Do Animals Need Vitamin C Supplements?

Since Animals can produce vitamin C in their bodies, many dog parents wonder if they need to give their Animals vitamin C tablets.

True, Animals can make vit C in their bodies, but if a dog is stressed or sick, their bodies' output of vitamin C can quickly be depleted.

In fact, it has been found that stress, both physical (e.g. fever, infections, etc.) and emotional (e.g. stress caused by a change in the environment), is the best-known cause of vitamin C depletion in Animals.

In addition, it has been found that Animals supplemented with vitamin C have stronger immune systems and show greater resistance to disease, and a better ability to recover from illness or injuries.

Benefits of Vitamin C to Animals

Vitamin C has a lot of health benefits to Animals. For example:

    Antioxidant: Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It works with vitamin E and helps regenerate vitamin E, enhancing its antioxidative effect.

    Immune Booster: Vitamin C improves immune function by enhancing white blood cell function and activity. It also increases the blood levels of interferon (the body's natural antiviral and anti-cancer compound) and antibodies (proteins that destroy foreign material such as bacteria, viruses, and toxins).

    In fact, many veterinarians (both conventional and holistic) now routinely include vitamin C in their treatment protocols for various illnesses. Some such illnesses include cancer, infections such as bladder and urinary tract infections (UTIs), respiratory infections (e.g. kennel cough), and others.

Some veterinarians also suggest giving Animals vitamin C as a preventative and immune booster. For example, vitamin C can be given to Animals before and after vaccination, to weak and old Animals, to pregnant and lactating Animals, and to those that have been exposed to contagious diseases.

Antihistamine: Vitamin C may also help with allergies in Animals because it functions like a natural antihistamine.

Joint Health: Additionally, vitamin C maintains the health of collagen. So it is helpful for Animals with arthritis and degenerative joint disease, hip dysplasia, and spinal disorders. (But note that high doses of vitamin C are not recommended - see below.)