Lew Olson's newly revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog.

Vitamins + Supplements

Vitamins and Supplements

By Lew Olson • March 2006 Newsletter
In this month’s article I hope to cover the minimum supplements needed for a dry dog food diet, a fresh food or raw diet, and a combined diet of fresh and dry dog food.

The word supplements cover a wide variety of nutrients. Supplements include vitamins, herbs, probiotics, digestive enzymes and amino acids. Many of these are sold as combinations or individually, so dog owners may be overlapping in their supplements without realizing it. I will try and explain each one by type and define when and how often they are needed.

At the end of this article, I outline some specific supplements that are helpful for common ailments.
Vitamins come in two categories:
1. water soluble
2. fat soluble
Water soluble vitamins include Vitamin C and B vitamins. These are easily flushed from the body and often need to be given twice daily for the best results. It is hard to overdose on these vitamins, however if too much vitamin C is given, it can cause diarrhea and B vitamins can cause urine to be a bright yellow. Fat soluble vitamins include vitamin A, D and E. These are stored in the fat in the body and have a longer ‘life’ in the body. They are not easily flushed from the body like water soluble vitamins and the dosage is generally less.
Water Soluble Vitamins
B VITAMINS help with nerve development, help to maintain kidney function, good muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and help with eyes and skin. The B vitamins include B-1 (thiamin), B-2 (riboflavin), B-3 (niacin and niacinamide), B-6 (pyridoxine), B-12 (cobalamin), folic acid, pantothenic acid, biotin, choline, inositol and PABA. These vitamins need to work together and it best to give them all rather than single out one or two. B vitamins are found in organ meat, eggs, green leafy vegetables, meat, poultry and fish.
B Vitamin Dosage:
0-25 lbs – 25 mg daily
25-50 lbs – 25 to 50 mg
50-75 lbs – 50 to 100 mg
100 lbs – 75 to 150 mg
VITAMIN C WITH BIOFLAVANOIDS is an essential antioxidant and immune builder. Vitamin C has many functions, including collagen building (present in connective tissue), adrenal gland functioning, stimulates production of lymphocytes, fights bacteria and viruses, enhances ability of chemotherapy drugs, helps prevent high blood pressure and serum cholesterol, aids in healing of wounds and production of anti-stress hormones.
While dogs produce some vitamin C, it is often not enough for dogs living with the daily stress of pollution, less physical activity, illness and those involved in performance training. Additional vitamin C is helpful as a natural antihistamine and can help fight allergies. It is also thought to help with wound healing and high amounts have been shown to help with relief of pain and immunity.
Vitamin C is water soluble and is flushed from the body quickly. It is important to give this supplement at each meal. Foods that are high in vitamin C include broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, parsley, pineapple, strawberries, spinach, turnip greens and collards.
There are several types of vitamin C, but the most common is the calcium ascorbate type, as it is buffered and easier on the digestive tract.
Bioflavonoids, although not exactly a vitamin, are found in the rinds of citrus fruits and are an antioxidant. When taken with vitamin C, they help with the absorption rate. They help to strengthen capillary walls, help with hemorrhages and prevent bruising. They are shown to be helpful with inflammatory conditions and arthritis. Bioflavonoids may also be helpful in the treatment and prevention of cataracts. Vitamin C given with bioflavanoids also helps with the uptake of vitamin C. All forms of vitamin C are useful, but make sure that the type used also has bioflavanoids for full benefit.
Vitamin C with Bioflavonoid minimum dosage
0-25 pounds 100- 250 mg
25-50 pounds 250-500 mg
50-75 pounds 500-1,000 mg
50-100 pounds – 1,000-2,000 mg
Fat Soluble Vitamins
