The Best Dog Vitamins of 2023

icon May 29, 2023

What are Vitamins?

Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential for the normal functioning of the body. They are required in small amounts and cannot be synthesized by the body in sufficient quantities, so they must be obtained through diet or supplements. Vitamins play a crucial role in various bodily processes, including metabolism, growth, and development, as well as in maintaining the health of the immune system, nervous system, and other organs.

There are two main types of vitamins: fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and water-soluble vitamins (B-complex vitamins and vitamin C). Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body's fatty tissues and liver and can accumulate to toxic levels if consumed in excess. Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are not stored in the body and are excreted through the urine, so they need to be replenished daily.

Fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, are soluble in lipids (fats) and are absorbed through the intestinal tract with the help of dietary fat. These vitamins are stored in the body's fatty tissue and liver and can accumulate to toxic levels if consumed in excess. Fat-soluble vitamins are essential for various bodily functions, including vision, bone health, immune function, and blood clotting.

Water-soluble vitamins, including vitamins B and C, are soluble in water and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, and excess amounts are excreted in the urine. Therefore, it is important to consume these vitamins regularly to avoid deficiency. Water-soluble vitamins are essential for various bodily functions, including energy production, brain function, and immune function.

Types of Vitamins

Liquid Vitamin vs Vitamin Chewable Tablets vs Vitamin Powder

Liquid vitamins: Liquid vitamins are supplements that come in a liquid form, usually in a small bottle with a dropper. Liquid vitamins are absorbed quickly by the body, as they do not need to be broken down before entering the bloodstream. They are often convenient for people who have difficulty swallowing pills or who prefer a more flavorful option.

Vitamin B Complex Solution

Vitamin chewable: Vitamin chewable tablets are a type of dietary supplement that provide essential vitamins and minerals in a convenient, easy-to-digest form. They are designed to be chewed rather than swallowed whole, which makes them easier to take for people who have difficulty swallowing pills. Some vitamin-chewable tablets are also formulated with added nutrients like probiotics, antioxidants, and herbal extracts.

Puainta™ Multivitamin Chews Coat Health Support, 200 counts

Vitamin powders: Vitamin powders are supplements that come in a powder form and can be mixed with water or other liquids to create a drink. They are often easy to digest and are absorbed quickly by the body. Vitamin powders can be a good option for people who do not like the taste of liquid vitamins or who have difficulty swallowing pills.

13 Vitamin

Vitamin A

  • Function: Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in vision, reproduction, and immune function. It also helps maintain the health of the skin and mucous membranes.
  • Deficiency: A deficiency in vitamin A can lead to vision problems, particularly night blindness. It can also weaken the immune system and lead to skin and respiratory infections. It is also common for dogs to experience stagnant growth, loss of appetite, weight loss, and a thinning coat, with further progression to keratinization of the hair follicles and increased dander.
  • Good sources: Vitamin A can be found in animal-based foods such as liver, eggs, and dairy products. It can also be found in plant-based foods, such as orange and yellow fruits and vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin, as well as leafy greens like spinach and kale. 
  • For proper care: For dogs already suffering from vitamin A deficiency, take 2 to 3 ml of cod liver oil or vitamin A orally every day. The main preventive measure is to rationalize your dog's diet and supply sufficient vitamin A-containing foods such as carrots, yellow corn, skimmed milk, eggs, meat, and liver. However, attention should be paid to moderation, too much feeding of foods containing vitamin A can also be harmful.

Vitamin B1

  • Function: Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in converting food into energy. It is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system and for the metabolism of carbohydrates.
  • Deficiency: Loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration, with severe manifestations of polyneuritis, cardiac dysfunction, and convulsions due to spinal hemorrhage, ataxia, paralysis, and collapse.
  • Good sources: Vitamin B1 is found in a variety of foods, including whole grains, fortified cereals, pork, beef, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Other sources include milk, eggs, and green leafy vegetables.
  • For proper care: Intramuscular injection of 5% vitamin B1 20 mL twice a day in dogs already deficient in vitamin B1 is usually cured in 2~3d. To prevent vitamin B1 deficiency, vitamin B1 can be given internally 2 times a day for 14-21 days, or intramuscularly once every 2 weeks.

