Vitamin supplement for pets

‘Humanisation of pets’: Inside the $4b-a-year pet vitamins boom

“There is a big change in how people value their dogs,” Andrew says. “For the people I deal with, a dog is a member of the family. And dogs are under so much more stress than they used to be.”

All the pet owners that I know feel their dogs (and often other animals) are members of the family. They live with us and share our lives. Mostly they share our houses. This is not something that happened due to COVID.

Analysts describe an unfolding “humanisation of pets” - a shift in the way families value their animals that has made them keen to find pet equivalents of human wellness products, like vitamins.

Some people do think of their pets as people. OTOH I have no trouble with the idea that family members can be non-human.

Blackmores chief executive Alastair Symington says …

Now we are getting to the reason for the ‘trend’. What do Blackmores produce? You don’t have to think too long it isn’t a trick question.

“I take vitamins every single day and so does my family, why wouldn’t you give it to a pet?”

Bingo! Now we have reached the core of the scam. The problem isn’t with treating your pet as human (although there can be trouble with that as their metabolism is not the same as ours) but with the assumption that the owner needs vitamin pills.

I have a much better idea:

Since I have a good diet and vitamin pills are a waste of time and money for me I will treat my dogs the same way.

If your pet needs vitamin pills you are not feeding it properly. The solution is to give it a good diet not a pill. And no, giving your pet ‘extra’, that it doesn’t need, does not show your love, it is a marketing strategy from the people who sell humans all those unnecessary vitamin pills to sell them to you for your pets too.

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Another industry which creates an imaginary problem to generate a market where they can sell their ‘special’ solution.

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You need to do ur homework on the vitamin/mineral requirements of cats and dogs and then look at the deficiencies in some of the ’premium brands’ before commenting from an uninformed viewpoint !!!

The market is rife with ‘nutritional products’ for humans that are akin to ‘Hallmark Holidays’. They are neither ‘real holidays’ nor are recognised by governments anywhere, but they cause people to buy flowers, chocolates, gifts galore and spin lots of dollars. Is the concept being applied to pets or have all the furries been undernourished since commercial pet foods became common in modern times?

Perhaps a better approach is to check what is in the foods one feeds their pets and avoid those that provide insufficient nutrients?

You could add to the discussion if you cite some of those premium brands and identify what is missing and where the information that it is required for their well being and health came from, rather than a broad brush statement?

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I would find it very interesting if you were to show me the comparison that you have made between the needs of cats and dogs and the content of such products.

If these products are in fact deficient, does this mean that vitamin pills are required or should we solve the problem by avoiding deficient products and giving our pets better food?

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Is there a particular brand you were thinking of? I spent 5 years working in petcare and didn’t run into a single case where a healthy animal required vitamins

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Try looking up ‘petfoodreviews.com.au. For many of the dog and cat food brands. The site gives you details of why they are rated, and most ingredients. It is exceptionally interesting what some brands put in their food and how good or harmful some can be.

Which brands do you think are the worst? What is wrong with them?

I am familiar with the website. I agree with some things they say and disagree with others (for example they tend to rate factors like grain free very highly, where not every animal benefits from a grain free diet). Overall a decent source of information though.

Various by-products are common. Lots of the dreaded ‘and/or’ (meaning they change the formula depending on whatever happens to be available). Some foods have minimal meat content. Some foods use preservatives or additives that are prohibited in humans or have little safety testing. Not always the case, but the general rule is you get what you pay for. Cheap foods simply can’t use quality ingredients and still make a profit

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Assuming for the moment that you describe all foodstuffs available in Australia, including pet food, in what way would taking vitamin pills correct the problem? How do you know this?

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A diet that contains all the ingredients that are required for the health of the consumer in the right quantities. As each species has its own dietary requirements this means what is good for one is not necessarily good for all.

For my pets (pets is the subject here) it is a mix of wet and dry commercial food and fresh food. As they are dogs, which are omnivorous, this includes meat and vegetables. Most comes from the supermarket, some from my garden.

If you would like to discuss what constitutes a good diet for humans there have been several threads on that topic or you can start your own.

