Vitamins And Minerals That Your Dog Needs For A Healthy Life

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Ensuring your dog has a diet that contains healthy vitamins and minerals is key to allowing them to have increased energy levels, an improved immune system as well as good overall health. In this brief article, we’ll take a close look at the types of vitamins and minerals that should be included in a dog diet so that you can do your best to ensure they are accessing good nutrition.

Nutrient Profile for Dogs

Nutritional requirements do differ based on the age of the dog. Always check with vets who can provide the latest and most accurate nutritional guidance for your dog. The nutrient profile for dogs is typically split into two types:

  • Profile One: Growth and reproduction;
  • Profile Two: Maintenance.

Puppies, pregnant or lactating females fall into the growth and reproduction category (Profile One), which typically requires a nutrient-dense diet compared to other adult dogs (Profile Two) who fall into the maintenance category. Essential vitamins and minerals can be obtained through raw dog food, kibble, and wet foods.

Minimum Vitamin and Mineral Requirements for Dogs

Essential vitamins and minerals are needed in a dog’s diet to ensure they thrive but also allow them to do basic bodily functions. Some vitamins and minerals need to be carefully managed as if consumed excessively may contain harmful toxicity. The side effects of excessive vitamin and mineral consumption include digestive issues, hair loss, and weight loss. The key vitamins and minerals to be included in a dog’s diet are explained below.


Vitamins are defined as organic substances that are needed to ensure the body grows. Essential vitamins are normally included in raw and processed dog foods in minimal amounts. Dogs who have vitamin deficiencies are more vulnerable to health problems so you can consider finding vitamin supplements. Key vitamins to include in a dog diet are:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B family
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Choline

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is dissolved by fats and is typically found in carrots. They support improved eyesight, immunity, fetal growth, and body cell development. An adult dog in either nutrient profile needs 5000 IU / kg per day of Vitamin A.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B refers to a family of vitamins which are key in supporting healthy growth.

  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – supports metabolism and energy production. It also releases ions in neural tissues. Vitamin B1 is naturally produced in yeast, beans, nuts, and cereals, with adult dogs consuming 2.5 mg/kg per day.
  • Vitamin B12 (Riboflavin) – supports the enzyme function and is needed for reproduction, growth, and maintenance, with adult dogs needing 5.2 mg/kg per day.
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) – supports coenzyme A and metabolic formation. The vitamin is soluble in water and adults need 12 mg/kg per day.
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – is also water-soluble and is crucial in the functioning of red blood cells, immune response, glucose creation, and nervous system functioning. Adult dogs need 12 mg/kg per day.
  • Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) – is key to breaking down amino acids and synthesizing mitochondrial proteins. Adult dogs need 0.216 mg/kg per day.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C can be self-produced through the metabolic process but extra amounts are needed to ensure optimal health outcomes. Vitamin C is also great for maintaining cognitive power and also reducing inflammation.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is commonly known as the sunshine vitamin as it is derived from sunlight. The vitamin provides a balance of calcium and phosphorous which supports muscle development and bone strength. Adult dogs need 5000 IU/kg per day.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is very important for puppies as supports cell function, metabolic functioning, and immune response. A Vitamin E deficiency can cause poor muscle growth and reproductive issues. Adults require 50 IU / kg per day.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is soluble in fat and is needed to prevent bleeding issues. If a dog consumes poisonous substances the presence of vitamin K decreases.


Choline is crucial in aiding brain and liver function. For dogs who suffer from epilepsy, it is commonly used as a treatment. At a minimum, adult dogs need 1360 mg/kg per day.


There are two types of minerals: macrominerals and microminerals. Macro minerals are needed in large quantities, while micro-minerals only require trace amounts. Key macro minerals needed by dogs include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, and chloride. Key microminerals needed by dogs include zinc, iron, copper, chromium, iodine, selenium, manganese, and fluorine.

Macro Minerals

  • Calcium and Phosphorus: These two minerals support each other. They are crucial in forming bone blocks and teeth. Calcium performs a messaging role to ensure the dog’s body can contract muscles, transmit nerve pulses, dilate and constrict blood vessels and secrete hormones. The minimum levels for phosphorus and calcium for Profile One dogs are 1% and 1.2% respectively, while it reduces to 0.4% and 0.5% for Profile Two dogs.
  • Sodium, Potassium, and Chloride: Sodium, Potassium, and Chloride are key electrolytes that contain electrically charged particles and ions. These minerals play a key role in hydration and fluid maintenance.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium is needed to support neuromuscular transmission and is a key part of bones and enzymes. Adult dogs need 0.06g per day.

Micro Minerals

  • Iron: Iron is supremely important as it transports oxygen around the body. The mineral is also key to strengthening immunity and is found in red meat, fish, and legumes. Dogs who are Profile One need a higher iron intake of 88 mg/kg per day. While Profile Two needs 40 mg/kg per day.
  • Zinc: Zinc is key to hormone activation and other body functions. The presence of zinc also supports wound healing, growth, and immune system response. Dogs in Profile One need 100 mg/kg of zinc per day, while Profile Two needs 80 mg/kg per day.
  • Copper: Copper is key to a dog’s biological processes and connecting the nervous system to bones and connective tissue. Copper provides skin and hair pigmentation and red blood cell growth. Profile One dogs need 12.4 mg/kg per day, while Profile Two dogs need 7.3 mg/kg per day.

Final words

Hopefully, you now feel confident in identifying the key vitamins and minerals needed in a dog’s diet for a healthy life. Knowing the two nutrient profiles is key as dogs will need different levels of intake depending on their age and circumstances.Always consult your vet for the best advice on vitamin and mineral intake.




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