Woman with her dog

Finding the Right Vitamins for Your Dog

Could your dog benefit from a vitamin? For most dogs, the answer is yes. I know, you’re already feeding high-quality dog food, and you should have your dog covered, but is that really true?

   Let’s talk about the vitamins in your dog’s bag of kibble. Are they vitamins from whole food, or are they synthetic vitamins? How do you tell the difference? For most people, it’s simple; if you cannot easily pronounce the ingredients, they are highly likely synthetic. Dog food manufacturers need to add all these vitamins to that kibble because the kibble itself is void of these vitamins or the vitamin component is so small that they don’t meet US dog food standards. Take a moment to think about that. Is your dog genuinely eating “food?”
   Did you know that only a very few brands of dog food made in the US use natural or whole food vitamins in their food? Most use a vitamin pre-mix, and it’s comprised of synthetics. The 80-dollar bag of kibble may differ from what you think you are buying. Expensive does not necessarily equate to quality where dog food is concerned.
   A better understanding of synthetic vitamins and how they work in the body will offer you more information when evaluating your next purchase of dog food.
   Via chemical structure, synthetic vitamins are “mirror images” of their natural counterpart. For example, vitamin C in its natural form, let’s say, looks like a string of lights with all the bulbs facing to the right. Vitamin C, the synthetic form, looks precisely the same as the natural string of lights, but the bulbs all face the opposite direction, to the left.
   Mother Nature instructed our bodies and the dog’s body to utilize those natural vitamins in a specific way. There are receptors in the cells that recognize that string of lights with the bulbs facing to the right, and they fit into the cells in our bodies just like the perfect puzzle piece. Once in place, the body knows how to benefit from the vitamin’s presence.
   Now, when that string of lights with the bulbs all facing left enters the cell, and because they are not an exact fit, the cell rejects it as a foreign object, and our bodies eliminate it through the urine.
   Here’s a visual example. Stand in front of a mirror and look at your face. Then, touch the mirror image of your face on the nose. (Be sure to touch the mirror.) You feel the touch sensation on your finger; the nose itself felt no stroke, no warm touch, and received no benefit.
   Now touch your nose directly on your face. You feel the soft touch of your finger, and your nose notices the physical contact. In short, your body responds to the natural touch, not the “mirror image” touch. If you leave the mirror without ever having touched your actual face, your nose will never know the experience even happened. Mirror images are not the proper coding Mother Nature intended, so the body will never benefit from those synthetic vitamins.
   Have you ever taken vitamins and thought, “these don’t do anything?” You’re likely right if they were synthetic.
   The good news is that whole food vitamins are on the market, which can help improve any bag of kibble. You can even find them in a “treat” form that your dog will love.
   Feed the highest quality dog food you can afford for your dog’s overall health. And yes, even the best foods can benefit from adding whole-food vitamins. As our dog’s age and continue to be exposed to environmental stressors, natural food source vitamins can play a role in maintaining your dog’s overall health.
   The next time you purchase dog food, take some extra time to read the bag carefully and make an informed choice for your dog. Consider adding some whole-food vitamins too. Remember, your dog relies on you to make good food choices for them.
Delmarva Unleashed, a Mid-Atlantic canine magazine, has three field research teams tracking the performance of various products for their readers. All teams have scientific backgrounds, and the publisher also has a certification in canine foods. Visit them at DelmarvaUnleashed.com.

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