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Vitamin C is a micronutrient that fulfills important and diverse functions that keep our dog's body in perfect condition. There are usually no deficiencies in this vitamin, which is partly capable of being synthesized by the dog itself, so if we think it needs supplementation, we must always go to the vet first..
In this AnimalWised article we will explain how vitamin C works for dogs, in which cases it can be useful and what happens if we exceed its dosage.You may also be interested in: Vitamin E for dogs - Dosage and uses Index
- What is vitamin C?
- What is vitamin C for dogs good for?
- Vitamin C dosage for dogs
- How to give vitamin C to a dog?
- Side effects of vitamin C for dogs
What is vitamin C?
Vitamins are micronutrients that are essential in small quantities so that the dog's organism can develop its vital functions successfully. They are essential because the dog cannot manufacture them himself from other nutrients. This means that it is essential that you eat them in your diet. Although, in the case of vitamin C, it is found in two forms: as ascorbic acid, better known, or as dehydroascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is generated by dogs from glucose. In general, the amount they produce may be enough to cover their needs, but it will depend on multiple factors..
Vitamins are divided into two groups depending on the substance in which they are diluted. Thus, we speak of fat-soluble vitamins, which will dissolve in fat, and water-soluble vitamins, as is the case of vitamin C at hand. As the name suggests, they dissolve in water. For this reason, the body will not be able to store them for a long time, which implies that, if there is a deficiency, its effects will be noticed immediately. Likewise, these vitamins are excreted in the urine.
Vitamin C for dogs will participate in different processes in the body. Basically, intervenes in the formation of muscles, of the blood vessels, of the bones and of the teeth. In addition, it helps to properly absorb iron and participates in the healing processes.
What is vitamin C for dogs good for?
We usually associate vitamin C with a antioxidant effect, fighting free radicals and reducing oxidative injuries, but its consumption offers other important advantages. These are the most prominent beneficial effects of vitamin C in the body of dogs:
- Prevents the appearance of kidney stones.
- Supports urinary tract health.
- Reduces the signs of hip dysplasia.
- Participate in the bone formation, since it is needed for collagen, which is one of the components of bone and connective tissues and dentin.
- Encourage the collagen production, which is also essential for the maintenance of the skin and ligaments. Therefore, vitamin C is beneficial for dogs with allergies or dermatitis..
- Along with other vitamins, such as E, and minerals such as selenium, it could slow the progression of arthritis. As an antioxidant, it delays cartilage degeneration.
- Contribute to decrease oxidative stress that produce different diseases, for example, those related to the liver. In these cases, vitamin C is usually combined with other antioxidants.
- It is also recommended for convalescent dogs or those showing stress pictures.
- Finally, it helps in cases of bleeding caused by capillary fragility.
Vitamin C dosage for dogs
The adequate dose of vitamin C for our dog can be provided through diet or using supplements. In this case, only the veterinarian can prescribe its use and the most appropriate dosage for the characteristics of our dog. In general, it will depend on the vitamin C you choose.
Vitamin C supplements for dogs can be marketed in liquid form. The milliliters to be administered will depend on the weight of the dog and the brand that the veterinarian prescribes. Vitamin C can also be found in tablets. The necessary quantity will be established the same as in the liquid presentation. In both cases it can be one or more times a day. It is also marketed as an injectable solution.
Finally, vitamin C is not a mandatory declaration ingredient in feed, so we may not find it in the list of components. If we are interested in knowing the exact data we will have to contact the manufacturer directly.
How to give vitamin C to a dog?
In general, by choosing a quality diet appropriate to the vital circumstances of each moment, we will be providing all the vitamin C for dogs that our dog needs. Commercialized diets usually cover all nutritional needs without adding any supplements. There is also foods with vitamin C for dogs that can be integrated into the diet. The following stand out:
- Viscera, like liver.
- Various fruits, such as papaya. It is typical to cite lemon, orange or strawberry as fruits with vitamin C for dogs, however, not all dogs like them due to their taste and aroma, which is part of the scents they hate the most..
- Vegetables like broccoli.
Discover in this video which are the best fruits for dogs, some of them with a high amount of vitamin C:
Side effects of vitamin C for dogs
As we have mentioned, vitamin C, being water soluble, is easily eliminated through the urine, so that it does not accumulate in the body. It reaches a saturation threshold and, at that time, is eliminated unchanged via the kidneys. Therefore, its consumption, even if at some point the recommended dose is exceeded, it will not have negative consequences for the dog..
In conclusion, vitamin C has very low toxicity and it is considered practically harmless. The main problem that could be generated is that the elimination of the surplus will acidify the urine. On the other hand, at very high doses diarrhea could be triggered, which will remit as soon as the excess of this vitamin is removed..