Vitamins & Supplements

For Dogs

                                                                                                                    Doglicious Says:                                                                                                                        "I get the best food to eat but may still need that extra advantage of having some dog vitamins and dog supplements to keep me healthy and strong"


Are Dog Supplements Really Necessary if you are feeding premium quality dog food?

  The answer is YES! This is because your dog's health in under constant attack.

 Some of those common attackers are...

Environmental Toxins - like herbicides and pesticides. There are thousands of 'un-natural' pollutants and toxins affecting our dogs, in our air like SMOG, in the grass and soil like as herbicides and insecticides, and in even the plastic container that your dog may eat or drink out of.

Vaccines- affect your dog's immune system. Although they play a role in preventing disease, Vaccines have been OVERUSED...too many vaccines have been given too often. The results have been to trigger immune related diseases- hemolytic anemia, auto immune joint disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer.

Commercial Dry Dog Food- even the "best" commercial dry food is a long way from a nutritious, fresh meat, vegetable and carbohydrate, home cooked diet. Vital nutrients are destroyed while creating the kibble - especially essential vitamins and minerals. All of a dog's nutrition can NOT come in a bag- regardless of the claims of the manufacturer, or how attractive their glossy brochures and TV commercials are...

The Number 1 killer of dogs: Cancer. A horrifying statistic is that over half of the dogs in North America will die of Cancer. Experts agree the key to Cancer Prevention is through nutrition and especially through supplements, such as the essential fatty acids found in Flax.

Anything you can do to assist in boosting your dog's immune system, and potentially preventing cancer is vital to his or her health, vitality and vitality.

Is there a dog Health CRISIS?  Veterinarians are seeing more and more serious chronic dog health disorders- from allergies, to arthritis, to cancer. They are also seeing some pretty remarkable results in treating these diseases with nutritional supplements.                                                               

Even so, the best treatment is prevention..It's far better to prevent these diseases, than to ever have to treat them.And the single best way to prevent these diseases affecting your dog? Nutrition in the form of a quality holistic diet, including a quality, natural supplement.

                The Importance of Vitamins & Supplements for your Dog

There is so much confusion, and so many questions around dog supplements, and so we hope to answer as many questions as possible about this complicated subject.

In other sections of this website and in videos ie: Bad Food and Dog Food Recalls we pointed out the potential dangers that "off the shelf" dog food poses to our best friends. Even if you prepare home cooked food, there's no guarantee it will include everything your dog needs to be in optimal health.

And just as with commercial pet food...a great many over-the-counter dog supplements and vitamins simply don't contain all of the ingredients and additives your dog needs.

Most lack sufficient amounts of the essential vitamins and minerals... or leave out some of the important nutrients altogether... especially those that are more expensive and difficult to produce.

Unfortunately some of these costly ingredients are the most important.

Your dog relies solely on you for all its health and nutrition needs. Many of you dog persons out there may not be aware that you can give your dog vitamins, minerals and supplements the same way we humans take them. There is research that shows vitamins and supplements play an important role in maintaining health and vitality. More than half of all Americans use vitamins and supplements, from everyday multivitamins to exotic Chinese herbs.

In a perfect world, your dog is eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet. This involves time and effort to carefully plan each meal and make sure our dogs have just the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, oils, and vitamins. Because each dog is an individual, the same way we are, his or her exact requirements are almost impossible to measure. For many of us, it’s hard enough to keep up with our own nutritional needs, let alone those of our beloved dogs!
The best source of vitamins for dogs is always fresh home-cooked meals. They are by far the tastiest and healthiest for your dog, but essential micro-nutrients may not always be present or could be damaged or destroyed during the cooking process.                                                                                                                                                        If your dog has mild dietary deficiencies they may not be noticed for some time. Supplementing your dog’s diet with vitamins and minerals will give you the confidence that he or she will get the vital nutrients he or she needs in order to have healthy, happy and vitally long life.

Some of the commercial dog food manufacturers have researched and created "totally balanced" diets that are excellent, but not necessarily natural. The recent pet food contamination recall has given us very good reason to lose confidence in commercial pet food manufacturers. Research of both dog and human nutrition has shown that vitamins and minerals when given beyond the minimum daily requirements can be very beneficial. For example, Vitamins E and C are excellent antioxidants.

Also, research has identified certain supplements that provide an extra boost to optimum health and aid in managing various diseases, in conjunction with traditional veterinary therapies.

But it’s important to know that all vitamins and supplements for dogs are not pet food, many of the over-the-counter dog supplements and vitamins don't include all of the ingredients and additives your dog needs. Many lack sufficient amounts of the essential vitamins and minerals...or leave out important nutrients altogether...especially those that are more expensive and difficult to produce.

