Row after row of colorful bottles, claiming to cure and improve whatever ails you, stacked to the rafters, glowing under the fluorescent lights. It’s the dreaded vitamin aisle, and the confusion, alone, can leave you feeling confused and dizzy! If reading the endless vitamin labels, most printed in tiny font, wasn’t bad enough, now we’re being told that our pets need vitamins, too! It’s enough to make you want to bury your head in the dirt right next to Fido’s bone. We\u0026#39;re here to help you find the best dog vitamins.Before you faint on the floor in the pet store aisle, leaving your dog free to scarf down every free dog treat he can reach, take a quick minute to check out our simple-to-understand guide on the A, B, Cs of pet vitamins. Let’s start with what vitamins really are…Vitamins are organic compounds necessary to sustain life. Most are found naturally in food. Animals’ bodies, just like humans, need vitamins for growth and health maintenance. You’re probably familiar with the basic vitamins human beings need including Vitamin B (biotin, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin B-6 and B-12), Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Omega 3’s.Dogs need these basic vitamins just like we do, but their specific needs are very different than ours, and the quantities we give them can be a matter of life or death.Let’s talk specifically about our dog’s needs. . .Vitamin B:The B Vitamins play an important role in your dog’s health. Thiamine helps regulate energy and carbohydrate metabolism and activates ion channels in neural tissues. Sounds complicated, but it basically means it keeps the engine running smoothly. Riboflavin (B12) and niacin help facilitate enzyme function. Vitamin B6 is particularly important as it’s responsible for glucose generation, red blood cell and nervous system function, hormone regulation, immune response, niacin synthesis, and gene activation. Folic acid plays a role in amino acid and nucleotide metabolism and in mitochondrial protein synthesis. Simply put, it energizes the cells of the body. Remember that the B’s are Best for blood and most operating systems in the body. Vitamin C:Vitamin C is an important antioxidant, scavenging potentially harmful free radicals and whisking them away. It also helps reduce inflammation and cognitive aging. Dog’s can generally synthesize Vitamin C in their liver but, in some cases, supplementation may offer additional and needed health benefits. Think of Vitamin C as the vitamin that Carries away the bad stuff. Vitamin E:Vitamin E provides defense against oxidative damage. It’s fat-soluble and essential for cell function and fat metabolism. Deficiencies in Vitamin E can lead to eye and muscle degeneration and reproductive problems. Think of Vitamin E for the Eyes and a whole lot more. Omega-3:Omega-3 fatty acids are a useful adjunctive therapy for heart disease in dogs. Research indicates that Omega-3s may reduce the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which are frequently discovered in dogs with heart failure. Additionally, Omega 3s may help improve heart function overall including heart rate and blood pressure. Just remember that our four-legged friends have mega hearts, and they deserve a diet that keeps their tickers ticking.So, do dogs need all these vitamins?Like human beings, dogs can get vitamins from food but, unfortunately, only the right foods can provide the quantities and balance of vitamins necessary for optimum health. Even commercial dog foods labeled “complete and balanced,” don’t always live up to their claims. While some of them may be formulated to include vitamins, minerals, and the nutrients your dog needs, not all of them do. Many companies use this language solely for marketing purposes, and even those companies with good intentions, can’t always control what is lost in the cooking process.It\u0026#39;s also important to keep in mind that our canine friends have different needs at different stages in their lives. Make sure to buy age-appropriate food, usually labeled as puppy, adult and senior. It’s especially important to consider breed type, like large-breed puppies. Find the best dog vitamins for older dogs, specifically. Large breed dogs are susceptible to hip dysplasia and need the right food for their unique size, so they don’t grow too quickly.Are there other risks associated with vitamins? There’s no question that vitamins are vital to a healthy life for human beings and dogs. But, if given in the wrong quantities, they can be potentially dangerous for dogs. As an example, too much calcium can cause skeletal problems in large-breed puppies. Excess vitamin A can cause dehydration, joint pain, and even harm your dog’s blood vessels. And some vitamins contain herbs that can interfere with certain medications. It sounds dog-gone complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.How does a responsible pet owner sniff out the right nutritional plan for their dog?It’s always best to work on a good nutritional plan with your veterinarian first. If it’s determined that your dog needs vitamin supplements either to complement a homemade diet or help with a medical condition or deficiency, the next step is choosing the appropriate vitamin supplement. Like Balanced Breed. At Balanced Breed we understand that figuring out what’s the best nutritional plan and supplemental products to buy can make the most dedicated dog owner, dog tired. Don’t let it! Remember the A, B, Cs of vitamins and…-Talk to your veterinarian about the appropriate dosage and balance of vitamins.-Remember never to use human-grade vitamins as they may contain ingredients and concentrations of vitamins that are not acceptable for your dog and can even be harmful. Balanced Breed NEVER contains harmful additives or fillers.