How Much Is Too Much of a Good Thing?

July 20, 2015

Most of us know what it’s like to eat too much of a particular food.  Some of us are addicted to certain foods and overdo what we consume.  I used to be addicted to Coca-Cola.  I came by this honestly, because my aunt drank Coke with every meal and always served it to me when I ate meals at her home.  But those little 6-ounce bottles were nothing compared to the large, 2-liter bottles sold today.  People often consume too much sugar in their diets or drink too much coffee.

Health-conscious humans know better than to poison our bodies with too many junk food items.  Instead they concentrate on eating the basic food groups a body requires and add supplements and vitamins to ensure a well-balanced diet.  When we feel a cold coming on, we pop extra Vitamin C and Zinc.  We worry about getting enough Omega-3’s and 6’s in our food but we all know not to overdose on those vitamins and supplements, because too much could hurt us.

Well, guess what!  It would be easy to give our pets too many of those additives, because we don’t always know when they’ve had enough.

Let’s say, we decide that Rover’s dog food doesn’t mention any Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids.  We know we aren’t adding salmon or mackerel to his diet. So we decide to give him regular fish oil supplements to be sure he gets those necessary fatty acids in his diet.  Sounds good, right?  Not necessarily.  Too much of a good thing may be bad for your pet.

According to, “Animals fed excessive amounts of Vitamin E would have a tendency to suffer higher blood loss when injured or afflicted by conditions that cause bleeding.”

This could be a real problem for dogs or cats with impending surgery.  The National Research Center has created a maximum safe amount of fish oil for dogs but they don’t have one for cats.

The same is true for other vitamins and additives.  We consumers don’t know the exact amounts of these things that occur naturally in pet food, and we don’t know what the rendering process with its high heat will do the quality of them.  So making decisions without veterinary consultation could be risky.

Always consult your veterinarian before adding fish oil or any other vitamin or supplement to your pet’s diet.



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