Unfortunately some of these costly ingredients are the most important...and so if you, as a loving dog owner want to guarantee that your dog receives the optimal nutrition they need every single day,  be sure they get the extra advantage of the most essential supplements.

 Vitamins Minerals and Supplements For Your Dog

We believe that vitamins can change the quality of your dog's life for the better. They coordinate the body's life processes, protect it from environmental toxins and break down nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats  so the body can utilize them.

Below are some of the special advantages of vitamins for dogs:

1) Vitamins, along with minerals and enzymes work for digestion, muscle and bone plan to give your dog any human vitamins...see below for an example

3) Vitamins are needed for thousands and thousands of different chemical reflex actions in the body.

4) Vitamins frequently work together with minerals and enzymes to ensure normal digestion, muscle and bone growth   and function, healthy skin and hair, clotting of blood, reproduction and the efficient utilization of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates by the body.

5) A dog's unique group of nutritional needs has been passed down from previous generations, the same way each breed’s coat, body size and temperament have been inherited.

It's true that we cannot change the genetic makeup of the dogs we are feeding just by exposing them to a different diet for a small amount of time. Dog owners should try to feed foods that contain nutrient sources similar to those found in the environment of the dog's ancestors with the proper balance of protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that coincide with a dog's specific nutritional requirements.

Over 170 different molecular forms of the mineral "calcium exist and the amount that one breed can easily assimilate may be difficult for a different breed to assimilate. So, the other breed may develop kidney stones on the best source of calcium for the first breed...the reverse of this is also true.

Balance and quantities are not listed because each individual dog can have different requirements depending on: sex of the dog; age (a puppy will have different needs than an adolescent, who even though it may be the same size as an adult will have different requirements than an adult); activity level (if a dog is very active the dog will need more of the B complex than a non active dog of the same breed); stress levels; medical conditions; and other dietary factors (i.e. does the water supply contain high amounts of minerals). There are many factors to consider when deciding on the proper amount of each nutrient in an individual dog’s diet.

You may have already tried one or more dog vitamin supplements and not seen any beneficial results. Please understand, the benefits of vitamin supplements is they support and encourage an overall healthy system, so any visible results may be quite gradual.

The following is some general information on a variety of vitamins, minerals and supplements. However, you may want to consider supplementing your commercial diet with fresh food rather than, or in addition to, vitamin supplements. See our Homemade Dog Food And Recipes section on information about adding fresh foods to a commercial diet.

Fish Oil or Salmon Oil: is an important source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3 EFAs are beneficial to the immune system, the nervous system, the heart, and help stop inflammation, such as in arthritis and allergies. They also support brain development of puppies and fetuses. This is probably the most important supplement to give, no matter what you feed, as Omega-3 EFAs are hard to find even in a natural diet, and are highly perishable when exposed to heat, light or air, so they do not survive in commercial foods even if added. Omega-3 EFAs are found in fish body oil, not liver oil.

They are also found in flax seed oil, although that form is not as well utilized and some dogs can be allergic to flax. Recommended amount is 1000 mg fish oil (containing 300 mg combined EPA/DHA) per 30 pounds (14 kg) of body weight. Maximum dosage for dogs with health problems would be 1000 mg fish oil (300 mg EPA/DHA) per 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of body weight.

You can also use sardines in place of fish oil supplements; one small sardine supplies over 100 mg EPA/DHA. Vitamin E should also be given whenever oils are supplemented (even small amounts are adequate, but highest recommended dosage would be 100 IU per day for small dogs, 200 IU for medium-sized dogs, and 400 IU for large dogs). Note that fish oil is not the same as cod liver oil, which is high in vitamins A and D.

Never add cod liver oil to a commercial diet, as they are already high in vitamin D, and too much vitamin D is harmful.

March 12, 2010: Alert!!!

New studies are giving insight into possible benefits from feeding foods high in omega-3 fatty acid concentrations to dogs with osteoarthritis.

Three studies, published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Associated, found dogs who consumed omega-3 fatty acid-enriched dog foods experienced less pain associated with the disease. They also had increased mobility.

"Many of us write off mobility problems in dogs as a part of the aging process," said Dr. Kevin Hahn, director of research and chief medical officer at Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. and contributing study author, in a press release. "These studies demonstrate that feeding a food containing omega-3 fatty acids to a dog with osteoarthritis significantly improves mobility and quality of life. All three studies showed significant mobility improvement as assessed by either pet owners, veterinarians, or both."

The studies researched 274 dogs with osteoarthritis and focused on: effects of omega-3 fatty acids on clinical signs of osteoarthritis in dogs; effects of omega-3 fatty acids on weight bearing in dogs with the disease; and effects of omega-3 fatty acids on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug dosage (NSAID) in dogs with osteoarthritis, according to the release.

In the first study, dogs with chronic pain from osteoarthritis showed improvements in their ability to play and rise from rest after six weeks on the high omega-3 diet. The second study showed limb strength in dogs improved with omega-3 dietary intervention, Hahn said.

