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Are Vitamins Necessary For Boston Terriers?

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I have supplemented my Boston Terriers with vitamins for years.  Over three years ago, Rose my oldest Boston Terrier nearly died with hemolytic anemia.  Up till the time she died, last November, we made her food from scratch and supplemented her diet with vitamins with iron.  She needed help building blood and the extra iron was what my veterinarian recommended.

1. If you feed your dog a commercial pet food that is labeled “100%
complete and balanced” there is no need to give vitamins or supplements
to your dog. In fact, doing so can be dangerous.

2. It is impossible to provide our pets with a diet that is 100%
complete and balanced for their individual needs. Plus, vitamins added
by the manufacturer of the food may be lost before the pet even eats it.

It shouldn’t surprise you that pet food manufacturers support the first
school of thought while those in the business of selling dog vitamins
and supplements support the latter.

There certainly is a lot of controversy and debate surrounding pet
nutrition and human nutrition too, for that matter. Some argue that by
breaking food down into its smallest parts, we are losing sight of the
big picture. In his book, In Defense of Food, Michael
Pollan calls this nutritionism–in other words, “the idea that a food is
not a system but rather the sum of its nutrient parts.” Pollan also
explains the power and weaknesses of this model. He says, “Scientific
reductionism is an undeniably powerful tool, but it can mislead us too,
especially when applied to something as complex, on the one side, as a
food and on the other a human eater. It encourages us to take a simple
mechanistic view of that transaction: Put in this nutrient, get out that
physiological result. Yet people differ in important ways.”

Yes, dogs and cats differ in important ways too.

In order to tackle this debate we should first take a look at the role
of vitamins in a dog’s diet. Vitamins are involved in chemical reactions
of metabolism and function as enzymes, enzyme precursors, and coenzymes.
So what does all that mumbo-jumbo mean exactly?

Basically, in order for your dog’s body to function properly, certain
vitamins must be present in certain amounts. While there are “average”
amounts that will be adequate for the majority of dogs, these exact
amounts will vary from one dog to the next. Some vitamins are stored in
your dog’s body for long periods of time while other vitamins are
quickly utilized and must be replenished accordingly in the diet.

Many pet owners are concerned about not providing their pet with enough
vitamins in the diet but dangers can arise when a pet is given too much
of a certain vitamin as well. In fact, in an attempt to appear as
“healthy” as possible some pet food manufacturers have been accused of
over-supplementing their diets. Pet nutritionists often refer to this as
“overnutrition.”

Unlike minerals which are inorganic in nature, vitamins are organic. An
organic material is a substance that contains at least one carbon atom.
Vitamins are the only organic molecule not classified as a protein, fat,
or carbohydrate. Vitamins are not used as an energy source and are not
structural components but instead play a key role in releasing energy
provided by other nutrients.

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So, are vitamins necessary for Boston Terriers?  Yes, in many cases they are, especially if your dog has been sick like my Rose had been.

Have you given your Boston Terrier vitamins in the past?  Please tell me about it in the comment section below.

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