According to vets, these are the vitamins your dog needs

Kövess Péter

2024. April 14 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

Owner giving medicine in a pill to his sick dog. Medicine and vitamins for pets. Pills for animals. High quality photo

There are plenty of vitamins and supplements available for humans, so it's fair to ask: should dogs be supplemented with vitamins? And if so, what vitamins should they get?


To develop properly and stay healthy, it is just as important for dogs to meet their vitamin needs as it is for humans. However, it is important to note that dogs and humans have different vitamin needs. Let’s see which vitamins are the most important for your dog.

Vitamin for human consumption can be dangerous to your dog’s health.

1. Vitamin A

This fat-soluble vitamin contributes to vision health, strengthens the immune system, and plays a role in dogs’ growth, fetal development and cell function. Eye protection products for dogs containing vitamin A are widely available.

2. B vitamins

The various B vitamins are also vital for your dog’s health and are known to have the following effects.

  • Thiamine helps regulate energy and carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Riboflavin, B12 and niacin support enzyme function.
  • Vitamin B6 is responsible for glucose production, red blood cell and nervous system function, hormone regulation, immune response, niacin synthesis, and gene activation.
  • Pantothenic acid promotes energy metabolism.
  • Folic acid is involved in amino acid and nucleotide metabolism and protein synthesis.

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that binds potentially damaging free radicals in the body, thereby reducing inflammation and possibly slowing cognitive ageing.

Dogs can synthesise vitamin C in their liver, but in some cases, they may benefit from supplementation.

4. Vitamin D

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is essential for healthy muscles and bones, as well as for maintaining the balance of minerals in the body.

5. Vitamin E

Fat-soluble vitamin E is essential for cellular function and fat metabolism and can protect against oxidative damage. Deficiencies can lead to eye and muscle degeneration and reproductive problems.

6. Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps to activate the dog’s blood clotting factors. It may also be useful if the dog ingests certain rodenticides. These can be fatal if left untreated.

7. Choline

Choline supports healthy brain and liver function and is sometimes used as part of a treatment plan for pets with epilepsy.

Do dogs get enough vitamins in their diet?

Dogs take their vitamins mainly from their dog food. Products labelled “complete” and “balanced” are specifically designed to cover their vitamin, mineral and nutrient needs.

Dogs should get the vitamins they need from their food

It is always a good idea to choose the right dog food for different life stages, as dogs’ needs can vary depending on their age. This is particularly important for large puppies, as they can develop a variety of diseases, such as hip dysplasia, if their diet contains certain vitamins and minerals, including calcium, which can cause them to grow too fast.

Properly fed dogs do not usually require vitamin supplements unless specifically recommended by their vet.

But if your pet is on a homemade diet, extra vitamin intake may be needed.

Do they pose risks?

Besides increased calcium intake possibly causing skeletal issues in large puppies, there are a couple of other concerns to giving your pet these supplements. For example, taking too much vitamin A could lead to joint pain and dehydration. Moreover, too much vitamin A can also damage your dog’s blood vessels. However, since so far only a limited amount of study exists looking into the long-term effects of vitamin supplements, we can’t rule out that certain components in them like herbs could react with meds taken simultaneously.

It is important to note, that human vitamins contain different concentrations than dogs would need. Additionally, when it comes to dogs, human supplements can contain harmful additives.

This is what the vet says

Dr. Andrea Bodó, a veterinarian, when asked said that nowadays there are many well-made pet foods at our disposal, so it is true that dogs rarely require vitamin or mineral supplementation. Those owners who prepare their pets’ food at home are usually well prepared and make their food well balanced.

IIt is worth to ask for advice from a vet.

“There are special conditions when we do advise vitamin supplementation. Conditions like gestation or suckling periods, and also when healing from an illness, cancer or an immunodeficient state. Furthermore, when dealing with young or old animals.” – Said the specialist.

As we have already established, generally, dogs won’t require addittional vitamins if they eat the right quality and quantity of food. In this article, you can read about the latter.

dog dog eating dog food dog taking vitamins Health mineral vitamin

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