Vitamin and mineral supplementation frustration

LilF

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Jan 3, 2021
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I have been looking closely at a number of "recommended" vitamin and mineral products that are to have a good reputation. I am very disappointed.....and wish I could find one that doesn't have one or more reasons to disqualify them. Examples include...the other day we heard of the importance of D3 in the webinar, so why do supplements contain the INactive D2 instead of D3. One is ergocalciferol and the other is cholcalciferol. Also, the B12 is not up to my standards. Cyanocobalamin is toxic to dogs especially those with kidney or gut issues. When my Gabby had the PLE I saw this research. The holistic vet was giving cyanocobalamin as an injection which I stopped. Why not give methycobalamin--do companies not know about this preferred form which is also more bioavailable without the cyanide toxicity? Then there is the selenium, selenite is commonly used even in "good vitamins and food that is rated favorably. Or the form of selenium is not stated. Strontium is listed as a mineral in one of the "better" choices. Strontium is one of the elements found in ocean fish nowadays from nuclear accidents so why would I want it in my dog? I hear of Seaweed calcium which I have but is it supposed to be given in addition to a multivitamin---so confusing as to what a dog needs. We heard of the importance of magnesium in the webinar yet I feel the levels in vitamins are woefully low.The supplement I have here is 140 mg for a 50 lb dog. Does that balance the calcium? I feel that is too low. Then there are the vitamin companies that do not even list amounts---so called good companies. Why put maltodextrin in the product? If nutrient deficiencies cause cancers then why can't there be a product that covers all the bases and also in forms that do not cause or exacerbate disease. So I am on the hunt for something that meets my muster and not having luck...not even with the one mentioned in a webinar recently. WHO is formulating products with the faux paux's I mention above? Any thoughts?
 

Dr. Jean Hofve

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Well, let's see... D2 is cheaper... almost no one uses methylcobalamin, again I suspect it's financial (I pay more for methylcobalamin for myself). Selenium is usually sodium selenite, not terrific but selenium deficiency is common if you don't live in the Rocky Mountain West, where it is abundant is soil, and therefore replete in produce and animals grown here. If I recall correctly, Mg should be about half of Ca. Maltodextrin is a binder.

IF (and I'm guessing you're not) you're using a multi with a "complete" commercial dog food, don't. No need for it, commercial dog food already contains ridiculous overages of required vitamins and minerals. If however you are using to balance a homemade diet, when you're using meats and veggies that actually have their full natural complement of nutrients there's little else needed, certainly not a general "everything" supplement. The most common deficiencies in homemade diets are calcium, choline, thiamine, vitamin E, trace minerals (iron, zinc, manganese, and copper), and sometimes, strangely, fat.

For supplements in general my favorite is Pure Encapsulations. Thorne and Rx Vitamins are also good quality.
 

Dr. Jeff

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Hey Lil-

Thanks for your post! In addition to Dr. Jean's helpful reply I'd add that no one vitamin/supplement is going to include everything. They just can't.

Among the best I've seen are pethealthandnutritioncenter's food-based supplements:

 

GinnyW

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Hey, you know what I'm gonna say:) Raw, lovely meats - all varieties. A good organ blend such as greentripe.com's TOMB (tripe-organ-meat blend). Raw dairy of some kind, perhaps goat millk. And fertile, pastured eggs. Maybe not cheap, but you're wasting money on supplements if you try to do it with pills. I feed meat, meat, and meat - oh, and bones, for all the lovely minerals in absorbable enzyme-laden form. Our supplements are not vitamins, but hyaluronic acid for joints, collagen protein for muscles, fish, krill and MCT oil. He gets a turmeric cap every so often, some Vit E (with tocopherols, etc., like Life Extension's Gamma E).
But a diet of varied meat and bone will cover all the B vits, all the minerals, a lot of enzymes, and of course abundant protein, in digestible form. Pills are expensive frosting, on a cake of solid nutrition. Add them or not. But don't try to reinvent the complexity of natural food. OH, and variety. Did I say variety???
 

LilF

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Well, let's see... D2 is cheaper... almost no one uses methylcobalamin, again I suspect it's financial (I pay more for methylcobalamin for myself). Selenium is usually sodium selenite, not terrific but selenium deficiency is common if you don't live in the Rocky Mountain West, where it is abundant is soil, and therefore replete in produce and animals grown here. If I recall correctly, Mg should be about half of Ca. Maltodextrin is a binder.

