Guest Post by Krystn Janisse Do you take a multivitamin every day to stay healthy, or maybe a B vitamin complex to care for your hair and nails. It stands to reason that your dog would also benefit from these supplements, right? What’s the harm in giving human vitamins to your dog? Maybe more harm than you think! When fed a complete and balanced diet, most dogs do not need a vitamin supplement. On the other hand, dogs suffering from illness, poor digestion, or those fed an incomplete diet could benefit from a few extra vitamins. That being said, are your vitamins the same as theirs? Let’s take a look at the vitamins that dogs need and see if they are the same as the ones that you need. What vitamins do dogs need? Before we get into the difference between our vitamins and those made for our pets, let’s talk about which vitamins you might consider and why. Your dog can make many of their own vitamins by breaking down and combining other nutrients, but some need to be included in their diet. These are called essential vitamins. Here is a quick reference chart of your dog’s essential vitamins and their main functions: Vitamin Function Food Source Vitamin A (Retinol) Eye health Fish, eggs, liver Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Nerve function Cereal grains, yeast Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Skin and coat health Liver, eggs, yeast Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Skin and coat health Fish, cereal grains, fish Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) Energy for cells Meat, tripe, eggs Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) Energy for cells Yeast, meat Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) Synthesize red blood cells Leafy greens, liver Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Protein synthesis Meat, organ meat Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol) Bone growth Fish, fish oils Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) Antioxidant Plant oils, cereal grains, Vitamin K (Menaquinone -7) Blood clotting Spinach, liver, most meat Choline Fat synthesis, liver function Liver, heart, eggs, soy You recognize most of these vitamins, right? That’s because they are the same vitamins we take, but that doesn’t mean that we can share. We know that the vitamins that our dogs need and the vitamins that we need are one and the same, but there is a fundamental difference between how we use supplements and how our pets do. Here are four important reasons to avoid sharing your multivitamins with your pooch: 1. Dosage If you look at most human vitamin supplements, you may notice that the dosages are much higher than what you’ll see in a formula made for pets. The most significant reason for this difference is our size. You might be anywhere from 2-200 times the size of your dog. That weight difference means that your vitamins are not dosed correctly for their weight. Our size difference isn’t the only reason that human vitamins could be too much for your dog. Our supplements typically supply a full daily intake of that nutrient, while your dog’s vitamins may contain as little as 15-20% of their daily vitamin needs. Giving your dog your vitamins means that you could be over supplementing your pet by more than 10 times their daily needs. Yikes! 2. Toxicity There are two types of vitamins. They can either be water-soluble or fat-soluble. A water-soluble vitamin will be excreted through their urine when there is more than their bodies need. Over supplementing water-soluble vitamins is an easy way to make very expensive pee. Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, get stored in the liver and other fatty tissues. This can be dangerous. Over time, this build-up becomes toxic, damaging organs, interfering with digestion, and affecting their bone health. Be careful when supplementing Vitamin A, D, and K, which are all fat-soluble. 3. Formula We are a little spoiled when it comes to supplements. We want them to be tasty, or at least easy to swallow. This means that extra ingredients must be added to accommodate our preferences. Chewable supplements are sure to be loaded with sugar, or worse xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is very toxic to dogs and cats. Another concern in human supplements is the addition of artificial colours and titanium dioxide used to make our vitamins look tastier, like candy. Both are potentially linked to digestive issues, immune function disorders, and even cancer. 4. Natural vs. man-made Some synthetic vitamins work well for both us and our pets, while others have shown to be ineffective. Vitamins in their natural form are paired with enzymes, bioflavonoids, and other vitamins that make them recognizable to your dog’s body. Synthetic vitamin supplements are isolated from these organic compounds and may not be as easily digested. Some can even be toxic. Vitamin K’s synthetic form is called Vitamin K3. This isolate could lead to toxicity in the liver, kidney, lungs, and other tissues. Opt for natural If you give your pet vitamin supplements, avoid offering vitamins designed for humans without consulting your vet first. If you decide that your pet would benefit from additional vitamins, start by offering vitamin-rich foods instead of supplements. Nutrients from food are difficult to over-supplement, making them safer for your pet. Krystn is a passionate animal enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the pet industry. She loves to share both work and personal experience in hopes of enriching the lives of humans and animals. She is currently the content writer for Homesalive.ca.
