If you’re a regular reader on the Wonder Labs Blog, then you are probably a firm believer in the importance of vitamins and supplements for the human body. But, there’s a good chance you’ve never thought about supplements for man’s best friend!
Of course, our furry friends have complex circulatory, digestive, and nerve systems just like we do. And while there isn’t as much research interest in supplements for dogs, we do know that pets can benefit from a wide variety of supplements. In the past, we’ve written about how dogs can benefit from several herbs and supplements, including: alfalfa, chromium, vitamin E, milk thistle, and others.
Today, we will zero in on one particular supplement: vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 for Your Dog
While all dogs need vitamin B12 in their diets, this vitamin can be especially helpful for dogs diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (commonly known as “EPI”). EPI is a condition that disrupts your dog’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients in food. The root of this problem? Not enough digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas. As a result, dogs with EPI tend to eat a lot while also losing weight and having loose diarrhea.
If your dog has been diagnosed with EPI, then your veterinarian may have recommended enzyme replacement. Enzyme replacement can help your dog obtain nutrients from food. In addition to getting an enzyme supplement, you may also want to consider a vitamin B12 supplement, as vitamin B12 may not be absorbed in sufficient qualities among animals with EPI.
Signs of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Animals with a vitamin B12 deficiency may exhibit signs of:
- Weight loss (despite continued use of enzyme replacement therapy)
While enzyme treatment for animals with EPI is important, remember that B12 supplements are every bit as critical over the long term! While B12 injections are an option, most pet owners agree that an oral supplement is preferable. An oral supplement is a cheaper, painless, and more convenient option. Learn more about PET Factor B-12 w/ Intrinsic Factor, which is recommended by the Epi4Dogs Foundation, Inc. for treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in dogs.