Ask a Vet Archive

When it comes to your pet's health, there's no such thing as a dumb question. Search questions real clients have submitted to our popular Ask a Vet Q&A series, and then submit a question of your own.

  • I recently adopted a puppy, and I was wondering if I should be feeding her any special vitamins?

    A high quality canine diet is essential for the proper growth and development of your puppy and for the maintenance of a happy, healthy adult. If your pet is on a complete and balanced diet, then that diet should provide all the nutrients that your puppy needs for health.

    Adding a puppy vitamin or mineral supplement as part of the dog nutrition may create a nutritional imbalance and actually be harmful to the pet. This is especially true for young, growing, large breed dogs. Adding a calcium or phosphate supplement can actually increase the risk of developmental bone disease. Here are some other key nutritional tips:

    Calories puppies have increased energy requirements during the growth phase, especially large and giant breed puppies. The final adult size of your puppy is based on her genetics and not how much they are fed as puppies; overfeeding young puppies may increase the rate of growth, but should not affect the final adult size. In addition, overfeeding can have significant negative consequences by putting more strain on the immature skeleton and increasing the risk for bone and joint diseases. Feeding the appropriate diet for the size of the puppy can insure they are receiving the correct amount of energy during this important time.

    Protein – high-quality protein with the right balance of amino acids is critical during the growth phase in puppies.

    Calcium and phosphate – proper balances of these minerals is critical during the growth phase, since either deficiencies or excesses of these ingredients can have major health consequences for puppies.

    Vitamin A, D and Iodine – these vitamins are essential during the growth phase, however all can have toxic effects at excess levels. 

    For more information about your puppy’s nutritional needs, visit our Nutrition section or consult with your local veterinarian


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