Dog Vitamins for Skin Health

Dog vitamins can help maintain your pet’s good health, and some of them are especially useful in maintaining healthy skin and a shiny coat. Let’s look at some common canine vitamins that help maintain your dog’s outward good looks.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins: A, D and E

Vitamins are divided into two main groups: the fat-soluble vitamins and the water-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in a dog’s body, while water-soluble vitamins need to be replaced daily. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E, two of which—A and E—play roles in maintaining your dog’s skin and coat in tiptop shape.

Vitamin A helps prevent night blindness, regulate growth, maintain a healthy immune system. It helps a dog’s skin and coat stay healthy, and it protects his eyesight. Dietary sources of vitamin A include:

  • liver
  • fish liver oil
  • dairy products

Vitamin E helps maintain your dog’s muscles, heart, liver, nerves and reproductive system. Its antioxidant properties help reduce inflammation and soothe irritated skin. Dietary sources include eggs and vegetable oils.

As their name suggests, fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in fatty tissues in your dog’s body. Vitamin A can be stored in your dog’s liver, while vitamin E is stored in his fat cells.

Water-Soluble Vitamins: B-Complex and C

The B-complex vitamins provide support for healthy skin and coat, as well as helping to maintain a dog’s:

  • muscles
  • heart
  • nervous system
  • digestive system
  • vision

One of the most important of the B-complex vitamins is biotin, which is vital to canine skin and coat health. Many of the B-complex vitamins are found in meat and poultry, and biotin is found in beef liver.

Vitamin C helps boost a dog’s immune system, and its antioxidant properties help soothe inflamed or irritated skin. Unlike people, dogs don’t require supplemental vitamin C; their bodies naturally produce the amount they require to maintain good health.

Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins are not stored in a dog’s body fat. Once your dog’s body has an adequate supply of the necessary vitamins, the rest are flushed away and excreted.

Other Coat-Healthy Supplements

In addition to the vitamins listed above, your dog’s skin and coat may also benefit from the addition of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements, which are derived from fish oil and help maintain your dog’s healthy skin or rebuild damaged skin.

How to Give Vitamins to Your Dog

In addition to feeding a balanced diet that contains optimal amounts of all the nutrients your dog needs to maintain his health, you may need to provide vitamin supplements on occasion. Dogs that have recently been ill or those that are under stress (such as working dogs or nursing mothers) may require additional vitamin supplements.

Discuss whether vitamin supplements are right for your pet with your veterinarian before beginning to supplement your dog’s diet with additional vitamins because providing too high a dose of vitamins can be just as harmful to your pet as providing a low dose of these important nutrients.

Vitamin supplements, as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements, can be given in pill form, or they can be poured over your dog’s diet in a liquid form.