Why Are Vitamins Important For Your Dog

Why Are Vitamins Important for Your Dog?

Why Are Vitamins Important for Your Dog?

Vitamin deficiencies in humans can lead to all kinds of problems. Skin, teeth, bones, and hair can all suffer, as well as causing more serious health problems later on.

Dogs are no exception.

It’s easy to give our dogs their allotted portion of commercial dog food and leave it there. We presume that the food we buy contains all the vitamins our beloved pet could need. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Could your dog be suffering from a nutritional deficiency? If so, how can you fill that deficiency? Is it possible to over-supplement your pet? Let’s find out.

Is Your Dog Suffering from a Nutritional Deficiency?

Just like humans, a dog’s diet will have a tremendous impact on their health. Dogs are scavengers by nature and will likely eat anything you put in front of them. Your pet may eagerly eat all their food, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for them. It’s up to you as the owner to keep an eye on your dog’s diet and make sure they’re getting the vitamins they need.

Remember, your dog can’t tell you if they’re suffering from joint pain or some other problem. So, here are a few signs that your dog could be suffering from a nutritional deficiency.

  • Sudden changes in body weight (gaining or losing)
  • Dull coat
  • Reluctance to eat, or other changes in appetite
  • Changes in poop
  • Thirst changes (thirstier or less thirsty)
  • Skin problems
  • Behaviour changes
  • A “sad” look

If you suspect your dog is suffering from a nutritional deficiency, it would be a good idea to get them checked out by a vet. The deficiency could come from something lacking in their diet, or you dog could have an absorption and digestive issue. A vet can pinpoint the exact issue and give you advice on how to deal with it.

Why Should You Consider Vitamin Supplements?

If you’ve noticed some nutritional deficiency in your dog’s diet, the next step to consider is how you can deal with that deficiency.

For example, if your dog has recently been ill, they could have developed a vitamin deficiency. Common issues skin conditions, which have been known to respond well to extra zinc in the diet.

Some vitamins can also help older dogs with arthritis and joint pain. There are several types of vitamin your dog could be prescribed. While there are multi-vitamins available, your dog may not have a deficiency in all the areas the multi-vitamins aim at filling. Let’s discuss a few key vitamins.

Vitamin A for Dogs

Vitamin A is a key vitamin in growing puppies. Deficiencies can result in poor vision, weak muscles, bad coat and skin conditions, as well as other health issues later on.

Vitamin A supplements can nourish a dog’s coat and skin, as well as improving vision and aiding the reproductive process. If you intend to breed your dogs, plenty of vitamin A is a must.

Vitamin D for Dogs

This vitamin focuses on regulating calcium and phosphorous levels in the blood. It helps with calcium conservation within the body, which nourishes bones and aids muscle and nerve control. Like many nutrients, vitamin D needs to be taken in via your dog’s diet.

Vitamin C for Dogs

Unlike the previous vitamins, vitamin C can be manufactured in a dog’s body, meaning that it doesn’t need to be taken in via diet.

Just like a human vitamin C deficiency, lack of this vitamin in dogs can lead to scurvy, which is weak bones and swollen joints. It’s also a powerful antioxidant.

Vitamin B-complex for Dogs

A dog needs a cocktail of vitamin B nutrients for healthy function. However, all B vitamins have one thing in common – they promote healthy nerve growth and regeneration.

A vitamin B deficiency can lead to serious health complications in dogs. These complications can range from loose stools and a poor coat, all the way to potential heart failure.

The Dangers of Over-Supplementing your Dog

Perhaps you’re tempted to rush out to the nearest pet store and buy all the vitamin supplement for your dog that you can possibly carry.

While it’s true that deficiencies of these vitamins can lead to serious health conditions, over-supplementing can be just as dangerous.

Vitamin supplements are divided into two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble. An overdose of water-soluble vitamins may not be such a serious mistake, since water-soluble vitamins aren’t stored in the body. The majority of these supplements will leave your dog’s body when they urinate.

Fat-soluble supplements, however, are a different story. These vitamins are stored in the liver and in other fatty tissues, and overdoses can cause a build-up of the vitamin in your dog’s system.

