Pet Vitamins - How Essential Are They?
By Brigitte Smith
Just like humans, almost all pets do benefit from a vitamin supplement. And just as there has been considerable controversy in the medical fraternity over whether humans need extra vitamins, so too do many vets dispute the need for nutritional supplements for pets.
The argument usually goes something like this: "The majority of commercial petfoods contain added vitamins. So even though your pet's diet may be inadequate, the vitamins added to pet food compensates for this."
Wrong! Many human breakfast cereals contain added vitamins - they're sprayed on after the processing. And it has been established that you would ingest more vitamins by eating the packaging than you do by eating the cereal inside. It's a gimmick. A gimmick to get you to buy the cereal and feel comfortable in the "knowledge" that you're getting some vitamins even if you don't eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. But guess what? It doesn't compensate. Even the fruit and vegetables we buy today have very little in them by way of vitamins and minerals, by comparison to what they should ideally contain. Unless you're buying organic fruit and veges direct from the farm and eating them the same day, you're not optimising your vitamin intake from fresh food.
This is why many of us now routinely supplement our diet with vitamin tablets, even when we eat a balanced diet. If we don't, we're likely to be vitamin deficient to some degree. That's why cancer, heart disease, and other degenerative conditions are at an all time high, and are still on the increase. A hundred years ago these conditions were unknown.
It's the same for our pets. In fact, they're generally in a worse position than us in relation to an adequate intake of vitamins. That's because, contrary to what many of the so-called "authorities" will have you believe, the garbage that's sold to us as pet food is causing your pet irreparable harm. So the fact that it may have some "added vitamins" is just a complete gimmick, and absolutely worthless from your pet's health's point of view.
It's vital that you feed your pet something as close to its natural diet as possible, and in most cases that's still not enough. Supplementation is essential.
Your pet's natural diet is exclusively raw food. Is that what you're feeding your pet? Or do you opt for the convenience of commercial pet food some or all of the time? Unless you can replicate what your pet would eat in the wild, you owe it to your pet to give a vitamin supplement. And who can replicate exactly what they'd eat in the wild? In exactly the same proportions?
No one. So you know what that means? You do need to give your pet a vitamin supplement.
Vitamins for pets have produced remarkable results in animals with specific health concerns such as allergies or other skin irritations, dull coat, lack of energy, as well as much more serious problems like cataracts, epileptic seizures, tumors and leukemia.
Naturally, you should ALWAYS consult your vet with ALL health concerns, but if your pet does have a serious health problem, ask your vet whether a vitamin supplement could help. And if your pet is already reasonably healthy, keep him/her that way by giving a vitamin supplement. It can't do any harm! And you could well be ensuring that your pet has a longer life practically overflowing with health!
(c) 2004, Brigitte Smith, Healthy Happy Dogs
About The Author
Brigitte Smith is a dog lover with a special interest in natural health for dogs.
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