Vibrant Vitamin A Vegetables
We promote adding as many colourful vegetables as you can to your dog’s daily ration. These can be added to the food daily, or fed as treats.
Yellow and red sweet peppers are packed with nutrients (mainly Vitamin A) and make delicious healthy treats for dogs. The brighter the pepper, the sweeter it is. Apparently all peppers start as green and as they mature and sweeten, they undergo colour changes from red to yellow!
We add chopped red and yellow peppers and chopped carrots (full of beta-carotene) to Ruff’s daily rations. By freezing each batch of cooked protein food with the chopped raw vegetables, this helps to soften the cellulose and make the vegetables even more digestible.
The kale, sprouted alfalfa and extra leafy greens added to the cooked food are also rich sources of beta-carotene and Vitamin A.
Functions of Vitamin A in the body
Vitamin A is vital to support healthy vision (we all know to eat our carrots to see in the dark!) as well as supporting the skin function and immune system. Clinical signs of vitamin A deficiency in dogs include motor and vision impairment, skin lesions, respiratory ailments, and increased susceptibility to infections.
Because Vitamin A is fat soluble, it is stored in body tissue for later use and most of the vitamin A in the body is stored in the liver in the form of retinyl esters (the active form of the vitamin).
The recommended daily allowance for a 15kg dog is 379μg/day, and interestingly, an excess of Vitamin A in the body can also be as harmful as a deficiency. An excess if oversupplemented can result in artery and vein degeneration, central nervous system depression, and joint pain.
It is so important to get it right with supplements if there is not enough Vitamin A in the diet and not to overdo it in both our pets and ourselves.