Best Multivitamins for Dogs

Updated November 2021
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Buying guide for best multivitamins for dogs

They're not just pets. They're our furbabies. And with 68% of homes in the U.S. owning a pet, it's no wonder the industry is offering us all kinds of supplements to keep them healthy, pain-free, and hopefully around a bit longer.

Giving your dog a multivitamin helps you make sure you’re providing him with all the right nutrients. While most commercial pet foods claim to include the necessary vitamins, it’s possible that the manufacturing depletes their efficacy. Dogs who may need supplementation for another reason — they have a medical condition, they’re on a homemade diet — may benefit from a multivitamin as well.

It's critical to get your vet's advice before giving your dog vitamins. It would be bad for your dog's health to get too much of certain vitamins: for example, vitamin D in excess can be especially toxic to dogs. It’s also possible that a vitamin could interact badly with a medication.

Once you’ve been cleared by your vet to give your dog a multivitamin, which one should you select? BestReviews is here to help you answer that question.

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The FDA requires pet vitamins to be made from ingredients

Key considerations

Who made it?

Always choose a trusted pet brand with a solid customer base. Read the labels carefully to see what’s inside.

What desirable additives are included?

Asides from the vitamins, other healthful supplements might be included in a product, such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), which helps support joint health and can keep dogs limber longer, as well as aid older or arthritic dogs. Additional ingredients like cod liver oil can help with inflammation, while omega-3 fatty acids give a glossy coat. Enzymes and probiotics can help with digestion.

Some supplements are geared toward certain dogs, like puppies, pregnant or lactating dogs, highly active competition or working dogs, and seniors. There are also multivitamins designed for certain canine issues, like weight control or chronic illness management. Consult with your vet for the best additives for your situation.

Are any undesirable additives included?

Make sure the vitamins you choose for your pup don’t contain a lot of extra fillers. Avoid ingredients like cornstarch, lactose, and cellulose, which have no benefit. Artificial sweeteners, colorings, preservatives, and flavors have been reported as potentially carcinogenic and should also be avoided.

Does it taste good?

None of the above concerns matter if your dog refuses to ingest the vitamin. Many multivitamins for dogs come in a plain variety without any taste. Others are flavored. If your dog enjoys the flavor, the vitamin will be a lot easier to add to his feed or treats. If your pooch is not fond of the taste or smell, it will actually make it harder to hide inside food than a non-flavored tablet.

Powders, tablets, chewables, and liquids

Powdered form

Some multivitamins for dogs come in powdered form. The powder can be measured out as directed and mixed with food. The downside to powdered multivitamins is that they can be messy, and you may not be as exact with the dosage. The taste may also put very picky eaters off their food.

Tablet form

Tablets need to be unobtrusively slipped into your dog’s food or disguised as a treat. Depending on your dog’s size, you may have to cut them in half. Some dogs are very clever at eating around pills — even those that are well-wrapped in food — so you’ll need to check that they’ve been ingested and not left at the bottom of the bowl.

Avoid coated capsules which may have been processed at high temperatures, as this depletes the effectiveness of the supplement. If it’s a gel pill, find out what the gelatin is made of. Vegetable gel (usually from seaweed) is fine, but animal gelatin may not have come from a nutritionally desirable source.

Chewable form

Chewable multivitamins for dogs are softer tablets that can be served as a treat in themselves or might be crumbled into food.

Liquid form

The advantage of liquid multivitamin formulas is that they are easily absorbable. Liquid multivitamins are also a good choice for homemade dog food diets, as they can be easily blended into the recipe.

Some liquid vitamins are designed to be added to water. In this case, it’s very important to make sure your dog is happy drinking it and not put off in any way, which could lead to dehydration. Liquid vitamins may also require refrigeration after opening.

Multivitamins for dogs: prices

Due to the wide variations in ingredients, strength, and dosage, it’s hard to compare prices for vitamin supplements. As a general guide, however, you can expect to pay about $40 for a tub of 180 pills dosed at one pill a day for dogs over 10 pounds.

Chewables cost about $25 for 90 doses.

Liquid vitamins cost about $30 for 64 doses.

Pills that contain glucosamine generally run higher, but it’s worth looking for those, since glucosamine is a valuable supplement for many dogs.

Tips

  • It may seem cheaper to buy in bulk, but be cognizant of the shelf life recommended by the manufacturer. If you have multiple dogs, buying in bulk may be a no-brainer. However, if you have just one small dog, you could find yourself administering less-effective vitamins by the time you reach the end of a giant tub.

  • Check dosage instructions, especially if you change brands. Because of the variety of ingredients and strengths available, the amount needed per pet weight could well be different.

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Beware of any pet supplements that make outrageous claims. While natural remedies may assist with medical issues, there isn’t a magical supplement out there that can cure cancer or parvo or any other deadly dog disease.

FAQ

Q. Can I just use my own vitamin pills for my dog?

A. Absolutely not. The concentration of vitamins in your pills is calculated for the human body and usually provides 100% of your daily needs. Pet vitamins are designed to provide more like 20% of a pet’s daily requirement, so you could easily give an unhealthy dose to your dog. Plus, human vitamins sometimes contain xylitol as a sweetener, which is deadly for dogs.

Q. How do I know where the pills are made?

A. It’s tricky. Even a brand says that it is “made in the USA” can still legally contain imported ingredients. The important thing is to find a reputable brand that is specific to the pet market, has an excellent reputation for quality control, and is using a source with good manufacturing standards.

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