What Vitamins Do Dogs Need?
September 10, 2021 | 3 min read
Updated September 10, 2021
By Sarah Milton
Published: September 10, 2021
Updated: November 22, 2022
Summary: In this blog, we discuss vitamins for dogs. What vitamins are good for dogs? We’ll discover what vitamins dogs really need, what each vitamin is responsible for in dogs, and where to find these vitamins for dogs…
What Vitamins Does My Dog Need?
Like us, dogs need a daily amount of vitamins and minerals! Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential for promoting a healthy life – they help the body function, grow and stay in tip-top conditions. Vitamins are usually found in the food we and our pets eat.
With the pet supplement market booming, it can be overwhelming with many companies barking a million different obscure ingredients claiming to be completely necessary nutrients for your dog’s health, wellbeing, and happiness. But, what vitamins do our dogs really need and what vitamins are good for dogs…?
Vitamin C is arguably the “master” vitamin! Vitamin C for dogs provides antioxidants, can boost the immune system’s functioning and supports joint health Read more about Vitamin C For Dogs here.
Vitamin A contributes to healthy growth, cell, and immune system functioning, and fetal development but is primarily known for its ability to preserve and maintain eye health and vision!
Carrots are rich in Vitamin A and are safe for dogs to consume - they’re also pretty tasty according to most pups! So, why not chop up small bits of carrot and use them as a healthy alternative treat throughout the day? They’ll also help with topping up their fiber levels as well as boosting their body with Vitamin A, without the additional calories of regular dog treats!
Vitamin B2 for dogs (also known as Riboflavin) is used to support the healthy production of red blood cells and antibodies. It also helps with enzyme functioning.
Vitamin B12 contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous system, cell growth, forming red blood cells (which fight off germs), processing fat and carbohydrates, and protein synthesis.
Other B Vitamins For Dogs
There are loads of B Vitamins that dog bodies need and utilize daily.
Vitamin B6 helps regulate hormones and helps to support the immune system’s responses.
Vitamin B9 (more commonly known as Folic Acid) can help metabolize essential amino acids and Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) supports in metabolizing energy.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) contributes to regulating energy and can activate ion channels in a dog’s neuron tissue and Vitamin B3 (more well known as Niacin) can help facilitate the functioning of important enzymes.
Choline isn’t technically a vitamin or a mineral but is often grouped together with the B Vitamins due to their similarities. It can support the healthy functioning of the brain and the liver.
Vitamin K is really important as it helps support blood health. The liver organ also uses Vitamin K to work at its best.
Vitamin E contributes to the health and desirable workings of a dog’s muscles, heart, liver, immune system, and nerve cell membranes. It also helps maintain a healthy skin and coat condition too, making your pup lovely and soft to pet!
Vitamin D helps a dog’s body balance minerals. For example, it can ensure the right amount of calcium is being used by the body for healthy bone growth, repair, and maintenance.
What Vitamins Help Joints?
If you're wondering "what vitamins help joints?" in dogs, your best bet is actually looking to the fatty acid Omega 3, and cartilage-promoting chemicals Glucosamine and Chondroitin that are vital, and naturally present in the body.
What Is The Best Vitamin For Senior Dogs?
Vitamins C and E are great to focus on for senior dogs because of how much they do and contribute to the body, but most reputable, commercial dog foods will cater to the recommended daily allowance of a dog’s needs.
If you make sure to source your foods from good, popular, and trusted brands (like us!) and the food is labeled with words like “complete and balanced”, this usually means that the required, essential amount of vitamins and minerals that your dog really needs is included in the formula. Then, when your dog gets to their senior years just switch up their food to the senior version of their dog food, as most brands will make foods for each age group: Puppy, Adult, Senior.
PetLab Co. Pro Tip: Remember, when changing your dog’s food from adult to senior for example, to switch their food gradually. This will help avoid stomach upsets and gastrointestinal distress.
If you’re concerned your dog may need a boost of vitamins or minerals, have a chat with your vet about the issue. Then, you can consider sourcing a good daily dog-specific multivitamin or supplement that caters for their specific health needs or suspected nutrient deficiency.
Can Dogs Take Human Vitamins?
Human vitamins are not dog vitamins and shouldn’t be used as a replacement or a cost-effective substitute unless recommended directly and specifically by your qualified veterinarian.
Author Burke, Anna "7 Vitamins Your Dog Needs For A Healthy Life" American Kennel Club, May 04. 2020 https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/nutrition/vitamins-dogs-need-healthy-lifestyle/
Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!