Depending on the vitamin, this can cause a variety of health problems. An overdose of vitamin D, for example, may cause your dog to lose their appetite, leading to muscle wastage, fatigue, and possible bone damage.

Overdoses can lead to stomach problems, behavioural changes, nerve damage, drowsiness, or even heart failure.

Since it’s difficult to tell what vitamin your dog could be lacking, it’s good to consult a vet before starting your pet on a course of supplements.

How to Add Vitamins to Your Dog’s Diet

One of the best ways to balance out your dog’s diet is to add food that’s rich in nutrients and vitamins. Fruits and vegetables contain plenty of vitamin C, and meat and fatty fish contains iron and other nutrients. High-quality dog food tends to have a better concentration of vitamins than some cheaper options.

If you’re not sure what dog food would be best, do some research and maybe consult a vet on which brand is best.

Giving your dog a vitamin supplement in pill form can be a little trickier. Some owners find that placing the pill in their dog’s food works just fine. Others need to disguise the pill in a treat, such as a small ball of peanut butter or a piece of ham.

Your Dog and Vitamins

Just like humans, dogs have specific nutritional needs. Feeding your pet too much bad food can be almost as harmful as not feeding them enough good food. If you have any questions or concerns, always speak to a vet first. Our pets deserve the best!

Helpful Or Harmful For Your Dog?

Helpful or Harmful: What Can You Feed Your Dog?

Helpful or Harmful: What Can You Feed Your Dog?

It’s a familiar situation for a dog owner. You’re sitting down to a delicious meal, and you’re hungry. But just as you’re about to take the first bite, you feel beady eyes boring into you. Sure enough, your dog is sitting there, staring pleadingly at you. Your poor, starving dog, who is trying to convince you that they have literally never eaten anything, ever, in their lives.

Those puppy dog eyes can be very effective. You might find yourself wondering – would one bite hurt?

Of course, we’ve all heard horror stories about a single grape killing someone’s beloved pet. Any sensible pet owner knows that not every type of human food is suitable for dogs. However, if you’re looking to give your dog a treat, or even supplement their regular diet, there are plenty of foods that are safe for dogs to eat. However, it’s important to know which foods are safe – and which foods aren’t.

Foods Your Dog Can Eat

Many fruits and vegetables, as well as most types of meat, are suitable for your dog. You might notice that commercial dog foods include turkey or chicken, as well as rice and vegetables. While you should supplement your dog’s diet in moderation, here are a few foods that are fine, even nourishing, to feed to your dog.

Fruit and Vegetables for Dogs

Fruits and vegetables are usually fine to feed your dog. There are a few notable exceptions, which we’ll discuss later. While individual dogs may vary, here are a few foods you can give to your dog:

·       Apples

·       Carrots

·       Coconut

·       Blueberries

·       Oranges

·       Celery

·       Watermelon

·       Blackberries

·       Peas

·       Mushrooms

·       Broccoli

·       Sweet potatoes

·       Mango

·       Bananas

·       Strawberries

·       Cooked potatoes

Always be sure to cut vegetables like carrots into bite-size pieces, preventing your dog from choking. While most fruits and vegetables contain protein and fiber that’s good for dogs, too much can lead to an upset stomach. If your dog suffers from vomiting, diarrhoea, or nausea after eating one of these treats, it’s possible that you’re feeding them too much.

Meat for Healthy Dogs

Meats are a popular treat for our dogs. Fortunately, most of them are perfectly safe for our precious pets to eat.

·       Salmon

·       Turkey

·       Pork

·       Shrimp

·       Chicken

·       Beef

However, it’s always best to serve your dog meat that’s been properly cooked. Raw salmon, for instance, can contain a parasite that may harm your dog. So, this means that you can’t share your sushi with your pet!

Always make sure meats like turkey, chicken, and fish are properly boned. Small fish bones or the dreaded chicken bones can stick in a dog’s throat, or even cause digestion problems and damage. If you want to give your dog a meaty treat, pull off bite-sized pieces of meat, instead of giving your dog a whole carcass or even part of one.

