Do Dogs Need Vitamins?

There are literally thousands of different vitamin products for dogs sold in the U.S. each year, each of them claiming to be something that can make your dog healthier.  On the other hand, dog foods are sold as “complete and balanced,” and “nutritious.”  If the dog food we buy for our pets is so nutritious, do we really need to buy extra vitamins?

Dog food comes in all different kinds of quality.  Some dog food may be made from food that is not much above the level of road kill.  Other dog food is better quality than some of the food that people eat.  Some of these foods will have more nutritional content than others.

If you are feeding your dog a high quality food then it’s unlikely that you need to add vitamins or supplements unless your dog has a health issue of some kind that requires something that’s not normally found in dog food.

When you buy dog food in the United States you should look to see if if has a label that says it meets AAFCO nutritional standards or meets AAFCO testing standards.  AAFCO is the Association of American Feed Control Officials and they provide nutritional recommendations for dog food in the United States,  To obtain their label a dog food company must show, either through feeding trials or through nutritional data, that their food can provide a complete and balanced diet for a particular set of dogs for six months.  The formulation can be for puppies, for pregnant or lactating mother dogs, for adult dogs, and so on.  AAFCO provides the minimum guidelines that companies need to meet in order to obtain their label.  Many good companies far exceed these guidelines, but if they meet the AAFCO guidelines then you know that they have at least met the basic requirements.

A particular dog food may still be something that you wouldn’t want to feed your dog, but it technically meets the nutritional guidelines if it has the AAFCO label.

So, should you buy poor quality food and spend your money on vitamins?  That’s not really a good choice.  Should you buy gourmet food for your dog?  That’s not always the best choice either.  Price isn’t a guarantee that your dog is getting the best food.  There are many very expensive dog foods made from organic products which follow the latest fads, and which may be produced by very small companies, but they may be subject to food recalls.

Often the best food for your dog is a good quality food, with good ingredients, made by a well-known company that has a reputation for quality control.  It often pays to look for a company that does not have a history of having to recall its pet food products.  This may not be the most expensive dog food around but it’s probably a food that you and your dog can rely on.

Should you add vitamins to a good quality food?  If you are concerned about hip dysplasia or if your dog is elderly, then you may want to consider adding glucosamine-chondroitin-MSM to your dog’s diet.  Most dog foods do not contain these ingredients, or, if they do, only in very small amounts.  There is some evidence to suggest that they may help dogs with arthritis or hip problems.

Otherwise, most good dog foods are supposed to be properly balanced in terms of vitamins.  If you begin adding a lot of extra vitamins then you run the risk of throwing off your dog’s body chemistry.

However, if you are cooking for your dog or feeding a raw diet, then you will need to find a good mix of vitamins to add to your dog’s food to make sure that he’s getting all of the vitamins and minerals he needs.

But, for most dogs who eat a kibble or canned food diet, it’s really not necessary to add a lot of vitamins to the diet.

Do Dogs Need Vitamins courtesy Dog Articles.

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Dog Maintenance

For anyone who’s considering getting a dog, please do your research first. Consider the care and maintenance involved in the breed you are wanting and whether or not you are able, willing to keep up with care for, train, seek medical attention for, grooming of and training of that breed. If you cannot or will not be able to meet the needs of the dog, perhaps another more maintenance free pet would be more suited for you, ie, a goldfish or a pet rock. The goldfish, you only need to throw food at and change the tank once in a while, the pet rock you only need to talk to.

Try this: pinch two pieces of skin close to one another on your neck, now take those pieces of skin and pull them tight together. How does that feel? Now imagine walking around with your skin pulled tight like that. That’s what a matt does and feels like to a dog, sometimes multiplied several times. This doesn’t allow the skin to breathe and can cause rashes and even tear the skin. If you already have a dog that needs grooming, brush it regularly. If it’s a coat that becomes matted, this will keep most of the matts away. If it becomes too matted, don’t try to cut them out yourself unless you know how to do it right.

