Is It Safe For My Dog To Have Vitamins And Supplements?

Feb 14, 2024

You’ve probably noticed there are tons of supplements and vitamins out there focused on giving our dogs health boosts. You may even wonder what the difference between vitamins and supplements even is, and if you can give your dog vitamins and supplements. At Bernie’s Best, we’re not just about tackling the usual stuff like keeping their teeth clean or making sure their poop is perfect. We go deeper, focusing on their overall health from the inside out, and our supplements are major players in that effort.

Anybody can just add stuff to their dog’s diet, but do you want to? Of course not. You want to make smart choices for their overall well-being. That’s why you look into vitamins and supplements for dogs in the first place, right? We want that, too, and that’s why we want to give you some tips on supplements and vitamins for dogs.

What’s the Difference: Supplements vs. VitaminsPhoto: A plate of vitamins and supplements for dogs.

Supplements are like the extra credit in your dog’s diet. They’re not necessarily the basic items every dog needs, but when given, they can help boost health. Supplements can include things like fish oil for shiny coats, turmeric for joint health, or probiotics for a happy and healthy gut. They’re all about targeting specific needs or health concerns your dog might have, and theoretically, they work toward a common goal of overall optimal health benefits.

On the other hand, vitamins are more about covering the very basics of health. They’re the A, B, C’s (and D’s and E’s) that ensure your dog gets a well-rounded intake of essential nutrients. Think of vitamins as the safety net that catches any nutritional gaps in your dog’s diet, especially if they’re on a homemade or special diet. Again, theoretically, the food you give your dog has all the vitamins your dog needs.

And then, there are always those supplements that also contain vitamins–think of it as extra credit that may help ensure your dog’s well-rounded nutrition in each supplemental dose.  Even if it does, though, if your dog isn’t digesting their food properly, they’re not getting optimal nutritional absorption, which means they still could be vitamin deficient.

Can I Give My Dog Vitamins And Supplements?

We always recommend checking with your vet when you give additional vitamins to your dog. Most dog foods on the market will adhere to Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines for health standards in dogs. The problem comes in when your dog’s digestive system isn’t in great shape and they aren’t able to absorb all the nutrition from the dog food you give.

That’s where supplementation comes into play, and what we were looking to improve in our dogs Bernie and Lady. We knew that their gut health needed to be in the best shape it could be before they’d be able to optimally absorb all the vitamins and minerals they needed, and Perfect Poop was born!

The Dog Gut: Where the Magic Happens

Think of your dog’s gut as a nutrition extraction factory. It’s where all the food they gobble up gets broken down and the nutrients are absorbed. If this factory runs smoothly, your dog gets all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need. But if it’s not, well, that’s when things get tricky.

When Dog Gut Health Goes South

A bunch of things can throw off your dog’s digestive balance – stress, allergies, infections, and more. When their gut health is compromised, it’s not just about an upset tummy or inconsistent and mushy poops. It’s also about poor nutrition absorption, no matter how healthy or great the diet is. Then it’s like you’re feeding them a gourmet meal that they can’t fully enjoy.

Why Supplementation Steps InPhoto: A vet checks on a dog who is smiling at the camera.

We dealt with this with Bernie. His poops were messy and smelly, he was gassy, and he had horrible breath. And that was just the top of the list of things we wanted to address. After extensive research and consultation with experts, we began supplementing with fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes.

  • Fiber: Miscanthus grass is a clean, eco-friendly fiber that is excellent for regularity and overall gut function, which in turn helps with better absorption.
  • Pre- and Probiotics: These are a big deal for gut health. They help balance the good bacteria in the gut, making the digestive system more efficient at nutrient absorption. If your dog’s gut health is out of balance, they’re at risk for all sorts of issues: Leaky Gut, Dysbiosis, Irritable Bowel Disease, and more.
  • Digestive Enzymes: Think of these as helpers that break down food so the nutrients are easier to absorb. The better absorbed the food you give is, the better their overall health, and the more of those good vitamins and minerals in their food they’re getting to fuel their bodies.

The thing about giving all of that each meal was that it was super costly and messy. We decided to continue consulting with nutrition experts and Bernie’s Perfect Poop came to be. We wanted an easier, more cost-effective way to offer all the benefits to our dogs every day. Giving it with every meal means that our dogs are able to experience optimal nutrient absorption, and together with the vitamins they get, they fortify your dog’s gut health.

So, can you give your dogs vitamins and supplements? If your vet says your dog needs vitamins, we suggest you listen to your vet! But we also suggest you add quality supplements like Bernie’s Perfect Poop, Bernie’s Marvelous Mobility and Bernie’s Healthy Hips to your dog’s daily regimen. As we always say, healthy dogs have happy lives!


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