Gracie is now 13 years old!

For nine years she's eaten REAL, HOMEMADE FOOD, NOT commercial dog food. This blog shows how easy it is to be a DOGGIE CHEF and how healthy a home-fed dog can be.

July 15, 2008

Gracie's Vitamins

During my first four years as a Doggie Chef, I never gave Gracie any vitamin supplements. I figured she obtained all the nutrients she needed from high quality food, oils, bone meal powder and nutritional yeast.

Last year I decided to give Gracie daily vitamin supplements to strengthen and maintain her immune system.

After researching different kinds of dog vitamins I decided to try Doctors Foster & Smith Lifestage Select Premium Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement for adult dogs.

My greatest worry in preparing Gracie's meals was providing an appropriate calcium-to-phosphorus ratio in her diet (click here to read my post explaining that).

The vitamins I give Gracie contain, in each tablet, 50 mg of calcium and 25 mg of phosphorus – a 2 part calcium, to 1 part phosphorus ratio. Of course the actual ratio of calcium to phosphorus Gracie receives depends on how much of the nutrients her body absorbs and how much calcium and phosphorus is in the food I give her.

According to Doctors Foster & Smith, the vitamins are supposedly formulated for nutritional balance. The company also claims pure and natural sources are used, whenever possible, for many of the nutrients contained in the vitamins. And the vitamins are fortified with additional Omega-3 fatty acids (from fish oil) which I believe are good for my dog’s skin and coat and contribute to her general health.

The vitamin bottle suggests three tablets per day for a dog of Gracie's weight. However, I give her two tablets each day. With two vitamins each day and her high quality homemade meals, I think Gracie receives enough vitamins and minerals to maintain good health.

I'm not sure if the vitamins are actually contributing toward Gracie's good health. Yet I feel better about feeding my dog homemade meals now. I believe if I somehow miss providing her with any required nutrients, the vitamins will make up for it.

*** POST UPDATE: Since writing this post I decided to stop giving Gracie vitamin supplements. Click here to read my 12-30-08 post explaining why.

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