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.
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.