What Vitamins do Puppies Need to Stay Healthy?

What Vitamins do Puppies Need to Stay Healthy?

Puppies grow at an incredible rate and they need all the right vitamins to do this properly. Not only do these vitamins help your puppy's growth but they also help their body's repair themselves when needed. However, if a puppy is given too much of certain vitamins, it can prove detrimental to their health so it's important to check the labels of any puppy food before you feed them to this little canine friends.

The Importance of a Well Balanced Puppy Diet

Because puppies grow very quickly and because they are so boisterous, they do tend to injure themselves, albeit it very slightly. When fed the right balanced diet that contains all the vitamins they need, these help puppies process other essential nutrients they need not only for their bodies to repair themselves but to keep their immune system nice and strong too. Puppies need vitamins from two groups which are water-soluble and fat-soluble.

Water-soluble vitamins a puppy needs are the following:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B-complex

These valuable vitamins are needed for a puppy's bones, teeth and connective tissue to grow properly. However, because they are water-soluble they are flushed out of the body which is why they need to be topped up in a puppy's diet. With this said, vitamin C is naturally produced by the body but the many types of vitamin B have to be added to their diet as these cannot be synthesised.

Adding too much vitamin C to your puppy's diet may cause serious health issues so unless the vitamin has been specifically prescribed by a vet, you should never supplement a puppy's diet with vitamin C.

Fat-soluble vitamins a puppy needs are the following:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

Fat-soluble vitamins can be found in animal fat and a puppy's body will absorb these via their intestines before storing them for use later on. However, a build-up of too many of these vitamins may well lead to certain physical and skeletal abnormalities. For this reason, puppies should not be given any of these vitamin supplements unless under the direction of a vet to treat a specific health issue.

The Functions of Needed Vitamins

Vitamin A helps your puppy's eyesight, growth, fetal development and immune function

Vitamin D is needed because it helps the body absorb much needed calcium to help build nice strong bones, skeleton and teeth

Vitamin E is needed for the body to produce the right level of red blood cells

Vitamin K is needed to help blood clot when needed and form scabs on any injuries or wounds

What About Vitamin Deficiencies & Excess in Puppies?

As previously mentioned, if puppies are given too much of certain vitamins it can have a very negative impact on their well being. Vitamin deficiencies too can have a serious effect of their health.

Signs of vitamin A deficiency

  • Anorexia
  • Loss of body weight
  • Skin lesions
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Corneal disorders
  • Respiratory complaints
  • An increased susceptibility to infections

Signs of an excess of vitamin A

  • Dehydration
  • Joint pain
  • Central nervous system is affected

Signs of vitamin D deficiency

  • Rickets
  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Lethargy
  • Swelling and bending in bones

Signs of an excess of vitamin D

  • Anorexia
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Dry, brittle coat
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Dehydration

Signs of vitamin E deficiency

  • Degeneration of skeletal muscle
  • Reproductive failure
  • Retinal degeneration.

Signs of vitamin E deficiency

  • Failure to grow
  • Weight loss
  • Neurological abnormalities

Signs of vitamin B6 deficiency

  • Anorexia
  • Weight loss
  • Convulsions
  • Muscle twitching

Signs of an excess of vitamin B6

  • Impairment of motor control and balance
  • Muscle weakness.

Signs of vitamin B12 deficiency

  • Appetite loss
  • Lack of white blood cells
  • Anaemia
  • Bone marrow changes

The Importance of a Well Balanced Diet

It's essential that puppies be fed a well balanced diet but you need to bear in mind this needs to meet their needs as they grow older which they do at a very fast rate. You should never skimp on the quality of the puppy food you give your pet and it's really important to read labels. A lot of canned dog and puppy food contains a high percentage of water so you need to make sure the one you feed your pet does not. If you are at all unsure, you should talk to your vet or a qualified animal nutritionist who would be able to advise you and then recommend the type of diet your puppy should be on.


Getting a puppy is a very exciting time but it is a commitment that should never be taken too lightly because sharing your life and home with a dog is a massive responsibility. Feeding good quality puppy food is essential to your pet's well being because it will contain all the right vitamins they need to grow and develop properly. You should never supplement a puppy's diet with vitamins without first discussing things with your vet because you may end up doing more harm to your pet than good.



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