamin C Should I Use For My Pet
Some kinds of vitamin C are highly acidic These types are more likely to cause digestive distress. Sodium ascorbate is more gentle to the system. Ester-C is another gentle form of C that many of our readers give their pets.
Have you used a Vitamin C supplement for your pet? Let us know how much you give, the size of your pet, and why you give your pet vitamin C. Keep reading to learn how our readers used vitamin C for their cats and dogs!
I started taking increased doses of Vitamin C a number of years ago at my doctor’s recommendation for a tendency to bruise easily. One of the other unexpected benefits is that my sinuses cleared up. I used to wake up sneezing and would continue throughout the morning, sometimes through the entire day, year round. After experimenting with different dosages, I am now on a maintenance level of 2000 mg of Vitamin C daily and this keeps my allergies under control usually 50-51 weeks out of the year. Occasionally, I may have a flare-up and need something else. When that happens, I stir 1 teaspoon of ground Turmeric into an 8 oz. glass of water and drink it. Within 15 minutes, I am breathing freely once again and no more sneezing!
There are 625mg in 1/8 tsp. The dosage as stated above for small dogs is 500mg-1000mg for small dogs. I give my dogs about 1/8 per day. 11lbs and 17lbs. If your dog gets soft stools then try cutting it in half.
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The Truth About Vitamin C In Dogs And Cats
Re: What is the TRUTH about Vitamin C?
A few readers commented on one of the articles I published last weekon Vitamin C as a supplement.
They had been told that Dogs and Cats DONT need additional VitaminC or that the Vitamin C was harming their pet
So what is the deal with Vitamin C???
Vitamin C is the bodys primary water-soluble antioxidant, which makesit an important weapon in the immune systems arsenal against bacteriaand viruses. It also helps protect unsaturated fatty acids, and the fat-soluble vitamins A and E from being oxidized, therefore protecting theirpotency.
A protective vitamin essential to over-all body health, vitamin C isespecially important for neutralizing free radicals. It also:
Helps in the production of collagen, and maintaining healthy skinPromotes the healing of wounds, scar tissue, fracturesStrengthens blood vesselsHelps the body utilize iron and folic acidSupports the thymus glandEnhances T-cell production, increasing resistance to viral andbacterial infections, and some allergies
BUT..In a few select diseases, you SHOULDNT use Vitamin CMost of the time, and for most pets, it is a GREAT supplement.
In fact my dog Lewis gets a combination supplement thatincludes Vitamin C.
The one SPECIFIC case you shouldnt use it is forCalcium Oxalate Stones in dogs and cats.
But I feel that it is important that you areALL clear about this condition, and EXACTLY what youshould do if it happens.
What to eat..
Vitamin C And Disease: Insights From The Evolutionary Perspective
The Journal of Evolution and Health released their findings on the dietary needs of vitamin C in people who consume a largely or strictly animal foods diet. Below is a summary of those results.
an evolutionary adapted human diet based on meat, fat and offal would provide enough vitamin C to cover physiological needs and to ward off diseases associated with vitamin C deficiency.
Traditionally living arctic people represent extreme examples of animal food reliance. Among the Inuit scurvy was not observed until the 20th century . Studies show that the traditional diets of northern populations, including the Inuit diet, provide enough amount of vitamin C. Fediuk , for example, reported an average intake of 38 mg of vitamin C/day from meat and organs. However, on special occasions such as after successful whale hunts intake may reach 340 mg/day .
Animal parts with highest vitamin C content include muktuk, epidermis of the beluga whale and the liver as well as the brain of land and sea mammals .
Westernization of native societies brought substantial changes in lifestyle along with a decline in the access to traditional foods. In parallel, an increasing portion of the Inuit people became at risk for scurvy .
The paper goes on to explain the needs of vitamin C while eating a keto/paleolithic diet.
These findings are very important to take note of.
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Thoughts On The Truth About Vitamin C In Dogs And Cats
My Dachshund Toffee ,now weighing about 11 Kg, had earlier suffered spinal bone strain and had started to drag his rear legs and was unable to walk.I put him on 500mg vitamin C tablet daily over the past two years,and also got him to reduce his weightfrom 13 kg to 11kg.He started to walk after a month of his relapse and has been walking normally since then.The question is:Should I stop the vitamin C tablet due to possibility of oxalates forming in his urine ??
Dogs CAN synthesize their own Vitamin C, that has been widely established. Vitamin is an essential vitamin for primates, guinea pigs and a few fish. Dogs do not fall under any of these categories and can easily synthesize their own Vitamin C for their needs.
Excessive Vitamin C can lead to kidney stones in dogs.
When To Give Supplements To A Dog
Most dog foods provide at least basic nutritional requirements. But if you give your dog raw food or homemade food, theres a chance your pet might not be getting all of the nutrients he or she needs. This is a case where supplementation could help.1
Talk to your veterinarian about the food your dog is eating to get a good idea of how your pet could benefit from vitamin supplementation.
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Best Vitamin C Supplements
It is important to check with your vet before using any supplements for your dog. Do not forego traditional treatments. It is not always possible to correctly diagnose your pets problem from home, and vitamin supplements sometimes aggravate pre-existing conditions. For this reason, its vital that you only use supplements as they were intended as supplements, not as substitutions. With that being said, there are several factors to consider when choosing a supplement:
- Be wary of bold claims. This includes promises to alleviate illnesses like cancer and parvovirus.
