Fuel Your Pet’s Heart, Brain and Nervous System with These Essential Vitamins

If you buy commercial pet food, the label doesn’t really tell the whole story about what’s inside. The words ‘complete and balanced’ provide no guarantee that the food actually contains enough of the essential heat- and light-sensitive vitamins to last the lifetime of the product. And surprisingly, making your own pet food may not ensure adequate levels either.

  • B Vitamins help your pet maintain healthy energy levels by acting as coenzymes, assisting his body to break down amino acids, extract energy from fatty acids and absorb nutrients from the food he eats, as well as transport oxygen throughout his body.
  • Bark & Whiskers Organic Vitamin B Complex is an advanced blend of the eight major B vitamins in their ideal proportions for your cat or dog, providing foundational support for multiple body systems and essential functions.
  • The unique patented B vitamin formula, PANMOL®, provides organically bound and biologically active B vitamins grown in a matrix of organic quinoa sprouts for food-based bioavailability benefits and enhanced absorption.

In 1887, a Dutch physician named Christiaan Eijkman observed that chickens eating a diet of polished white rice became sick, while chickens eating whole grain brown rice didn’t.

The sick chickens had symptoms of beriberi, a disease that can affect a wide variety of animals and causes damage to the nerves and heart.

Scientists spent decades trying to figure out why this happened, examining several diseases like scurvy, rickets and pellagra in addition to beriberi. By 1912, they developed the theory that “accessory food factors” provided important nutritional benefits, and Casimir Funk, a Polish biochemist, named them “vitamines.”

Research continued, and in 1926, the first vitamin – now spelled without the “e” – was identified… Thiamine, or vitamin B1.

The discovery set off a race to isolate other vitamins, and by 1948, all known vitamins were discovered and cataloged. Among them, the group of eight B vitamins, now known to be crucial in a wide variety of essential body processes.

B vitamins are especially sensitive to heat, light, air exposure and long storage times. Your pet needs them to thrive, but commercial processing methods used to produce kibble and canned food tend to damage or destroy them.

This can have disastrous effects on B vitamins – and a deficiency of B vitamins can have adverse effects on your pet’s health.

No matter what you’re feeding your pet, there’s something you need to know. Especially if it’s commercially prepared food…

Three words printed on that bag, can or box may be giving you false reassurance as to what’s inside.

The ‘Complete and Balanced’ Pet Food Scam: How You’re Likely Being Misled

Many veterinarians insist that the only way to ensure proper nutrition for your pet is to give them a commercially prepared pet food that says ‘complete and balanced’ on the label.

What exactly does that mean, and does it really cover all the bases for your pet’s health and well-being?

To make the claim that it’s "complete and balanced," a dog or cat food is required by law to either:

  • Meet one of the Dog or Cat Food Nutrient Profiles established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), or
  • Pass a feeding trial using AAFCO procedures

For a product to meet one of the AAFCO nutrient profiles, the first standard, it must contain every nutrient listed in the profile at the recommended level.

To pass a feeding trial, the second standard, the protocol only requires a six-month trial period and can involve as few as eight test subjects. The trial determines whether a formula can sustain life in test participants.

Remarkably, only six of the eight animals are required to finish the trial, and if weight and certain blood tests are normal, the food is deemed “complete and balanced.”

In my opinion, six pets still alive at the end of a six-month period is hardly a trust-inspiring measure for a “complete and balanced” pet food formula.

Because these feeding trials are so short and don’t measure food digestibility or nutrient absorbability, you don’t get any reliable information about the risk of nutritional deficiencies or overdoses over a longer period.

Most pets eat a pet food for many years, and feeding trials tell you nothing about how the food could potentially affect your pet’s long-term health and longevity.

Dog waiting for food

What the AAFCO – and Many Traditional Vets – Aren’t Telling You About Pet Food Vitamin “Enrichment”

Let me tell you a little-known truth behind this AAFCO compliancy…

There’s not a lot of solid science supporting it. AAFCO recommendations are more of an industry standard, but not necessarily a well-researched scientific standard.

The AAFCO’s nutrient profiles are only minimum standards. They don’t address the quality of ingredients or the digestibility, palatability or bioavailability of the nutrients. And they certainly aren’t optimal nutrient recommendations.

The quality of a nutrient and the way it’s processed are important factors when looking at how well your pet can actually put that nutrient to work in her body.

When a nutrient or vitamin is separated or isolated from its food source, it’s called a chemical isolate.

Isolated vitamins may provide basic nutritional support for your pet, especially if they are carefully designed.

But what concerns me the most about some not-so-carefully designed isolated nutrients is the use of “feed grade premixes.”

Meeting neither “food grade” nor human grade standards, these inexpensive feed grade “premixes” are mixtures of isolated synthetic vitamins and minerals. These are what most pet food manufacturers use in their foods. The majority of these feed-grade premixes come from China and from questionable sources.

One Family of Vitamins That Your Pet Can’t Thrive Without

B vitamins are essential for your pet’s health, playing an indispensable role in countless vital functions in his body.

These water-soluble nutrients are required for your pet’s healthy normal:

  • Nervous and immune system function
  • Growth and development
  • Energy production
  • Cell metabolism
  • Organ and tissue health
  • Muscle, coat, skin and eye health
  • Appetite and digestion

B vitamins act as coenzymes and play a key role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and fat. When their supply is limited, the central nervous system can be the first to be affected.

I want to point out that there is not just one B vitamin, but rather a complex of many B vitamins, each playing different and complementary roles.

Like a well-oiled machine, B vitamins work together to support energy production and the health of your pet’s brain, liver, muscle, nervous and immune systems, skin, coat and eyes.

There’s one feature of B vitamins that can leave your pet at risk of deficiency…

Unlike fat-soluble vitamins and the one exception, vitamin B12, excess amounts aren’t stored in your pet’s body. Rather, the excess passes through via his urine.

This means your dog or cat must consume the entire B complex of vitamins in his diet every day. And he needs them in the right proportions to each other.

For that reason, I recommend a vitamin B complex rather than individual B vitamins.

B Vitamins Support a Variety of Essential Functions – but They Require Careful Handling

B vitamins are highly susceptible to damage from various sources, including heat, light, oxygen, acid and alkaline solutions, and long storage times.

With the harsh and high-heat processing methods used to create all the varieties of pet foods available today – pelleted, extruded, freeze-dried, semi-moist, baked, canned and even frozen – it’s no surprise that commercial pet food may be deficient in B vitamins.

Here’s a guide to the B complex vitamins your pet needs each day, including the minimal amounts required for health, how they can be damaged during processing and storage, and the important roles they play in your pet’s well-being:

B Vitamin Recommended Adult Daily Intake Susceptibility to damage during processing and storage Important Functions
Thiamine (Vitamin B1) .01 mg/lb. Sensitive to heat, oxygen, humidity, and light, and very sensitive to alkaline pH Essential for metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, energy metabolism for nervous system and muscles and healthy appetite
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) .05 mg/lb. Sensitive to humidity and light Essential for growth and muscle development, eye health and a healthy coat
Niacin (Vitamin B3) .12 mg/lb. Stable Essential for the proper function of enzymes, a healthy appetite, and a healthy nervous system, skin, nails and GI function.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) .1 mg/lb. Sensitive to heat and humidity A structural element of many coenzymes, plays a central role in energy metabolism and the synthesis of sex hormones
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) .01 mg/lb. Very sensitive to heat, and sensitive to humidity, light and acid pH Essential for the body’s utilization of protein and the synthesis of neurotransmitters
Folate (Vitamin B9) .002 mg/lb. Very sensitive to heat, acid pH and light, and sensitive to humidity Required for the production of red blood cells in bone marrow
Biotin .001 mg/lb. Sensitive to humidity and light Supports healthy normal growth, digestion, muscle function, healthy skin and hair and cellular health
Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) .00025 mg/lb. Sensitive to heat, oxygen, humidity, and contact with iron or copper Supports protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, GI and nervous system health, immune function and the healthy production of red blood cells

As you can see, some B vitamins are very susceptible to damage, while others can withstand exposure to a number of stresses.

The B vitamins most at risk of losing their vitamin activity due to processing are in this order (from worst to best): Pyridoxine (B6), Thiamine (B1), Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Niacin, Biotin, and Riboflavin (B2).