IF (and I'm guessing you're not) you're using a multi with a "complete" commercial dog food, don't. No need for it, commercial dog food already contains ridiculous overages of required vitamins and minerals. If however you are using to balance a homemade diet, when you're using meats and veggies that actually have their full natural complement of nutrients there's little else needed, certainly not a general "everything" supplement. The most common deficiencies in homemade diets are calcium, choline, thiamine, vitamin E, trace minerals (iron, zinc, manganese, and copper), and sometimes, strangely, fat.

For supplements in general my favorite is Pure Encapsulations. Thorne and Rx Vitamins are also good quality.
Dr. Jean, wow, you have answered some questions that I have had over the years about supplementation. Right now I am chopping a lot of a variety of green veggies for Blossom, Bok Choy, Broccoli Sprouts, Kale, Dandelion, a variety of local lettuces (although that will cease now that the markets are done) She loves her fresh food. I have been using Dr. Dobias vitamin mineral and mineral/ amino acid supplement. I am not feeding a full commercial diet---just adding some Open Farm gently cooked to the fresh meats I cook for her so I still use supplements but trying not to do everything everyday. I have thrown some wild caught salmon on her food for the Vit. D. Maybe that should be supplemented but would feel better after testing with VDI but that won't be real soon because I cannot get her to travel to the vet just yet. I will look into the Pure Encapsulations and Thorne. I assume those are multis. I was giving her Seaweed Calcium a couple times a week. After the webinar monday I do want to make sure she gets enough magnesium. My JJ had a heart problem and wonder if more magnesium would have made a difference like it does for me. It mitigates irregular heartbeats which is what JJ had and avoids the use of medication.I do not think he got enough of it. Thank you for the choices. I think it is good to rotate so maybe will do that too. Thank you Dr. Jean for your great answer. It helps me greatly!!
 

LilF

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Hey, you know what I'm gonna say:) Raw, lovely meats - all varieties. A good organ blend such as greentripe.com's TOMB (tripe-organ-meat blend). Raw dairy of some kind, perhaps goat millk. And fertile, pastured eggs. Maybe not cheap, but you're wasting money on supplements if you try to do it with pills. I feed meat, meat, and meat - oh, and bones, for all the lovely minerals in absorbable enzyme-laden form. Our supplements are not vitamins, but hyaluronic acid for joints, collagen protein for muscles, fish, krill and MCT oil. He gets a turmeric cap every so often, some Vit E (with tocopherols, etc., like Life Extension's Gamma E).
But a diet of varied meat and bone will cover all the B vits, all the minerals, a lot of enzymes, and of course abundant protein, in digestible form. Pills are expensive frosting, on a cake of solid nutrition. Add them or not. But don't try to reinvent the complexity of natural food. OH, and variety. Did I say variety???
I remember once you posted that YOU eat organs like the dog....YEACHHH.... I have some raw liver in my freezer but all my dogs seemed unable to handle the fat. I cook everything now for Blossom, cooked chicken turkey, lamb, bison, beef etc.... I know the food is dead (that is what my holistic doc in the 90's called some kinds of food) So I should be adding krill or MCT oil? Often when I add things it spoils the taste. I did give her some wild caught salmon. The reason I wanted a basic commercial raw food is so she gets her bones and organs without me buying them. I gave her a knuckle bone to chew the other day and she liked that but fear other bones fracturing her teeth. I used to feed a dog chicken necks but now I am afraid they will choke on them. It was funny a vet at the hospital on that other dog gave me a big pointy shaking finger in the face for feeding chicken necks. That did not deter me though. He loved them but Gabby did not seem to know what to do with it. Can I put coconut oil in the food or do you get MCT specifically and how much do you use? It would be easier for me to let her out and tell her to go find a meal in the woods! She seems to like squirrels too much. Where do you get collagen protein? Do you mean like bone broth I used to feed my dogs from Mercola? I want to learn and do better. I never know like how much of the raw liver to give since other dogs got poopy from the fat.
 

GinnyW

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Um, I applaud the care with which you are designing her diet. But - things NEED to be raw, and there is nothing you can add which will bring it "back to life" nutritionally speaking. Liver has very little fat in it, and is easily digestible. Feed smaller amounts, but raw. MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides, and is a derivative of coconut oil. It has an extremely mild flavor and can be added to anything; about a teaspoonful is a good serving. It is much more nutritionally valuable than whole coconut oil. Krill oil tastes like fish:)

Knuckle bones are tooth killers; there is no other bone which is so potentially dangerous, so I'd advise NOT giving them. Chicken necks are fine, and even if they are gulped down they will digest. Any other bone from any animal, save long, tough, femurs, will be fine.

