Vitamins and supplements have made a huge comeback for not only humans but their pets too. One of the reasons is that we enjoy treating our pets like children, because we love them, and we want them to be healthy and happy. If it’s good for us, it’s good for them, right? That’s the attitude, anyway. But, do pets really need vitamins and supplements? Do they really help?
The first thing you should do for your pet is to feed them right, give them lots of exercise, and play with them and love them often. This will help your pet be as healthy as possible even without vitamins and supplements.
- Healthy Diet – Feed your pet commercially prepared food that is highly rated and recommended by your veterinarian. Don’t worry; if your vet recommends food that they sell in their office, you can ask them what type of food can they recommend at a store so you can spend less. There are less expensive versions at Walmart and Target that are perfectly healthy and nutritionally complete.
- Plenty of Exercises – Most animals need lots of exercise, which also includes sunshine. Even your indoor cat needs sunshine; that’s why they love to lie in any sunbeam they can find. Cats have a higher body temperature and get cold more easily too, so that is also another reason. Ensuring your animal gets plenty of exercises can keep them very healthy.
- Lots of Playtime and Love – Another way to ensure that your pet is healthy is to spend plenty of time each day playing with them actively. For dogs, it’s best to be out of doors; for indoor cats, get out the laser light and play. If it’s possible for your cat to be outdoors safely and they’ll cooperate, walking them on a leash can help them get sunshine and fresh air too.
If your pet develops a condition that calls for it, only then is a supplement necessary. Some issues that can develop are below.
- Failure to Thrive – Some baby animals seem healthy when they come home, but then they end up not growing well. If this happens, it can be due to poor digestion or something else worse, but the answer is the same. The vet will provide special food that has a lot of extra nutrition to help the baby thrive and survive.
- Food Sensitivities – Commercially prepared foods are designed with just the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrition, so you don’t need supplementation normally. But, if your pet is not able to eat it and if you feed them homemade food, human food, or raw meat (which is sometimes the case with both dogs and cats), you will need to supplement with the right multivitamins for that pet based on your vet’s recommendation.
- Sick Animals – Sometimes an animal develops a chronic illness that causes them to be deficient either due to the medication they’re taking or genetic factors. If this happens, a blood test will determine which supplements your vet wants you to give your pet. In this case, you’ll be giving your pet very specific supplements and vitamins based on their illness. For example, a cat with feline herpes may need lysine and a dog with hip dysplasia may need glucosamine.
Giving animals supplements carries the same risks as it does with humans. It depends on their health, what they need, the form it’s given in, and how much. Most healthy pets who can eat a healthy diet rich in the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need and who aren’t sick, do not need supplementation. But if they do need them, they can work for some pets according to many vets and pet owners. However, your mileage may vary.