Since most people supplement their diets with vitamin C, it is normal for all those who have to take care of their four-legged friend to wonder whether or not it is appropriate to give some vitamin C to their faithful friend whether it serves to cure certain pathologies or to prevent their onset. We will now see the results of several scientific studies and discoveries that have been made relating to the benefits and the side effects that may occur when a dog takes vitamin C.
Vitamin C brings to mind images of citrus fruits such as lemon and lime. Vitamin C is an essential component of our diet and a deficiency or absence of this vitamin can cause quite harmful effects in humans. Taking large amounts of vitamin C can be helpful in fighting a number of ailments, including the very common cold.
Unlike humans, dogs do not need to follow a diet rich in vitamin C or in any case where this vitamin is present. Their organism, in its uniqueness, is able to independently produce vitamin C. In dogs, vitamin C is synthesized in the liver.
If your dog is healthy and strong and does not have any health problems, it is often not necessary to use vitamin C supplements. However, supplementing your four-legged friend’s diet with vitamin C is certainly not a bad idea as this vitamin can potentially provide you with tons of health benefits.
What role does vitamin C play in a dog’s life?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin found in a wide variety of foods, such as citrus fruits, berries, and leafy green vegetables, such as cabbage. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant.
How do things work for dogs?
The by-products of metabolism produced by the body are called reactive free radicals. Free radicals can cause damage to other tissues in the body and this process is called oxidative damage. Antioxidants are substances that counter or neutralize free radicals, thus preventing damage to cells and tissues.
Many diseases in dogs are due to the high levels of oxidative stress present in the body, such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, and mental decline. When it comes to our four-legged friends it is important to remember that the vitamin C produced and/or consumed is often used primarily as an antioxidant, especially when taken in large quantities. The more vitamin C is available in the body, the better all physiological functions are performed.
Read also: Does Vitamin C Cause a Miscarriage?
Why Should a Dog Get Vitamin C?
Supplementing your dog’s diet with vitamin C can be very useful and a natural remedy against certain pathologies.
Taking high amounts of vitamin C can help to fight and treat diseases such as:
- Cognitive dysfunction ” Canine dementia “
- Ingestion of toxic substances such as paracetamol
- Repair fractures and injuries
- Liver disorders
Can vitamin C be given to dogs with food?
Yes, vitamin C can be given together with kibble or any other type of food that your dog usually consumes.
Take note that vitamin C can cause problems in dogs due to stomach acid levels. It is always better to give your four-legged friend supplements that contain calcium ascorbate or sodium ascorbate rather than ascorbic acid if such supplements are taken with food.
Giving the amount of vitamin C supplement that should be taken daily all at once can cause vomiting or diarrhea in some dogs. It is always better to divide this dose in such a way as to take part in the morning and part in the evening.
Even better: Give your four-legged friend daily natural products that have high levels of vitamin C, such as blueberries, cranberries, apples, ginger, grape seed extract, and pomegranate.
Read also: Different Ways of Vitamin C
The ideal dosage of vitamin C for dogs
When it comes to how much to give, always keep in mind that high doses of vitamin C can cause diarrhea. If this happens, stop dosing for about a day, then resume at a lower dose.
The recommended doses of vitamin C vary, but the following are generally accepted as ideal for all dogs without major diseases:
- Small Dog: 125-500mg per day, split into two doses
- Medium Breed Dog: 250-1500mg per day, in two doses
- Large Dog: 500-1500mg per day, in two doses
The fundamental point
If your dog is generally in good health, taking vitamin C supplements is probably not absolutely necessary.
If your faithful friend has a chronic condition, suffers from stress, shows clear signs of rapid aging, or is unable to synthesize enough vitamin C to meet normal physiological needs, it is always helpful to use supplements.
As noted below, several studies have shown that vitamin C levels appear to be lower in dogs suffering from some condition (such as skin parasites, cancer, and so on). Ask your vet if you can give your four-legged friend some vitamin C. It could make a difference in some people.
Do you want to know more about vitamin C?
The 3 most common sources of vitamin C for dogs are:
- Food supplements designed to support the joints, including collagen-based products.
- Vitamin C-based vitamin supplements
- Fruits and vegetables, such as blueberries, raspberries, apples, and carrots.
Vitamin C could be much more useful than we are now led to think! S
Vitamin C improves the immune system in dogs
Findings from a small study (involving only 15 dogs) suggest that vitamin C and E supplements can increase the number of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. In theory, this increase could lead to an improvement in the immune response and/or immune defenses.
“Three types of treatment (0, 30, 60 mg vitamin C) were tested in a 3×3 crossover study conducted in three different periods lasting 36 days. Pre-meal blood samples were taken to assess the presence of vitamin C, E, A, retinyl palmitate, and stearate, to assess antioxidant status [substances reactive to thiobarbituric acid (TBARS) and uric acid], and to conduct biochemical and hematological analyzes. The presence of lymphocyte subpopulations, the mitogen-induced proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and serum concentrations of IgA and IgG were determined.
A certain value (p = 0.056) was found inherent in the increase in plasma concentration of vitamin C due to the use of vitamin C-based supplements. There is no evidence that this change in the diet has altered the concentrations of other vitamins, TBARS and uric acid concentrations, and lymphocyte subpopulations, with the exception of CD4 + lymphocytes, increased following intake of vitamin C supplements. There is no effect of vitamin C on serum concentration of IgA and IgG.
It has been shown that this type of treatment, if applied for a certain amount of time x, can affect PBMC thanks to the five lectins extracted from Phytolacca americana (also called Turkish grape) and that stimulate the proliferation of T lymphocytes, an increase in these cells was observed when supplementing the diet with 30 mg of vitamin C, and a decrease when supplementing the diet with 60 mg of vitamin C.
There is no clear evidence of an effect of vitamin C supplements on antioxidant capacity in healthy subjects following a diet that has a vitamin E concentration well above the recommended dose. Still, a limited number of immunological parameters were affected slightly.”
Treatment of arthritis in dogs
A well-known holistic veterinarian, Dr. Jean Dodds, of Garden Grove, California, said there is this correlation between vitamin C and arthritis:
“Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is essential for the synthesis of type II collagen, the most abundant protein found in cartilage. Several studies have revealed that vitamin C can protect cartilage, especially when taken in high doses. ”
Cancer treatment in dogs
Some holistic vets treat cancer by administering high doses of vitamin C. Of course, there isn’t much research or articles in the scientific literature to prove the effectiveness of such treatment, but many holistic vets claim that vitamin C works. The results of a recent study showed that dogs that had received specific treatments for lymphoma (with chemotherapy) had low levels of vitamin C in the body.
It is possible that supplementing the diet of these subjects with vitamin C could be useful in fighting lymphoma in dogs:
“Prospective observational study. The values of oxidative stress [malondialdehyde and total isoprostanes (isoP)] and of antioxidants [alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC), and glutathione peroxidase (GSHPx)] were evaluated both in affected subjects from lymphoma recently diagnosed before treatment and in healthy control subjects, a comparison was then made between these values. The same parameters were also measured and evaluated in dogs with lymphoma who were in the 7th week of the chemotherapy protocol when all subjects were in remission.”
Underlying it all is the fact that dogs with lymphoma had significantly lower alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol levels but had higher levels of GSHPx (glutathione peroxidase), ORAC, and isoP than the healthy controls used. In dogs with lymphoma, the concentration of alpha-tocopherol was higher and that of ascorbic acid was lower after treatment.
The results of this study suggest that dogs with lymphoma show alterations in the concentrations of oxidants and antioxidants and that the status of some of these biomarkers normalizes following remission of the disease.