Was the salmon cooked? If so, it was fairly useless nutritionally. If it was raw, there is a possibility of its harboring a liver fluke which in turn contains a bacterium which is extremely toxic. So, any salmon that is native to waters south of, say, Copper River - these are Pacific, west coast wild salmon, so perhaps not what you obtained anyway - must be frozen a good long time to kill the bugs. If you got Atlantic salmon wild caught, it should be OK.

There are quite a few powdered collagen products out there. Mine is from Step Above Proteins, who specialize in dog stuff. It's way cheap, in huge quantities, but you may want to shop around for another brand. Easy to use, good to eat (they make people ones, too). I'd watch for quality on these; you don't want anything from a funky Chinese source..

OK, I await your next set of questions - and am glad to help!
 

Dr. Jeff

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There are quite a few powdered collagen products out there

There sure are! FWIW-Here's the one I'm using for both people and pets:

 

LilF

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There sure are! FWIW-Here's the one I'm using for both people and pets:

I can try this. I use this brand's Phos-choline which I like for my brain function! So follow the label or cut the label dose for a dog as if it were a child's dose. Might as well give it a try. Thank you for the tip
 

Dr. Jeff

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LilF

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396
Hey, you know what I'm gonna say:) Raw, lovely meats - all varieties. A good organ blend such as greentripe.com's TOMB (tripe-organ-meat blend). Raw dairy of some kind, perhaps goat millk. And fertile, pastured eggs. Maybe not cheap, but you're wasting money on supplements if you try to do it with pills. I feed meat, meat, and meat - oh, and bones, for all the lovely minerals in absorbable enzyme-laden form. Our supplements are not vitamins, but hyaluronic acid for joints, collagen protein for muscles, fish, krill and MCT oil. He gets a turmeric cap every so often, some Vit E (with tocopherols, etc., like Life Extension's Gamma E).
But a diet of varied meat and bone will cover all the B vits, all the minerals, a lot of enzymes, and of course abundant protein, in digestible form. Pills are expensive frosting, on a cake of solid nutrition. Add them or not. But don't try to reinvent the complexity of natural food. OH, and variety. Did I say variety???
 

LilF

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Ginny, I have been busy but thinking about your post...... I feed her raw goat milk now, Primal. I can get some organic MCT next time I go to the organic market. I gave her a couple bones which she devoured so fast---My Gabby would have worked on the same bone for 45 minutest that Blossom finished in 15 minutes. So she loves bones... BNut where do I start with a raw meal? I used to use commercial raw food for my other dogs but you sound like you throw a side of beef at your dogs and let them feast :))))). So I bought some raw liver and defrosted it. When I bought it for the past dogs the vets said to give them about an inch cut because of the fat. So I have big slices of liver I purchased.... Do I cook it, Do I throw it in her bowl---how much. My other dogs never liked it and just moved it around the bowl or spit it out. So how much of the raw liver should I put in Blossom's bowl---the holistic vet told me to cook it for the other dogs----I know you say that is wrong...
Blossom is eating all the time because when I leave the house each time I have to load the snuffle mat with treats. Then if I drive her in the car, I have to feed her chicken for 5 minutes continuously. No rest for her digestive system. I have the Gamma E for myself actually. So where do you get the food for the bowl that is raw. She got sick on raw Primal chicken when I first adopted her. And yes, I always have more questions---you are TOO funny, that is my reputation.....
 

Dr. Jean Hofve

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I agree with Dr. Jeff, minerals should be added to RO filtered water for big water drinkers like people and dogs. If we're talking kitties, it's unlikely that plain RO water would be enough to cause mineral depletion given a cat on a healthy, high-moisture diet.

BTW, chopping veggies is leaving almost all the nutrition still locked behind indigestible cell walls. Either steam and mash, or (preferably) puree them to release the nutrients.
 

LilF

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I used to use Ani-MInerals; forgot all about it! Good product, cost-effective, and easy to use.

I agree with Dr. Jeff, minerals should be added to RO filtered water for big water drinkers like people and dogs. If we're talking kitties, it's unlikely that plain RO water would be enough to cause mineral depletion given a cat on a healthy, high-moisture diet.

BTW, chopping veggies is leaving almost all the nutrition still locked behind indigestible cell walls. Either steam and mash, or (preferably) puree them to release the nutrients.
I used to juice the veggies years ago but this is adding a lot to the food prep again which I was trying to avoid with this new dog. Seems I am back in the time consuming/expense home prepared food trap. The dog next door ate kibble all his life and living still longer at 17 than my dogs. I felt I did not do the home prepared diet right with my other dogs even though they lived to over 15 but they did eat a prepared raw diet for most of their life which is what I really want as a base for Blossom. I don't mind adding things like organs but nutrient deficiencies concern me.
 

