Dog Vitamins Examined

Dog vitamins can be found in many pet stores. Vitamins are a group of substances that are organic and found in small amounts in a dog’s food. They are essential to a dog’s overall well-being.

Fat Soluble Vitamins

Vitamins A, D, E and K are known as fat soluble vitamins: they are stored in lipocytes (fatty cells).

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is found in liver, vegetables and dairy. It is important for a dog’s vision, growth, hair and skin. Puppies need a lot of Vitamin A, which they receive from their mother’s milk. However, too much Vitamin A can cause toxicity in a dog, as the excess that cannot be stored in the lipocytes will flow throughout the blood stream.

Vitamin D

Found easily and naturally from the sun, Vitamin D is one of the easiest vitamins for a dog to acquire. The dog’s skin helps convert the sun’s rays into the vitamin, but it can also be found in dairy products and fish liver oil. Vitamin D plays an important role in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in a dog’s body. This vitamin is also important in the formation and control of muscles and nerve functions.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is often found in safflower, wheat germ, meat, liver, leafy vegetables, oils and nuts. This vitamin helps regulate the formation and respiration of cells. It helps metabolize fats, and Vitamin E serves as an antioxidant that will help rid a dog’s body of free radicals and oxidation.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is found naturally in kelp, egg yolks and alfalfa sprouts, and it's essential for blood clotting in a dog’s body. Vitamin K can help treat a dog that has been made ill by a rodent poison. These poisons are typically formulated to make a rodent bleed to death internally, so the blood-clotting properties of Vitamin K can help save a dog’s life when administered with the proper emergency procedures. This vitamin can be found three different forms: K1, K3 and K12. Vitamin K3 is the form most often found in dog supplements.

Water Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin C and the B-vitamin complex make up the water soluble vitamins. These vitamins are not stored within a dog’s body in large quantities, since the tissues don't have any cells in which to keep them. Excesses of Vitamins C or B are eliminated from a dog’s body via his urine.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has been associated with the prevention of hip dysplasia in dogs and treatment of urinary tract infections. This vitamin can be found in vegetables and fruits. Vitamin C also aids in a dog’s bone growth and mineralization, the treatment of scurvy and the prevention of bladder stones.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B exists in many different forms and helps the enzymes within a dog work well, aids in the development of muscles, the health of a dog’s coat and skin, the processing of foods and the production of amino acids. Found in meats, fruits, vegetables and dairy products, B vitamins also help a dog’s body produce the red blood cells needed for bone marrow, and helps retain a healthy number of white blood cells.

The vitamins a dog needs to be healthy are easily found in the foods he typically enjoys, and further supplementation is not necessary unless directed by a veterinarian.