Everyone wants to know if there is an alternative to those expensive prescriptions that require ongoing lab tests for their dog. Many of us are aware that pets often suffer from disease states similar to humans. Example arthritis. Well as humans many would rather take a supplement like Curcumin (turmeric) instead of an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). The same is true for pets. Are Human supplements safe for your dog?
The best answer is to first and always consult your local veterinarian. Sometimes supplements for humans have additional ingredients that may be harmful to your dog. Examples would be vitamin D, zinc, iron, and even vitamin C. Yes I said vitamin C.
No one wants to put their dog on Rimadyl for joint pain. It often or should come with periodic visits for regular blood testing. As someone who worked for Big Pharma – yes they do often and are the manufacturers of these prescription medications. That doesn’t make them safe. Just like supplements manufactured specifically for pets or dogs does not make them good. Supplements for pets should go through the same cGMP process as supplements for humans. This would indicate that the lot numbers are subject to FDA inspected visits and review.
Never give a human supplement to your pet or dog. You need to be 100 percent sure that it does not contain ingredients that could hurt, harm or cause death. If you have discussed this with your local veterinarian then and only then can you be sure that you will not have a problem. Do not be surprised if your local veterinarian has to examine and research the supplement ingredients.
Something to consider, please note this is not a complete list of problem ingredients.
Vitamin D can be very toxic to dogs. If your dog ingests to much vitamin D the toxicity is a life- threatening emergency that requires immediate veterinary treatment. Vitamin D can affect the kidneys, heart, gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system. In extreme cases or if left untreated, dogs can experience acute renal failure, coma, and death.
Vitamin C does not need to be in your dogs diet. Dogs unlike humans manufacture all of the vitamin C that they require or need. Dogs that consume a balanced diet do not require supplementation of this vitamin. Vitamin C is now found routinely in commercial dog food as ascorbic acid as a preservative. Years ago this was not a component of dog food nor should it be. Pets are not living longer lives but shorter lives these days. Vitamin C is excreted by dogs in the urine and therefore places an extra workload on the kidneys. In addition vitamin C may increase the risk of stones developing in the urinary tract, especially in males. It is not advisable to give dogs vitamin C unless a veterinarian has ordered this.
Zinc can be toxic for your dog. This occurs when animals ingest a large amount of zinc-containing materials. Zinc toxicity can affect both large and small dogs. It is more common in the smaller breeds. Human supplements with zinc and iron should not be given to dogs. Humans require more zinc because it is not bio-available. Example 26.6 mg of zinc given to a human is equal to 7.5 mg that the human body can use. Since the bioavailability of zinc in dogs is unfamiliar territory this supplement should only be given by a licensed veterinarian. Supplementing with Zinc and iron can be very toxic and cause permanent damage internally to your dog. Zinc toxicity is a very real and serious issue. Illness can result from the ingestion of as little as one penny. Dogs can develop blood disorders from zinc that can be fatal.
In short human supplements are not safe for your dog or pet without the consultation of a licensed veterinarian.