Because your pet needs them in the right proportions to each other, it’s best to give her a vitamin B complex rather than individual B vitamins.

Recalls Due to Thiamine Deficiency Continue

Thiamine deficiency is surprisingly common in ultra-processed pet food and even in some home-prepared diets.

Why is that? Thiamine is one of industry’s greatest challenges in the manufacturing process because of its high sensitivity to heat, light, oxygen, humidity and even pH.

It’s estimated that the harsh processing used for kibble and canned pet food destroys as much as 90% of the thiamine in the food. Manufacturers know that and try to compensate for the loss by adding thiamine, but analysis often still show a deficiency.

And that’s why so many products have been recalled over the years – for too little thiamine.

Here’s why too little thiamine in a pet food is such a problem…

Thiamine is essential for carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, so tissues with high-energy requirements, such as the brain, nerves and heart, are at particular risk when the diet is low in thiamine, or when absorption is lower.

Cats require three times more thiamine than dogs do, making kitties especially sensitive to the effects of thiamine loss in food.

Your dog or cat absorbs thiamine or vitamin B1 through her small intestine, so gut health plays a crucial role in determining how much she can absorb.

Signs of deficiency can take days or weeks to show up and can present as vomiting, appetite and weight loss. But because most vets believe commercial pet foods are “complete and balanced,” a thiamine deficiency is rarely suspected.

In addition to a canned or dried food losing its thiamine during its high-heat processing and exposure to air, light and humidity, the longer the food sits on the shelves or in the freezer, the more thiamine degrades.

Pets fed home-prepared diets may also be susceptible to a thiamine deficiency, especially if the food contains excess carbohydrates or lacks good sources of supplemental thiamine.

Cat

Could Extra B Vitamins Make Your Pet Less Attractive to Fleas and Other Biting Pests?

If your pet struggles with fleas or other biting pests, you may find that extra B vitamins can help.

Experts believe B vitamins may make blood less attractive to fleas.

While certainly not the most important reason, in my opinion, it’s just one additional reason to add B vitamins to your pet’s diet…

So, what’s the best source to add?

Because most B vitamins on the market today are from feed-grade mixes of isolated synthetic nutrients, I prefer using a natural source of B vitamins, such as raw meat or a B vitamin complex supplement that contains co-factors and enzymes.

Of all the B vitamins, thiamine is the one that is most difficult to get from food in sufficient quantities. And because thiamine is so easily destroyed by heat, oxygen and alkaline pH, I recommend supplying additional quantities.

Brewer's yeast, which is high in B vitamins, is often recommended to boost vitamin B levels, but I don’t recommend using it. Many pets have allergies that can be made worse with yeast.

Enriched with Co-Factors and Coenzymes, This Is Not Your Ordinary B Vitamin Complex

Organic Vitamin B Complex for Cats & Dogs

As mentioned earlier, carefully designed isolated nutrients provide the basics for your pet.

But what if you suspect your pet needs more?

If your pet is one of the many who may need more B vitamins because of a deficiency, then a vitamin B complex may be your better choice.

Bark & Whiskers Organic Vitamin B Complex is a complete complex of the eight major B vitamins in their ideal proportions. Organically bound to a natural complex, these B vitamins contain important co-factors and coenzymes to optimize their bioavailability.

Because they are biologically active, this complex of vitamins can go to work in your pet’s body right away. Plus, they last longer than typical isolated vitamins.

Your pet’s metabolism and health depend on the completeness of nutrients. Vitamins don’t exist as isolated compounds in nature – they depend on important co-factors and coenzymes to interact with other vitamins.

This is particularly true for B vitamins, as their coenzymes are involved in all metabolic processes.

Fortunately, the unique patented B complex formula PANMOL® delivers just this for your cat or dog.

PANMOL® provides the complete complex of B vitamins and a multitude of organically bound and biologically active B vitamins that you would normally only find in wheat germ or whole grain cereals.

Yet, compared with whole grains, the concentration of B vitamins in my Vitamin B Complex is a hundred-fold higher.

How can this be, you may be wondering? The secret is in the plant matrix used to create them…

Bioavailable and Biologically Active B Vitamins – Grown in an Organic Plant Complex

When I discovered a cutting-edge process that was being used in a European lab to create B vitamins of exceptional quality, I was very excited.

In this lab, located in Hamburg, Germany, scientists have developed an innovative, patented process to create bioavailable and biologically active B vitamins in a matrix of quinoa sprouts.

Called PANMOL® B-Complex, it’s a complete complex of the eight major B vitamins, produced from organic quinoa sprouts.

Let me explain how this pioneering process works…

They start with bioidentical B vitamins and organic quinoa seeds, ancient gluten-free seeds that are closely related to spinach and beets.

The B vitamins are added to the water used for sprouting the quinoa seeds. During the sprouting process, the seeds take up the vitamins from this nutrient-rich “broth.”

When the sprouts reach the ideal stage, they’re harvested and powderized.

The end result is a B vitamin complex that…

  • Provides the B vitamins organically bound to the plant for food-based benefits.
  • Contains the eight familiar B vitamins and a multitude of well-balanced and biologically active B vitamins complete with co-factors and coenzymes.
  • May be better absorbed than regular isolated synthetic B vitamins.

By using a patented stage-by-stage procedure, this lab has been able to develop a concentrated and complex life source of micronutrients that, until now, has never been achieved in biological research.

Can you see why I’m so excited about these B vitamins? There’s simply nothing else like them on the market.

And now, we’ve taken our Vitamin B Complex to the next level, making the product Certified USDA Organic

Happy dog

Take the Lead in Your Pet’s Health With Organic Vitamin B Complex Today

Organic Vitamin B Complex for Cats & Dogs

No matter what you’re feeding your dog or cat, it may be low in B vitamins, especially thiamine.

This is especially true if you’re feeding your pet commercial food out of a bag, box or can. But because these important B vitamins are so sensitive to environmental factors, it can be true for any type of pet food.

Don’t take a chance with your pet’s most vitamin B-sensitive organs and systems. Make sure her heart, brain, muscular, endocrine and nervous systems get the support they need so she can live a vibrant, active life.

Organic Vitamin B Complex not only contains this complete and bioavailable vitamin B complex, but it also contains organic beef bone broth for irresistible flavor. Just measure out the perfect amount with the enclosed scoop according to your pet’s weight.

Give your pet the B vitamins that help support her energy levels and overall good health. Order Bark & Whiskers Organic Vitamin B Complex today.

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FAQ
  1. 1. I’m already giving my pet some supplemental B vitamins – is there any danger in providing more?

    B vitamins are water soluble, which means they aren’t stored in the body (except for B12) and any excess is excreted in your pet’s urine. Your pet’s body will utilize only what is needed.

  2. 2. You warn about feeding cats and dogs starches and grains. What about the quinoa seeds in the Vitamin B Complex?

    Considered holy by the ancient Incas, quinoa is a pseudo-grain. Although we cook quinoa like a grain, it is actually a seed. It contains no gluten and isn’t a common allergen.

    As for quinoa’s carbohydrate content and antigens, the sprouting process uses up the organic quinoa’s pro-inflammatory sugars and eliminates antigens. The finished sprouted quinoa powder with the organically bound B complex vitamins is very different from quinoa flour, which still contains antigens and carbohydrates.

  3. 3. Are the vitamins in the Vitamin B Complex synthetic like other B vitamin supplements?

    Our lab starts their patented process with bioidentical B vitamins, but that’s where the similarities end.

    During the sprouting process, the B vitamins become organically bound to the organic quinoa sprout and incorporated into the plant. The B vitamins are now complete nutrients with coenzymes and co-factors to provide the potential for improved absorption, unlike typical B vitamins.

  4. 4. Why is there a ‘Cautions’ statement on the label, and what does it mean?

    This 'Cautions' statement must be included on all of our Bark & Whiskers™ products as mandated by the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) and is part of the organization’s rigorous standards to ensure the highest level of product quality and animal safety. The NASC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the health of companion animals throughout the U.S. by promoting the safety, quality and integrity of animal health supplements. We follow these recommendations to ensure we are doing all we can to guarantee the safety and well-being of your pet, making sure our products meet the highest industry standards.

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