GinnyW

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I sound like a broken record - for most "normal" situations, she can derive most - by far - of her nutritional needs from a varied raw meat and bone diet. Maybe a few veggies off your plate, just for variety and love. I recommend that you find a raw green tripe product to supply not only good nutrition generally, but also enzymes and probiotics in quantity. Even if you only feed this once in a while, say, weekly, an ounce or two will help fill in to keep her gut in order. There is nothing to prepare - just, as the good doctor Billinghurst says, give your dog a bone.
 

LaurenHW

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Oct 11, 2022
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Thanks everyone! The liquid minerals we use for us have the same ingredients/% of ingredients as Dr. Jeff posted. BTW, Dr Ian Billingham(Pioneer of Raw Feeding) suggests putting the veggies through a Juicer to break down the cell walls to make nutrients accessible. Adding back the juice is up to whether the Dog likes it or not. Ha Ha, I make dehydrated crackers with veggie/fruit pulp!
 

LilF

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396
Um, I applaud the care with which you are designing her diet. But - things NEED to be raw, and there is nothing you can add which will bring it "back to life" nutritionally speaking. Liver has very little fat in it, and is easily digestible. Feed smaller amounts, but raw. MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglycerides, and is a derivative of coconut oil. It has an extremely mild flavor and can be added to anything; about a teaspoonful is a good serving. It is much more nutritionally valuable than whole coconut oil. Krill oil tastes like fish:)

Knuckle bones are tooth killers; there is no other bone which is so potentially dangerous, so I'd advise NOT giving them. Chicken necks are fine, and even if they are gulped down they will digest. Any other bone from any animal, save long, tough, femurs, will be fine.

Was the salmon cooked? If so, it was fairly useless nutritionally. If it was raw, there is a possibility of its harboring a liver fluke which in turn contains a bacterium which is extremely toxic. So, any salmon that is native to waters south of, say, Copper River - these are Pacific, west coast wild salmon, so perhaps not what you obtained anyway - must be frozen a good long time to kill the bugs. If you got Atlantic salmon wild caught, it should be OK.

There are quite a few powdered collagen products out there. Mine is from Step Above Proteins, who specialize in dog stuff. It's way cheap, in huge quantities, but you may want to shop around for another brand. Easy to use, good to eat (they make people ones, too). I'd watch for quality on these; you don't want anything from a funky Chinese source..

OK, I await your next set of questions - and am glad to help!
Ginny, the salmon I buy is canned wild Alaskan and I just top the food off sometimes with it. I use Vital Choice, not cheap but considered good quality. So now on the bones please. I have to place an order and had some questions. Interesting what I am hearing about knuckle bones. A holistic vet I used to work with said these are the best ones, safest. Gabby that died in December was the only dog I ever had that liked her bones and now Blossom just loves loves loves them. So with the new info I am reading here etc.... I can order beef rib bones but how do they eat those---do they eat the whole rack, one at a time? Since they are thin aren't they a choking hazard? Do I remove it or do they eat the entire thing.? I read to avoid Beef, buffalo and bison (aren't bison and buffalo the same thing?) shank bones. I don't know what a shank bone is exactly. So I will avoid the marrow bones. My father used to feed his dog growing up "soup bones" Some places sell Pork Soup bones so are they safe? Are Lamb Patella bones safe? I read lamb and goat shank bones are ok. And are chicken necks with the skin on ok?
 

GinnyW

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I am wary of shanks, but avoid beef ones especially, as they are big and tough and can break teeth. Never had bison shanks, but would avoid those too. They'd make great soup, though. Pork, lamb, small deer, goat shanks all OK. It always is a good idea to watch your dog to find his/her style and safety level. Beef ribs are OK, fed in a slab or singly. They usually won't get devoured entirely, depending on the size - most will chew them down to little nubbins, at which point you can take them up to prevent swallowing. Pitties have really strong jaws, so take that into consideration. Chicken necks, as well as turkey necks, backs - chicken leg quarters, but not turkey legs - you can bone the long bone out and feed the rest. Knees are fine. Breastbones of any poultry. Pork shoulders. Anything rabbit, but not all dogs like it. Just watch her, to see how she handles different things. Just as "It depends" is Dr. Jeff's "thang", mine is "Know thy dog".
 

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