While healthy dogs and cats produce vitamin c in their bodies, Vitamin C supplements are often helpful for our pets, just as they are for us. Vitamin C supplements can help pets overcome infections, reduce symptoms of arthritis and eliminate allergy.
Stress uses up vitamin C stores quickly. Pets experience all sorts of stresses, making them good candidates for vitamin C supplementation. The bodies of our pets experience stress when they are sick, recovering from vaccinations, dealing with allergies or healing from wounds. Environmental stresses include pesticides and changes in living situations. Poor quality food can also put undue stress on pets.
Vitamin C supports the immune system and also collagen production. This makes it a broad spectrum supplement for pets, helping with a wide range of health problems including the following:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Slow Healing Wounds
- Ear Infections
- Respiratory Infections
- Feline Leukemia
How Much Vitamin C Should I Give My Dog?
- Small dogs: 500mg – 1,000mg
- Medium – Large dogs: 1,000mg – 2,000mg
- Giant dogs: 2,000mg – 4,000mg
How Much Vitamin C Should I Give My Cat?
- 3-7 pound cat – 200-400 mg
- 7-11 pound cat 400-700mg
- 11-16 pound cat 700-1000mg
These are starting points for dosing your pets. Ideally, you will divide the dose in half and give vitamin C twice a day. Vitamin C is water soluble and used up quickly in the body, making frequent dosing helpful.
You will know if your pet is getting too much vitamin C if he has loose stools. If diarrhea develops, cut back the amount you give. Start with the lowest suggested dose to avoid the risk of diarrhea.
During severe stress or acute illness, you pet may need much more than the suggested amount above. You can increase the dose during these times until your pet begins to experience diarrhea, then cut back a bit. It would not be unusual for a pet to need as much as four times the usual amount of vitamin C during an illness.
If you are giving your pet vitamin C on a daily basis, it is a good idea to re-evaluate the amount you give once or twice a year. You can increase a bit to see if your pet is needing more as he ages. Again, watch for loose stools and cut back if you reach that point.
What Kind of Vitamin C Should I Use for My Pet?
Some kinds of vitamin C are highly acidic (like the ascorbic acid form.) These types are more likely to cause digestive distress. Sodium ascorbate is more gentle to the system. Ester-C is another gentle form of C that many of our readers give their pets.
Have you used a Vitamin C supplement for your pet? Let us know how much you give, the size of your pet, and why you give your pet vitamin C. Keep reading to learn how our readers used vitamin C for their cats and dogs!