Also, make sure the meat hasn’t been cooked with foods that aren’t safe for dogs. Garlic and onions aren’t suitable for dogs, but they’re a popular ingredient to cook alongside meat.

Other Dog-Friendly Snacks

There are other human foods that can provide nutrition and protein to dogs. As always, it’s best to serve these foods in moderation.

·       Peanut butter

·       Eggs

·       Popcorn

·       Bread

·       Cooked rice

·       Oatmeal

Scrambled eggs can make a delicious breakfast for a dog. However, if you supplement the eggs with a splash of milk, be sure not to add too much. Milk in moderation is fine for dogs, but it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea, since dogs are prone to lactose intolerance.

Bread also contains a lot of sugar. Remember that your dog is much smaller than you are and can only tolerate sugar and salt in smaller amounts.

Peanut butter is another well-known, popular snack for dogs. If your dog doesn’t like taking their medication, try smothering the pill in peanut butter or another treat, like a piece of ham. The peanut butter hides the taste of the pill and encourages your dog to swallow it properly!

Foods Your Dog CAN’T Eat

Just about every dog owner will find themselves frantically Googling “Is [this] food safe for dogs?” after their pet has somehow got their paws on something they weren’t supposed to eat. While most foods are fine for dogs, at least in moderation, there are some foods you’ll definitely want to keep out of your pet’s diet.

·       Chocolate

This is something every dog owner knows – chocolate is very, very bad for dogs. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, stimulants which dogs can’t tolerate. If your dog eats too much chocolate, you should seek a vet’s advice immediately.

The darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration of poisonous stimulations. If you dog does eat some chocolate by mistake, a lot will depend on how much they ate and how dark the chocolate is. For example, a single dark chocolate could kill a small dog, but a larger dog could eat a handful of milk or white chocolate and suffer only mild stomach upset.

Nevertheless, if your dog does eat some chocolate by mistake, it’s best to get them checked out regardless.

·       Alcohol

Alcohol can lead to ethanol poisoning in dogs, which can result in death. While it’s unlikely that a pet owner would crack open a beer to share with their pet, it’s important to keep an eye on your drink. Dogs are sneaky, and they can drain your glass of wine or beer faster than you think. Never let your dog drink even a tiny bit of alcohol.

·       Raisins and Grapes

You may be tempted to give your dog a raisin as a treat. Resist the temptation. Grapes and especially raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. A larger dog may be able to eat a few grapes or raisins and be fine, but the compounds can quickly build up in their system.

There are a few other foods that your dog can’t eat, which may surprise you:

·       Avocado

·       Lemons and Limes

·       Onions

·       Garlic

·       Macadamia Nuts

Your Dog and Human Food

There’s nothing wrong with giving your dog a little treat from time to time, presuming you keep it in moderation and avoid the dangerous foods.

However, all dogs are individuals. A treat that’s fine for one dog could upset another dog’s stomach. If in doubt, leave it out!

- Omega 3, 6, &Amp; 9 - Why You Need To Supplement Your Pets Diet - Peak Pets

Omega 3, 6, & 9 – Why you need to supplement your pets diet

Omega 3, 6, & 9. Why you need to supplement your pets diet

The benefits of omega fatty acids have long been recognised in people, and they can be found in many health supplements due to their wide range of uses. But did you know they can also help our dogs?

Omega 3, 6 & 9 have a huge range of roles in the body but their levels in commercial dog foods vary, so a supplement such as the Peak Pets Omega 3, 6 & 9 can be useful. Here are some of the ways that these helpful fatty acids can benefit your canine companion.

Healthy skin, glossy coat

Omega 3 is essential in keeping dogs’ skin healthy and happy. The ‘fat’ part of fatty acids is needed to keep the skin barrier healthy, which then helps to prevent common conditions such as dry, flaky skin, redness and itching. Fatty acids are also essential for the production of new hair follicles and the maintenance of the natural oils in dogs’ coats that keep them looking glossy.

Boosts the immune system

Omega fatty acids are crucial in helping our cells respond to inflammation and infection. They are hugely important in the cell membrane, which means they can alter the fluidity and properties of cells to help prevent invasion by foreign cells. They have also been shown to be ‘signalling cells’, helping to reduce inflammatory responses. Omega 3 contains alpha-linolenic acid, which is a natural anti-inflammatory, essential across many body systems.