VITAMIN A is believed to help fight respiratory infections and helps keep our body’s tissues healthy. It is considered to have antioxidant properties and helps maintain good eye function and promotes good reproduction and healthy skin. There are two types of vitamin A. The first type is found in animal sources and is called active vitamin A (such as cod liver oil) and the other is beta carotene, found in plant sources. Not enough research has been done with dogs to show the value of beta carotene, but both types are probably helpful. Good food sources of active vitamin A are found in beef and chicken liver, eggs and dairy products. Plant sources are found in fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, spinach, cantaloupe and kale.
Generally food sources are rich enough in this vitamin, although more may be added for immunity purposes, respiratory problems, ulcers, skin problems and cancer prevention. I would not exceed daily dosages over 1,000 UI for small dogs, 2,500 for medium dogs and no more than 5,000 IU for large dogs.
VITAMIN D is also considered to be a hormone. It is not only found in food, but also sunlight. It helps with the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus in the body by increasing absorption of these in the intestines. A deficiency of this vitamin in puppies can result in rickets, stunted growth, delayed tooth development and bone deformities. The daily intake for a dog would be 100 IU or less for a small dog, 200 IU for a medium sized dog and 400 IU for a large dog. Food sources for this vitamin include fatty saltwater fish, fish liver oils and fortified dairy products. Sunlight also provides some vitamin D.
VITAMIN E is also an antioxidant and anticarinogen. It helps to protect vitamin C and vitamin A from oxidation. It aids circulation, healing of wounds, aids in arthritis, helps with normal functioning of the nervous system, improves athletic performance and prevents cell damage and may prevent aging. It also works synergistically with omega 3 fatty acids (as found in fish oils) so make sure vitamin E is given with fish oils. It is found in whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, and organ meats.
Vitamin E minimum dosage:
0-25 pounds – 50-100 IUs
25-50 pounds 100-200 IUs
50-75 pounds 400 IUs
75- 100 pounds 400-800 IUs
Digestion Aids
Many dogs on dry or processed foods are missing two vital ingredients in a daily diet. These are Probiotics, which are the good, friendly bacteria that are needed for good digestion of food and digestive enzymes, which help process and breakdown fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Heat over 110 degrees kill both of these elements, and processed dog foods are heated when cooked and extruded for making the kibble. For those who feed a fresh food diet, or a mixture of fresh and dry foods, both friendly flora and fauna and digestive enzymes are in uncooked foods.
Good bacteria include acidophilus (lactobacillus acidophilus) and lactobacillus bifidus. These are also contained naturally in buttermilk, yogurt, acidophilus milk, kefir and some cheeses. Acidophilus may be helpful in detoxifying harmful substances; it has an antibacterial effect, antifungal properties, aid digestion and help in absorption of nutrients. Berte’s Ultra Probiotic Powder contains lactobacillus, streptococcus faecium, bacillus subtilis and amylase, protease and lipase.
Digestive Enzymes
Enzymes are needed for digesting food, the repair of tissue and all functions of the body. While the body can make its own enzymes, it must also get them from food. As stated above, heat destroys many enzymes, so they must be obtained from raw foods, and for dogs, particularly raw vegetables and raw meat. Enzymes help to construct new muscle tissue, nerve cells, bone and skin. They also promote oxidation and convert poisons and toxins in the body into harmless substances.
The three types of enzymes in the body are amylase, protease and lipase. Amylase helps with breakdown of carbohydrates, protease with proteins and lipase with fat digestion. Unripe papayas and pineapples are high in proteolytic enzymes, which work on proteins.
Other enzymes besides these for proteins are pepsin, trypsin, rennin, pancreatin and chymostrypsin. Proteolytic enzymes are good for reducing inflammation, diseases of the respiratory tract, bronchitis, pneumonia, viral diseases, cancer and arthritis. Bromelain, the enzyme from pineapple, is also helpful for the proper uptake of other supplements.
Fresh garlic is useful for killing bacteria, fungus and parasites. It is believed to aid in immune support and normalizing fats in the system. Garlic contains sulfur, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins B and C, allicin, ajoene, amino acids, germanium and selenium. It is also felt that it repels fleas. It is important to use either fresh garlic or garlic oil as the properties that are useful are destroyed when dried.
