Vitamin C for Canines! Well, Maybe Usually, But Not Always…


You already know the significance of vitamin C to your own health, but did you know it also plays an important role in your dog’s health? It plays a big role in people debating over a dog’s health, too. The official story is that dogs manufacture their own Vitamin C–in which case, they don’t care much about April 4th as Vitamin C Day, marking the anniversary of Professor C. Glen King first isolating the vital vitamin back in 1932. Dogs should still be grateful for the discovery, even if they don’t really need us providing it to them during their formative years.  [photo via flickr]

Dogs naturally produce Vitamin C, but they sometimes need an additional boost of when they get sick. Research shows that physical and emotional stress reduces the amount of this vitamin in canines. Many things can cause both types of stress in a dog, including growth. This is why it’s important for all dogs to receive an adequate amount of Vitamin C in their diet, since it wards of many diseases and conditions such as hepatitis, polio, and hip dysplasia.

(Cats have also joined the Vitamin C debate, with some doctors suggesting that the vitamin helps dental and liver problems–but there’s still all the concerns that come with excessive doses.)

It also fights free radicals and cellular damage, promotes overall joint health and a more powerful immune system, wards off fatigue, anxiety, and more. Ideally, most dogs naturally produce about eighteen milligrams of Vitamin C per day. This number will vary depending on factors like your pet’s health, nutrition, and environment. It’s best to discuss with your veterinarian about the right dosage for your pet. It’s also important to note that Vitamin C can sometimes be too much of a good thing. Some holistic veterinarians think extra vitamins may prove to be more harmful and helpful. The good news is that if your pet is getting an adequate diet, Vitamin C supplements may not even be necessary.

Too much vitamin C in canines can cause a multitude of health problems, most of which primarily concern the digestive system. In general, it’s best to only give your dog Vitamin C supplements if he or she exhibits signs of illness. There’s no need to give your pet extra vitamins if he/she is healthy and is getting enough nutrients via their pet food. You have to consider the dangers of too much vitamin C because plenty of dogs love citrus fruits.

If you need to give your pet extra Vitamin C supplements, be sure to administer the doses in small increments throughout the day. It’s also important to give the right dosage by the size of your dog. For instance, small dogs need no more than 625 mg a day. Larger dogs need 1,250 mg or more. In addition, always check with your veterinarian before administering any vitamin or health booster to your pet. That’ll lead to a lot of talk about the ongoing Vitamin C debate–but you’ll also understand better what Vitamin C can do for your own pet–which, of course, is The Most Important Pet in the World.