You’re looking for an extra nutritional boost for your pet’s diet and want to feed a multivitamin, but where to begin?
You’ll want to tailor a nutritional supplement to your pet’s individual needs—for instance, a large dog may benefit from some joint supplementation in his multivitamin. Here are some general tips that can help get you started.
Go to the Source
First off, you’ll want to make sure you trust the manufacturer. Find out what the quality assurance process is and where the ingredients are sourced. It’s always good to hear ingredients are sourced in the USA, but if they’re not, make sure there is some standardized quality controls practiced. If the manufacturer is quick to offer a lot of useful information and easily answers your questions, that’s a good sign. Avoid multivitamins that are irradiated.
Whole Food Ingredients
Although it may not always be possible due to potential food allergies, try and find high-nutrient whole foods like spirulina and goat’s milk, or whole-food based formulas. These may be absorbed better by your pet and also may be more palatable for finicky eaters.
Less is More
Buying a multivitamin with the longest list of ingredients isn’t necessarily going to be the most nutritious option. Omega-3s and probiotics are excellent supplements for pet health, but how these supplements are sourced and processed is also very important. Because of that, you’re better off finding separate high-quality sources of these two supplements—even in the form of foods like salt-free, canned sardines in water (omega-3s) and goat’s milk (probiotics)—rather than packing them into a multivitamin. Also, look for ingredients like spirulina that pack a powerful nutritional punch, that way you can minimize the number of other ingredients necessary.
Food allergies can often knock all your plans right off the table. You may have what you think is the perfect multivitamin, packed full of nutrients, sourced from food, the holy grail of vitamins…but your dog starts getting itchy as soon as you give him the new supplement. Maybe it’s the beef liver or the kelp or any of a number of things—all you know for sure is there’s something in there causing a reaction. This is another reason less ingredients in a vitamin is a good idea because it minimizes potential allergens. Pay attention to how your pet reacts after taking his vitamin, and stop feeding it if necessary.
Organic is Always a Good Idea
While it’s not always easy to find organic vitamins for pets, they’re out there. Considering the synthetic pesticides, chemicals, and toxins found in the environment, it’s always a good idea to get as much in the way of organic ingredients as you can for your pet.
When it comes down to it, our pets are individuals, so you may need to do some tweaking when it comes to a multivitamin. For instance, if your dog has joint problems, he may benefit from a multivitamin catering to joint health. If he has itchy skin, you may opt to give him a multivitamin and supplement that with some BPA-free canned sardines for his skin—unless he’s allergic to fish of course.
There are a lot of options out there when it comes to multivitamins. Make sure to consider all of your pet’s needs and the quality level of the supplement in your search.
Jessica Peralta has been a journalist for more than 15 years and an animal lover all her life. She has had dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish, frogs, and rabbits. Her current children are a German shepherd named Guinness and a black kitten named Riot (and he lives up to that name). It’s because of her love for animals that she focused her journalistic career to the world of holistic animal care and pet nutrition. In between keeping Riot and Guinness out of mischief, she’s constantly learning about all the ways she can make them healthier and happier.