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This article is rather poor. It uses weak modes of argument, makes many unsupported assumptions and claims and generally lacks facts. A few of the problems:

  • The start is with the claim that processed pet food is like potato chips. It then goes on to tell us that as we know potato chips is a poor diet, therefore so is pet food. The problem is that it never explains why pet food is like potato chips.

  • It claims the quality of processed pet food is questionable. Too right it is from a human point of view! We would be disgusted if we saw pet food being made: so what. I have seen a dog eat from the carcass of a dead cow that you could smell from 100 m away, with a cloud of blowflies that would lift a jet plane. Would you do that? Telling us the ingredients in pet food are not up to human standard is neither new nor relevant.

  • The claim is made “Dogs who are on a commercial dog food diet tend to experience degenerative health and die prematurely” and gives a reference. The trouble is that it is a book that I don’t have and won’t buy. If they gave references to peer reviewed journals I would be more interested.

Finally what is the purpose of the linked web site? Is it a portal for information on pet nutrition, the views of a qualified vet or food scientist? No, they sell pet food.

The whole thing is a sales pitch for you to buy their pet food.

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It is not my thinking at all, I thought you were saying that, my mistake. However sticking to pet food.

Do you think manufactured pet food is depleted? If so:

  • what nutrients are missing and how do you know that and

  • do you recommend vitamin pills as a remedy for this depletion?

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Did I miss some excitement in this thread? Once again if anyone has any general questions about the pet industry, I spent 5 years at a large pet company and would be happy to share any insights.

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If vitamins or minerals (aka supplements) were given to a pet, by choice of an owner without advice from a vet, I would be very concerned.

Vitamin and minerals might seem like a great idea, but pets digestive system and toxicity levels are very different to humans. As many treat their pets like family members, the last thing I am sure any pet owner would want to do is inadvertently impact on the health of their pets.

In relation to toxicity levels, there are warnings online (this is one, or another and there are many other examples) about the potential consequences of pets accidentally (or intentionally) being fed human health supplements. This in itself should cause alarm bells to ring.

If a pet owner is concerned that their pet may be unwell and have some sort of deficiency through what one believes may be a poor diet or illness, speak to your vet who can carry out tests, allay any concerns and provide the right advice based on the specific needs of the individual animal/pet.

Relying on marketing materials from companies whose principal interest is to make money (or to grow their businesses by looking at new markets for their products) is a recipe for a disaster.

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When we had any sooky cats, out came the childrens Pentavite bottle. The type with a tube to squirt a few drops into the mouth.
Whether the actual vitamins had any effect, or whether it was just the affront of some human doing such a thing to said sooky cat and causing an attitude change, I don’t know.
But there was a definite improvement. :smiley:

A slightly different take on what to feed your pet dog. It is peer reviewed for those uncertain as to the reliability of the content.

My take is whether you feed your pet a raw meat or vegan alternative, both have great health outcomes providing the diet is balanced.

The worst outcomes were for dogs fed a processed food diet. One suggestion the poorer health outcomes were possibly related to the higher energy content of the processed products - encouraging obesity. No suggestion of a lack of nutrients in any of the 3 diets on the overall health of the pets.

It’s a lot of rubbish just another way of getting people to spend money on pills,and also see the majority of pills on the market as exactly that.I heard just the other day they were advertising a pill to help your memory.Another one to increase your cartlidge in your body which is impossible.Sorry but i don’t believe that B.S.I know Choice has there hands tied on how much testing they can do on this stuff and to me that plays into the hands of the business

There isn’t any need for Choice to test vitamin pills. The usefulness of vitamin supplements has been studied well and the conclusion is that you don’t need them unless for some reason it is impossible for you to eat a balanced diet or you suffer from one of a few medical conditions. For those who doubt this ask your doctor or a qualified nutritionist.

My view is that the busiest leader or the most overworked home-body both have time to eat well, if you are in a battle zone or mushing the iditarod maybe not. There is the other view that modern diet is so poor that taking vitamins is warranted. I think that is nonsense. Food is cheap this century compared to any time in history, if you want to live on Maccas don’t imagine popping a pill will make everything OK.

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True eating sensibly is the only way to go.I just know a long time back Choice said they couldn’t because they would have to test every product which is impossible