Have you ever wondered why both vets and other classes of medical practitioners use the alphabet to label a series of substances as if they oath to memorize them by heart? These substances, or more specifically, compounds, are known as “vitamins,” which are extremely important for the development and survival of a living being. Vitamins can be seen throughout nature and can be found in various sources due to their dire requirements for humans and animals. Certain plants can produce these organic compounds, and humans have learned to use them to extract valuable vitamins and be given them to their pets.
Over the years, medical advancements have extended the benefits of the vitamins we humans have access to into our animal companions. Every dog, cat, and bird you see in one’s household is most likely taking a supplement containing vitamins to ensure its well-being. The modern canines, which are closest to wild wolves (who typically have their methods of gaining vitamins), also need these supplements to maintain a healthy body. Of course, we are talking about the husky, which we will discuss in this article.
Besides the most suitable vitamins for this specific dog breed, we will also touch upon the risk factors and consequences of vitamin deficiencies. We will also discuss both commercial and organic sources for each vitamin. Without further ado, we will now examine the first of the alphabet!
VITAMINS FOR YOUR HUSKY
💊 Vitamin A
Vitamin A is essential for preserving good vision, healthy FUR, and tenacious bones. Like humans, this vitamin is necessary for a healthy vision of a husky that can absorb more light, especially in dark areas. In contrast, the human eyes would not typically see well. Huskies do not have eyesight comparable to humans, as they cannot see color and have slightly worse vision than the 20/20 vision most people have. Though huskies rely on their sharp hearing and an amazing sense of smell, they still rely on their sight in several instances that can aid them in survival and finding comfort.
Huskies also have beautiful skin and fur that can become somewhat tarnished due to a lack of Vitamin A. Since Vitamin A is a compound involved in the development and maintenance of certain exterior organs such as the skin (mainly around the nasal area), it makes it an essential factor in keeping your husky’s appearance as dainty as it should be. Fortunately, since Vitamin A is a lipid-soluble vitamin, your husky would not need a lot of it, thus making it obtainable mainly through their diet or from certain treats.
Vitamin A can usually be found in vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, kale, and turnip greens. Egg yolks are also a reliable source of Vitamin A, which also comes with the bonus of a hefty amount of proteins, especially for your husky. However, egg yolks have the potential risk of carrying certain microbes such as Salmonella or a variant of bird flu, so you must ensure that you boil the egg properly before feeding it to your husky. Feeding huskies (or any kind of dog) can be risky, primarily if you have obtained it from an unethical poultry farm.
A vitamin deficit can lead to stunted growth, hair loss, and night blindness. For husky puppies younger than six months, this deficit can lead to precarious conditions that may affect them at a later age. Vitamin A deficiency can also jeopardize the husky’s immune system, making them vulnerable to dangerous diseases such as canine parvovirus, kennel cough, and distemper.
💊 Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
This vitamin is essential for properly metabolizing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in huskies. It helps produce red blood cells that carry oxygen to all its body parts. This also helps in the manufacturing of hormones and antibodies, which provide your husky with energy. Thiamine plays an important role in converting ingested food into usable energy, which makes it a vitamin to consider in your husky’s diet. Without enough thiamine, your husky may experience weight loss and a condition known as beriberi.
Vitamin B1 can be found in various fish safe for huskies (as long as their bones are correctly removed), pork, beans, and yogurt. These are all good treats and meals for huskies (depending on what diet you prefer), but you have to consider the number of calories they are recommended to consume daily.
Expanding to Thiamine deficiency, the most common outcome is a condition known as beriberi, which is also present in humans with the same deficiency. One of the hallmarks of beriberi in huskies is the transition of the dog’s fur from its usual silky soft coat to a noticeably rougher feel when touched. Your husky may also experience difficulty in voluntary movements such as walking, barking, and making direct eye contact. If you notice these changes, it is highly recommended that they be taken to your vet immediately.
