Pet-Tabs from Virbac Animal Health is the one of the better known supplements available, mainly because they are available everywhere: pet stores, grocery stores, stores like Petsmart, feed stores. You name the place and you will most likely find Pet-Tabs. This product has been around a long time and is relatively inexpensive. What most of find when shopping for any product is that the more a company focuses on quantity, the less attention is paid to quality.
In the case of Pet-Tabs, the ingredients, manufacturing and packaging are all high quality which nobody will dispute. The real problem with this product is that it is built around profits and not canine health. From a marketing perspective, if you are selling a canine consumable it is in your best interest to make it palatable to dogs. In other words, if a dog won't eat it their owner wont buy it. If a company want to sell a large quantity of product it is necessary to use big ticket stores which require sizable margins and low prices. To compete in the "walmarts" of the world you have to keep your costs down which in this case is being done with the ingredients.
The focus by Pet-Tabs is obviously with taste and side effects more than canine health. Two of the first three ingredients (wheat germ and Corn Syrup) are grain -based which is a big no no for most breeds. Most dogs that are given Pet-Tabs will exhibit allergic reaction symptoms in their skin and digestion with diarrhea which explains the 2nd ingredient, Kaolin. This is given to dogs for the treatment of diarrhea by removing excess fluid and inhibiting intestinal movement. Kind of a strange ingredient for a dog vitamin, but when you look at the other ingredients you can figure our why it is there.
The fourth ingredient is Pork liver meal added as a flavoring which is not a good idea for dogs. Most breeds do not digest pork very well at all. Next comes Dicalcium Phosphate which is used as a binder for tableting and it is odd to see it so high in the ingredient list. After that are two forms of sugar, fructose and lactose which is another attempt at taste with no regard for the health of the dog. the remaining products are a mixture of synthetic materials included for the formation and preservation of the tablet.
So after going through the list of ingredients you can tell what was included for flavor, which is meant to control side effects, and those used for the tableting process. But what is left? The truth is that there is very little in Pet-Tabs which has any real nutritional value at all. So why is it so popular? With any product, when you can mass market it the popularity will increase. Pet-Tabs has a huge marketing machine that makes sure it is available everywhere. Because of the cheap ingredients used they can make it for pennies. Because most of the ingredients are based on flavor, most every dog will eat it. But just like a chocolate bar, just because a dog will eat it doesn't mean they should.
There are so many high quality supplements available for your dog that will provide actual nutritional benefit. All of our reviewers, without exception, recommend staying away from the canine equivalent of a snickers bar and choosing something that will help your dog.