Having a pet is similar to taking care of a child. You have to ensure that they have all they need to be healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. To ensure proper physical growth, you must take them out for some exercise, like going for a walk or run in the park.
More than helping them get a workout, you should also ensure that they have a balanced diet so that they get the right amount of nourishment. To add to their daily nutrient fare, you might also want to let your fur baby consume supplements, such as omega 3 for pets.
Here are the essential vitamins and minerals that your pets need for a healthy life:
- Vitamin A
Vitamin A, also known as retinol, primarily benefits the vision of your four-legged companion. It’s valuable for maintaining healthy skin, as well as avoiding infections and pulmonary complications.
This vitamin can be found in liver and eggs. For vegetables, you can incorporate carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, and turnip greens to your pet’s diet to boost their vitamin A levels.
- B Vitamins
Your pet needs the right amount of B vitamins to ensure that they can enjoy the normal functioning of their organs and live to the fullest. This vitamin group works to boost the immune system and other internal processes of your pet’s body.
These are the B vitamins that are crucial to your fur babies’ health:
- Thiamine – Also known as vitamin B1, it aids in regulating your pet’s energy and breaks down carbohydrates. Thiamine also plays a role in activating ion channels in neural tissues.
- Riboflavin – Vitamin B2, along with vitamin B3 (niacin), facilitates the processes involved in the production of enzymes.
- Pyridoxine – Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 is essential since it’s primarily responsible for glucose generation. Plus, it also has a significant bearing on the function of red blood cells, hormone regulation, immune response, and the entire nervous system of your pets.
- Pantothenic Acid – Also known as vitamin B5, this helps convert carbohydrates into glucose, which provides your fur baby with energy.
- Folic Acid – Vitamin 8 aids in mitochondrial protein synthesis. It also facilitates in the metabolizing of amino acids and nucleotides.
Your pet can get the necessary dose of B vitamins from internal organs, particularly the liver, kidney, and heart. Milk, eggs, wheat bran, and kelp are also valuable sources of this vitamin group.
- Vitamin C
As an antioxidant, ensuring that your pet has the proper amount of vitamin C in their diet can help reduce cellular inflammation and cognitive aging. This is because it fights harmful free radicals in your pet’s body, which causes damage to cells, proteins, and DNA.
Vitamin C can be derived from fruits and vegetables. Organ meats are excellent sources as well.
While your pet can certainly acquire vitamin C from their diet, it’s better to supplement their daily fare to enjoy its antioxidant properties. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about overdosing since it’s water-soluble, so any excess nutrients will be flushed out by your pet’s body through natural means, such as urination or defecation.
- Vitamin D
Human skin produces vitamin D when it comes to contact with the ultraviolet rays from sunlight. With this, it’s easy for you to get the proper amount of this nutrient.
Unfortunately, your pet’s skin doesn’t have this capability, so their vitamin D must be derived from their diet. Vitamin D deficiency can hamper muscle and bone growth as well, which can lead to skin disorders.
When your fur baby eats fatty fish, egg yolks, and beef, their intestines absorb the vitamin D, which is slightly by enzymes in the liver into another molecule. Then, this derivative is broken down in the kidneys into an active variation of vitamin D or calcitriol, which can be easily used by your pet’s body.
However, you should still remember to keep your furry pal’s vitamin D levels balanced. High amounts of this vitamin can lead to kidney disease and even death. Symptoms include vomiting, loss of appetite, and excessive drooling.
- Vitamin K
This fat-soluble vitamin plays a crucial role in the ability of your pet’s blood to clot. Vitamin K deficiency can lead to intestinal malabsorption, biliary obstruction, and intrahepatic cholestasis. Your fur baby can get the necessary amount of vitamin K from liver, green leafy vegetables, milk, and fish.
- Fatty Acids
Omega 3, as mentioned above, is an essential fatty acid that your pet should have. Examples of this type of fatty acid are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fish oils are the best source of omega 3, which you can get in liquid form or solid supplement tablets.
Omega 6 is another important fatty acid that your pet should have in their diet. Good sources are sunflower and corn oil. This fatty acid has a critical role in cell function and its membrane structure. Your fur baby needs this for reproduction, immune function, growth, and coat health.
Both of these acids are types of fat, so they contribute to the caloric intake of your dog. Make sure that their consumption is moderated since too much fat can lead to health problems, too.
Macrominerals assist in different bodily functions. Their name implies that they’re present principally in an animal’s body. Moreover, your pet also needs relatively large amounts of these minerals. This category includes calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and chloride.
On the other hand, even if you’ll only find traces of microminerals in your pet’s body, they’re still essential to their overall health. Your fur baby just needs smaller amounts of these minerals, like zinc, sulfur, iron, iodine, and magnesium, among others. This means that a balanced diet is enough to supply your pet with microminerals.
You should make sure that your pet gets the essential vitamins and minerals that they need so that they can stay healthy. These nutrients are crucial in various bodily functions. You can give your fur baby the proper amount of nourishment from a balanced diet. Moreover, you can also add to their daily fare with supplements.