Take it to a groomer and not after you’ve been attempting to groom it yourself. Ever let your hair go nearly a year before washing or brushing it and then spend six hours trying to detangle the mess without trimming out the tangles. That’s what happens to a long haired dog that’s not maintained and it doesn’t feel any better (probably worse) to the dog who has a groomer tugging and pulling at mats that an owner doesn’t want, to have a haircut. Now try this: Pound nails into your shoe so that they stick up into your foot, then walk around on them. Not comfortable? That’s how it feels to a dog that has toenails curled around and digging into the pads of their feet. Their toes will also become splayed apart and they will get painful joint problems throughout their legs. Ever get fleas in your hair? Now imagine yourself covered from head to toe with fleas biting at you.

Does it sound pleasant? It’s not to a dog either, in fact it causes rashes, sores and infections and disease. Have you ever seen a child who’s who was deemed unmanageable and has been bounced from one foster home to another because? That’s what it’s like for the dog that doesn’t get proper training and the owner gives him up and then he may see another couple of homes in their life or get euthanized in a shelter because he got out of hand. That holds true not only for the large breed, but also the small one. Misbehavior is not cute. People need a limited and balanced diet and exercise, so does an overweight dog.

Feeding an overweight dog table scraps and junk food, is stealing away part of that dogs’ life. It really does shorten their life, as they need care just like you or I do. Have you seen a child who is so scared and shy that they want to always hide or can’t get along with other children? Usually they haven’t been away from mom and dad or don’t have friends to play with and they may have issues later on. Having a dog and never allowing it the opportunity to look at, see or play with another dog or getting it out around other people from the time it is young is depriving it of much needed socialization. That dog will likely have either fearful or aggressive issues.

In my profession as a dog resort owner and dog groomer, these are just examples of situations I’ve encountered, from dogs in dire need of care from owners being too busy, not thinking about it, work and chasing their kids around. While these may be legit excuses, please keep in mind that your dog may be enduring daily suffering because of it. If you love your dog, the best way to show it is by helping him to live a long, happy and healthy life and he in turn will be your best friend for the duration of his life.

Dog Maintenance courtesy of Dog Articles.

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Why Should Great Danes Never Have Table Scraps?

Great Danes need a nutritional and well balanced diet, this is essential for their health and growth. Quality premium dog food as well as the way you feed these dogs is the key to your Great Danes’ long and healthy life. For this breed, table scraps are not recommended as a substitute or supplement to their normal daily dietary requirements.

Great Danes need to be fed a few times a day in order to reduce the risk of bloating or torsion. Puppies may feed up to four times a day until they reach about 6 months of age. As these dogs reach maturity they will let you know when they are ready to reduce their meals to twice a day by eating less. This breed should always be fed at least twice a day, never less.

Adding natural foods to your Great Dane’s diet may reduce the nutritional content of their food. This may mean less vitamins and minerals that will ultimately cause health problems. Many owners don’t understand the importance of the types of foods we give to our Great Danes. Some foods we give them lack the required nutrients and contain something entirely different. Soy products are to be avoided as they can cause gas that may contribute towards bloat. Table scraps or other food that changes daily tend to cause digestive issues rather than the same diet each day.

Table scraps may also cause your Great Dane to gain too much weight which can cause developmental problems while they are young and still growing. Some human foods may also cause deficiencies in some much needed vitamins and minerals or contain too much protein. Selecting the right blend of vitamins and minerals in their diet is most important. Purchasing a food bowl tower has also aided in avoiding bloat and other bowel issues to this breed.

Maintaining a low weight for these gentle giants is extremely important. Most pups consume about 1½ to 2 cups of kibble 3 times a day. As they grow their food intake will increase up to 4 cups twice daily until they are about 4 – 6 months of age. Staying on this type of food will help keep your dog and tip top form without gaining excess weight.

The following is a list of suitable brands that are recommended by Breeders and Vets, as they cater to the dietary requirements of Great Danes. Try these, Eagle Pack, Solid Gold Wolf Cub, Canidae, Back to Basics, Wellness, Natures Variety, Innova, Pet Guard, Artemis and Spectrum are but a few well known brands suitable for maintaining a healthy and happy dog.

So when it comes down to feeding your Great Dane, make sure the product is of high quality and covers all the nutritional requirements. Homemade dog food and food bowl towers are also beneficial for your Great Dane’s health. Steer clear of table scraps to avoid any unnecessary health problems and you and your Dane will enjoy the company of each other for years to come.

Why Should Great Danes Never Have Table Scraps courtesy of Dog Articles.

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