Recommended Vitamins for Dogs

Just as with humans, there is no substitute for a healthy, well-rounded diet, but if you're worried your dog may need more nutrients, there are vitamins for dogs that can improve their health.


If your dog eats a high-quality kibble or home-cooked diet, there is no need for a multivitamin supplement. A healthy diet includes a food high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Check your pet food label before starting a vitamin regimen. The first three ingredients should be protein, and there should be no corn, wheat, preservatives or dyes. Check which vitamins are included in the food. Those do not need to be added to the diet.

If you would like to add a multivitamin capsule to your dog's diet, give only one daily. Some veterinarians believe that overdosing your dog on vitamins can cause long-term liver or kidney damage, so be sure to give the proper dosage.

If you are going to give vitamin B, which is important for maintaining a positive environment for neural regeneration, give B complex, the balanced form of B supplementation. Dogs can receive B complex twice daily.


Vitamin E is an important nutrient for your pet because it serves as a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and fat oxidation reducer. It also increases the production of good cholesterol. Especially if your dog is suffering from an illness, injury or stress, vitamin E is a great addition to a healthy diet. There are no known side effects if given at appropriate levels for your dog's size.

Unlike humans, dogs produce their own vitamin C, so there is some controversy surrounding the addition of vitamin C to your dog's diet. Studies have shown that overuse that can lead to long-term health problems, but many veterinarians recommend it, especially if your dog is recovering from an illness or injury or is dealing with stress in his environment. Vitamin C works with vitamin E to serve as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Beta carotene is also an important antioxidant, which is shown to protect against certain types of cancer. Beta carotene can easily be added to a dog's home-cooked diet with the addition of fresh vegetables. If your dog does not receive fresh vegetables, an addition of beta carotene could help his overall health.

Other Supplements

Dogs need their omega-3 fatty acids, just as we do. These can be added to your dogs diet through salmon oil, flax seed oil or fish oil capsules that are available at all health food stores and most grocery stores. Some are more high quality than others so do your research before purchase. A low quality fish oil may contain excess mercury, with which dog's bodies aren't equipped to handle.

Omega-3 fatty acids are especially important if your dog is suffering from arthritis, autoimmune disorder or joint problems such as hip dysplasia because they serve as an effective anti-inflammatory. One capsule a day or the equivalent is sufficient.

If your dog is fed a healthy diet, vitamins usually aren't necessary. However, the vitamins mentioned don't have negative side effects, so adding them to your dog's diet won't cause any harm and may even improve their quality of life.