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Vitamin C for dogs: Does your pooch need it?

vitamin c for dogs
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant, but do dogs need Vitamin C supplements?

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Last Updated on June 12, 2021 by Jackie Castle


Vitamin C supplements have become a staple in our medicine cabinet. You probably have a bottle of vitamin C in your house right now too! This is nothing unusual, we are all aware how important vitamin C is. It’s a crucial antioxidant, it also helps us stay healthy and boosts our immune system! Now, with all the health benefits of vitamin C, dog owners often wonder can we use vitamin C for dogs?

Is it necessary to get your pooch vitamin C supplements? Does this vitamin have the same effect on dogs as it has on us, humans?

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The answer is yes and no. Dogs do need vitamin C to stay healthy, however, they are not dependent on this vitamin being supplied in food.

Generally speaking, a healthy dog can actually synthesize vitamin C in its livers. Of course, we need to state that sometimes vitamin C supplements can in fact offer certain health benefits.

Vitamin C for dogs

As mentioned above, generally speaking, healthy dogs have no need for vitamin C supplements. On the other hand, we have dogs who are sick or stressed.

For these canines, vitamin C supplements might be beneficial. The reason being is that sickness or stress might deplete your dog’s levels of vitamin C.

Besides this, dogs could benefit from a vitamin C boost in the following situations:

  • If suffering from a degenerative disease like arthritis
  • For older dogs because they produce less vitamin C
  • Skin allergies, infection, or organ failure
  • During pregnancy, feeding pups, or being a working dog
  • In case of injuries or if exposed to contagious diseases

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Benefits of vitamin C

There is no doubt that vitamin C is very beneficial for our health and the health of our pets. But which benefits does this vitamin really have?

A plate of lemons in order to answer can dogs have lemon?
Vitamin C supplements can be very beneficial for older and stressed dogs

The first and most obvious benefit of vitamin C is that is strengthens the immune system. Vitamin C also increases the activity of the white cells that fight infection and it stimulates higher levels of antibodies that defend the body.

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Secondly, as dogs get older they start producing less and less vitamin C. This is when vitamin C supplements will be of great use because it can reinvigorate and strengthen them.

Lastly, some holistic veterinarians prescribe vitamin C for a number of illnesses. These include cancer, kennel cough and other respiratory infections, abscesses, and many other bacterial infections.

How much vitamin C to give dogs

Obviously, not every supplement is the same. Get a high-quality supplement, if you don’t know which consult with your veterinarian. Also know that high doses can cause diarrhea.

Generally speaking the dosage varies from dog to dog. However, you can use the following information as a guide. But, once again please consult your vet before giving your dog any supplements, not only this vitamin.

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Recommended dosage of vitamin C:

Small dogs: 125 – 500 mg per dog per day, split into two doses

Medium dogs: 250 – 1,500 mg per dog per day, in two divided doses

Large dogs: 500 – 1,500mg per dog per day, also in two doses

Conclusion

Vitamin C is very important for our health and the health of our canines. It boosts the immune system and overall helps our body function.

However, always keep in mind that your dog does produce vitamin C by himself, so a supplement might not be necessary. After all, too much of a good thing is still bad.

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There are of course situations when vitamin C supplements are recommended. Like for example if you have a senior dog if your dog is pregnant or just gave birth, or if you have a sick dog. But always talk to your veterinarian before giving your dog any kind of supplementation.

And lastly, if you’re going to give your dog vitamin C supplements, make sure to get a high-quality supplement. Pay attention to what kind of vitamin C it is and if you feel lost, once again consult your vet to recommend a brand.

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