We all think of lemons and oranges at the mention of vitamin C, an essential nutrient needed by our body in order to keep our tissues and organs healthy. Unlike us, dogs are blessed with the ability to produce their own vitamin C and therefore, many pet nutritionists in the past found it redundant to add it to their diets. Nowadays, vitamin C supplements are used to treat sick dogs and are also given to healthy pooches in order to boost their immune system.
Collagen is a protein responsible not only for healthy skin, but it also functions as an adhesive that keeps the tapestry of skin and bones intact. The body needs vitamin C in order to produce collagen and cartilage, which is the rubber-like padding that protects the joints. Dogs who suffer from hip dysplasia and spinal disorders can benefit greatly from taking vitamin C thanks to its tissue-repairing abilities. Arthritis prevention is also possible with vitamin C, which is used to treat and alleviate the symptoms of this terrible disease. The vitamin C dosage for dogs suffering from joint inflammation is usually high and some vets even recommend increasing the dosage until your pooch gets diarrhea as a result. However, sticking to a dosage of 125 to 500 mg twice per day is probably the safest road to take when it comes to your arthritic pooch. Medium sized dogs require a dose of 250 to 1500 mg per day while larger dogs will need 500 to 1500 mg twice a day.
Dog allergies can take on many forms and their symptoms can range from sneezing to skin rashes. Allergies are triggered when your pooch’s immune system releases chemicals that attack the allergen responsible for wreaking havoc on the body. Luckily, Vitamin C can be used as an antihistamine to stabilize the immune system and put an end to any allergy-related symptoms. The dosage here varies according to the size of your pooch, so small dogs will need 125 mg of vitamin C twice a day while medium and large dogs can handle up to 750 mg, also twice per day.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means that it can delay and prevent cell damage and stop collagen from breaking down as well. Unfortunately, dogs who have cancer end up with low levels of vitamin C in their bodies and that’s when supplements come into play. According to recent studies on the subject, administering high doses of vitamin C were shown to increase the tumor response to chemotherapy and improve the immune system as well. Moreover, taking vitamin C can also improve the appetite of sick dogs who often suffer from fatigue and nausea due to their therapy sessions.
Canine Distemper Virus
This virus targets the different interconnected systems in the body and causes your pooch to cough, sneeze and develop mucus in the eyes. Other advanced symptoms include fever, vomiting and appetite loss. Puppies are more at risk of contracting this virus, especially those who have not been vaccinated. Treatment options for canine distemper include administering vitamin C in IV form, which delivers it straight to the veins. We all know that viral infections can take their toll on our bodies, and the same tragedy can befall our pooches as well. Vitamin C can help in this department by restoring the appetite of the infected pooch, reducing his temperature and giving him a much-needed boost of energy.
Vitamin C is considered one of the best dog vitamins out there thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Dogs who show signs of restlessness and are continuously scratching their ears are often victims of an ear infection. Ear infections can be the result of allergies, bacteria, and even ear mites, and they can be treated using topical medication or antibiotics. Vitamin C can also help treat ear infections by reducing the inflammation inside the ear canal and the dosage, in this case, is 250-500 mg for small dogs and 500-1,000 mg for medium and large dogs.
Vitamin C is also used to combat this upper respiratory infection, whose symptoms include coughing and choking, and is similar to a chest cold in humans. In the case of a kennel cough, vitamin C is used to help strengthen the immune system and some pet owners even give it to their pooch as an alternative to antibiotics. The vitamin C dosage for dogs who suffer from a kennel cough is the following: 125-500 mg twice a day for small dogs, and 250-1500mg for medium sized dogs. Large dogs can benefit from a 500 to 1500 mg dosage twice a day as well.
Stress directly affects the levels of vitamin C found in the body, and studies have shown that these levels become depleted when your pooch experiences a highly stressful event such as going to the vet or getting vaccinated. Some vets recommend giving vitamin C to dogs before and after their scheduled vaccinations. Senior dogs whose bodies are no longer capable of producing adequate levels of vitamin C can also benefit from an energizing dose of antioxidants in their system. For dogs who show clear signs of stress, a dosage of 500 mg is recommended. This dosage may be divided in half and administered to your pooch twice a day to prevent digestion problems. It is important to note that too much vitamin C can lead to diarrhea in dogs, so you need to be careful and adjust this dosage accordingly. For instance, a dog experiencing major stress can tolerate up to 4000 mg of vitamin C without diarrhea, but once you remove the stress out of the equation, his body may not tolerate this high dosage.
The Many Forms of Vitamin C
Vitamin C, which is also known as ascorbic acid, exists in various forms. Powder vitamin C is usually mixed with wet food in order to get rid of its bitter taste and encourage your pooch to take it. Liquid vitamin C is even easier to mix with food compared to its powder and tablet forms. Tablets can be either crushed and sprinkled over food or they can be served with buttercream or cheese to mask their undesirable taste. See what works best for your dog and remember to consult your vet when it comes to dosage and potential side-effects.
- Benefits of Vitamin C to Your Dog, Whole Dog Journal
- Deciding on Whether or Not to Add Vitamin C to Your Dog’s Diet, PetWave