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Vitamin E is an essential nutrient that promotes a healthy immune system and healthy skin and coat for dogs. With all of these benefits, it’s easy to think that your dog needs an extra supplement of vitamin E in their diet – but it’s not always necessary, especially for healthy dogs with a high-quality, balanced dog food diet.
Is Vitamin E Good for Dogs?
One of the most important functions of vitamin E is as an antioxidant to protect against free radicals. Free radicals – a normal part of the metabolism process – can cause damage to a dog’s cells and DNA, affecting the dog’s immune, cardiovascular and nervous systems.
Taking vitamin E can help dogs treat skin conditions and some liver and eye conditions, says Sarah Machel, DVM and medical director at Vetster. However, “there are no known specific health benefits of vitamin E supplementation in normal, healthy dogs,” says Machel.
In human medicine, vitamin E supplements are sometimes recommended to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, atherosclerosis, the leading cause of heart attacks. As a result, some pet parents may assume that there are heart health benefits for dogs. “Fortunately, dogs do not develop atherosclerosis, so this common misconception is not applicable,” says Machel.
Vitamin E sources for dogs
While vitamin E is an essential nutrient for dogs, it is rarely necessary to add this vitamin to a dog’s diet. Vitamin E is naturally found in common dog food ingredients, such as spinach, broccoli, and vegetable oils. Most high-quality dog foods already contain the recommended amount of vitamin E your dog needs, so there is no reason to add it to a healthy canine diet.
Pet parents should only consider giving supplements of any kind after a discussion with your veterinarian. If your dog has been diagnosed with a deficiency or disease that may respond to vitamin E, your vet may recommend additional vitamin E through nutritional supplements, which can be given to your dog orally in tablet form.
Related: Pill pockets for dogs are the game-changing way to give your medicine
If your dog has localized skin problems, it may be recommended to apply vitamin E oil directly to his skin. However, Machel says pet parents should be careful, because products made for human use may contain harmful ingredients if the dog swallows them.
“The combined risk of ingesting unknown ingredients and unclear dosages makes using topical vitamin E oils a no-go recommendation for me,” says Machel.
Can Dogs Overdose on Vitamin E?
An overdose of vitamin E in dogs is rare but possible. The fat-soluble vitamin is stored in the fat of the liver and high levels of the vitamin can cause problems with blood clotting and bleeding disorders. If your dog shows any signs of a vitamin E overdose, contact your vet immediately.
Symptoms of Vitamin E Overdose in Dogs
According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), adult dogs should consume at least 50 IU of vitamin E daily. This will usually be provided by your dog’s regular diet, and your vet can prescribe an appropriate dose and frequency of supplementation according to your dog’s weight and needs.
How to prevent vitamin E deficiency in dogs
Vitamin E deficiency in dogs is rare as most dogs get the necessary amount of nutrients through their regular diet. An easy way to make sure your dog is getting enough vitamin E in their diet is to check their food labels; If their food is prepared according to AFCO guidelines, you can be confident that their diet should be balanced in all macro and micro nutrients, including vitamin E.
Some dogs may have a higher risk of developing a vitamin E deficiency. The hereditary genetic form of vitamin E deficiency has been seen in the English spaniel, Machel says, and dogs with pancreatitis may face a higher risk of deficiency.
Related: Everything you need to know about dog vitamins and supplements, plus 10 high-quality options
Top 5 Vet Recommended Vitamin E Supplements for Dogs
If you and your vet decide to introduce vitamin E supplements into your dog’s diet, here are some highly rated options.
Nutritional power of vitamin E for dogs
This vitamin E complex tablet is made with zinc, folate, selenium and salmon oil. Chicken-flavored tablets can be added to your dog’s food or given separately.
Shop now: Nutrition Strength Vitamin E for Dogs, $44; amazon.com
Essentials Zesty Paws 8-in-1 Multivitamin
This chewable multivitamin supports eight benefits for your puppy’s health: hip, joint, heart, skin, gut, immune, antioxidant, liver, and performance health. Besides Vitamin E, multivitamins provide Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3 and more.
Shop now: Zesty Paws Core Elements 8-in-1 Multivitamin Bites, $27; chewy.com
Vera Pet Organic Fish Oil + Vitamin E Supplement for Dogs
If your pup is having a hard time eating pills, give this fish oil and vitamin E supplement in liquid form to mix with your dog’s food. Plus, the pump design makes it easy to measure doses and prevents mess!
Shop now: Fera Pet Organics Fish Oil + Vitamin E Supplement for Dogs, $29; chewy.com
Omega 3 Fish Oil for Soft Chewable Dogs
For dogs with itchy skin, this supplement provides relief through Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Omega 3. The chewable supplement looks like a heart-shaped treat, making it easy to give your pup a treat.
Shop now: Omega-3 Fish Oil for Soft Dogs, $27; amazon.com
Bonnie & Clyde Wild Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement for Dogs and Cats
If you’re looking for an affordable option, this vitamin E supplement costs just $20 for four months. The liquid supplement blends with your pet’s food without adding taste or smell, making it ideal for picky eaters.
Shop now: Bonnie and Clyde Wild Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplement for Dogs and Cats, $20; amazon.com