Dogs need all nutrients in the right amounts to live happily without getting sick or weak.
Vitamins are some of the nutrients that are very much essential in your dog’s diet. Though all the Vitamins are important in their own way, let’s talk about the significance of Vitamin C for dogs.
Vitamin C is one of those nutrients that are synthesized by dogs in their body. Yes, there is no need to give Vitamin C to dogs externally.
But, there is a catch here.
Not all dogs are self-sufficient when it comes to their Vitamin C needs. Many dogs easily exhaust their Vitamin C due to a number of reasons. And this forces us to make sure they get their daily share of Vitamin goodness.
Vitamin C for Dogs – Why is it Important?
If your dog is a healthy fellow, then you don’t have to worry about this aspect. That’s because he has every nutrient (including Vitamin C) in their right amounts.
But there are times, when your dog must be given Vitamin C. Or, in other words, this wonder Vitamin that can benefit your dog in a lot of ways is lacking.
1. Vitamin C is prescribed to dogs for many problems like abscesses, respiratory illness, viral, and bacterial infections. It all started when Wendell O. Belfield, DVM, began advocating this Vitamin for Dogs.
From then onwards, a majority of vets have used this ingredient and have seen excellent results for general illnesses.
2. Vitamin C is an anti-carcinogen. That means it can fight against cancer, a deadly disease. It is known that this nutrient is a powerful antioxidant, and these can slow down the growth of cancer cells.
Regular use (as prescribed by your vet) in dogs with cancer can bring back their lost energy and strengthen them.
3. Vitamin C has two forms, namely dehydroascorbic acid and ascorbic acid. The latter is helpful in bone formation. Ascorbic acid also plays a significant role in bone mineralization. This makes Vitamin C a must-have nutrient for both puppies and old dogs.
4. Vitamin C for dogs with bladder stones is another great usage. The ascorbic acid form of Vitamin C helps when your dog suffers from bladder stones.
It keeps the urine more acidic and, as a result, bladder stone formation is not that easy anymore.
5. Puppies need all the nutrients at the right time for proper growth. Since this is the time when their bones develop, Vitamin C becomes a necessary nutrient.
As we have seen earlier, it plays a big role in bone formation and mineralization. Due to stress and other reasons (discussed later), puppies don’t synthesize Vitamin C in a natural way and you have to give it by external means.
6. Vitamin C is also used as an immune booster. If your dog has been to an area that is exposed to a contagious disease, giving him some Vitamin C can undoubtedly boost his immune system. This will prevent him from catching any diseases.
For the same reason, this is also administered to pregnant and lactating dogs. Stressed dogs could also use some of this awesome Vitamin.
7. Old dogs become tired quickly. And due to their age, their Vitamin C synthesis is not that great anymore. Giving them more Vitamin C can help bring back their strength.
When Does Your Dog Lack Vitamin C?
Dogs are awesome. Unlike us, they can produce their own Vitamin C.
In fact, many animals are capable of this.
But it is not guaranteed. There are many scenarios in which dogs fail to produce them or produce only tiny amounts of Vitamin C.
If you brought home a new puppy, he might be stressed out as he just moved to a new place. You will give him vaccinations, and there might even be some surgeries involved.
All these circumstances can mess with your puppy’s ability to synthesize Vitamin C. Since puppies need them for bone formation, the lack of Vitamin C could lead to a disease called Scurvy.
If you puppy is suffering from Scurvy, you can see that his bones are soft, and his joints are swollen. If not treated properly, the consequences could be deadly.
Another circumstance when your dog can lack Vitamin C is if she is pregnant or lactating. Some dogs that work hard (herd dogs, active dogs) are also known to be producing lesser amounts of this useful vitamin.
Even injuries can slow down the production of Vitamin C. So it is clear that there are many factors that weigh in when it comes to this vitamin. To be safe, consult your vet and see if your dog needs some more Vitamin C.
Vitamin C Dosage for Dogs
Dogs can synthesize about 18mg of Vitamin C per pound of body weight. So if you have a 30-pound dog in your house, under normal health conditions he should produce 540mg of Vitamin C per day.
Remember that Vitamin C dosage for dogs will be different if he is suffering from specific conditions. For a normal dog, you can give around 18mg per pound of body weight, and you can also split the dosage into 3 or 4 smaller parts.
If your dog is suffering from any condition, then you should take proper care when giving him the C.
Different conditions call for different dosages. If you are looking to use supplements for Immune boosting, Bladder infections and even skin allergies, the dosage is pretty normal and might be slightly higher than usual.
But if your dog is suffering from Arthritis, then the dosage could even go up to 5000mg per day. This is not a standard dosage by any means. So be sure to consult your vet and give the right amount of Vitamin C without any doubts in your mind.
Side Effects and Overdose
Vitamin C is a great nutrient for your dog. But just like everything else, it causes some side effects when it is supplemented in excess.
It is a water-soluble vitamin and, as a result, excess C will come out along with urine. But some dogs may not be that tolerant, and that could lead to diarrhea, a common side effect.
If you just started adding Vitamin C to your dog’s diet, then observe his poop. If it is normal, then everything is fine. If the stool is loose and resembles diarrhea, then reduce the Vitamin C dosage.
The problem here is that diarrhea can dehydrate your pet and suck the life out of him. So take good care when it comes to the dosage.
The Right Vitamin C Supplements for Your Dog
If you have decided to give Vitamin C supplements to your dog, there are a couple of directions you can take.
We would advise you to go the natural way first.
Try to feed your dog with natural fruits that are rich in Vitamin C like Apple (remove the core and seeds), green beans, kiwi, and sweet potatoes. You can also mix them with your dog’s diet if your dog is hesitating to take these separately.
If you choose to go the supplement way, there are many products on the market. They are cheap and also easy to order online as well. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before giving any dosage of Vitamin C to your dog.
We hope you enjoyed this information-filled article. Do you give your dog Vitamin C? Share your story with us in the comment section below!
Featured photo credit: shawn_hempel/depositphotos