Vitamin E and Your Dog: What you Need to Know

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Vitamin E is an important supplement for your dog – and it’s one of those that you MUST be careful with – as both too little and too much are bad for your dog’s health. As a dog owner, you should know how vitamin E works, why it is needed and what the signs of vitamin E deficiency and overdose are.

Why Vitamin E is Important for Dogs

Vitamin E is vital to a dog’s health, just like it is for ours! It is a powerful antioxidant – meaning it helps remove or prevent free radicals from causing oxidative stress as the body processes food. Oxidative stress happens when there is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. It leads to cell and tissue damage and is a major player in the signs of aging. Vitamin E deficiency can kill a dog.

Much more than an antioxidant, researchers are still learning all that Vitamin E can do. We do know it also helps form cell membranes.

Vitamin E Deficiency

When a dog is Vitamin E Deficient, they can have serious health issues. Symptoms include:

• Poor vision

• Neurological issues including paralysis, loss of limb use

• Reproductive issues

• Compromised immune system

• Weight loss

• Premature aging

• Pain

• Lack of muscle

Dogs that are severally deficient can develop brown bowel syndrome, where the large intestine ruptures.

While Vitamin E deficiency is most likely caused by poor quality dog food or homemade food that has not been formulated correctly, dogs can also become deficient if other supplements they are being fed inhibit the absorption of it.

A big culprit of this is fish oil. One pet owner of a young 3-year-old Mastiff almost killed her dog by feeding an abundance of fish oil tablets without balancing it out with more vitamin E. Fish oil, flaxseed, other omega fatty acid supplements, and fish proteins can all cause a dog to be deficient in vitamin E if the right amounts are not being given.

Vitamin E Overdose

Like all good things, too much can also be bad. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it’s not lost when food is cooked – this includes dry dog food.

Fat soluble also means that our bodies do not flush out any extra that we consume, instead it is stored in the liver, which means it can accumulate and overdose is possible.

Excess Vitamin E can affect blood clotting, prohibiting normal clumping. However, the level of toxicity has not been researched in dogs and cats in any full manner.

Balancing a Diet

What may be more important is the crazy trail of supplementations you may find yourself in if you are trying to make your own dog food, or supplement a lower quality dry food.

If you are feeding your dog fish oil tablets, you then decide you need to feed more vitamin E to balance it out (but do you know exactly how much more?) AND, then more vitamin E means you need more of vitamins A, K and D to keep the body functioning properly. But be careful! Because K, D, and A are also fat soluble and can get stored up in the body as well.

As you can see, adding supplements can get very tricky! And this is why a well-balanced, high-quality dog food is better than trying to figure out the amounts on your own. A high-quality food will be formulated and balanced to ensure all the vitamins and minerals, along with fatty acids and proteins, are “playing nice” to give your dog the nutrition he needs to help him live a long and healthy life.

Vitamin E in the right ratio to other vitamins and minerals is very important to your dog’s health. That’s why we have 400 mg/kg in our Stay Loyal grain-free formulas, so you don’t have to worry about whether your dog is getting the right amount and if it’s balanced with the other minerals and vitamins he needs. We’ve taken care of the confusing part so you can just relax and enjoy a healthy life with your dog.

Pamela Hackett

Good evening.
My 9month old, trim 17kilo Labradoodle loves your SL. I had been giving him 1-2 sardines frozen with his kibble in his 2 kong each day, plus his snuffle mat with kibble. I use your quantity guide on bag.
I will reduce the sardines now but how many neck bones should he have to replace a days meals of kibble?
He has a little raw food, carrots and ziw peak for training.
We are so glad our breeder recommended you.
Thank you Pamela

RobertPamela Hackett

Hi Pamela, So when deciding the amount of raw meaty bones of any kind I will feed anywhere between 100% to 300% of the weight of their standard kibble meal. Please be aware you would need to gradually increase the raw meaty bones if they have never had them before.

Di Devine

Thanks Robert it’s good to know we give Ashley rose hip power and hemp oil will do same with vitamin E we are now in Noosa loving the weather missing Millie so is Ashley not what to do with her enjoy the Day


Thank you Rob and the team at Stay Loyal. Love your articles. As a first time dog owner, I find them very informative and of course Chilli loves your food and treats - win/win.


Thank you Marika. We really appreciate the feedback. We are glad Chilli likes our food and treats too.

Gayle Everett

Thanks Robert so informative. Am I feeding my RR 3 year old he correct amount of your food. We give him 3 cups daily and 2lamb shanks weekly. Sometimes an egg a small can iof sardines. Bheka weighs 33 kgs. We can see his ribs and looks a bit thin at the moment. Thanks

RobertGayle Everett

Hi Gayle, that all sounds perfect. I do like it when people say their dog looks a bit thin. I haven't seen your dog but seeing ribs is perfect, I would guess he is very fit and healthy looking. You can email me some photos if you are concerned.


Thanks for the information, Robert - very interesting. I am feeding my two Malinois StayLoyal and though I know it is not necessary, I supplement with half a can of sardines in each dog's meal, daily. Do you see this as a concern, or is the fish oil supplementation you cited, equivalent to much more than half a can of sardines daily?


Hi Ryan, our food has more than enough fish oil in it. My concern would be that your are messing with the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. I'd recommend sardines on top of our once a week. And raw meaty bones twice a week no SL those days. I gave sardines back in the day as well. And it works great when you are using a poor quality food. But have found i don't see too much difference when they are on a higher quality food like ours which already has the fish oil and fish in it. I hope that makes sense. Try my recommendation above and see how they go on that.

Patrick Fitzgerald

We have two large male German Shepard’s 3 years and 15 years. Both are a good weight well excercised and fit. Each have Two chicken drumsticks daily except twice a week a 400 gram tin of tuna. How much dry food should they have? Is 400 grams enough?

RobertPatrick Fitzgerald

Hi Patrick, I'd need to know the weights of the dogs. Just use the recommendation on the side of the bag and then you need to adjust to your dog. If your dog gains weight on that amount then decrease the amount. If they get thinner then you can increase the amount. I find in general the amounts recommended on the bag are more than enough for most dogs.

James Lee

Greetings to you guys and the Stayloyal team and particularly to that fantastic lady, Tracey!

What an excellent kind, caring and professional person to have at the front line of a business! Excellent.
Thank you for your service and customer focus!

May I enquire please to be advised, the amount of Stayloyal a small dog (a Toy Poodle, Jasmine!) would need to consume daily to have the required amount of Vitamin E?
Thank you. Cheers and all best!

Kindest regards, James Lee and the fur baby Jasmine.

RobertJames Lee

Hi James, Yes Tracey is great, thank you for your kind words. So for a toy poodle 1kg would only need 30-40grams of Stay Loyal per day. A 2kg dog would need only 40-50grams per day.