💊 Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
>>Benefits and sources
Riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin found in animal sources such as beef, chicken, pork, and fish. It is important for the body to process carbohydrates, protein, and fat. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels by helping your husky’s body convert food into energy. This vitamin is especially beneficial for huskies because they may not get enough from their diet alone. Therefore, having a supplement with this vitamin can help meet their needs more effectively than just eating plain dog food.
A deficit in Riboflavin can cause physical and mental problems for your husky. Since Riboflavin aids in processing carbohydrates mostly used for energy, a lack of this vitamin can lead to fatigue and lack of motivation. Riboflavin deficiency has been linked to higher risks for depression in humans, which shows how much of important role Vitamin B2 plays in the bodies of huskies and many other mammals.
💊 Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B3 is fundamental for energy production and healthy skin, hair, and nails of your husky. It’s important to make sure your husky gets enough of this vitamin in their diet. Specifically, Niacin aids in the conversion of fatty acids to beneficial nutrients, which is usually targeted to the husky’s hair and nails.
Fortunately, Vitamin B3 can be obtained from one of the huskies’ most common meat servings: the liver. Since the liver is a meat organ, it can be more difficult to obtain than canned dog foods. It is also a popular choice for raw diet enthusiasts, and a greater demand for this specific meat can quickly decrease its supply. However, alternative sources such as tuna, chicken breasts, and salmon are less demanding.
Niacin deficiency can produce quite the predictable result as we already mentioned its role in your husky’s cosmetic health. Huskies with a Niacin deficiency can experience problems with skin and nails, such as dermatitis, which can expose their exteriors to infections. To preserve your husky’s dashing appearance, you should consider the regular consumption of Niacin.
💊 Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Pantothenic acid is a water-soluble vitamin important for the husky’s metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It also plays a role in synthesizing steroid hormones and producing acetylcholine, which helps with memory. Vitamin B5 is also significantly involved in producing your husky’s red blood cells, reproductive hormones, and adrenal hormones.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) can be found in foods such as meats, eggs, milk, cheese, fish/seafood like Salmon or Tuna, and whole grains like oats & wheat germ. Lean chicken, pork, and beef are also good sources of Pantothenic Acid, which are accessible and can allow you to stick to your husky’s regular diet (especially if you are feeding them a raw diet).
This vitamin has also been shown to soothe pain caused by arthritis or muscle aches associated with sports injuries. So if your husky developed a Vitamin B5 deficiency, they could experience muscle pain and numbness since the muscles they use to run around and stand on (which, of course, leads to slow progression of damage) will not be repaired the way they are supposed to. Vitamin B5 deficiency can also cause your husky to appear pale or lethargic since the production of red blood cells and other important hormones has been disrupted.
💊 Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
>>Benefits and sources
It would be best if you also considered getting your pup some vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is essential for the body and helps with many functions of the nervous system, including brain development, eye health, heart health, and more. It also contributes to maintaining normal blood sugar levels by balancing insulin production in the body. That being said, it’s no wonder that huskies need this nutrient!
In addition to supporting proper nerve function and maintaining good eyesight, vitamin B6 is crucial for metabolism. This means that it plays an important role in converting food into energy your husky can use during exercise or while resting at home. This beneficial vitamin can be mostly seen in common fishes such as salmon and tuna, which your husky can enjoy as long as it is appropriately served.
When a husky lacks Pyridoxine, it can cause its nervous system to be prone to various complications involving depression and seizures. It can also lead to various problems in their blood sugar levels and expose them to blood-related conditions such as anemia. It is also worth mentioning that though Vitamin B6 deficiency alone does not usually cause such extreme complications, it can heighten your husky’s risk of developing them.
💊 Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
>>Benefits and sources
Vitamin B7 is important for healthy hair and nails. You can get vitamin B7 for your husky from whole grains, liver, eggs, nuts, and legumes. It can also be found in common sources such as salmon, tuna, and other fish edible for huskies. Many foods (especially commercial ones) are fortified with this vitamin to keep your husky generally healthy.
