If a healthy diet is good for your dog, is adding a daily vitamin-mineral supplement even better? Or is too much of a good thing not a good thing?
Actually, many canine nutritionists believe daily vitamins aren't such a smart idea. The reason is simple. Today's quality dog foods should provide exactly what your dog needs to stay healthy, with balanced nutrition that's easy to serve. They're carefully formulated to meet his daily caloric needs and provide the essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that fulfill his nutritional requirements. While it probably doesn't seem that added vitamins or minerals could hurt, they can, in some cases, actually upset this delicate nutritional balance.
Excess vitamins may cause health problems
Research shows that a proper balance of vitamins and minerals is just as important as the individual levels of either. Too much of one thing may affect the absorption of another. And that could lead to a deficiency in that second vitamin or mineral. Excess amounts of certain vitamins can also cause serious health problems. Too much Vitamin A, for example, can lead to weight loss or bone disorders. And too much Vitamin D can also cause bone disorders, as well as diarrhea or loss of appetite. Extreme levels of Vitamins A or D can even result in death.
Choose a "complete and balanced" food
To make sure your dog is getting the nutrition he needs, choose a food that is labeled "complete and balanced" per the standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). This group creates the guidelines used to regulate the pet food industry and has established certain nutritional requirements for the three major life stages of dogs and cats. Only pet foods that meet criteria established by AAFCO can carry the "complete and balanced" statement on the label. At PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs, all of our meal varieties carry the AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement.