The Benefits of Vitamin E for Dogs

by Kristy on July 29, 2011

Dog Supplements

Vitamin E is a valuable part of a dog’s diet, and some vets even recommend that all dogs take a vitamin E supplement to maintain good health. The role of this vitamin in the diet is abundant. According to The Nature of Animal Healing by Martin Goldstein, DVM:

This is the oxygen facilitator, as well as a hormone enhancer. For either of those needs–or both–I use it in supplemental doses on about 80 percent of the dogs and cats I treat.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means it has the ability to protect cells from free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for damaging, and often killing cells. As described by WebMD:

They are “free” because they are missing a critical molecule, which sends them on a rampage to pair with another molecule.

Too many free radicals roaming the body results in the problematic chemistry that is prominent in cancer and other diseases.

Because Vitamin E promotes the movement of oxygen, it aids in heart and artery circulation. This is why Vitamin E supplements are recommended for dogs that are prone to heart problems, such as Newfoundlands, Bulldogs, Irish Setters, and Great Danes.

Besides aiding in heart issues, Vitamin E keeps the connective tissues strong and prevents skin and muscles from losing elasticity, and many dogs who are supplemented with Vitamin E have healthier, shinier coats. Applying Vitamin E oil directly to the skin also helps to nourish skin that is dry or cracked due to being exposed to harsh weather conditions.

Vitamin E comes in the form of capsules, powder, and liquid; however, there are some cautions to be had when giving a dog any supplement. The right dosage is essential and to be based on the body weight of the dog. Always check with a veterinarian if your dog is taking other supplements or medication. The wrong combination of vitamins can hinder health instead of helping.

R.M. Clemmons, a professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the University of Florida’s Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital discusses dosage in an article on alternative medicine for dogs:

There is no known side-effects to vitamin E at levels less than 4000-6000 IU per day (except in cats, where levels >100 IU/day can create hepatolipidosis). I recommend that vitamin E be given to all dogs. For dogs under 2 years of age, give 400 IU of vitamin E daily. For dogs over 2 years of age, give 800 IU of vitamin E daily.

Care should also be taken when deciding how to administer Vitamin E to your dog. Not all supplements are created equally, because the vitamin market is generally not regulated. Always research the brand you buy, and if possible, buy organic. With the proper precautions, you can ensure that this vitamin is used to your pet’s benefit.

photo credit

Do you give your dog a Vitamin E supplement?

This article was written by Modern Pet Saving’s contributor Melissa. She has a master’s degree in creative writing, owns several pets and runs her own online pet magazine. To learn more about this author check out the contributor profile page.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

jack April 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Hi
I was wondering if I can use human vitamin E or other omega 3 supplements to my 2 yr. old golden retriever for dry fur. What would be the recommended doses. Thank you .Jack

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Heidi April 30, 2012 at 7:23 am

Hi
I give my 2 large greyhounds one 80lbs in weight the other 60lbs ( 1 x 400iU vit E a day each – (human variety from costco the cheapest I’ve found plus I take them as well) plus Kronch cold pressed salmon oil (I pass on the salmon oil!)added to their dinner- they were practically bald when I had them as rescues- now both have lovely shiny soft coats & are bounding with health

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Heidi April 30, 2012 at 7:29 am

Another thought, re dry fur, may be what you are feeding him is causing this, some foods are mostly filler & additives which some dogs can’t cope with, one of my previous dogs could eat anything even week old rubbish & still be bounding with health, his brother only had to look at an additive & broke out on a rash & couldn’t stop itching., each dog is different. I also add raw meat the favorite is green tripe (very smelly) minced turkey or beef or tinned pilchards once or twice a week to my dogs feed- nothing expensive

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