The Importance of Vitamins in Canine Diets

Vitamins are a group of compounds which are essential for keeping a pet dog fit and healthy. Unfortunately, dogs cannot produce them in sufficient quantities by themselves therefore they need to be consumed. This has to be done on a daily basis as canines aren’t able to store vitamins very efficiently.

Roles of Vitamins

There are currently 13 known vitamins, each of which serves a key role in maintaining a dog’s health:

Vitamin A: required for growth, vision, immune function, foetal development, and healthy skin and coat.

B Vitamins (x8): primarily involved in metabolising (i.e. deriving energy) from foods.

Vitamin C:  essential for a strong immune system.

Vitamin D: vital for skeletal development and maintaining good phosphorus balance; also needed to absorb calcium in the intestine.

Vitamin E: provides effective defence against oxidative damage.

Vitamin K: is a key component for bone development and blood clotting.

Dog Food Sources

Vitamins have become a heated point of discussion in recent years as some pet food production processes involve using very high temperatures which are thought to destroy vitamins. As a consequence of greater focus, most manufacturers now add synthetic vitamins to their foods which are better at surviving the cooking process. Moreover, some dog food producers have started experimenting with lower temperature cooking methods, such as baking or even cold-pressing.

Raw, frozen foods do not normally require any vitamin supplementation as they are not cooked and therefore hold on to far more of their natural nutrients.

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