If you’re like four out of five adults in the U.S. who take vitamins or supplements,1 you may wonder if they’re a good idea for your furry family member as well.
Do dogs actually need to supplement their diets with vitamins and other nutrients? Which vitamins do dogs need? Are you sure your dog is getting all of the necessary nutrients from his diet?
We’ll help answer these questions and more to help you understand your dog’s dietary needs.
- Do Dogs Need Nutrient Supplements?
- Best Multivitamins For Dogs
- Best Vitamins/Supplements For Specific Conditions
- What Essential Vitamins Do Dogs Need?
- Why Does A Homemade Dog Food Diet Need Nutrient Supplements? (Video)
- Consider A Premium Dog Food Delivery Service
If your commercial dog food says it’s complete and balanced, then your dog should be getting all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients he needs from his dog food (unless the vet has outlined special dietary needs). Be sure to check the labels and ingredients to make sure. And to ensure he’s getting the appropriate levels for his age, always give your dog commercial dog food that’s geared toward his life stage — puppy, adult, or senior. He shouldn’t need any nutrient supplements unless your veterinarian recommends it.
However, if your dog is eating mainly homemade dog food or a vegan diet, he may not be getting everything he needs. You should consult your veterinarian to come up with a plan to supplement your dog’s homemade food diet. Your vet may recommend adding certain foods in your recipes or going with a vitamin supplement.
Never give your dog human vitamin supplements. Dogs have very different nutritional needs than humans, and too much of certain vitamins can make dogs very ill. And even if you’re considering giving your dog vitamins specifically formulated for dogs, it’s important to contact your veterinarian to ensure your dog’s getting everything he needs and not overdoing certain vitamins that he may already be getting in his diet.
Here are some of the top-rated multivitamins for puppies and adult and senior dogs that are formulated specifically for dogs.
For Any Age: Zesty Paws Multivitamin Bites
Zesty Paws Multivitamin Bites contain 20 vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that support the skin, coat, joints, heart, digestion, and immune response for dogs of all ages and sizes. They’re free of grains, corn, and soy and have no artificial flavoring or preservatives. They come in chicken, lamb, and peanut butter flavors.
Dog Allergy Testing
If you suspect your dog may have allergies, or want to identify possible environmental, food, or other sensitivities, consider doing an at-home dog allergy test.
This scientific method can help you learn more about your beloved pet and gain a better understanding of their health and how to treat any existing conditions.
For Puppies: NaturVet VitaPet Puppy Daily Vitamins
These VitaPet soft chews are vet-formulated specifically for the needs of growing and active puppies. They contain a full-spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as amino and fatty acids. They’re wheat-free and also have a bonus breath aid to help freshen your pup’s breath.
For Senior Dogs: VetriScience Laboratories Canine Plus Senior Multivitamin
These VetriScience vitamins are vet-formulated for senior dogs to support heart, liver, brain, and eye function and to promote the physical and mental well-being that can be challenging for older dogs to maintain. These vegetable-flavored chews contain vitamins A, D3, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, and C, antioxidants, amino acids, and omega fish oil.
This company is women-owned, and all its products are developed by vets and made in the USA.
If your dog suffers from joint or hip issues, these soft chews could help strengthen his joints and help ease aches and pains. In addition to vitamins and minerals, they contain glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) — all ingredients that are proven effective for hip and joint health. Many dog owners say they see a big difference when they give their pups these chews regularly.
Does your dog suffer from skin, seasonal or environmental allergies? These grain-free soft chews contain immune-boosting EpiCor, a five-strain probiotic for a healthy gut to help combat allergies, apple cider vinegar, and salmon oil for a healthy coat and skin, and colostrum, which helps with allergies, immune function, and digestion.
Dog Allergy Testing
If you are unsure if your dog has allergies or want to find out about unknown allergies, consider an at-home dog allergy test. Through science, you can learn more about your beloved pet, better understand your dog’s health and thus how to treat them.
Giving your dog a daily probiotic can help regulate his digestive system, especially if he’s having problems with diarrhea, an upset stomach, or constipation. Nusentia Probiotic Miracle contains six strains of probiotics to help with these issues and more, including yeast overgrowth, bad breath, itching, and scratching.
If your dog is suffering from age or illness-related vision problems, you may want to consider the Ocu-GLO liquid gelcaps. They were formulated by board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists to contain essential vitamins, minerals, grapeseed extract, omega-3 fatty acids, and lutein for optimal eye support.
Revival Animal Health Breeder’s Edge Oxy Mate prenatal vitamins are fortified vitamins, minerals, and elevated levels of iron, folic acid, and zinc to provide pregnant dogs and their developing embryos with the optimal nutrients for healthy growth. Good for dogs and cats.
Here’s a quick rundown of the essential vitamins all dogs need as well as a refresher for you about which foods contain these vitamins. Keep in mind, this is not an all-inclusive list of all the nutrients dogs need; just the basics.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s important for dogs for normal vision, the immune system, growth, fetal development, and proper organ function. Foods rich in vitamin A that are safe for dogs include carrots, eggs, fish oil, liver (in very small amounts), pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes, and turnip greens.
B vitamins are vital for maintaining good dog health. They have a direct impact on brain function, energy levels, and cell metabolism. Vitamin B complex helps prevent infections and helps support and promote cell health. Foods rich in vitamin B that are safe for dogs include whole grains, beans, some kinds of nuts,* leafy green vegetables, beef, pork, and liver and dairy products in very small amounts.
Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of a dog’s body. It’s also necessary for many body functions, including the immune system, wound healing, the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth, and iron absorption. Foods rich in vitamin C that are safe for dogs include some fruits,* some vegetables,* and organ meats.
Vitamin D helps your dog’s body regulate minerals like calcium and phosphate. These nutrients are needed to keep bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. Foods rich in vitamin D that are safe for dogs include fatty fish, marine fish oil, egg yolks, beef, and liver and dairy products in very small amounts.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for cell function and fat metabolism. If your dog doesn’t get enough vitamin E, he could develop muscle and eye degeneration and reproductive problems. Foods rich in vitamin E that are safe for dogs include leafy green vegetables, some seeds,* wheat germ, whole grains, salmon, and trout.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s vital for normal blood clotting. Foods rich in vitamin K that are safe for dogs include leafy green vegetables, green beans, beef liver, chicken, and pork.
This brief video from a certified dog nutritionist does a fantastic job explaining why your dog very likely may need vitamin and other nutrient supplements if he’s on a homemade dog food diet.
Are you concerned about the quality of your commercial kibble? Or worried that your homemade dog food is nutrient deficient? If so, you have a great alternative by going with a fresh dog food delivery service. These services not only deliver human-grade dog food right to your door, but many also tailor your dog’s food for age, weight, health concerns, and other factors. See our reviews of the best dog food delivery services to find some excellent options.
Are you concerned your dog isn’t getting all the vitamins he or she needs?
Sources:  American Osteopathic Association