Joint pain

Joint issues, especially arthritis, are extremely common in dogs – and not just older ones. Strain on the joints, alongside the wear and tear of age, can wear out the protective cartilage layer found in all joints, causing inflammation and pain.

Your dog may be starting to struggle with their joints if they are displaying any of the following symptoms:

  • Stiffness when rising after rest
  • An altered gait when walking/exercising
  • Reluctance to exercise or play
  • Muscle wastage or swellings to joints
  • Irritability, altered interaction with owner, not wanting to be touched on groomed
  • Appetite loss

If you suspect your dog has any problems with their joints, a discussion with your veterinary surgeon is advised. They may suggest a supplement alongside any other treatment they discuss.

Omega fatty acids are important in joints due to their role in synthesising healthy cartilage, but also for their anti-inflammatory properties to reduce swelling and therefore pain. They can be useful in all stages of joint disease, from prevention all the way through to severe arthritis.

Promote Good Organ Health

Omega 3 also contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which plays a vital role in all sorts of internal functions – including the eyes, heart, liver and kidneys. Omega 3,6 & 9 fatty acids play a protective, anti-inflammatory response in many areas of the body, and have been shown to be beneficial in many chronic diseases such as kidney disease and even cancer.

How can I give my dog more Omega fatty acids?

 

Dogs cannot make Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids themselves; they are completely reliant on dietary intake. Given the varied and important role that these nutrients play, it is therefore vital that they receive enough fatty acids in their diets. Many commercial diets will contain fatty acids, but not always at very high levels. Omega 3, 6 & 9 are found in various foods, mostly oily fish such as sardines, tuna, salmon and mackerel. It is safe to feed your dog fish, although you must remove any bones. Other sources of Omega 3, such as avocado, are toxic to dogs, so ensuring your dog has a safe form of dietary essential fatty acids is necessary.

 

Giving a supplement such as Peak Pets Omega 3,6 & 9 is a convenient way to get these essential fatty acids into their diet with all the hard work done for you, as the dose has been carefully calculated to ensure the correct amount for your pet. Many human supplements also contain omega fatty acids, but they can be formulated in ways that digs find difficult to digest, and it can be difficult to calculate the correct dose.

Most dogs will take supplements well, either hidden in food or as a treat on their own.

Should I consider an Omega fatty acid supplement for my dog?

Omega fatty acids are essential for dogs’ health, and cannot be made in the body, so a dietary source is essential. This can be gained either via their food or given as a supplement. As well as protecting your pet from joint disease and other inflammatory disorders, they keep coat and skin glossy and boost the immune system – so these helpful nutrients are definitely something for dog owners to consider!

- Why Do Dogs Get Stiff Joints? - Peak Pets

Why do Dogs get Stiff Joints?

Why do Dogs get Stiff Joints?

Going for walks was more than likely the highlight of your dog’s day for their formative years. Exploring the area, bounding around the house, and jumping on the furniture were probably all daily occurrences for your beloved pet.

However, it can be difficult, especially as dogs get older to spot the warning signs of joint stiffness. Dogs often struggle to communicate their issues with us and will even try to hide them. Just because your dog isn’t yelping or crying does not mean they are not in pain with their joints.

Although some joint stiffness is not curable, there are a plethora of things you can do to make your dog more comfortable and enable them to get the most out of every day.

The Signs that Your Dog Has Joint Pain

  • Lies down at every opportunity, particularly if they used to be happy to sit or stand
  • Hesitates or refuses to go up or down the stairs, or jump in the car
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sudden aggression, particular after being touched
  • Biting, Licking and Chewing their legs
  • Falls behind you on walks
  • Refusal to be dried or groomed
  • Limping, particularly after sleeping or resting
  • Weight gain – refusal to move will lead to them carrying excess weight

What Causes Stiff Joints?

There are a variety of factors which can lead to stiff joints in dogs.

Age

Joint stiffness is more common in older dogs, where the cartilage has worn away over the years. However, you should be aware that joint pain can still occur in younger dogs too.