Biotin deficiency is rare, but it does occur in huskies if they don’t get enough protein or calories from their diet or if their owners give them too much sugar. In the event of a biotin deficiency, however, it is quite noticeable that your husky is experiencing obscure amounts of hair loss that you will see and instantly deduce that it is more than the usual shedding you clean up every day. Another observable change is your husky’s fur texture which may become rough or more unpleasant to touch due to a lack of biotin.
💊 Vitamin B9 (Folate, Folic Acid)
>>Benefits and sources
Folic acid, also called folate and folacin, is a B vitamin that helps your husky’s body make new cells. It’s also important for cell growth and repair, specifically targeting red blood cells and keeping their numbers sufficient enough in the bloodstream. Your husky’s liver produces folic acid from food such as leafy greens (spinach, broccoli), citrus fruits (lemon juice), and fortified cereals like dog food. Aside from leafy greens that some huskies may not be willing to eat, you also have alternatives such as liver and seafood that huskies are mostly fond of.
If the folic acid levels of your husky become too low or inadequate for its body size, it can lead to anemia. Early signs would include lower levels of energy and panting, which indicates a disruption in the flow of oxygen in the husky’s body. Anemia can become a long-term condition if not prevented properly. Hence, it is important to recognize the symptoms, especially changes in your husky’s behavior which can appear subtle at times.
💊 Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
Vitamin B12, also known as cyanocobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin essential for huskies in forming red blood cells and maintaining the nervous system. It is found in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and milk.
It is very similar to folic acid and will have identical effects if this vitamin is deficient. Usually, foods containing folic acid will have this vitamin as well. The same goes for certain supplements that contain Vitamin B complex.
Although Choline is technically not considered a vitamin, it is a compound quite similar to Vitamin B. Choline is very important for the liver and can be found in most foods where Vitamin B complex can be obtained. These compounds often correlate, so it is important to consider Choline in your husky’s diet. Without an adequate amount of Choline, your husky may experience liver and muscle growth issues.
💊 Vitamin C
Scientifically speaking, Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps in the formation of collagen. It also helps produce neurotransmitters and chemical messengers from one neuron (nerve cell) to another through synapses.
Vitamin C is necessary for your husky’s body to produce red blood cells. It’s also essential for your immune system and healthy teeth and gums! This vitamin can help heal wounds faster by strengthening capillaries around them so they don’t get infected as easily. These little arteries carry oxygenated blood through your huskies’ bodies so that they can function properly. Without them, your husky would die very quickly from lack of oxygen exposure.
Husky puppies are especially in dire need of this vitamin since they are most prone to infectious diseases such as rabies since they are not vaccinated yet. Vitamin C can mostly be found in fruits, which is not the most optimal for picky eaters, so it is recommended that you purchase a supplement instead.
This vitamin is so important that it is often prescribed as a supplement by most vets for any dog breed. The particular reason for this will be discussed later when we present the best all-around sources for these vitamins. WIthout ascorbic acid (the other name for Vitamin C), your husky may experience complications with its immune system and can breach its security against potentially fatal infections.
💊 Vitamin D
>>Benefits and sources
Vitamin D is needed for your husky’s absorption of calcium and phosphorus. It’s found in foods such as fish, eggs, red meat, and milk (though milk is not a preferable source since most dogs are lactose intolerant). Huskies can also get vitamin D from sunlight exposure, so you may want to think twice before skipping your husky’s morning walks. Vitamin D is important for maintaining healthy, tenacious bones and teeth as it helps maintain strong bones by helping your body absorb calcium from food sources.
If your husky doesn’t seem quite right lately but isn’t showing any outward signs of sickness, it might be worth giving them a test for vitamin D deficiency before taking any other steps toward improving their health. Since this vitamin is responsible for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, a deficit may lead to less tenacious bones and fragile teeth. It can also cause mental and emotional strains, leading to low moods or depression.