Garlic minimum dosage:
0-25 pounds – 1/8 chopped clove
25-50 pounds – 1/4 chopped clove
50-75 pounds – 3/4 chopped clove
100 pounds – one chopped clove
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is high in potassium, as well as many other minerals and trace minerals. It is helpful to use internally and topically for fleas and hot spots.
ACV minimum dosage:
0-25 pounds – 1/2 teaspoon
25-50 pounds – one teaspoon
50-75 pounds – 1/2 tablespoon
100 pounds – one tablespoon
Supplements Helpful for Specific Problems
(Please consult with your veterinarian for treatment and diagnosis for any illness. These suggestions are not meant as a substitute for medical treatment)
Food Science Digestive Zyme
Vitamin C with bioflavonoid
EPA Fish Oil, given at 1,000 mg per ten lbs of body weight daily
Arthritis and Joint Problems
EPA Fish Oil (animal based omega 3 fatty acids) given at 1,000 per ten lbs of body weight
Flexile-Plus (glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate/manganese ascorbate)
Green Blend (these contain GLA which helps control inflammation)
Vitamin C with bioflavonoid (for pain and collagen building)
Berte’s Ultra ProBiotic Powder (stress and pain can deplete the good flora and fauna)
Bromelain (enzyme from pineapple that helps to fight inflammation)
Yucca (liquid is best, such as the Yucca Intensive)
Willow Bark (such as in the Tasha's Herbspirin, or the new Willow Bark.)
Vitamin E
Bladder and Kidney Infections
(See September 2004 Newsletter for more information)
Berte’s Ultra ProBiotic Powder
B Complex
Kidni Kare (corn silk blend)
Cranberry Juice Capsules
(See June 2004 Newsletter for more information)
Berte’s Immune Blend
EPA Fish Oil Capsules at 1,000 mg per ten lbs of body weight daily
Tasha’s Immune System Formula (use Berte’s Immune Blend (contains ganoderma, shitake mushroom extract)
Cardiovascular Problems
(See for more information)
CoEnzyme Q10
EPA Fish Oil
Colitis, Irritable Bowel Disease and Gastritis
(See July 2002 Newsletter for more information)
Berte’s Ultra ProBiotic Powder
Berte’s Zyme Digestive Enzymes
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe Vera Juice
Canned Pumpkin
(flaking skin, itching and hair loss)
Cold Water Fish Oil
Berte’s Ultra ProBiotic Powder
Tasha's Skin and Coat (nettles, very effective for itching)
Vitamin E
Canned or fresh pulped pumpkin
Berte’s Ultra ProBiotic Powder
Ear Infections
Berte’s Ultra ProBiotic Powder
Vitamin C with bioflavonoid
HAC Yeast and Fungal
Tasha’s Olive Leaf Extract
L-Taurine (also found in meat)
B Complex
Food Science All-Zyme
Berte’s Ultra ProBiotic Powder
Herbs such as skullcap are very beneficial, as in Easy Does It
Berte’s Green Blend
Kennel Cough
Vitamin C with bioflavonoid, given often throughout the day
Echinacea and Goldenseal tincture, given three times a day
Motion Sickness
Traveler Formula (contains Ginger and more)
(See July 2004 Newsletter for more information on diet)
Food Science All-Zyme
Ultra ProBiotic Powder
Berte’s Digestion Blend
EPA Fish Oil Capsules
Balch, James F. and Balch, Phyllis A., Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Avery Publishing Group Inc, New York, 1990.
Belfield, Wendell O. and Zucker, Martin, How to Have a Healthier Dog. Orthomolecular Specialties, San Jose, California. 1993
Lieberman, Shari and Bruning, Nancy, The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book. Avery Publishing Group Inc, New York. 1990
Pitcairn, Richard H DVM PhD, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, Rodale Press, Pennsylvania, 1995
Schoen, Allen M. and Wynn, Susan G. Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine. St Louis, MO. 1998
Volhard, Wendy and Brown, Kerry, The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog. Book House, 1995.
Contact Me
If you would like to ask me any questions about my products, I would love to hear from you. Please check your return address when you send me email from my web site and try to write me again if you have not heard back from me.
To email: lew@b-naturals.com
To order call toll free: 1-866-368-2728
To fax an order: 1-763-477-9588
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Copyright 2006 Lew Olson, All Rights Reserved

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