Most people have wondered at some point whether or not they should take vitamins. Some people claim that vitamins are a scam, they don’t provide any nutritional value, and they don’t lead to visible effects for weeks and months, if ever. And other people claim they can improve your health, energy levels, and quality of life. So, what is the verdict? According to experts, this is what you should do: In the medical realm Shravan Katta MD, a hospital physician “Vitamins, when taken at recommended doses, can help to improve chronic symptoms like fatigue, relieve body aches, improve mood, and reduce frequency and duration of the common cold, which in fact can improve the quality of life and performance on a daily basis. I do recommend vitamins to others as vitamins act to boost your life. It is very difficult get vitamins in right doses with regular diet, based on daily variations in the American diet. Vitamins help to supplement the diet on a daily basis.” Alam Hallan, Director of Pharmacy at Guelph General Hospital “I use a few vitamins regularly in my life. Vitamin D and Vitamin C, especially during the Canadian winter months. Vitamin D helps improve bone health and also seemed to help with some lower back pain issue, whereas Vitamin C definitely helps with the winter cough and colds. I definitely recommend these to other because of the extremely favourable cost benefit ratio.” “People take vitamins for all kinds of reasons, from preventative immune-boosting reasons to just wanting to improve their general health. Either way, I would always recommend getting your vitamins from varied natural sources such as fruits, veggies, and nuts." Nikola Djordjevic MD, medical adviser at Loudcloudhealth.com "In my particular case, I do take vitamins preventatively for my hair due to family history. Here are the vitamins I take and their primary benefits in regards to scalp and hair health: Vitamin A is essential to promote healthy cell growth, including stimulating hair growth. Another important function of Vitamin A is helping the skin cells produce sebum, which helps keep the hair moisturized and healthy. Vitamin B, or more specifically the biotin contained within, is important to hair and scalp health since it helps transport nutrients and oxygen. It's used in hair-loss treatment due to its ability to help revitalize hair growth and promote a healthy scalp. Vitamin C's most important role is to prevent your hair from aging and protect it from free radicals by producing a substance called collagen. Another important function is that vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, which is important for hair growth. Finally, there is Vitamin E that can boost hair growth and is also a powerful antioxidant that helps keep the hair and scalp healthy.” Elliot Reimers, a NASM Certified Nutrition Coach and health expert “Micronutrients are arguably the most overlooked aspect of the human diet. Despite only requiring a small amount of these nutrients, vitamins and minerals play a major role in our health, longevity, and performance. Most men (and women) have a tough time meeting their daily micronutrient needs through food sources. Naturally, this is where multivitamins for men come into play. As a quick reminder, do not invest in a men’s multivitamin with the intention to use it as a replacement for the daily vitamins and minerals. You should be consuming from whole foods like vegetables and fruits.” In the dietary/supplements industry Calloway Cook, Founder of Illuminate Labs, a dietary supplements company “I personally take Vitamin C, a methylated Vitamin B complex, Vitamin K2, and Vitamin D3 for the winter months. I've noticed a significant improvement in my energy levels since supplementing with the B-complex. I was clinically deficient in Vitamin B12, with levels in the lower range for some of the other B-vitamins, so fixing this deficiency through supplementation has worked for me. I also sleep better, but that could be caused by other factors. I recommend vitamin supplementation based on blood test results. Supplementation should be personalized and based on data rather than guesswork in 2019. However, taking Vitamin B-complex and Vitamin C as a preventative measure can't hurt since they're water-soluble, meaning you urinate out the excess.” Rachel Bodine, writer for ExpertInsuranceReviews.com "I’m a vegetarian, so I take a few supplements to make sure I’m getting the proper vitamins I need. I take a woman’s multivitamin with added iron, as iron is something that vegetarians have trouble getting in their diets. I also take an omega-3 supplement, as it’s supposed to help heart, brain, and joint health. I have noticed a difference since I started taking vitamins. Taking a multivitamin and a omega-3 each day gives me a little more energy. If I forget to take my vitamins for more than few days in a row, I can notice a small dip in my energy. Because of my vegetarian diet, I need the added iron and B-12 that the multivitamin gives me. I think the omega-3 supplement also helps with my hair, as my hair has become slightly softer and shiner over the years of taking an omega-3 supplement. I do recommend vitamins to others, especially those who are on special diets, such as vegans or vegetarians. Vitamins are a great way to make sure you’re getting all the proper nutrients you need on restricted diet. I’ve noticed a subtle but important change in my energy levels since I’ve added vitamins into my daily routine.” In the consumer/advocate realm Jadi Collado, a certified fitness instructor, professionally trained dancer and actor, and influencer “If we all ate a healthy balanced diet, there would be no need for vitamin supplements, but because this isn't usually the case (even for a fitness professional like myself), I highly recommend and take vitamin supplements. It's all about consistency to me. For some people, it's extremely difficult to consume pills and if gummy/chewable vitamins will make it simpler to consume on a more consistent basis, I say go for it but the types of vitamins consumed should be determined on an individual basis — there is no one-size fits all. I work in gyms and boutique fitness studios so my goal is always to keep my immune system in tip top shape. I take Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Calcium and a multi-vitamin, all in gummy form.” The verdict? Take your vitamins! Not only does it help supplement vitamins from food we eat each day, but it helps to boost energy, fight germs, and helps you to feel better overall.
