“Vitamins are organic compounds that are necessary for a myriad of different chemical reactions in the body. Some are made in your dog's body and some need to be ingested through diet,” stressed Boneo (For Canine Bone Health) in its website boneo.bio-rep.com.
Boneo explained: “Vitamins often work in conjunction with minerals and enzymes to assure normal digestion, reproduction, muscle and bone growth and function, healthy skin and hair, clotting of blood, and the use of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates by the body. Thirteen vitamins are currently recognized.”
Vitamins and other nutrients
While vitamins are necessary for good health, please remember that they also work alongside other nutrients, especially minerals, to support functions, Boneo said.
“Some minerals are more easily absorbed or become bioavailable only when combined with vitamins (called co-factors). For example, calcium requires Vitamin D3 in order to be properly absorbed into the system,” Boneo emphasized.
It added: “Similarly, lactoferrin (an important molecule that is naturally produced within the body of all mammals, including dogs), is a metal-binding protein (and) is a key transporter for many minerals, including iron and zinc.”
Dogs produce or create some vitamins in their body while other vitamins are sourced from the food they are given.
Most commercial dog foods contain the recommended daily amount of "essential" vitamins.
But commercial dog food is not customized for specific needs of dogs. Thus, Boneo said adding homemade food is sometimes necessary.
Dogs on pure homemade food have to be monitored also as they may not be getting all the nutrients they need from natural food.
“A generalized dog multivitamin is typically not needed unless a dog has a deficiency or is on a homemade or specialized diet where they are not getting enough nutrients. The best way to determine whether additional vitamin supplementation is needed is through a blood panel test with a veterinarian,” Boneo said.
“Certain supplements do include vitamins and minerals to support specific needs (such as eye health, immune support, or skeletal health). These can be beneficial additions so long as the dosages are minimal and balanced and the supplement is of high quality. Vitamins can also be provided through homemade foods, such as leafy greens or sweet potatoes,” Boneo said.
The best vitamins for your doggo
Key vitamins for dogs, specially for bone health, have been well-documented, said Boneo.
While canned or dry dog food contains essential vitamins, dogs and pups with joint and bone support concerns need supplements for these conditions.
Such bone conditions include a broken leg or genetic predisposition to bone problems.
“When looking for a canine bone health supplement for your dog, it's important to note that even the best joint supplements for dogs do not offer important bone nutrients,” Boneo stressed.
Vitamin D, 'the sunshine vitamin,” plays a huge role in regulating the calcium and phosphorus levels within the bloodstream.
“Vitamin D stimulates the conservation of calcium in the kidney and therefore helps the body to retain it. Because of its interplay with calcium, Vitamin D is known to be extremely important in bone formation and muscle control,” Boneo said.
“Low levels of Vitamin D can cause bone demineralization. Inclusion of this vitamin in a dog's diet is highly advised in both puppies and adult dogs,” Boneo added.
Vitamins C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C is important for bone formation.
“It is involved in bone growth as well as bone mineralization. Vitamin C helps collagen biosynthesis and bone cartilage function,” Boneo said.
Deficiency in Vitamin C is linked to defective connective tissue, especially during the bone and wound healing.
Deficiency can also lead to scurvy.
“Dogs with scurvy exhibit weak bones and swollen joints usually accompanied by severe tissue bleeding,” Boneo said.
“In young dogs, scurvy is sometimes referred to as hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD). Dogs with HOD generally exhibit swollen, painful joints, especially of the limbs. Vitamin C may help alleviate the pain associated with dysplastic hips. In arthritis, ROS and other free radicals are associated with the inflammation process via numerous pathways. Some studies have shown that Vitamin C could alleviate symptoms of arthritis. Vitamin C also helps reduce pain during fracture healing. Vitamin C is a widely used supplement in growing, pregnant, lactating, stressed, and working dogs,” Boneo said.
Vitamin E is linked to a lot of physiological and biochemical functions.
“The molecular mechanisms of these functions are mediated by either antioxidant mechanism or by its role as a membrane stabilizer. It protects cell membranes from oxidative damage by removing free radicals and preventing the progression of oxidative reactions,” Boneo stressed.
“Several studies have elucidated a positive role for vitamin E in expediting the fracture healing process with influence on bone remodeling,” Boneo added.
“In the skeletal system, several studies demonstrated effects of vitamin E on bone and cartilage tissues. Vitamin E supplementation, especially with the gamma isomer, improves bone structure, which contributed to stronger bone,” Boneo said.
Vitamin K is linked to the synthesis of proteins that regulate bone metabolism.
“ It is an essential co-factor for several bone proteins involved in calcium uptake and bone mineralization. Vitamin K has positive influence on bone mineral density (BMD) and helps reduce bone loss. Vitamin K2 exerts a powerful influence on bone building, “ Boneo stressed.
“It has a stimulatory effect on bone formation in the femoral tissues. K2 may have a preventive role for bone deterioration with aging. Vitamin K play a synergistic role with vitamin D, Ca(II) and Zn(II) in reducing bone loss,” Boneo added.
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