Why Do Dogs Need Vitamins?


Jack Russell Terrier dog eating a dog vitamin out of owner's hand

Welcome, fellow dog lovers, as we embark on a journey to answer one simple question: do dogs need vitamins? Our furry companions bring us endless joy and companionship, and it's only natural that we want the best for them. 

In an effort to support our pet’s best health, we’re diving into the world of dog vitamin supplements and the features, advantages, and benefits that help them contribute to the overall well-being of our canine friends.

Why do dogs need vitamins?

Curious about the benefits of a multivitamin for dogs? Or maybe your dog’s vitamin supplement contains specific vitamins and you’re not sure how they’re benefitting your dog, if at all. 

If your dog is eating a well-balanced diet that includes nutrient-dense ingredients, they probably get many of the essential vitamins for dogs in the food they eat. But if you don’t think their daily diet is cutting it, adding a supplement might be a good idea.

Features: power packed in a little package

Imagine a tiny treat packed with a mighty punch of essential nutrients. That's what dog vitamin supplements are all about! These specially formulated chews provide a comprehensive blend of vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients designed specifically for our furry friends. 

From vitamin A, which supports healthy vision, to vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption for strong bones, supplements can offer a convenient and effective way to ensure your dog gets the nutrients they need.

Advantages: bridging the nutritional gap

We all strive to provide a well-rounded diet for our dogs, but sometimes, it's challenging to meet all their nutritional needs. That's where supplements and dog multivitamins for dogs come in! These dietary sidekicks act as a safety net, filling in the gaps and ensuring that your dog's diet is complete. Whether your pup has specific dietary restrictions or simply needs an extra boost, dog vitamin supplements can help support their overall health and vitality.

Benefits of vitamins for dogs: unleashing well-being

Let’s unpack the big benefits that dog vitamin supplements bring to the table. When your dog gets the essential vitamins they need on a regular basis, it can feel like unlocking a world of well-being for your four-legged companion. 

Improved immune function helps keep pesky illnesses at bay, ensuring your furry friend can enjoy life to the fullest. Strong bones and joints mean they can run, jump, and play with renewed energy. A luscious coat that's soft to the touch becomes a source of envy among their canine peers. And let's not forget about cognitive function—a sharp and alert mind means they can learn new tricks and commands with ease. 

In a nutshell, dog vitamin supplements contribute to a healthier, happier, and more vibrant life for your furry friend.

Small circular icon with silhouette of a sitting dog


Vitamins don't give dogs energy directly. Instead, they convert energy from the food your dog eats into a form their body can use to play all day!

A beginner’s guide to dog vitamin supplements

Now that we've dipped our paws into the benefits of dog vitamin supplements for dogs, it’s time to navigate the intricacies of canine nutrition and offer tips for choosing the best multivitamin for dogs. 

Vitamin A

Using vitamin A for dogs can help support vision health, promote a strong immune system, and contribute to healthy skin and coat in dogs.

Vitamin B

B vitamins–such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and B12–play a vital role in energy metabolism, nerve function, and maintaining healthy digestion. They also promote a healthy coat and support brain health in dogs.

Vitamin C

As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps boost the immune system and protects cells from damage. It also aids in collagen production and supports joint health in dogs. 

​​Unlike humans, dogs can actually make their own vitamin C! So, it’s not an essential nutrient for them––but as natural vitamin C production reduces with age, it’s good to provide your dog with a vitamin C supplement.  

Vitamin D

This vitamin is essential for calcium absorption, promoting strong bones and teeth in dogs. It also plays a role in regulating the immune system and supporting muscle function.

Vitamin E

As an antioxidant, vitamin E helps protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. It promotes healthy skin and coat, supports the immune system, and aids in cell function in dogs.

Vitamin K

This vitamin is crucial for blood clotting and bone health in dogs. Vitamin K helps in the synthesis of certain proteins involved in these processes.


Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, is beneficial for healthy skin, coat, and nails in dogs. It supports metabolic function and contributes to overall vitality.


Choline is essential for brain development and function, as well as liver health in dogs. It aids in the transportation of fats and supports cellular structure.


Niacin, or vitamin B3, plays a role in energy metabolism and helps maintain a healthy nervous system in dogs. It also supports the health of the skin and digestive system.


Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is important for energy production and supports healthy vision, skin, and coat in dogs. It also contributes to the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Remember, while these vitamins are beneficial for dogs, it's essential to consult with a veterinarian to determine the specific needs of your furry friend and ensure appropriate dosage.

Some vitamins are water soluble, which means they’re stored in a dog’s body and then excreted through urine and feces. On the other hand, fat soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and other tissues. Generally, vets recommend avoiding feeding your dog too many fat soluble vitamins to prevent potential toxic effects from accumulating in the body.

Dog sitting happily in a dog health food store

How to choose the right vitamin for your dog

When it comes to providing the best care for your furry friend, choosing the right dog vitamin is crucial. With a myriad of options available, it can be overwhelming to determine which supplement will meet your dog's specific needs. To help you navigate this important decision, we've compiled a handy guide on how to choose the right vitamin for your dog.

Consult your veterinarian

If you're unsure about introducing new supplement into your dog's diet, your veterinarian can help! They can assess your dog's individual health needs and provide valuable insights on the appropriate vitamins.

Consider your dog's age and life stage

Dogs have varying nutritional requirements depending on their age and life stage. Puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs have different needs. Ensure the vitamin you choose is suitable for your dog's specific stage of life.

Identify specific health needs

Does your dog have any specific health concerns, such as joint issues, skin allergies, or immune system challenges? Look for vitamins that target those areas of concern, such as joint support or skin and coat health.

Quality and safety

Opt for vitamins that are manufactured by reputable companies and adhere to stringent quality standards. Look for certifications from regulatory bodies like the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) to ensure the supplement is safe for your dog to consume.

Read the label

Carefully read the label of the vitamin supplement. Look for a comprehensive list of ingredients and ensure it contains the specific vitamins your dog requires. Avoid supplements that contain unnecessary fillers, or artificial additives like artificial colors and flavors, chemical preservatives, and more.

Consider form and administration

Some dogs may prefer chewable supplements, while others may find it easier to consume liquid or powdered vitamins. Choose a supplement that your dog is comfortable with and that suits their preferences.

Dosing and feeding instructions 

Pay attention to the recommended dosage and feeding instructions provided by the manufacturer on the product label. Follow these guidelines to ensure your dog receives the appropriate amount of vitamins without exceeding safe limits. If you’re unsure about your dog’s specific dosage needs, ask your veterinarian to help develop a dosage strategy for your dog.

Monitor your dog's response

After introducing a new vitamin, observe your dog for any changes in behavior, digestion, or overall well-being. If you notice any adverse effects, discontinue use and consult your veterinarian.

When starting a new vitamin supplement, it's best to begin with smaller doses. You can work up to the recommended dose over a few days, or as recommended by your veterinarian, to reduce the risk of any potential side effects.

By following these guidelines, you can confidently choose the right vitamin for your dog. Remember, every dog is unique, so what works for one may not work for another. Prioritize your dog's individual needs, seek professional advice, and make informed choices to support their overall health and vitality.


  1. Arthritis Management and Prevention – James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Colorado State University

This blog exists to provide general information and education about veterinary health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this blog, website, or in any linked materials is not intended as and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We cannot diagnose conditions, provide second opinions, or make specific treatment recommendations through this blog or website.

If you suspect that your pet has a medical concern, you should consult with your veterinary health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website, or in any linked materials.

Join the Pack!

Sign up for exclusive deals, curated pet tips from veterinarians, and product launches!

Pet Parents are Also Reading... 

Dog sitting beside a basket of edible mushrooms

June, 2023

Related Articles

Golden Retriever senior dog laying calmly in the grass on a sunny day

Exercising Senior Dogs: 9 Tips for Keeping Older Dogs Healthy

May, 2023

Image of veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney holding a terrier dog and smiling


Dr. Patrick Mahaney works as a concierge-style veterinarian and has a number of celebrity clients through his house-call practice, California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness. He loves building personal, long-term relationships with his clients to best suit their pets’ needs within the comfortable confines of their homes.

To spread his message of holistic veterinary medicine on a large-scale basis, Dr. Mahaney attained a Certified Veterinary Journalist certificate and enjoys contributing to pet-related media projects. He is also a certified veterinary acupuncturist.

Follow Vetnique

Follow us on social for pet tips from vets, new product launches, and giveaways! 

Follow Vetnqiue on Facebook
Follow Vetnique on Instagram
Follow Vetnique on TikTok
Follow Vetnique on Pinterest