A dog needs holistic nutrition from their food with ample carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to live a happy and healthy life.
However, it can be tricky to figure out if they’re getting everything they need from their meals. Knowing the signs and symptoms of vitamin deficiencies in dogs and investing in the right supplements can ensure your dog is receiving everything they need to thrive.
The role of vitamins in a balanced diet
The eating habits we set our dogs up for can mean the difference between a long and healthy life and a poor quality of life with frequent rounds to the vet. Vitamins that are tailored to a dog’s individual needs are considered to be a significant aspect of canine nutritional needs at every stage of their life. Vitamins ease the transition from puppyhood to an adult canine companion, all the way to seniority.
They have a plethora of benefits, including but not limited to –
- Fighting diseases
- Increasing energy levels
- Promoting healthy skin and coat
- Strengthening bones and joints
- Boosting immune system
- Increase absorption rate of nutrients from food
- Increasing metabolism
- Improving cognitive functioning and development
What Are The Best Vitamins For Dogs?
Zesty paws 8 in 1 Bites
- Hemp Seed-Enhanced Support for Your Pet – Zesty Paws 8-in-1 Bites are soft chews that contain ingredients that support eight areas of functional canine health to keep your dog feeling zesty.
- Skin Health – Each chicken flavored soft chew features a Skin Health Complex that includes Cod Liver Fish Oil, Biotin, and Vitamin E to help support skin health for your doggy.
Zesty Paws as a brand understands that all pets’ needs are unique. That’s why they offer a variety of different formulas. It’s to make sure your dog is supported no matter how exceptional their needs are. We love Zesty Paws because of its versatility and high-quality ingredients.
Average Customer rating: 4.6/5 stars
- Organic ingredients
- Several products and flavor options
- Multivitamins in one chew
- There have been complaints about the inclusion of palm fruit oil
VetriScience Canine Plus MultiVitamin for Senior Dogs
- SENIOR DOG HEALTH – Canine Plus Senior incorporates over 25 balanced ingredients that are not found in most dog foods or ordinary multivitamin supplements
- VITAL MINERALS – Each vegetable flavored soft chew provides vital minerals that support proper composition of body fluids, bone structure and helps to maintain healthy nerve function and cognitive health
The women-owned VetriScience vitamins are specifically formulated by industry experts for senior dogs. These multivitamins help support heart, liver, brain, and eye function and promote physical and mental well-being that can be challenging for older dogs to maintain.
Average Customer rating: 4.5/5 stars
- The chews are a one-stop shop for all essential vitamins for senior dogs
- The products are formulated by vets
- Have been known to be less effective in pain relief
- The flavor is not very enticing
NaturVet All-in-One dog supplement
- HIGH-QUALITY HEALTH SUPPLEMENT FOR DOGS: Give your pet the nutritional support that provides four different health benefits. All-In-One provides support for hip & joints, skin & coat, digestive enzymes & probiotics, and finally the multi vitamins and minerals essential to overall health and well-being.
- NUTRITIONAL PET SUPPLEMENTS: Ensure that your canine companion receives the nutrients he needs with these All-In-One wheat-free dog supplements. The convenience of four products in one makes supplement time easy for you and enjoyable for your pet.
We love NaturVet for its All-In-One Dog Supplemental benefits. The soft chews offer support for joints, digestion, essential vitamins and minerals, and healthy skin and coats. The products are veterinarian formulated and provide quality nutritional support to help keep an active lifestyle.
Average customer rating: 4.5/5 Stars
- Specifically formulated for the needs of the growing and active puppies
- One stop shop for essential vitamins and minerals, as well as amino and fatty acids
- They contain breath aid to help freshen your dog’s breath
- Complains of vomiting
Vet’s Best Multi-Vitamin Soft Chew
- A HEALTHY FOUNDATION – Vet’s Best Multi-Vitamin Soft Chews (30 count) contribute to your dog’s long-term active and healthy lifestyle by combining 20 synergistic nutrients.
- ONCE-A-DAY – Densely packed with active ingredients providing a high level of bioavailability for optimal absorption, our Multi-Vitamin Soft Chews give you the ease and simplicity of a once-a-day supplement.
These multi-vitamin chews are a simple and delicious way to support your pet’s long-term active and healthy lifestyle at a cost that won’t make a dent in your wallet.
