Vitamin C is something that we all grew up hearing about. It is a popular go-to, in all age groups and generations, to help ward off colds and other illnesses. It was discovered, back in the late 1800’s, that Vitamin C was the cure for scurvy and other diseases caused from malnutrition. Since that time, it has been talked about and used, exclusively by some, to keep them and their families healthy during cold and flu season. Unfortunately, like so many other things, money and convenience caused the medical industry to create an artificial form of vitamin c, called ascorbic acid. While it carries many of the same nutritional values, it is not whole food derived, so cannot be used, as easily, by the body. Ascorbic acid is an isolated part of vitamin c, not the whole. So why would you only buy a portion when the whole is available? Most people don’t know that there is a difference because most medical doctors don’t tell us the whole truth. They just tell us to incorporate vitamin c into our diets, never explaining that “ascorbic acid”, which is most all of the vitamin c’s, sitting on drug store shelves, really isn’t the best alternative.

What does this have to do with your dog? A lot. In fact, it has just about as much to do with your dog as it has to do with you, your dogs two-legged companion. Since dogs can naturally produce this vitamin, in their bodies, veterinarians don’t talk about it much, as a dietary supplement, for our four-legged-friends. In fact, dog food manufactures have long since stopped adding vitamin c in dog foods, unless it was aded for the preservative benefit, not the vitamin benefit. Why then, should we consider adding this necessary vitamin to our dogs diets, when they can produce it, on their own? Well, researchers have found that when a dog is unhealthy, for any reason, even for skin disorders, their bodies are depleted in vitamin c. Does this mean that they have low vitamin c, so they become sick, or maybe they became sick, which used up all of their bodies vitamin c. I’m not sure, but I do know that by increasing this vitamin in their system, the illness seem to work their way out. Dogs who are heavy working dogs, like ranch dogs and sled dogs, for instance, have also shown that their levels of vitamin c are well below what their bodies need to remain healthy. And…of course…stress, can also be a key factor in depleting the body of vitamin c. This last cause, stress, is the reason I have started incorporating whole food vitamin c into all of my dogs diets. While everyone escaped the burning house, with no physical injuries, the fact that we are displaced from our home, until it is rebuilt, as put tremendous stress on our fur-babies, as well as on us. Vitamin C could be the difference between frequent vet visits and a more stable, healthy life.

What, exactly, can vitamin c help with:

  • cancer
  • kennel cough
  • viruses
  • joint disease
  • spinal disorders
  • bacterial diseases
  • abscesses

Because vitamin c increases the white blood cell count in the body, it enables the body to be able to fight off many different foreign intruders, in the form of disease. It is for this reason that it is also suggested that vitamin c be used as a natural immune booster. It can also be used before and after vaccines to help stabilize the body’s stress levels. It is helpful in keeping teeth and gums healthy.

How much should “Fido” get? The vitamin c that I use, exclusively, is a whole food derived vitamin c, called C From Nature. Here is the link, (remember to use gift code LOYALTY to get $50 off of your first $75 order)    

I sprinkle one capsule in each dogs food during each feeding. I feed twice a day, so they each get two capsules per day, except for Luke, who outweighs all of our dogs by at least double. For him, I double the dose. You want to be careful not to cause diarrhea by giving them too much too fast. It is suggested not to go over 4,000 mg per day. If your dog has been in a high stress situation or has been sick, I would start with one capsule, two times per day. You can work your way up to two capsules, two times per day, but would not recommend exceeding five of these capsules, per day. You can always play it by ear, to see what they can tolerate. Some nutritionalists recommend giving them enough to soften their stool, and then backing off, just a bit from there. I have never felt the need to maximize the dosage on this, so I just stick with a constant “maintenance” dose.

Remember, as with all things, all dogs, like people, are different, and react differently to things. When trying something new, please be watchful for changes in behavior or eating habits. You can learn a lot, simply through observation.

Many blessings to you and your four-legged-loves ~ Tammy

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