Vitamin B2

  • Function: Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is an essential water-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in energy metabolism. Riboflavin is also required for the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
  • Deficiency: Vitamin B2 deficiency in dogs is characterized by slow growth, loss of appetite, coarse and disheveled hair, diarrhea, anemia, increased discharge from the corners of the eyes, reduced reproduction and lactation performance, and, in some dogs, stomatitis and scrotal inflammation.
  • Good sources: Vitamin B2 is found in a variety of foods, including milk and dairy products, eggs, meat, fish, and poultry. Plant-based sources include fortified breakfast cereals, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and mushrooms. Cooking, processing, and exposure to light can destroy riboflavin, so it is best to consume these foods as fresh as possible.

Vitamin D

  • Function: Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy bones and teeth by regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body. It also supports immune function, and brain development, and may have a role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
  • Deficiency: Vitamin D deficiency (also known as rickets) is a nutritional bone disease caused by vitamin D deficiency and calcium and phosphorus deficiency or inappropriate ratios during the growth and development of dogs and cats, causing calcium and phosphorus metabolism to malfunction and calcium salts to fail to settle properly. The disease is more common in dogs and cats under one year of age, especially in puppies between 2 and 5 months of age.
  • Good sources: The best source of vitamin D is sunlight, as the body can synthesize it when the skin is exposed to UV rays. However, it can also be obtained from dietary sources such as fatty fish (e.g., salmon, tuna, and mackerel), egg yolks, cheese, and fortified foods such as milk, cereals, and orange juice. Supplementation with vitamin D is also an option, especially for individuals who live in areas with limited sun exposure or have a higher risk of deficiency.
  • For proper care:
  • Strengthen management. Take dogs and cats outdoors and sunbathe frequently. Irradiate with ultraviolet light at home in winter.
    Take vitamin D preparations. Vitamin D3 injection, the exact amount depends on the breed, age and the extent of the disease.
    Strengthen feeding management and take calcium supplements to prevent inappropriate calcium and phosphorus ratios.

Vitamin B3

  • Function: Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, plays a vital role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the body. It also helps to maintain healthy skin, nerves, and digestive systems.
  • Deficiency: A deficiency in vitamin B3 can lead to a condition called pellagra, which is characterized by symptoms such as dermatitis, diarrhea, and dementia.
  • Good sources: Good dietary sources of vitamin B3 include meat, fish, poultry, whole grains, enriched bread and cereals, nuts, and legumes. Additionally, niacin can be synthesized in the body from the amino acid tryptophan, which is found in protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.

Vitamin B5

  • Function: Vitamin B5 plays a crucial role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to produce energy. It is required for the synthesis of various compounds in the body, including hormones, neurotransmitters, and cholesterol. Vitamin B5 is also involved in the formation of red blood cells and helps in maintaining healthy skin and hair.
  • Deficiency: Vitamin B5 deficiency in dogs is mainly characterized by mental disturbance, growth arrest, skin inflammation and easily caused diarrhea. B5 should not be over-supplemented, otherwise, it will be toxic.
  • Good sources: Vitamin B5 is found in a variety of foods, including meat, poultry, fish, whole grains, legumes, and vegetables such as broccoli and avocados.

Vitamin B6

  • Function: Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is an essential water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It is involved in more than 100 enzymatic reactions in the body, including the synthesis of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which are essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system.
  • Deficiency: In dogs with vitamin B6 deficiency, the main manifestations are disturbances in protein metabolism, skin inflammation, dysmotility of the limbs, convulsions, and in severe cases, microcytic anemia and fatty infiltration of the liver.
  • Good sources: Vitamin B6 is found in a variety of foods, including poultry, fish, liver, potatoes, starchy vegetables, non-citrus fruits, nuts, and whole grains. Some of the best sources of vitamin B6 include chickpeas, salmon, tuna, chicken breast, potatoes with skin, bananas, and fortified breakfast cereals.