💊 Vitamin E
Without Vitamin E or alpha-tocopherol, your husky may experience issues with its skin and muscles. This vitamin is very important for fending off oxidative complications that would otherwise cause damage to your husky’s exterior and interior functions.
Vitamin E can be found in seafood like salmon and trout, but another unique source is goose meat, which is mostly something you do not hear about daily. It is relatively accessible since it can also be found in greens and an abundance of seafood.
💊 Vitamin K
Vitamin K is vital for huskies’ clotting process if they get a scrape or a bleeding wound. The deficiency of this particular vitamin can lead to complications and even failures when it comes to clotting, as the blood cannot do so without this vitamin.
Good sources of Vitamin K for your husky include leafy greens, eggs, and meat. It is worth noting that a sudden decrease in this vitamin can indicate that your husky may have consumed rat poison or pesticides, which can be beneficial for your vet to perform the correct procedure if it happens.
WATER-SOLUBLE VS. LIPID-SOLUBLE VITAMINS
It is necessary to discuss the difference between the two types of vitamins as it can be the necessary deciding factor on whether or not you should buy supplements for your husky.
💊 Water-soluble vitamins
Water-soluble vitamins directly flow through the bloodstream and can be filtered by your husky’s kidneys later. If we view it through your eyes (as a human), it is typically why you tend to see that the color of your husky’s urine differs after taking a supplement containing these vitamins. This means it can only circulate through the body for a limited amount of time, so it is recommended that your husky takes these supplements every day. Water-soluble vitamins include the Vitamin B complex and Vitamin C.
💊 Lipid-soluble vitamins
Lipid-soluble vitamins are quite the opposite of water-soluble vitamins. As their name suggests, they can be absorbed and stored within the lipids or fats of your husky’s body, which can be used later. This means your husky does not need as many lipid-soluble vitamins as it would with water-soluble ones. It is believed that your husky can obtain these vitamins passively without supplements as long as they have a balanced diet.
DO I NEED TO BUY ALL VITAMINS FOR MY HUSKY?
It should depend on whether or not you can afford to buy high-quality meals for your husky daily. Not all commercial dog food can contain the adequate amount of vitamins that your husky needs, and the price increases as the quality increases. You can also opt to prepare either cooked or raw meals, which should include meat, some leafy greens, and healthy (preferably non-sugar) treats.
If you want to stick with your dog food now, you may consult your vet for multivitamins that offer a good amount of these vitamins in a single dose. You can cut some expenses by choosing this option since you will only need one pack instead of buying high-quality meals daily. However, this should still be further discussed with your vet, as certain health conditions lead to your husky wanting more or less of a specific vitamin.
It is advisable opting for either a raw or a cooked diet focusing on meat. It is widely known that meat contains most of the necessary vitamins for humans and dogs, except Vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is quite exclusive to plant-based food and is scarce in options involving meat, which means they have to be obtained through supplements. This is one of the reasons why meat lover dogs, though having an adequate amount of protein and nutrients in their body, develop scurvies, which is a condition that stems from a deficit in Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a necessary vitamin for huskies, so it is very important to find a source for this specific vitamin as most of the others can be gained passively from your husky’s meals anyway. Though the most important deciding factor to consider is your vet’s decision on this matter, they can also prescribe you supplements that can adequately keep your beloved companion healthy.
Having general knowledge of the necessary vitamins for your husky is necessary for their well-being as you are responsible for their diet (which they are not necessarily conscious of). Knowing the consequences and benefits of a certain factor in one’s health can change your mind quickly, so be sure to give the best for your husky’s well-being! Remember, each husky has different health requirements. So go to your vet and let your husky be checked to know what you must give and what you should avoid.
Planning to buy healthy chew treats for your husky? Check our next article by clicking here.