Chewable Vitamins for Dogs

Chewable vitamins offer numerous benefits to dogs of all ages. From bone formation in puppies to antioxidant properties in adults, vitamin supplements fill nutritional gaps many commercial dog foods overlook.

Fat-Soluble vs. Water-Soluble Vitamins

Vitamins are processed in different ways. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored for longer periods in fatty tissue within the body. Vitamins A, D, E and K are on the list of fat-soluble vitamins. Because the body stores them for longer periods, dogs do not need large amounts of them in a daily chewable vitamin.

Water-soluble vitamins are stored for a very short time and must be ingested daily to maintain proper levels. Water-soluble vitamins include C, all of the B vitamins, folic acid and biotin.

These vitamins are essential to body function. Without them, muscles, bones, immunities, skin and hair suffer.

Value of Chewable Vitamins

To understand the value of chewable vitamins, it's important to know exactly how different vitamins are used by the body.

  • Biotin – Biotin is a B vitamin that helps ensure skin health.
  • Folic Acid – Aids the DNA and RNA structure. Vital for pregnant dogs.
  • Vitamin A – Helps with bone growth, immune function and eye and skin health.
  • B Vitamins – Maintains nervous system function, muscle function (including the heart), the formation of red blood cells, metabolism and conversion of food to energy.
  • Vitamin C – Aids white cell formation and fights free radicals within the body.
  • Vitamin D – Helps maintain calcium and phosphorous levels in the body. Vitamin D also helps with bone growth and muscle function.
  • Vitamin E – Helps fight free radicals in the body by protecting the structure of cellular tissue.
  • Vitamin K – Aids with blood clotting.

Nutritional Content of Your Dog's Food

High quality dog foods often contain all the vitamins your dog requires, eliminating the need for chewable vitamins. However, pet owners offering less expensive brands may end up with nutritional gaps. Always read the label of the pet food you're serving.

Dog foods that include real protein rather than byproducts are optimal. Pure meat sources offer numerous vitamins, especially A, B, D and E vitamins and folic acid. Fruits and vegetables are also important and add biotin and vitamins A, C, E and K.

Choosing a Chewable Vitamin for Your Dog

Getting a dog to eat chewable vitamins often poses problems. Unless the vitamin tablet is very tasty, the dog is likely to spit it out. Look for vitamin tablets that are a strong flavor; beef, bacon or lamb flavored vitamins are generally well received.

The vitamins should contain at least eight of the essential vitamins, particularly the water soluble ones. Because these are the vitamins used rapidly by the body, they are the ones that should be replaced most often.

Other Beneficial Minerals to Add to Pet Vitamins

Iron is found naturally in meat, so it's unlikely that your dog is lacking iron. However, if you feed your pet a vegetarian diet, make sure there is enough iron in the food.

Calcium is essential for bone strength and growth. Puppies require calcium for proper growth. If your pet food is lacking a dairy source, such as dried milk powder or bone meal, look for a vitamin supplement that contains calcium.