Vitamin B7

  • Function: Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. It also helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in the body.
  • Deficiency: Biotin deficiency in dogs is manifested by skin inflammation, hair loss, and nerve sensitivity, and in severe cases can cause paralysis of the hind limbs.
  • Good sources: Good dietary sources of vitamin B7 include organ meats, eggs, dairy products, nuts and seeds, salmon, avocado, sweet potato, and mushrooms. Biotin is also synthesized by bacteria in the gut, so a healthy gut microbiome can also contribute to adequate biotin levels. Additionally, some supplements containing biotin are available in the market. However, it is always recommended to consult a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.

Vitamin B9

  • Function: Vitamin B9, also known as folate or folic acid, has several important functions in the body including:
  • Helping to form red blood cells and DNA
  • Supporting fetal development during pregnancy
  • Deficiency: Deficiency of vitamin B9 can lead to a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia, which is characterized by fatigue, weakness, and difficulty concentrating. 
  • Good sources:
  • Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale
    Legumes such as lentils and chickpeas
    Fortified cereals and grains
    Citrus fruits and juices
    Liver and other organ meats (although these should be consumed in moderation due to their high vitamin A content)

Vitamin 12

  • Function: Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, plays a vital role in many bodily processes, including the formation of red blood cells, the maintenance of a healthy nervous system, and the metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids. It is also necessary for the synthesis of DNA, the genetic material in cells.
  • Deficiency: A deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, and neurological changes, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, and difficulty walking. 
  • Good sources: Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. Some fortified cereals, plant-based milk alternatives, and nutritional yeast products may also contain vitamin B12. However, vitamin B12 is not found in plant-based foods, so vegans and vegetarians may need to take supplements or consume fortified foods to ensure they are meeting their vitamin B12 needs.

Vitamin E

  • Function: Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body's cells from damage caused by free radicals. It also supports the immune system, promotes healthy skin and eyes, and may have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Deficiency: Vitamin E deficiency is rare, but it can lead to nerve damage, muscle weakness, and vision problems. 
  • Good sources: Vitamin E can be found in many foods, including vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, leafy green vegetables, fortified cereals, and some fruits. Some of the best sources of vitamin E include almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, avocado, wheat germ oil, and broccoli.

Vitamin K

  • Function: Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in blood clotting, which is the body's way of stopping bleeding when you get injured. It also helps to maintain bone health and may play a role in preventing certain types of cancer.
  • Deficiency: Vitamin K deficiency is rare but can lead to abnormal bleeding and easy bruising. It can also contribute to the development of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones.
  • Good sources: Vitamin K is found in a variety of foods, including leafy green vegetables (such as kale, spinach, and broccoli), vegetable oils (such as soybean and canola oil), and some fruits (such as blueberries and figs). It is also produced by the bacteria in the gut.

What Vitamin is Best for Dogs?

Dogs require various vitamins to maintain their health, and the best vitamin for them depends on their specific needs. However, a well-balanced diet containing all the essential nutrients is usually sufficient to meet their vitamin requirements.

Vitamin deficiencies in dogs are rare if they are fed a complete and balanced diet that includes high-quality protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. However, if your dog has a health condition that requires additional vitamins, your vet may recommend a specific supplement.

It's essential to consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any vitamin supplements as excess amounts of certain vitamins can be harmful to your dog's health. Your vet can also advise you on the appropriate dosage and frequency of administration based on your dog's needs.

Is There a Multivitamin for a Dog?

Yes, these multivitamins can help supplement your dog's diet with essential vitamins and minerals that may be missing from their regular diet. However, before giving your dog any supplements, it's important to consult with your veterinarian to determine if your dog actually needs them and to ensure that the supplements you choose are safe and appropriate for your dog's specific needs. 

Do Dogs Need Vitamin Supplements?

In general, most commercial dog foods are formulated to provide all of the vitamins and minerals that dogs need to stay healthy.

However, dogs that are fed a homemade diet or a diet that is deficient in certain nutrients may require vitamin supplements to ensure that they are getting all of the nutrients they need.

Additionally, certain health conditions or medications may interfere with a dog's ability to absorb or utilize certain vitamins, which may require supplementation. It's important to consult with a veterinarian before starting any vitamin supplements for your dog to ensure that they are safe and appropriate for your pet's individual needs.


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