Do you find yourself struggling to focus at work? Are you exhausted at the end of each day, and dreading the next day? Are you looking for a new challenge? You may be experiencing symptoms of burnout. Burnout is a serious issue among most of the population. Be sure to apply these 10 techniques to avoid burnout and take care of yourself: Get sleep Exercise Find something you enjoy Take walks Schedule meetings with friends/mentors Set goals for yourself Eat healthy Improve a process Do something you enjoy Take your vitamins 1. Get sleep One of the biggest factors in avoiding burnout is getting enough sleep. When you are tired, can’t focus, and struggle to stay awake, it becomes increasingly difficult to enjoy what you are doing, and you are headed for burn out. The average person should get between 7–9 hours of sleep per night. Not only are the number of hours important, but you should also strive to hit that goal consistently. Get to bed early, arise early. And while I can't promise that getting regular sleep will make you wealthy and wise, there's no doubt that your health is linked to the quality of your sleep. So make it a priority to get to bed. 2. Exercise This is the most common factor you will hear and yet, it is one of the hardest factors for most people. With the difficulty of fitting exercise into your schedule, it can stress you out and cause you to think negatively about yourself which can lead to worse burnout effects. People often associate exercise with an intense sweaty hour-long run everyday. While this can be beneficial for some, it sounds like death to others and dissuades them from working out even more. According to the Mayo Clinic, adults should get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. This comes out to 20–25 minutes of exercise a day. It is also recommended that people take walks and stand up more, especially if you work a desk job. Another tip, dont feel like you have to do all 20–25 minutes together, you can split it up to 5 minutes in the morning, 10 at lunch, and another 10 after dinner. As long as you are getting some form of exercise in, you will feel happier about yourself and avoid burn out. 3. Find something about work that you enjoy, and get better at it One of the best ways to avoid burnout is to discover something you really love about work and set a goal to improve in that area. Become the master and then offer to mentor someone else. If you are passionate about Excel, learn everything that you can, and make yourself mini projects that spark your interest. These self-inspired projects are often great resume builders and can help you catch the eye of a boss or a manger. You may be on your way to a promotion just by pursuing one of your own interests. 4. Take walks People who work in an office can often feel strapped to their desks. They struggle to get up and take walks. However, taking a brief walk not only gives you a break from your tasks, but it can also give you a fresher perspective on work when you return to your desk. Try asking a co-worker to join you. This way, you can socialize and help each other to avoid burnout. Avoid the temptation to talk about work. Give yourself permission to take a break from the mental load of your to-do list. You can avoid burn out by just focusing on the present — enjoy the walk and the connections you make with those around you. 5. Schedule meetings with friends/mentors to get their advice By scheduling meetings with friend and mentors, not only are you giving yourself a break, but you can also get their advice on things you can do to improve yourself and tips for success that have gotten them to where they are today. It is also important to set goals with them so they can keep you in check on progress. 6. Set goals for yourself Setting goals gives you something attainable and motivational to help you stay focused and avoid burnout. Think of a reward that will inspire you to reach your goals. Set goals in all aspects of your life, and it will feel great to accomplish them and achieve higher. 7. Eat healthy Along with sleeping and exercising, eating healthy has a huge role in your happiness. If you eat junk food all day long, you will feel sick both inside and outside. This has a negative effect on your attitude and thinking which only leads to worse burnout. Try to keep a log on myFitnesspal to see what foods you should be eating, and what you should not be eating. Try to eat more protein and fiber and fewer carbs. If you want to snack, reach for fresh fruits and vegetables. 8. Improve a process If you spend the majority of your day working, try to improve a process. If you find yourself doing the same thing over and over, it is easy to feel burned out. By thinking of ways to change what you are doing and to improve your processes, you might land yourself a new role, promotion, or position. You can also improve your resume. 9. Do something you enjoy to help manage stress For me, this is huge. I absolutely love to dance, and I find that even one hour of dance a day after work and school makes me feel so much better. It doesn't have to be dance; it can be painting, sports, hiking, a fitness class at the gym, or reading. Some people really enjoy watching Netflix, but I would suggest doing something that gives your eyes a break from the screen and gets you moving to release chemicals in your brain that make you happier. By doing something you love everyday, you will find yourself motivated at work to want to do what you love, and it will help you work towards your goals. 10. Take your vitamins Vitamins are often overlooked. Vitamins can help you to boost your immune system and get the nutrients you need, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Vitamins have many health benefits and some of these will give you more energy which can avoid burnout and help you to feel healthier and better about yourself.