Weight

If your dog is carrying too much weight, it puts a great deal of stress on their bones and joints. Overweight dogs are also more reluctant to exercise, so it can be a difficult journey to get them back into shape. When trying to help your dog lose their excess weight, strive for a regular, rather than excessive exercise routine.

Breed

There are many dogs, notably larger breeds, that are simply more susceptible to joint issues. Before purchasing or adopting a pup, you should always consider the specific needs of that breed.

Disease

Stiffness in the joints is often associated with diseases such as arthritis which is common among older dogs. Your vet will be able to diagnose this and recommend appropriate treatment and medication.

Viral and Bacterial Infections

These infections can attack the joints, muscles, or nerves to cause stiffness in our animals. They will often cause inflammation around the joints, which can affect the range of motion and cause the dog a great deal of pain.

Adaptations You Can Make

There are a range of small changes you get make around the home, to create an environment that is more suitable for a pet with joint issues.

Block Off the Stairs 

Unless your dog must go upstairs, restricting access may be worthwhile.

You can use a stair gate, generally used for toddlers, to limit access to the staircase. This will prevent your pet from attempting the journey and making their pain worse in the process.

Ramps for Outdoors 

If there is a big step either from your garden or up to your front door, placing a ramp can make the journey much easier for your pet. This does not have to be a permanent option, but can be a temporary, even make-shift, ramp to aid your dog into the home.

Avoid Slippery Surfaces

Wooden and tiled floors can be a nightmare for dogs with stiff joints.

They can quickly result in your pet losing their balancing and tripping, making the pain much worse. Simply putting down rugs and carpets can make the home far more comfortable for your pet to navigate.

Invest in a New Bed

If your pet has severe joint pain, they will likely be spending much more time resting and sleeping. Investing in an orthopaedic bed will lead them to a much more comfortable sleep and help prevent further issues.

Raise the Height of Their Food Bowl

Merely placing the food and water higher to prevent your dog from having to bend down whilst eating will make their life strides more comfortable. Joint pain can often cause dogs to become depressed, which results in them not eating enough. Making mealtimes more comfortable will work wonders in preventing this.

What are The Treatments for Stiff Joints in Dogs?

The treatment your dog requires will undoubtedly depend on what the underlying issue is. If your dog shows signs of evident distress or extreme pain, it is best to consult a vet as soon as possible. They should be able to provide immediate pain relief whilst the cause is diagnosed.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

One of the most straightforward measures to relieve dog’s joint pressures is to help them remain healthy. Regular exercise and a balanced diet mean that your dog’s weight should remain stable. Although it can be tempting to give excessive treats, you must remain strict when you see your pet struggling.

Glucosamine Supplements 

Your dog will naturally produce Glucosamine, which helps ensure healthy cartilage in the joints. However, as your dog ages, Glucosamine production slows, and therefore, joint issues can arise. This may result in a smaller range of motion or pain and fatigue in your pet.

Giving your dog a Glucosamine supplement can help restore this cushion around the joints, making it easier and more comfortable for your dog to go about the day, and enjoy the things they love the most.

Adapting Exercise

Although your dog can be reluctant to endure their usual daily walks whilst they are in pain, they must maintain some level of physical activity. Although this might not be up to miles they used to do, regular walks will help strengthen the dog’s joints, muscles, and bones.

If you are unsure about what exercise level would be right for your dog in their current situation, it is always advised that you speak to a professional.

- Arthritis In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatments - Peak Pets

Arthritis in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments

Arthritis in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments

As with humans, arthritis in dogs ranges from uncomfortable at best to debilitating at its worst.

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, which is common among many breeds of dog. If your dog is suffering from arthritis, you will likely see a considerable change in their mood, eating habits, and ability to exercise.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis in dogs, but there are many things you can do to make your dog’s life more comfortable and enjoyable while easing the daily pain on their joints.

Symptoms of Arthritis in Dogs

There are a variety of ways arthritis can present itself in our dogs. While they might even try to hide it from us in the initial stages, it is essential to diagnose as early as possible to ease any pain your pet may be enduring.

