- According to the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, vitamins are necessary for many of chemical reactions within your dog's body. And, according to veterinarian Dr. George Obikoya, they are also required for bone growth and good vision. In total, there are 13 vitamins essential to a dog's health. Deficiencies in any of these can lead to serious health issues.
- This vitamin works as both an antioxidant, cleaning toxins from the body, and an anti-inflammatory. In addition, it boosts the immune system, helps prevent cataracts, and is essential for healing diseases of the circulatory system. It is especially beneficial for dogs that are ill, stressed, or injured. A vitamin E deficiency may lead to bowel problems.
- Vitamin C works with vitamin E as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Under normal conditions, dogs produce their own vitamin C, but this ability may be compromised if the dog is ill or stressed. Classic symptoms of vitamin C deficiency are swollen, black, bleeding gums, in addition to weak bones and swollen joints.
- Vitamin A is especially important for puppies as it plays a role in growth. It is also important in developing healthy vision, skin, and hair. According to author Diane Stein, a deficiency in this important vitamin is the main cause of skin problems and infections, as well as nerve degeneration, birth defects, and reproductive failures.
- This vitamin is often called the sunshine vitamin because, like humans, dogs convert sunlight into vitamin D in the body. It is essential for regulating calcium and phosphorous levels in the bloodstream. Without correct calcium and phosphorous levels, bones cannot form properly and a dog may be prone to rickets, a bone deformity disease.
- Vitamin K is essential for blood to clot, or coagulate, correctly. A deficiency of vitamin K will interfere with normal blood functions, and blood will be unable to clot. This can lead to hemorrhagic disease and death.
Vitamin B Complex
- This complex is made up of eight different B vitamins that work in conjunction with one another. The B vitamins are necessary for the coat, skin, and carbohydrate metabolism, reports "Modern Dog Magazine." They also promote the development of strong bones and muscles as well as a healthy appetite. The Dog Nutrition Advice website says that of the eight B vitamins, vitamin B12 is by far the most important. This is because it improves red blood cell generation as well as brain and nervous system efficiency. A deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, eye abnormalities, skin lesions, and dry skin.