In the third study, veterinarians reduced the dosage of carprofen, a common NSAID used for pain relief in dogs with osteoarthritis, while still providing pain relief to dogs that were fed food supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids, according to the release.


PR Newswire. “Studies Detail Possible Benefits of omega-3 Fatty Acids for Dogs with Arthritis,”; 04 March 2010.


Probiotics: Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines and help control yeast and harmful bacteria, as well as helping with digestion and intestinal health. These friendly bacteria are destroyed whenever antibiotics are given, and can also be flushed out of the system if your dog has diarrhea. Probiotics given for two weeks or longer following antibiotic usage may help restore populations; probiotics given while taking antibiotics may help prevent diarrhea caused by the antibiotics (give probiotics at least two hours apart from antibiotics). Dogs that are under stress or that have digestive problems or yeast overgrowth may benefit from routine probiotic supplementation.

A supplement that contains multiple bacterial strains is preferable to those that have only a single strain. There are two strains that have been shown to be beneficial for dogs: Lactobacillus sporogenes, now renamed Bacillus coagulans (see dosage recommendations for dogs here) and Enterococcus faecium (found in many supplements, including Jarrow Formulas Pet Dophilus and Berte's Ultra Probiotic Powder). Supplements that also contain prebiotics, which are foods that nourishthe beneficial bacteria themselves, such as FOS (fructooligosaccharides), chicory (found in Ark Naturals Gentle Digest and others), inulin, and larch (arabinogalactin -- see dosage for dogs here) may be especially helpful to dogs with diarrhea.

You can use products made for dogs, or human-grade probiotics that you would find in a health food store. Kefir, which is easy to make at home, is also a good source of beneficial bacteria. Plain yogurt can also be used, though the amount of probiotics may be too low to be effective. Some probiotics must be kept refrigerated; all should be kept awayfrom heat, light and moisture. Most Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus species do not need enteric coating as they can survive passage through the stomach. L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus, as well as Leuconostoc and Lactococcus species, produce lactic acid which may help control harmful bacteria in the intestines and reduce diarrhea.
Vitamins and Minerals: Although commercial foods include a minimal supply of added vitamins (the original ones are mostly destroyed by processing), supplementing can be beneficial, especially vitamins E, C (with bioflavonoids), and B-complex. Unfortunately, many pet multi-vitamins, such as Pet Tabs, contain too little of these vitamins to be very useful. You need to be more careful about supplementing minerals, except in whole food form, due to the potential for overdosing or not using proper combinations (for example, zinc can be dangerous if given in large quantities or not properly balanced with copper).

In general, we don't recommend supplementing individual minerals without a vet's OK, but the amounts contained in most multi-vitamin and mineral supplements should be safe.
Digestive Enzymes: Since enzymes are destroyed in cooking, commercial foods are enzyme dead. Adding digestive enzymes may be beneficial if your dog suffers from digestive disorders, liver problems, pancreatitis, or is otherwise unhealthy and may benefit from getting additional nutritional value from food. Animal-based enzymes derived from pancreatin help more with the breakdown of nutrients, while plant-based enzymes, such as bromelain and papain, seem to help more with gas and inflammation. Note that while digestive enzymes are helpful for some dogs, they can make other dogs worse, so don't use them if you don't see improvement.
Whole Food vs Synthetic Supplements: Whole food supplements use beneficial foods and herbs rather than synthetic vitamins. Green blends are whole food supplements that include primarily green foods, such as kelp, alfalfa, spirulina, etc. Whole food supplements may be especially good for dogs fed a commercial diet, since those diets already have synthetic vitamins added.

Green blends are also good for dogs fed homemade diets that do not include vegetables. It is hard to quantify the benefits of whole food supplements since little in the way of measurable nutrients will show up on a nutritional analysis. Synthetic supplements generally offer much higher amounts of vitamins. If you want to provide high dosages of vitamin C, for example, you will have to rely on synthetic supplements to do so. Synthetic supplements that include minerals or vitamin D may be too much when feeding a commercial diet, as these can be overdosed. 

Are All Natural Ingredients Important?

The answer is absolutely yes! Natural Ingredients are vitally important to ensure your dog's health and avoid disease.

As a concerned care giver, you need to avoid as many 'un-natural' ingredients as possible.

Un-natural ingredients have been linked to a whole range of canine diseases. Here is a brief list of some dog supplements and dog food ingredients that you need to be aware of:

Toxic Ingredients:

* BHA-suspected of causing stomach cancer, behavioral changes, hyperactivity, liver damage and fetal abnormalities and metabolic stress.

* BHT-suspected of causing liver issues, thyroid and bladder cancer and metabolic stress

* Propylene glycol-suspected of causing the destruction of red blood cells.