  • Stiffness – usually worse immediately after waking up
  • Slowing down and lagging on walks
  • Limping – usually worse after walks if arthritis is more prevalent in one leg
  • Irritability and aggression
  • Continual licking and biting at joints

Causes of Arthritis in Dogs

Arthritis is common among dogs and can occur for a variety of reasons.

Wear and Tear

The most common cause of arthritis in dogs is general wear and tear, which explains why arthritis is much more prevalent in older dogs.

Immune System

Many dogs are either born with or develop problems with their immune system. In some situations, these issues can present themselves as arthritis.

Being Overweight

As might be expected, when a dog carries too much weight, it can put a massive amount of stress on its joints. Over time, this can wear away the cartilage and result in arthritis.- Arthritis In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatments - Peak Pets

Genetics

Unfortunately, some dogs are more prone to developing arthritis than others. It is much more common among bigger breeds such as Labradors, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds.

Injuries

Puppies are particularly prone to injuries due to the fearless nature of how they bound around the home and garden. These injuries can often lead to arthritis in later life.

Treatment for Dogs with Arthritis

Unfortunately, there is no cure for arthritis in dogs. However, it is an illness that many dogs live a happy and fulfilling life with, and a few simple lifestyle changes can make a huge difference.

Weight Management

Controlling your dog’s weight is one of the most critical factors in managing their arthritis.

Any unnecessary weight your pet is carrying will be putting a great deal of stress on their joints. This will not only lead to more pain but accelerate the rate at which the disease develops.

Weight can be managed by providing a well-rounded, balanced diet and ensuring your pet gets regular exercise. Omega 3 fatty acids are integral to a balanced diet and great for dogs with arthritis due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

Hip and Joint Supplements

While supplements will not cure arthritis in your dog, they will help ease the joints’ inflammation. Joint supplements can be taken alongside other medications that may be prescribed by your vet.

Environmental Changes

Making the home more comfortable will boost your dog’s ability to cope with their arthritis. Simple changes include providing a joint-friendly dog bed and lifting their food bowl to make mealtimes much less stressful. You could also add rugs to slippery flooring to make it easier for your dog to navigate the home.

Medication

There is a range of medications available for dogs with arthritis. Although vets may want to see that lifestyle changes have first been attempted, there are options including NSAID’s (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs), which should help reduce the swelling and pain around the joints.

Surgery

Where the joint damage is severe, and the vet feels there are no other options, they may think surgery is the best choice.

There are various surgeries available, and while it may seem like an extreme option, it can drastically increase the quality of life for your pet in the long term.

Tips for Exercising Dogs with Arthritis

Always Warm-Up

As with arthritic humans, dogs are often stiff when they first wake or stand after resting. Ensure your dog gets some time to move at their own pace around the home and the garden so they can warm up their joints before popping on the lead.

Each dog will vary on the amount of exercise they can not only endure but enjoy. Although regular walks are crucial for weight management and your dog’s overall health, it is also a time for them to have fun. When walks stop being fun, you must reconsider.

It is wise to walk your arthritic dog on a lead rather than letting them run around with other dogs. Adrenaline can mask pain, and therefore the aftereffects of their antics might not be evident until you arrive home.

Pay Attention to the Weather

Extreme heat or cold can aggravate arthritis pain, as it does in humans. It will likely be best to avoid walks or ensure they are kept short and sweet in the height of summer or depths of winter.

Consider the Terrain

Uneven surfaces such as gravel will wreak havoc on your dog’s joint pain. Stick to tarmac sidewalks wherever possible, which will provide a stable and comfortable base for your dog.

Consider Swimming

Hydrotherapy and swimming are a great way to exercise dogs whose joints may not allow them long walks. It is a wonderful option for dogs that need to lose weight but can no longer bound around as they did in their formative years — providing the chance for them to burn calories without the added pressure to their joints.

Be Patient and Realistic

Due to the nature of arthritis, your dog will likely have good and bad days.

What they could not do yesterday, they might be able to do today. The pain and discomfort will move in ebbs and flows, so be patient and accept your dog’s ability each day. Remember, they cannot communicate with us easily, so try to remain empathetic at all times.