The Best Dog Vitamins and Supplements for Optimal Health and Wellness

By: Kristen ArendtPublished: Updated:

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The Best Dog Vitamins and Supplements for Optimal Health and Wellness

There are dog vitamins and supplements from A to Z but how do you know which, if any, are the best dog vitamins for your precious pet?

“What I tell a lot of owners is that most dogs don’t need basic general multivitamins,” says Maryanne Murphy, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN, a board certified veterinary nutritionist and clinical assistant professor of nutrition at University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville. Generally, she says, a commercially manufactured pet food should meet their daily nutrient needs. “But specific, targeted supplements for conditions have a purpose.”

Reasons for taking a dog supplement vary depending on the pet’s condition. Arthritic dogs, for example, may benefit from a supplement that maintains joint function, and dogs with digestive issues may benefit from a supplement that supports gut health.

No matter the reason, the vets we spoke with recommend you look for products with a National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) quality seal. This certification helps ensure that a product comes from a reputable company that has achieved compliance with NASC’s quality standards. And always consult with your veterinarian before adding any new vitamins or supplements to your dog’s diet. They can make a recommendation based on their knowledge of your dog’s current diet and health history, or refer you to a clinical nutritionist or integrative veterinarian to help you build a custom diet plan that fits your individual pup’s exact needs. At the end of the day, you want to make sure your dog is getting just the right balance of all the vitamins and nutrients they need—and none they don’t.

“It’s really important to buy supplements either under the guidance and recommendation of a healthcare provider like your veterinarian or from a trusted resource, from a company that you know is honorable and that does quality control on their products,” says Jonathan S. Block, DVM CVA CCRT, owner of West Delray Veterinary in Delray Beach, Florida.

To get you started in your search for the best dog vitamins and supplements for your pet, here are some options to talk to your veterinarian about.

Dog Multivitamin

Again, with multivitamins, keep in mind that whether your pet will benefit from the addition of a dog multivitamin heavily depends on their day-to-day diet and current health status. “Most dogs do not need a general multivitamin because the commercial diet they are eating is typically going to be complete and balanced,” Dr. Murphy says.

Rx Vitamins Essentials Vitamin

If your vet recommends your dog take a multivitamin, you have a lot of options to choose from. As a starting point, Dr. Block recommends taking a look at RX Vitamins, which he says is a very high-quality line of veterinary supplements. The powder is easy to add to dry or wet food and contains some bonuses like spirulina, kelp, milk thistle, and protein and iron from beef liver for added nutritional support. Rx Essentials even claims it tastes good, although we’ll leave that up to your pup to decide!
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Dog Supplements

Below are common types of dog supplements. Talk to your vet about what, if any, may benefit your dog. Be sure to let them know if you dog is currently taking any other supplements or medications. And always be sure to stick to the recommended dosages.

Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs

Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Soft Chews

Older pups or dogs who are experiencing the first signs of arthritis may benefit from a hip and joint supplement. Dr. Block generally recommends Nutramax for their pharmaceutical-grade ingredients and research-backed products. This soft chew from Nutramax is formulated with glucosamine, chondroitin and ASU (avocado/soybean unsaponifiables, a fancy name for an extract made from avocado and soybean oils)—three ingredients commonly found in the best joint supplement for dogs. Nutramax claims this supplement not only helps block enzymes that break down cartilage, but also helps with the repair and regeneration of new cartilage.

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Digestive Health Supplement for Dogs

Nutramax Proviable DC Capsules

Much like humans, dogs have a whole host of digestive bacteria and enzymes that help them digest their meals. A healthy pup has a healthy gut. But sometimes your pup’s digestive enzymes can get out of whack, in which case your veterinarian may determine your dog could benefit from a digestive health supplement. In his practice, Dr. Block often turns to Nutramax’s Proviable DC, which he notes is research-backed, contains multiple strains of bacteria, and can contain up to 5 billion CFU’s (colony forming units, or the number of good probiotic bacteria) per capsule. Proviable DC has seven key probiotic species to help restore intestinal microflora balance.
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Anxiety Supplement for Dogs

Vetriscience Composure Behavioral Helath Bite-Sized Dog Chews

For dogs who are anxious, hyperactive or easily stressed out by new environments, these bite-sized chews from Vetriscience are formulated to help alleviate stress-related behaviors. Dr. Block notes that products, like Vetrisicence Composure, that contain L-theanine (an amino acid commonly found in green tea) are his personal preference.
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Liver Supplement for Dogs

Nutramax Denamarin Tablets for Large Dogs

A healthy liver is very important for your dog’s overall health. If your dog’s liver is compromised, your veterinarian might prescribe a liver supplement. Dr. Block says that Denamarin is research-backed and high-quality, making it a good place to start. Nutramax claims that SAMe, the active ingredient in these tablets, helps protect healthy liver cells and may help repair and regenerate damaged ones. As a bonus, SAMe also supports cognitive function. These Denamarin tablets also contain Silybin which helps your dog’s liver maintain a healthy oxidative balance.
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Urinary & Kidney Supplement for Dogs

Nutramax Crananidin Chewable Tablets Dog Supplement

If you’ve heard that cranberries are good for the human urinary tract, it shouldn’t surprise you that the same goes for pups. Crananidin uses a special scientifically formulated cranberry extract to help promote urinary tract health in dogs. The extract has bacteria-fighting compounds called proanthocyanidins (PACs), which help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones. “This is my go-to product. The bioactive PACs formula improves the effectiveness,” Dr. Block says.
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Skin & Coat Supplements for Dogs

Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet Soft Gels Dog Supplement

“I think high-quality omega-3 fatty acids are very important for the health of a variety of body systems. That’s something that should be considered relatively early on in a pet’s life in disease prevention, both for joint health, skin health, cardiovascular health, and neurologic health systems,” Dr. Block says. These supplements are made from wild anchovies and sardines and has been distilled for purity. “Nordic Naturals is a properly sourced and molecularly distilled product. It is potent and usually well-tolerated,” Dr. Block says. Bonus: If your dog is picky about swallowing pills (we don’t blame them), you can easily puncture the capsules and drizzle the oil over their food.
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Dental Supplement for Dogs

Virbac C.E.T. VeggieDent Fr3sh Tartar Control Dog Chews

We understand you love your dog, but you don’t love their dog breath. If your pup needs a little help keeping their tartar in check, these Virbac dog chews come recommended by Dr. Block as one good option. These plant-based chews are formulated to help freshen breath and reduce plaque and tartar. Your dog will enjoy gnawing on this treat, and you’ll be happy for their resulting healthy chompers and fresh breath. Talk to your veterinarian about how frequently to feed these chews.
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In certain cases, vitamins or supplements can be a beneficial addition to your pup’s diet. As always, consult with your veterinarian to determine the best dog vitamins and supplements for your furry friend.

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By: Kristen ArendtPublished: Updated:

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