Vitamin C for a Happy and Healthy Dog

Vitamin C for a Happy and Healthy Dog

Posted by Volhard Dog Nutrition on Aug 28th 2020

Here at Volhard Dog Nutrition, we understand happiness and peace of mind are the pillars for a strong relationship between a dog and its owner. While a happy and healthy dog is every dog owner’s dream, bringing this dream to life is no easy task. As a dog owner, you must sometimes feel like you’re not doing enough, and we understand that. Although it’s easy for dog owners to suddenly feel overwhelmed, the truth is that you can easily ensure your canine friend’s peace of mind! With a lot of attention and proper fresh and natural diet, there’s no doubt that your dog will reward you with a long, happy life.

In our previous blog posts, we’ve discussed how a proper fresh, natural diet, based on foods rich with Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12, is essential for your dog’s well-being. Today, we’re going to enlarge this list with another nutrient, one that is so common, we often neglect its contribution toward a healthy life: Vitamin C!

Vitamin C for Dogs

Scientifically known as the L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient with numerous positive attributes not only for your dog but for you as well. With its antioxidant abilities, vitamin C supports a sound immune system, vital for your dog’s healthy growth. There are actually 4 types of vitamin C: 

  • Calcium Ascorbate
  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Ester-C
  • Sodium Ascorbate. 

Which one should I use with my dog? Stay with us and we will dive deeper into this as we go!

Do Dogs Need Vitamin C?

Dogs can make their own vitamin C, which means your dog’s nutrition plan does not need to be abundant in this vitamin. But what happens when you take into consideration factors such as air pollution, bacteria, viruses, processed pet foods, and the numerous chemicals to which your canine companion is continually exposed? In such a world, only a dog with a sound immune system can be happy and healthy. So how can you provide the necessary vitamin C amount to your dog?

Can Dogs Take Vitamin C?

For dog owners who are worried about how to proceed, we have fantastic news: it is safe for you to include vitamin C into your canine friend’s diet! As we’ve mentioned earlier, your dog’s immune system is always in need of this vitamin. However, this does not mean we can flood our dog’s diet with foods rich with vitamin C. Which Vitamin C is the right one?

First and foremost, you need to examine the right type and amount of vitamin C suitable for your dog. 

According to Wendy Volhard in the Holistic Guide for the Healthy Dog, calcium ascorbate is necessary for the breakdown of protein. It is a water-soluble vitamin and is flushed through the system in a matter of hours. This form of Vitamin C is thought to be the most gentle and cause the fewest side effects such as diarrhea and indigestion. 

Ascorbic acid is a naturally occurring Vitamin C source it is tart tasting and commonly used for humans in pill form. When given in high doses it is not efficiently absorbed by dogs and can cause diarrhea. It can also be unpalatable to dogs because of its bitter taste. 

Ester-C is a non-acidic, neutral pH source and does not cause digestive upset. This is a time release product and has questionable absorption because of this characteristic. 

Finally, sodium ascorbate is a readily available source of C, pH neutral powder with a slightly saline taste. This source of C stays in the system twice as long as ascorbic acid and can be used in low doses in the dog’s diet when Addison’s disease is suspected.

Remember that this is not something dog owners can find out based on their personal experience. Factors such as age, breed, and body type must be taken into account. If you want to know how much vitamin C is suitable for your dog, you should consult a vet. When it comes to quantity, both excess (which leads to pet diarrhea) and lack of this mineral can be dangerous, so make sure that your dog always receives the right vitamin C intake.

Benefits of Vitamin C for Dogs

Have you consulted a specialist to find out the right vitamin C intake for your dog? Fantastic! You’re ready to take a big step towards improving your dog’s health and well-being. Now, let’s go back to the marvelous benefits brought by a raw food diet rich with Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is one of the best remedies for your dog’s allergies. Since this mineral acts as an antihistamine, a proper Vitamin C intake helps fight inflammation, and any other allergic reactions your dog might be experiencing. Additionally, vitamin C also prevents future allergic reactions, which is extremely helpful for dogs who frequently develop such conditions.

Apart from allergic reactions, vitamin C is known to benefit the dog’s joint and bone health through the stimulation of collagen production. Enough collagen in your dog’s body will decrease the chances of developing more dangerous health problems, such as hip dysplasia, spinal issues, or degenerative joint disease.

Vitamin C acts as a vital antioxidant in your dog’s body, which has a positive effect on its coat. Combine the vitamin C intake with vitamin E to ensure a vibrant appearance for your canine companion.

By far, the most important benefit of vitamin C is boosting your dog’s immune system. Once it is absorbed into your dog’s body, vitamin C increases the number of antibodies, leading to an immune system more capable of fighting against bacteria, toxins, and viruses, which cause viral infections and cancerous growths.

Foods with Vitamin C for Dogs

A real dog owner could never ignore the benefits brought by proper vitamin C intake to their canine companion. The truth is, if you want your dog to enjoy these benefits without wasting too much time with research, we have the right answer for you: switching to a Fresh, Natural food diet will provide your canine friend with all the vital nutrients it needs!

So, what should this diet include? Our main pick is organ meat, such as liver, kidney, and heart. If you’re curious about herbal sources too, feel free to add peppermint, red clover, raspberry leaf, or paprika (you can consult a full lift of herbal sources here). Need more ideas? Our website is ready to help you with more ideas for rich vitamin C sources!

For more advice on dog nutrition, health, and training, make sure to contact us and check out our blog!

Volhard Dog Nutrition and its expert canine nutrition coaches are now offering online consultations to help more dog parents discover why and how to feed their dogs the healthiest of foods!

Speaking to a Volhard canine nutrition coach will help you understand the inseparable relationship between healthy food, a healthy body, and a healthy mind.

If you want to contact one of our Volhard canine nutrition coaches, don't hesitate to access our consultation page!