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Do Dogs Need Vitamin Supplements?

If humans can resort to vitamin supplements to compensate for lack of nutrients in their daily diet, why not dogs? After all, vitamins are useful for dealing with a whole lot of dog health problems.
DogAppy Staff
A dog that does not get necessary nutrition through food, is bound to end up malnourished and vulnerable to a range of diseases. So, to avoid such health problems in your pet dog, you should opt for vitamin supplements. They have numerous health benefits. For starters, they don't just provide nutritional calories to your dog, but also boost his immune system.
Types of Vitamins
Based on their method of working, vitamins are categorized into two groups: (i) fat-soluble vitamins, which get stored in the dog's fatty tissues, and (ii) water-soluble vitamins, which get flushed out with water.
Fat-soluble Vitamins
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
Water-soluble Vitamins
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)
  • Folic Acid
  • Biotin
Vitamins for Dogs
Free radicals are by-products of the oxidation process. They are responsible for a number of canine diseases, including arthritis, cataracts, premature aging, and cancer. A nutrition-deficient dog is also vulnerable to these and other such diseases. The risk of these diseases is reduced with the intake of proper vitamin supplements. In the table below, we have put forth a list of necessary vitamins and the health problems caused due to their deficiencies. (Additionally, there is the third column, which shows what happens when dogs consume certain vitamins in excess.)
Vitamins Symptoms of Deficiency If Taken in Excess
Vitamin A Lower growth rate, vision problems, diarrhea, and skin problems. Vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, bone deformities, and bleeding disorders.
Vitamin B Irritability, nervousness, hair loss, fatigue, and skin problems. It is a water soluble vitamin, so the excess is excreted through urine.
Vitamin C Breathlessness, slow healing process, dental problems, and impaired lactation. It is a water soluble vitamin, so the excess is excreted through urine.
Vitamin D Vision problems, poor development of muscles, nervous disorders, and rickets. Calcification of muscles, increased frequency of urination, and nausea or vomiting.
Vitamin E Bleeding disorders and collagen problems. No harm
Vitamin K Miscarriage No harm
Vitamin supplements are necessary for the overall development and health of the dog. Besides, it is observed that older dogs do not absorb all the vitamins from the food they eat. In such circumstances, dietary supplements compensate for the lack of nutrients. This increases their immunity and slows down the aging process.
Helpful Ingredients in Vitamin Supplements
Antioxidants help in tackling free radicals that are produced during the oxidation process. If antioxidants are not included in the dog's nutrition, it can damage the normal cell metabolism.
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex boosts their appetite. More importantly, you don't need to worry about excess of vitamin B, as the same is excreted from the dog's body.
Calcium is essential for lactating as well as aging dogs, as it promotes bone growth and prevents bone degeneration. Proper calcium supplementation will help in strengthening your pet's joints.
Fatty Acids
Skin and coat problems are prevented and cured by fatty acids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
Note: It is recommended that you consult a veterinarian before you give your dog these supplements.