Health-conscious humans are now reevaluating their decision to take multi-vitamin supplements themselves, as well as whether to give them to their pets. Recently, a team of French researchers tracked 8,112 volunteers who took either a placebo or a multi-vitamin for over six years and found no evidence multi-vitamin supplements help prevent major health events like heart disease or cancer. Other recent studies have even indicated that vitamin supplements may increase the risk of certain cancers.¹ Similarly, many of the recent pet food recalls have been due to potential adverse consequences of excess man-made vitamins or minerals that are routinely added to most pet foods. Here are three things that will help you determine if you should give your dog or cat a multi-vitamin supplement.
#1 - Most Commercial Pet Foods Contain Sufficient Vitamins & Minerals
Whether you feed raw, canned or dry formulas, most commercial pet foods contain the necessary vitamins and minerals for the use indicated. Nearly every one of them accomplishes this by adding dozens of synthetic vitamins and minerals. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) establishes the needed levels and pet food manufacturers create foods that contain those nutrients.
AAFCO is a voluntary association of local, state and federal agencies charged by law to regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds and animal drug remedies.² AAFCO has developed nutrient profiles for dogs and cats that most pet foods use when formulating their foods. The formulas routinely fall short of natural vitamins and minerals from the food so most pet food manufacturers add a synthetic vitamin and mineral premix to achieve the required levels.
You will know your pet’s food contains sufficient vitamins and minerals, as well as other key nutrients, if you see one of the following statements on the package:
1. “(Name of product) is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog (or Cat) Food Nutrient Profiles for ______________.” (gestation/lactation, growth, maintenance, or “All Life Stages”).
2. “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that (Name of Product) provides complete and balanced nutrition for ____________.” (gestation/lactation, growth, maintenance, or "All Life Stages").
However, these regulatory statements will not tell you the source of those vitamins and minerals, or any hidden ingredients they may carry. For that you need to understand a little more about the differences between “added vitamins and minerals” and real nutrients that come naturally from food.
#2 - Vitamins & Minerals in Most Pet Supplements and Foods are Not Natural
Just as with human supplements, multi-vitamin tablets or chews for pets are overwhelmingly man-made versions of the real nutrients naturally found in food. Chemically-synthesized vitamins and minerals carry unwanted contaminants, such as processing aids, carriers, preservatives, and even heavy metals, that don’t appear on the pet food label.³ The majority of commercial pet foods add as many as 26 synthetic vitamins and minerals, all made in chemical plants. These unnatural nutrients make up for inadequacies in the foods and allow the companies to meet the AAFCO nutrient profiles required for dogs and cats.4
This is also true for nearly every so-called “natural” pet food. AAFCO allows the use of the word “natural” even if the pet food contains synthetic vitamins and minerals. Manufacturers can do this as long as the remaining ingredients meet AAFCO’s definition of natural and the company includes a disclaimer on the label, such as “natural with added vitamins and minerals” or “fortified with added vitamins and minerals.”5 Such statements may look like positive marketing messages but they are really warnings to pet parents that the food is not 100% natural because it contains chemically-synthesized vitamins and minerals.
There is a truly natural pet food without these man-made vitamins and minerals. Nature’s Logic is the only full-line of raw-frozen, canned, and dry kibble pet food with NO chemically-synthesized nutrients. The company’s formulas supply all essential vitamins and minerals from whole food and 100% natural ingredients. This is the safest way to supply nutrients to pets.
#3 - Nutrients from Whole Foods are Safest Supplements for Pets
If you and your veterinarian feel your dog or cat’s health situation requires additional vitamins or minerals, choose a pet supplement made from whole foods and 100% natural ingredients. Nature’s Logic makes our All Food Fortifier to supply a complete spectrum of all natural vitamins, minerals, essential fats, enzymes, and other trace elements. The nutrients come from all natural sources, not chemistry labs. There are no man-made ingredients. For more information, including a complete list of ingredients, visit www.natureslogic.com.