5 Best Vitamins and Supplements for Dogs

Jenna Matisz

Take one step inside a pet store and you’ll see a huge variety of vitamins and supplements marketed to better your dog’s health. But how do you choose? Lucky for you, we’ve made it easy. Below are the top 5 vitamins and supplements for dogs.

But first and foremost, you need to determine whether vitamins and supplements are appropriate for your dog. As with everything, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing – and the same applies to your pup! Be extra cautious when giving your dog vitamins and supplements and ensure that you’re consulting with your trusted veterinarian first.

1. Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) have a laundry list of benefits for dogs, including preventing inflammation from arthritis and allergies, supporting the heart and nervous system, and giving a nice boost to the immune system. On top of all of that, they reduce itching and provide your dog with a beautiful, healthy coat that shines.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are particularly important supplements to a dog’s diet because they are both difficult to find in a natural diet and often don’t survive well in commercial foods because they are exposed to heat, light and air.

Quick tip: Be sure to store your fish oil in the refrigerator so that it doesn’t go rancid. If you notice the oil smells a bit off, it’s best to toss it than risk you dog getting sick (or just disgusted by the smell!).

How much Omega-3 does my dog need?

The recommended dosage is 100-150mg of fish oil for every 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight. If your dog experiences health problems, up his dosage to 300mg per 10 pounds of body weight. Be mindful of the fact that many fish oil products recommend a much higher dosage, which can add unnecessary fat and calories to your dog’s diet along with possible inflammation.

Where can I find Omega-3 for my dog?

This supplement can be found primarily in fish oil, which is readily available in capsule-form in most pet stores and online.

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2. Vitamins A & E

Vitamin A has been shown to enhance the immune system by protecting against colds and infections. On top of that, it’s great for eye and skin health and helps with the proper formation of bones and teeth. Vitamin E is essential for preventing and healing diseases, promoting fertility, preventing cataracts and protecting from pollutants and cancer. As an added bonus, both of these vitamins prevent the aging process because of their high dose of antioxidants.

How much Vitamins A and E does my dog need?

A healthy daily dosage of Vitamin A for dogs is 50 IUs per pound of body weight. As for Vitamin E, healthy dogs will benefit from 1-2 IUs per pound of body weight while dogs with health problems can up their daily dosage to between 3-7 IUs per pound of body weight.

Where can I find Vitamins A and E for my dog?

Vitamin E can be found in capsule or topical oil form, while Vitamin A is most commonly found in chewable tablets. These two vitamins can also be found in natural sources such as chicken, pork, egg, fish, tuna, and green leafy vegetables.

 3. Probiotics

Probiotics are the bacteria that live in the intestines and work to control yeast and help with digestion. These important bacteria can be lacking when your pup has diarrhea and whenever antibiotics are given. They have been shown to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria including E.coli and salmonella and even reduce allergic reactions.

Quick tip: Most probiotics require refrigeration to stay fresh and beneficial, so make room!

How many probiotics does my dog need?

Little research has been done to determine the most effective dose of probiotics for dogs but since they are living organisms, precise dosages are not particularly important. A common daily dosage for a 50 pound dog is 1 billion live organisms. Don’t forget: if probiotics being used to aid digestion, they should be taken with meals.

Where can I find probiotics for my dog?

Your dog can healthily consume probiotic products made especially for dogs as well as human-grade products that can be found in health stores or online.

4. Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Glucosamine and chondroitin have long been praised for their ability to heal joint problems, stomach ailments and skin wounds in dogs. They help promote the necessary repair of existing cartilage and the building of new cartilage– something that is often lacking in aging dogs who are experiencing hip dysplasia, spinal disk issues and osteoarthritis. These two supplements are essential for keeping your pup moving!

How much glucosamine and chondroitin does my dog need?

Most veterinarians recommend providing your dog with approximately 500mg of glucosamine and chondroitin per 25 pounds of body weight daily.

Where can I find glucosamine and chondroitin for my dog?

Glucosamine and chondroitin can be found in many different forms including liquid, powder and chewable tablets that are easily found in most pet stores and online.

dog walk

5. Vitamin C

Otherwise known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a powerhouse vitamin for dogs. Just as in humans, Vitamin C helps boost the immune system and fight off illnesses, leaving your pup free of sniffles. It helps the body process calcium and iron, which are essential in the formation and maintenance of your pup’s bones and tissues. It’s also been proven to help prevent cancer and assist in cleaning toxins from the blood and tissues. Last but not least, this vitamin has been shown to create anti-stress hormones (not that your pup has a ton to worry about, I’m sure).

How much Vitamin C does my dog need?

Puppies and small dogs typically benefit from 250mg of Vitamin C daily  medium dogs do well with 500mg, while large dogs can take up to 750mg.

Where can I find Vitamin C for my dog?

Lucky for your dog, Vitamin C is often formulated in treat form! But if you’re going the natural route, Vitamin C can be found in apples, sweet potatoes, liver, kidney, heart, fish, cayenne, peppermint, and green beans.

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