- Look for certification. Do any organizations approve this product?
- What form does the supplement come in? Does your dog prefer tablets or powder?
The Absence Of Disease Is Not Health
So, how then does your dog get the benefits that vitamin C provides? Through the vitamin C in meats and organs, and through vitamins and minerals that offer the same benefits as vitamin C for dogs.
First, lets talk about the meats and organs with the highest vitamin C for dogs.
Here is a list of meats and organs with vitamin C values provided by the USDA. Keep in mind that these values are for commercially raised animals and these numbers are higher in grass-fed/pastured animals.
Meat from wild animals will also be significantly higher. The below list includes values from the most common commercially raised animals.
Note: If a meat or organ is not mentioned below, its due to the vitamin C content being especially low, making it insignificant to the USDA, for reporting purposes.
Values are per 1 oz.
- Pork Leg 0.2 mg
- Pork Shoulder 0.2 mg
- Chicken Meat and Skin 0.5 mg
- Chicken Liver 6 mg
- Chicken Gizzard 0.9 mg
While your raw fed dog will get all the vitamin C he or she needs from the above sources, there are other vitamins and even a mineral with the same benefits as vitamin C for dogs.
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Health Benefits Of Vitamin C For Dogs
Not everything which is healthy is deemed necessary. Since your dog has the ability to create vitamin C in their body, you may think that there is no place for adding it to their diet. But there is. Some dogs especially those who are stressed and/or sick dont follow the proper patterns, and dont produce enough vitamin C on their own.
Vitamin C has many benefits: it can help you to fight viral diseases. It can help prevent and treat a variety of diseases and infections, as well as cancer, according to some experts. Studies are still being conducted on it, but the results so far are encouraging. The health benefits of proper vitamin C absorption were only seriously uncovered in the 90s, and science is still learning more about this vitamin in regards to canines and humans alike. That being said, a 2009 study revealed that there may be little benefit to a vitamin C supplementation in healthy dogs, so its best to check with your vet beforehand.
The health benefits of vitamin C for dogs should not be overlooked, whether they are afflicted with an illness or not. Sometimes, when a dog is stressed, the amounts of vitamin C which are naturally produced decrease significantly. The health benefits are there and they are ones which are needed. Because of that, youre recommended to ensure that your dog has enough vitamin C in her system.
Do Dogs Need Vitamin C Which Vitamin C Supplements To Try And When To Use Them
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Vitamin C is an important antioxidant for dogs that can help reduce potentially harmful free radicals in your pet’s body, support healthy aging, and reduce inflammation. Vitamin C can also support your dog’s immune system, improve energy, and provide relief to dogs who suffer from UTIs.
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Which Vitamins Are Essential For Pups
There are two main classes of vitaminswater-soluble and fat soluble and just like you, your dog benefits from both. Water-soluble vitamins are associated with metabolism and making sure dogs can use nutrients for energy, while fat-soluble vitamins are for structural and functional things, like bone formation, cell membrane functioning, vision, says Dr. Saker.
Water-soluble B vitamins help with energy production and intermediary metabolism. Unlike humans, dogs dont really need vitamin C a pathway in their bodies produces it for them. Vitamin A helps maintain your dogs vision beta carotene is important for supporting the GI tract. Vitamin D helps a dogs body regulate calcium, build strong bones, and maintain a healthy immune system and Vitamin E serves as an antioxidant, while K supports blood-clotting proteins.
Dangers Of Vitamin C For Dogs
Because dogs dont need to ingest vitamin C, giving your pup this supplement can actually have adverse effects. If dogs have an excess of vitamin C that their bodies cant use, it turns into a metabolic waste called calcium oxalate. This increases a dogs risk of calcium oxalate stones forming in the bladder or the kidney. Dogs with bladder or kidney stones often suffer from difficulty urinating, blood in the urine , and swelling in the bladder.
Calcium oxalate bladder stones must be treated with a catheter to flush the bladder which we assume is about as pleasant for your dog as that sounds. If the flush doesn’t work, your pup may need surgery to remove the stones.
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Vitamin C Helps Dogs That Are Sick And Stressed
While vitamin C supplementation may not be necessary when dealing with healthy, happy animals, recent studies report that if dogs are sick or stressed, their bodies output of vitamin C can be depleted rapidly. A 1942 studyconnected skin diseases in dogs with low levels of vitamin C. Other studies report that dogs with fevers and dogs who exercise to their limits, such as sled dogs after a hard race, or hunting dogs during hunting season, tend to have low blood levels of vitamin C.
The most significant cause of vitamin C depletion in dogs is stress, both physical and emotional. Physical stress can be due to many reasons, such as lactation, gestation, growth, hard work , injuries, vaccinations, ear cropping, or illness. Emotional stress can be due to weaning, relocation, or demanding training. The correlation between stress and vitamin C levels in a dog is so consistent that researchers can measure a dogs stress level through the degree of vitamin C depletion in the dogs blood. On the other hand, many studies show that dogs who supplement with vitamin C are more resistant to disease and can recover from injuries or illness better.
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