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28th July 2023

Do Dogs Need Vitamins?

Dr. Devan Patel, PharmD
Do Dogs Need Vitamins?

 As a dog owner, you want to ensure that your furry friend is healthy and happy. 

Just like humans, dogs require certain essential vitamins and minerals in their diet to maintain optimal health. However, with so many different types of dog food available on the market, it can be difficult to know if your pet is getting everything they need.

Vitamins play a vital role in your dog's overall health, but it's important to understand which ones are necessary and in what quantities.

Let's discuss the benefits and risks of giving your dog vitamins, as well as answer the question: do dogs need vitamins?


Do Dogs Need Vitamins?

Dogs should receive proper nutrition from their diet. If you feed your pup a commercial brand dog food, most of these include the essential vitamins and minerals dogs need to maintain optimal health. If you feed your dog a homemade diet, however, you may want to consider supplementing their diet with vitamins. 

Talk to your vet about which vitamins your dog needs before adding them to your dog's diet. You want to make sure the vitamins you give them supplement their homemade meals and don't interfere with their health. Throwing in random supplements in random doses could be more harmful than helpful. 

Consulting an experienced professional will help you make sure that everything balances out correctly when it comes time to supplement your dog's diet.


Are Vitamin Supplements Safe for Dogs?

Vitamin supplements can be safe for dogs, but it depends. 

Vitamins and minerals are essential for your dog's health. They provide important nutrients needed for proper growth and development.

However, there can be danger associated with giving your dog excess vitamins or minerals through supplementation. Depending on the type of vitamin given and the dose, it could be harmful or even toxic to your pet.

The FDA warns pet owners that if an animal already eats a balanced diet, providing extra portions of some vitamins or minerals can be extremely dangerous. Excessive calcium, for example, may cause skeletal problems in large-breed puppies while too much vitamin A affects blood vessels and causes joint pain as well as dehydration.


Not All Supplements for Dogs Are Equal

Another safety factor to consider when buying supplements for your dog is quality. Where you buy your supplements for your dog matters. 

The FDA does not approve dog supplements, meaning there is no way to know for certain what's really in your dog's vitamins. Never purchase supplements for dogs from overseas as regulations tend to be even more relaxed in other parts of the world. 

The only way to truly know what supplements are safe for dogs is to do your research. Find reputable brands you can trust that stand by their safety and efficacy claims, and purchase directly from them if possible. 

Make sure these brands advertise Good Manufacturing Practices on their website and use FDA-registered labs to produce their products. Looking for these key factors when searching for supplements for dogs can help weed out the non-reputable brands. 


Which Supplements Should I Give My Dog?

Which supplements your dog needs will depend on what they are getting or not getting in their current diet and individual health factors. For example, older dogs may require supplements to help support their joints, whereas younger pooches will have different needs.

Below are common supplements for dogs and their benefits.


Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids support your dog's overall health but are especially important for healthy skin and coat. These essential fats may also support your dog's heart health. 



Probiotics can help support gut health, which is important for overall wellness. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help maintain balance in the gut flora and aid digestion. These may be especially helpful for older dogs with intestinal problems. 



Glucosamine is often found in supplements specifically formulated for joint health. Glucosamine helps rebuild connective tissue, cartilage, and joint fluid. It also helps reduce inflammation in the joints and can help manage pain associated with arthritis.


Vitamin A

Vitamin A, also known as beta carotene, is an essential vitamin for healthy vision, growth, and immune function. For dogs specifically, eye care supplements that contain Vitamin A can help to support good ocular health. 


Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 helps to maintain the overall functioning of the nervous system, as well as aiding in red blood cell production. Vitamin B12 also plays a role in energy metabolism and is essential for healthy skin and coat.


Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a vital nutrient for all dogs and plays an essential role in their overall health. Vitamin D helps dogs balance minerals like phosphorus and calcium for proper bone growth.

It's also necessary for muscle development and healthy bones. Without enough Vitamin D, these structures cannot form properly or remain strong in your dog's body, leading to potential health complications.


Multi-Nutrient Supplements

Multi-nutrient supplements for dogs combine multiple essential vitamins and minerals into one. They are an easier way to ensure your dog is getting a balanced mix of essential nutrients they need. 

WoundVite for Dogs is an all-natural supplement for dogs that contains key ingredients for your dog's health. Each ingredient was chosen for safety and efficacy for supporting overall health and building stronger bones and tissues.*

WoundVite for Dogs is made by ZenNutrients, a reputable supplement company known for their all-natural ingredients and potent formulas.*


Do Dogs Need Vitamins? The Takeaway

Vitamins and minerals are important for good health, but it's essential to make sure that your pup is getting the right ones at the right dose. Not all dogs may require the same supplements depending on their individual health factors, so always consult a veterinary professional before adding any supplements to your pet’s diet. 

Also, be sure to purchase supplements for dogs only from brands and companies you can trust. There are many supplements for dogs on the market that claim to be what they're not. Stick to brands with a proven track record for providing effective and safe supplements for dogs. 


*This product has not been approved by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease