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What Are the Benefits of Using Vitamin E for Dogs?

Dog foots containing wheat germ are a good source of vitamin E.
A licensed vet should be consulted before giving a dog any sort of supplements.
Vitamin E supplements may help reduce dogs' arthritis symptoms.
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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2014
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According to veterinarians and canine experts, there are several advantages to using vitamin E for dogs. Giving a dog vitamin E supplements or a dog food enriched with the vitamin may help improve the texture of the dog's coat and skin. Vitamin E can also help support the dog's immune system, which can be especially important during cold winter months. Experts also believe that the vitamin can reduce cholesterol levels.

Many animal experts maintain that vitamin E has anti-inflammatory benefits as well, so giving a dog vitamin supplements can be a good way to reduce the painful symptoms of arthritis. An elderly dog with stiff and painful joints might benefit from the vitamin, and dogs over the age of two may be given a daily dose of 800 International Units (IU). Pet owners with concerns about their dogs' special needs should consult with a veterinarian before giving any supplements to their animals.

Vitamin E can also promote a healthy heart. This essential vitamin will help the heart muscle develop properly in puppies and help promote normal heart function in adult dogs. Dogs with cardiac problems may be prescribed vitamin E supplements by a veterinarian in addition to medication.

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Antioxidants found in many types of dog food will offer protection from free radicals. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that will help decrease the risk of cellular damage from oxidation. Experts believe it can protect against cell damage or changes in the normal structure of cells that may lead to cancer.

When considering vitamin E for dogs, it is best to incorporate natural, rather than synthetic, sources into the diet. Natural vitamin E labeled as alpha-tocopherol may also be found in organic dog food. Dog foods containing natural wheat germ may be a good source of the vitamin, and supplementing a dog's diet with fresh green vegetables and fruit can be a good way of incorporating it. Adding a few drops of vegetable oil to a dog's diet can also be beneficial.

Many animal experts recommend topical vitamin E for skin irritations or minor burns. Vitamin E capsules may be opened and the liquid applied directly to the skin. Applying a vitamin solution twice a day to a dog's itchy skin may provide relief while promoting healthy skin renewal.

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Discuss this Article

RoyalSpyder
Post 5
@Chmander - First of all, very good points. Second, while I don't believe that vitamin E has any disadvantages in dogs, it's good to remember that anything can be harmful when used in excess. On top of that, before buying a product (whether for yourself or for your pet), it's obviously a good idea to look at any potential risks.

As an example, Cymbalta (an antidepressant) has caused many people to have blurred vision and short term memory loss. Can you imagine if someone prescribed it was unaware of the potential side effects?

Chmander
Post 4

After reading this article, it really has me wondering if there are any disadvantages to giving dogs vitamin E. The article does a great job at discussing the benefits, but even then, we always have to be cautious of what we give our pets.

burcidi
Post 3

@ZipLine-- You can use vitamin E oil topically to help scars heal. My Golden Retriever got scratched by the neighbor's cat and had an awful scar on his cheek. I applied vitamin E oil daily and the scar faded over several weeks. Hair grew back where the scar was too. Just make sure that the wound is completely closed up before using vitamin E oil. Vitamin E is a must have pet vitamin overall.

turquoise
Post 2

@ZipLine-- My dog has the same issue and I give her fish oil and vitamin E supplements. I think applying vitamin E topically will be messy, taking vitamin E internally works fine. It moisturizes skin and hair from the inside out. Fish oil has the same benefit, that's why I use a supplement for her that's fish oil plus vitamin E.

I take vitamin E myself for healthy hair, skin and nails. I was experiencing some shedding and vitamin E seems to have stopped that. So vitamin E will reduce and prevent shedding in dogs too.

ZipLine
Post 1

My dog has very dry skin. It's especially troublesome in winter and I see him itching a lot. Should I give him vitamin E supplement for dogs or should I apply vitamin E oil topically? Which would be best?

His dog food already has vitamin E but I don't think it's enough.

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