What is B12 used for?
B12 has various functions in dogs; it is important for the development of myelin; the body's natural insulation for nerves found in the brain. Therefore, it is very important for usual cognitive function. In addition B12 has a role in healthy digestion since it aids metabolism. These are much the same as the roles that B12 has in a human body.
How will I know if My Dog has a Deficiency?
Generally your dog will receive enough B12 from their diet. If you purchase pet food from the shops rather than home-cooking your dogs meals; the supplier will have ensured that all ingredients needed for a healthy diet are included; along with supplements.
However, it is possible to have a vegan or vegetarian dog; unlike cats, dogs do not require meat in their diets, despite being able to digest it very well. Since vitamin B12 is primarily found in meats, you may well need to supplement your dog's diet to ensure that they have all they need.
Some dogs may have an illness by which they cannot absorb the vitamin efficiently. If this is the case and your dog has been diagnosed with an illness and a deficiency you will most likely have to increase their levels via injection. There are a few breeds more likely to develop an issue with the absorption of B12; the list includes beagles, giant schnauzers and border collies. Problems with the pancreas in any breed of dog can also lead to a lack of Vitamin B12 in the body.
Symptoms of B12 deficiency:
- Diarrhoea and weight loss
- Weakness and lack of energy and sleeping more.
- Less inclined to exercise and play
- In severe cases death.
Can B12 be harmful?
No, the good news is that Vitamin B12 does not have any negative side effects; since it is a water soluble vitamin any excess B12 in your dog's system will be expelled during urination.
How Can I administer B12?
There are various ways you can give your dog B12 supplements. As stated before, in case of deficiency B12 must be injected in order that your dog can absorb the vitamin more quickly. However, a dog's diet can be supplemented through B12 tablets, these can be purchased in flavours such as chicken to make these more palatable; or they can be crushed and mixed into meals.
Perhaps you feel yourself like you may be deficient?
Deficiencies in people are much the same as in dogs; you may suffer with tiredness, depression, fatigue. Just like with dogs, Vitamin B12 is very important for metabolism and brain function. If you feel like you could do with a bit of a boost to keep up with your pet's new found energy Healthboost offers B12 injections in and around Essex.