vitamin c for dog

Benefits of Vitamin C For Dogs

People know that vitamin C is a very important nutrient, which is why they try to eat as many vegetables and fruits as they can in order to get enough. This is because humans need vitamin C supplement. However, dogs are able to make enough of this vitamin to meet all its needs. Because of this, dog food and treats will not have any additional vitamin C.

If your pet is deficient in this important nutrient, they are available as supplements in the form of treats. Another way is to include it in its diet, especially if you give your pooch raw or home-cooked food. When planning its menu, you can include vitamin-C rich foods that will not be dangerous to its health. Some of these include apples (peeled and cored), green beans, or sweet potatoes.

How Does Vitamin C Benefit Dogs?

While people are aware that their bodies need these important nutrients, they fail to do the same for their pets. In the same way that vitamin C is great for human bodies, they are for animals’ bodies as well. Unfortunately, dogs eat what their humans feed them, and they are unable to tell them what their body needs. So if you are a dog owner, you need to be aware that vitamin deficiency can be an issue with your pet.

dog vitamins

Your vet will also suggest that ascorbic acid levels should be monitored because vitamin C is essential for the body. If they receive enough sunshine, they are able to produce it in their bodies, but it is not safe to assume that there is no need for supplements.

Unfortunately, when there is not enough of this vitamin, dogs get ill or suffer from bad health. The worst case scenario is that it can lead to death. For example, deficiency can lead to sicknesses like skin infection, polio, distemper, or other viral infections. It might lead also to stress and bad behavior.

Vitamin C is important to stay in good health, specifically since the dog’s body needs it to produce neurotransmitters. Moreover, having enough vitamin C will bring a lot of benefits to your pooch’s health.

First of all, it will increase their immunity so that they will avoid lots of diseases. Second, vitamin C is an anti-carcinogen and will help them beat cancer. Third, this nutrient is actually helpful in fighting against certain illnesses like respiratory infections, bacterial infections, kennel cough, and abscesses. So every pet owner who wants to keep their dog healthy should make sure it is getting enough vitamins.

It does not mean that every pooch should be getting vitamin C supplements. The most important thing is to work with your vet in monitoring the levels of important vitamins in their body. If you have a puppy or an old dog, they might need supplementation. Vitamin C will be vital for muscle and bone development in the first months, which is why puppies will benefit from it. Older dogs, on the other hand, will need higher levels of vitamin C in order to stay healthy. For more options head over to our guide on supplements for older dogs.

Does My Dog Need Vitamin C Supplements?

The basic guideline is that if your pooch is healthy, there is no need to supplement. However, in the case that your dog is suffering from chronic diseases, it might help relieve uncomfortable symptoms. Some owners also decide to add vitamin C to their pet’s diet to prevent diseases rather than wait for it to show symptoms.

Unfortunately, some dogs are more likely to suffer from specific illnesses like patellar subluxation, arthritis, among other degenerative bone and joint conditions. Vitamin C will benefit these breeds, which may hit both big and small dog breeds. Head over to our review of the best dog joint supplements for more alternatives.

These supplements are also going to help dogs that have glaucoma or other inflammatory disorders. Glaucoma affects all dog breeds, but some are still at a higher risk like terriers, Siberian Huskies, spaniels, basset hounds, poodles, and beagles.

You may also like our article on the Best Dog Food for Huskies.

How to Give Your Dog Vitamin C

Supplementing your dog’s diet with vitamin C is easy as it can be given with kibble or whatever dog food it eats. Ones that have sodium ascorbate or calcium ascorbate are better as opposed to ascorbic acid.

There can be risks to supplementing with vitamin C, as it may lead to issues with acid levels in the dog’s stomach. In fact, giving it a full dose may lead to diarrhea or vomiting in certain breeds. To avoid this, you can divide the whole dose between the morning and evening meals. Another option is to feed it with foods that are rich in vitamin C, like apples, cranberries, grape seed extract, blueberries, ginger, and pomegranate.

dog's vitamins

It’s good to know that vitamin C is water-soluble, so your pet will just flush excess nutrients into their urine. Still, it is possible to have too much of this vitamin. It will lead to higher levels of acidity in your dog’s stomach, which will irritate their tummies or lead to ulcers. Abuse of vitamin C supplements over a period of time may lead to kidney problems.

Dogs that have bladder stones or other liver diseases should not take vitamin C supplements because it might cause more harm than good. Moreover, dalmatians are at higher risk of getting uric acid stones so if your pet has had these issues in the past, it will lead to more stones. To be safe, read the package information of your dog’s supplements.

Vitamin C supplementation is a great idea for dogs, however, it is always smart to consult with your vet before adding to its diet. First of all, your vet can monitor the levels of essential vitamins in the body to determine if they are low and that supplementing is vital.

Second, make sure to consult with him to determine how much supplements you should give it. Third, your vet can check your pet for any unknown diseases that might be affected by taking in some supplements. If it has any chronic diseases, make sure you clear it out with the vet first to know if it will interact with other medication.

When it comes to matters affecting your pet’s health, it is best to take the right steps but still remain cautious. After all, you only want the best for your pooch, so getting smart advice is important to make the right steps.


  1. Dr. Deborah E. Linder, MS, DACVN, The A-B-C’s of Vitamin C, Cummings Veterinary Medical Center
  2. Vitamin C: Should you Supplement your Dog?, Wag!
Dr. Travis McDermott

Dr. Travis McDermott is a small animal veterinarian that has been practicing for nearly 15 years in Las Vegas, NV. Dr. McDermott was born and raised in the great State of Texas and grew up on an emu farm raising chickens and pigs for 4H and FFA. He attended Texas A&M University for both undergraduate and DVM studies.After graduation in 2006, Dr. Travis McDermott started practicing at Tropicana Animal Hospital in Las Vegas, NV. In 2012, he took over as hospital director of Durango Animal Hospital – one of the largest veterinary hospitals in Las Vegas. Dr. McDermott treats dogs and cats as well pretty much any exotic animal that walks in the door. His interests include surgery, dental procedures, and ultrasound, but his main passion is endoscopy. Since becoming a veterinarian, Dr. McDermott has served as a board member and president/chair of both the Nevada Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association Political Action Committee and currently serves on the board of the Viticus Group (formerly Western Veterinary Conference).

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Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.