Average customer review: 4.2/5 stars
- provides Antioxidants to help support a healthy immune system
- contains Prebiotics to help digestive health
- pocket friendly
- The chews may be too brittle for them to remain whole in the pack. This may disrupt dosage quantity
PetHonesty 10 in 1 Dog MultiVitamin
- 10 BENEFITS IN 1 DAILY CHEW – Our 10 in1 Multivitamin chews combine a well-rounded blend of essential vitamins and supplements for dogs’ overall daily health including glucosamine, probiotics, vitamins, and omegas. Vitamins A, C, and D3 have antioxidant properties that help improve your dog’s immune system and keep their heart strong and healthy.
- JOINT HEALTH WITH GLUCOSAMINE – These soft chews have high amounts of glucosamine and other joint support ingredients that may help reduce joint inflammation caused by normal activity. These chews may help increase mobility and flexibility in your dog by providing building blocks for synovial fluid, cartilage, and connective tissues.
We absolutely love the PetHonesty chews as it combines a well-rounded blend of the most essential vitamins and supplements for dogs’ overall daily health including glucosamine, probiotics, vitamins, and omegas which have a plethora of health benefits.
Average customer rating: 4.6/5 stars
- Wide variety of healthy, natural treats and supplements
- A majority of positive reviews for effective products and customer support
- Competitive pricing for a high-quality product
- Some customers have complained of allergies
Pro-sense Vitamin solutions
- MULTIVITAMIN FOR DOGS: Formulated with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support overall canine wellness.
- FOR ALL LIFE STAGES: Appropriate for all puppies, adult and senior dogs.
Pro-Sense multivitamins offer a variety of proactive, sensible solutions for all of your pet’s healthcare and wellness needs. It is suitable for dogs of all life stages.
Average customer review: 4.6/5 Stars
- Provides Beneficial Antioxidants
- Appropriate for All Life Stages
- Helps Support Overall Wellness
- Suitable for Everyday Use
- Value for money
- Customer complains about diarrhea, vomiting and inflammation
Open Farm Immune chews Dog vitamins
- IMMUNE: From seasonal changes to everyday support, our Immune chews were made using 100% traceable and vet-approved ingredients formulated to help promote healthy skin and support healthy immune functions.
- BENEFITS: These delicious soft chews provide support for seasonal allergies, help keep a healthy immune function for your pup, and supports a stable microflora.
The open farm multivitamins cater to a variety of dog needs including immunity boost, skin and coat health, probiotic health, etc. Their jars are also 100% recyclable, making it highly sustainable. We love it for its versatility, sustainability and high-quality ingredients
Average customer reviews: 4.8 /5 stars
- Provides support for seasonal allergies
- Ethically sourced
- 100% recyclable
- Traceable ingredients
- On the pricier side
- May not be the best for pain relief
VetIQ Health and Wellness Supplements
- Formulated to help support Active Brain Function, Strong Immune System, and Healthy Digestive System
- Veterinarian Recommended
The VetIq multivitamin chews are versatile chews that effectively support the health and well-being of dogs.
Average Customer Review: 4.2/5 stars
- Formulated to help support Active Brain Function, a Strong Immune System, and Healthy Digestive System
- Made with wholesome nutrients
- Value for money
- There have been complains that the texture of the chews is hard and brittle
Mushroom Matrix Turkey Tail
- Mushroom Matrix Canine Organic Turkey Tail Mushroom Powder Support Supplement for Dogs: Contains one 200 gram container of organic Turkey Tail mushroom powder created for dogs’ holistic health and immune support (200 servings for a 25 lb pet or 100 servings for a pet weighing 50 lbs. or more)
- Holistic, Natural Support: Turkey Tail Immune Support mushroom powder summplement is designed to provide holistic, natural support for your pet’s immune system and well-being
We recommend this product because of the unique ingredients used in it. This is one of the rare products that uses mushroom powder as a primary ingredient.
Average customer review: 4.6/5 Stars
- Formulated by canine nutrition experts
- They contain a ton of superior-quality nutritional ingredients including beta-glucans, antioxidants, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, etc
- Safe for every stage of a dog’s life
- They’re unflavored, which may make them less enticing
- Mushrooms may or may not suit all dogs
Natural Dog Company
- Effective Dog Skin & Coat Supplement: Natural Dog Company Skin & Coat Supplement Chews support your dog’s health from the inside out with our nutrient dense formula rich in premium fish oil for dogs.
