I was not totally on the bandwagon about giving our pets supplements. I knew I took vitamins, I needed vitamins, and I felt better when I took vitamins. I took good quality vitamins as well.
If you look at the vitamin and mineral content of 5 different vegetables in the 1960s, you will see they are solid, up there, where they should be. You could live off that. Look again at the 5 vegetables in 1970. A decade later, and it shows how they had dropped by more than half, because they weren’t rotating the crops. They were spraying them and putting fertilizers on them, so they wouldn’t have to do the things that good husbandry of the planet would want you to do. Come the 1980s, and it was nearly flat-lining.
If humans are not getting enough from our food, then how can our pets? Since pet food is made from a lower grade than human food, simple algebra tells you that they’re not getting what they need. We don’t live in an agrarian society. We live in a Starbucks society. We’re highly caffeinated, we’re revving up all the time, and it demands more nutrition for us to maintain that pace.
Stress is a huge thing that draws vitamins and minerals from our bodies, and also we have a thing that’s called oxidative stress. That has been linked to over 70 diseases in the human world. We’re all mammals. It’s simple to say it probably causes the same kind of conditions in our pets as well.
But our pets’ cells are constantly under attack with oxidative stress. That’s why we need anti-oxidants in our diet to help fight that oxidative stress. It’s kind of like our cells rusting, and that’s really thin slicing it. There’s a lot more to it. Oxidative stress is the damage to the body caused by excessive free radicals. It’s been linked to a lot of degenerative diseases in humans and pets. We really do want to get vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants into our diets.
Our pets pretty much need the same vitamins we need. It’s really hard to OD on vitamins. Our pets have a higher tolerance on a lot of them. There are some things you do want to be very careful about when you are supplementing your pet. Just going back, if you think you’re getting all the nutrition you need from your food, you probably need to reconsider that. Regardless of what you’re feeding your pet, they really must take additional vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants.
The pharmaceutical grade vitamins are your best choice. The things you buy over the counter are considered food grade. Whenever you’re doing anything, you want to look for that pharmaceutical grade for optimal health and well-being.
How to administer these guys? You could throw it in a little piece of cheese or peanut butter, scale this back for the size of your pet, but you can use a micro fine grater and put it in the peanut butter that way.
But I want to give a big red flag here too. You can also use chewables. They’re a great solution, but you need to absolutely make sure, No Xylitol. Xylitol can cause death in a matter of hours.
I heard a story about a guy who had heard on the radio that vitamins were good for pets. He was giving his kids chewable vitamins, and he tossed a couple to his dog thinking it was okay. They had Xylitol inside of them. Two hours later, he was in the animal hospital and his dog had died.
One thing to do when you’re administering vitamins is make sure that it’s fun and easy for you both, or you won’t continue to do it. And there are lots of choices out there, even in the pet nutrition stores. You can find liquids and treats that have them, so there’s way more choices now that make it easier for you.