Vitamins can help some pets

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

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By Dr. John Koch

Question: Should I give my dog or cat a vitamin supplement?

Answer: I like the idea of giving pets vitamins. Your dog or cat, regardless of breed, age, sex or shape, needs a daily supply of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. If your pet is healthy and vigorous and is eating a good, balanced diet, then it probably is getting its daily requirement of vitamins and minerals. However, the key is a good, balanced diet. Too many of today's pets are like their masters in that their diet is far from balanced. We humans love our fast foods and snacks. Our pets love table scraps and all-meat dog foods. These foods are nutritionally deficient in many ways, and a vitamin supplement would be of real benefit to the animal.

Animals with high vitamin mineral requirements are young pups and kittens, pregnant and lactating cats and dogs, pets recovering from illness, animals under stress and, of course, the older pet. These animals particularly benefit from vitamin supplements.

My opinion on vitamin supplements has been formed over the years, by attending meetings, listening to experts and reading my share of information on them. I am convinced that when used properly they do no harm, and potentially can do a lot of good. I not only recommend them for my patients, but I take a human form of multiple daily vitamins myself.

Select a balanced supplement for pets and use the recommended dose. An excess of vitamins can be as harmful as a vitamin deficiency.

Dr. Koch is a Cape Girardeau-area veterinarian.

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