- Healthy Skin & Shiny Coat : Our salmon oil chew for dogs skin and coat provides nutritional support for soft, shiny & healthy coats and skin through essential vitamins and fatty acids.
We love recommending this product because of its all-natural and no synthetic ingredients. They provide solutions to a variety of canine concerns, including but not limited to skin allergies, immunity issues, hot spots, achy joints and much more
Average customer review: 4.5/5 stars
- Natural ingredients that are rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and essential fatty acids
- Vet formulated for all life stages
- Delicious flavors
- Provides all-round health benefits
- The scent of the product is known to be strong and unappealing to several dogs
Signs of vitamin deficiency in dogs
The three main causes of vitamin deficiency could include lack of food, lack of nutritional ingredients in food and digestive diseases that may prevent the absorption of these nutrients.
The most obvious signs of vitamin deficiency include –
- Changes in bowel movement: color, consistency, content, and coating
- Skin and coat changes, including but not limited to hair loss, skin disease, and infection
- Behavioral changes like lethargy, depression, etc
- Lack of energy
Some other signs could include –
- Loss of appetite
- Discoloration of tongue
- Blood clotting problems
- Changes in body temperature
- Neurological problems
- Difficulty in reproduction
Diagnostics for a dog that is experiencing the symptoms of poor nutrition and deficiencies start with a physical examination including standard tests such as a urinalysis, a biochemical profile, and a complete blood count. A fecal float can help uncover the presence of any parasites residing in the dog’s body. Skin samples may be examined microscopically if the skin has been affected by malnutrition and deficiency.
How to choose the best vitamin for your dog
Once you have figured out your dog’s nutritional and supplemental needs in terms of vitamins, the last and most important thing to do is pick out a vitamin that suits your dog’s needs. Remember the following pointers while purchasing your dog’s vitamins and supplements-
- Keep it simple. Avoid getting too many vitamins and supplements that may disrupt and confuse your dog’s system
- A stamp of approval from NASC (National Animal Supplement Council)
- Consult your vet to ensure that your dog is getting the appropriate vitamins and minerals as per their nutritional needs
- Check for brand, history, recalls, and controversies
- Read and understand the ingredients of the product and make sure your dog is not allergic to any of them
What essential vitamins do dogs need?
There are essentially 2 types of vitamins every dog needs: Water soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins
Water-soluble vitamins, as the name suggests, dissolve in water. They’re constantly being flushed out of the body, hence, regular top-ups are needed.
Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins that are found in animal fat. A dog’s body absorbs them through their intestine and stores them for later use.
|WATER SOLUBLE VITAMINS|
|Vitamin B1: Thiamine||Strengthens immune response Important to break down carbohydrates|
|Vitamin B2: Riboflavin||Promotes eye health Important for blood cell production|
|Vitamin B3: Niacin||Improves metabolism Catalyst for hormone productions|
|Vitamin B5: Pantothenic acid||Necessary for protein absorption and fatty acids|
|Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine||Regulates sodium and potassium levels in the body Improves cognitive function|
|Vitamin B7: Biotin||Important for healthy skin|
|Vitamin B9: Folic acid||Essential for DNA synthesis|
|Vitamin B12: Cobalamin||Better nerve function|
|Vitamin C||Important antioxidant Reduces inflammation|
|Vitamin A||Healthy eyes Important for the healthy functioning of organs and the immune system|
|Vitamin D||Balances minerals and phosphorus|
|Vitamin E||defenses against oxidative damage|
|Vitamin K||Activates blood’s ability to clot|
How much vitamins do dogs need?
The nutritional and supplemental needs of a dog vary depending on the stage of life they are in and deficiencies if any.
If your dog is consuming well-balanced and nutritious dog food that is sourced from high-quality, organic ingredients, vitamin supplements may not be necessary as their meals contain the right proportion of vitamins and minerals. In such cases, supplements could do more harm than good.
A quick blood test would help you find out if there are any deficiencies in your dog and if they need additional vitamins and supplements. Your vet and/ or dog nutritionist will be able to give you accurate information.
With just one single tab, your pooch will be able to get their daily dose of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and powerful antioxidants.