* Artificial Colors Red #2 and #40, Violet #1, Blue #2, Yellow No 5 and 6-suspected to be linked to cancer, birth defects and skin lesions

* Ethoxyquin -The FDA tested this preservative and found that it was unhealthy for pet consumption. Ethoxyquin is suspected to cause cancer, kidney related problems and numerous other health issues

This is what to look for in a Quality, Natural supplement:

1. When choosing a natural supplement, make sure that NONE of these are on the label: wheat, Soy, Dairy, Sugar, Artificial Ingredients, additives and fillers.

2. All ingredients should be derived from Natural Sources- if you can't pronounce them, then they probably are NOT natural. Some of the more common Natural ingredients, include Vitamins, Minerals, Flax, Fish Oil, Amino Acids, naturally derived animal and plant related components. This also includes other ingredients like Herbs, Mushrooms, Colostrum, Glucosamine, and pre- and pro-biotic bacteria.

3. Make sure that the supplement is NATURALLY preserved. Both Vitamin E and being "air tight" is the preservative of choice. AVOID BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin.

4. Natural flavor and color- If the supplement is chemically flavored or colored don't use it! The artificial color and flavors are added as a way to produce a 'cheaper' supplement that is more 'appealing' to consumers. Please be sure to avoid any and all of these as they are linked to cancer and several other chronic canine diseases.

*There are some surprising potentially harmful ingredients in a popular Multivitamin, " Centrum".

Here is the ingredients list from the bottle of Centrum:

Non Medicinal Ingredients

Ascorbyl palmitate, BHT, citric acid, corn starch, crospovidone,
FDC yellow6, gelatin, soybean oil, hypromellose, lactose,
mettylcellulose, mineral oil, poysorbate, sodium benzoate, sodium
citrate, stearic acid, sucrose, tiatnium dioxide, triethyl citrate.

- BHT is a suspected carcinogen that should not be used as a preservative

- Toxic artificial colors

- Toxic artificial flavors

- Other chemicals

Could this vitamin-supplement cause disease? YES!!!

Should you give this to your dog? NEVER!!!

Yes they have an attractive package, with a catchy slogan: "Helps Maintain Good Health"
When in fact it could do the opposite.

So, what should you do?

If you are making your dog's food at home, and you want to make it complete and balanced, you should use a supplement...

But, it needs to be a quality, all natural one and be free of toxic chemical additives.

Definitely NOT Centrum.

For more reasons why you should give your dog supplements visit our DogBlog here...

We hope this information has been here's some sources we recommend for your            dog vitamins and supplements plus an assortment of other pet products and supplies

Here's a site we highly recommend! We have ordered from them ourselves and love their products...

Cherrybrook Premium Pet Supplies is a wonderful site that is geared more toward supplies for dogs and is favored by breeders, professional groomers and dog show handlers.

They carry a complete line of pet products... From vitamins, dental care and skin care to veterinary supplies,  health and wellness remedies, even natural and herbal supplements! and offer some very competitive prices.

Click below to visit the site and check out their vitamins, natural supplements and health and selection of wellness products...

Natural Organic Dog Supplements at Cherrybrook 

Petsmart is a name we all recognize for a great assortment of dog supplies...

   Dog Health Care at

1-800-PetMeds is known as one of the best sources for your pet's meds. The offer a large assortment of pet medications, pet vitamins, pet supplements and pet supplies. Like your vet, PetMeds provides only U.S. FDA/EPA approved pet medications.

You should find a suitable solution for your dogs health problem here. They also offer free shipping if your purchase exceeds 49$ and you also can get discounts when you buy large volumes.

They have a great customer care center and pet pharmacy if you have any questions on filling the prescriptions on your pet medicines. In addition, they have a "Today's Specials" feature with discounts on treats, toys, pet meds and other pet supplies.

Click below to order your dog meds, vitamins and supplies online...

                1-800-PetMeds - America's Pet Health Resource

*Remember to have fresh water available for your dog, at all times! This is especially critical during the summer months when it's hot and your dog can become dehydrateed.

Important Notice! Although we at Feeding A Dog are long time dog enthusiasts and dog advocates, we are not veterinarians or professional animal nutritionists. Our purpose is strictly to provide you with  information, so that you can make your own decisions. Any and all of the information contained or stated on this web site and on our blog is provided for general information purposes. The information provided is not direct veterinary advice and should not be construed as such nor substituted for a consultation with a veterinarian or dog nutrition professional. Every dog and situation is different. If you have any concerns about your dog's health, please contact your veterinarian's office immediately. We all love our dogs and want only the very best food for them! "In Dogs We Trust"

**Compensation Disclosure: Feeding A Dog receives compensation for referred sales of some or all mentioned products, that's how we're able to bring you all the latest information on feeding a dog and pay the bills.


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