Can I Give My Dog Human Vitamin B Complex

Can I Give My Dog Human Vitamin B Complex?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

In general, giving your dog human vitamin pills is not a good idea because of the differences in dosage. The amount of vitamins in a human vitamin pill is much less than what a dog needs. Let your vet make a prescription if your dog actually needs supplements to ensure the correct and safe dosage.

The purpose of this article is to explain the “Can I Give My Dog Human Vitamin B Complex?“.

Most healthy adults are somewhat fit or at least generally active so you probably have a bottle or two of multivitamins lying around.

Can I Give My Dog Human Vitamin B Complex

Its totally normal for us to take a chewable vitamin in the morning or before bed. But what if we give our dog-human vitamins?

Do we cause more harm than good by giving them vitamins?

Pet parents give their pooches Vitamin B complex while others say vitamins are bad for dogs?

Do they help or harm their dog by doing this?

Can I give my dog human vitamin B complex? 

In general giving your dog human vitamin pills is not a good idea because of the differences in dosage. The amount of vitamins in a human vitamin pill is much less than what a dog needs. Let your vet make a prescription if your dog actually needs supplements to ensure the correct and safe dosage.

Nonetheless if there is one vitamin that your dog may not get fully from good quality dog food it is Vitamin B complex. The Vitamin B complex is fragile and can easily be destroyed by heat light and air although many good dog food varieties contain the complete set of vitamins for your pet. The Vitamin B complex content in dog food has probably been destroyed if it has been in the bowl for a long time or if it hasnot been stored properly.

If a dog does not get enough vitamin B complex what happens? In dogs this vitamin is responsible for facilitating a biochemical reaction that turns carbohydrate intake into glucose which is an energy source. You can expect your dog to experience weakness and lethargy as well as other symptoms such as sudden weight gain excessive shedding and decaying teeth. 

Contact your vet and arrange a checkup for your dog if you suspect a Vitamin B complex deficiency. Aside from antibiotics it is likely that your dog will also be prescribed a vitamin B complex along with them.

Can you give your dog human vitamins?  

Vitamin supplements are sometimes necessary for some dogs (but not for all dogs in general) but they have to be specially formulated for dogs. It is not possible to give human vitamins to dogs.

Perhaps you’re wondering what dangers there are in giving your pet a tablet or two from your own vitamin stash.

It turns out that giving pets too much vitamin – especially Vitamin A and Vitamin D – can cause vitamin toxicity. Nevertheless veterinarians say that dogs also need vitamins so why is it harmful to give them vitamins?

Vitamin requirements for dogs are much lower than for humans. Almost all dog foods that are labeled ‘complete and balanced’ provide your dog with their dietary vitamin needs and they only contain about 20% in order to prevent vitamin over-consumption. It is dangerously close to a toxic reaction for a human to consume a vitamin tablet containing 100% of their daily vitamin requirement.

What are the differences between human vitamin pills and dog vitamin pills? 

Human and canine vitamin pills differ primarily in their balance and content. Many articles online say that dogs need Vitamin D Vitamin A Vitamin C and so on and they’re not wrong. The issue is how much Vitamin D and Vitamin A are needed.

When dogs are given vitamin pills meant for humans vitamin D is particularly problematic. Dogs need vitamin D because unlike humans they cannot make their own and they need it for calcium absorption. Although too little Vitamin D is bad too much is even worse.

The amount of Vitamin D in human vitamins is much higher than what is recommended for dogs. With a dose as low as 0.5mg per kilo dogs exhibited symptoms such as vomiting acute renal failure polyuria (urinating too much) and hyperphosphatemia (calcium deposits on the tissue causing muscle spasms).

Your dog should be getting all the vitamins he needs if he is eating high-quality dog food. Unless your veterinarian prescribes supplemental vitamins there is no need to give them to your pet.

What do vitamins do for dogs? 

Vitamins are just as important for dogs as they are for humans. Similar to humans they play different yet vital roles in the dogs body and good health.

Vitamin A: Vitamin A also plays a role in protecting and maintaining your dogs eye health just as it does for humans. In addition to that it also plays a role in growth and development fetal growth cell function and is vital to the immune system of dogs.

Vitamin B complex: As mentioned above vitamin B complex is crucial to converting carbohydrates into glucose making it necessary for a dog to produce energy. Vitamin B complex is water-soluble unlike vitamin A and vitamin D which makes it more fragile and easier to excrete from the body.

Vitamin D: Known as the sunshine mineral for dogs vitamin D helps them absorb calcium and phosphorus for healthy bone development and growth. If your dog does not get enough vitamin D he might have problems with bones and muscles. 

Vitamin C: Have you heard of antioxidants? Vitamin C works as an antioxidant for dogs. In addition it removes harmful free radicals that cause sickness and mutations. Dogs also benefit from it by reducing inflammation and Alzheimers disease. As dogs can synthesize vitamin C in their livers they are unlikely to need supplements but your veterinarian may prescribe some in unusual circumstances.

Vitamin K: Vitamin K is responsible for clotting your dogs blood in the event of a cut or wound. When a dog consumes poison for rats the poison can inhibit the vitamin K and prevent clotting of the blood.

Does giving human vitamins to dogs have any side effects? 

Dogs can suffer severe side effects from taking human vitamin pills.

Given the fact that humans take much higher vitamin dosages than dogs giving your dog human vitamin pills can lead to overdosing. In the previous section we discussed what can happen if you give your dog too much vitamin D. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin it will take hours for it to leave your dogs body.

Another common vitamin overdose culprit in dogs is vitamin A. Vitamin A is commonly found in fish oil capsules which are a common human vitamin supplement. Fish oil capsules are great for humans but there is a common misconception that they will improve the luster and appearance of a dogs hair as well. Overdosing on vitamin A is bad for your dog because it stays in their liver practically forever (it is also fat-soluble) and can have very long-term effects.

Vitamin toxicity in dogs can cause irreversible damage in some cases. We strongly recommend that you consult your vet before purchasing any vitamin supplements for your dog even for those specifically designed for dogs.

What is a good source of vitamin B complex for dogs? 

If you feed your dog high-quality dog food it is likely that he already gets the daily amount of vitamin B complex he needs. Ensure that your dog food is properly stored and not exposed to light or air since vitamin B complex is fragile and is easily destroyed if exposed.

Heres something most pet owners do not know – if your dog is lacking some vitamins particularly vitamin B complex your veterinarian will recommend feeding your dog fruits and vegetables. In addition to being healthy for dogs bananas are also a source of the vitamin B complex. Since bananas are sugary your dog should only eat them as a treat and not on a regular basis.


While dogs require vitamins to remain healthy too the dosage of human vitamin pills is much too high for them and may result in vitamin toxicity. Therefore we should never give our pets human vitamin pills and we should always consult a veterinarian before giving any kind of supplements or medications to our pets – even those that seem completely safe. 

In the event that your dog displays any symptoms of vitamin deficiency specifically vitamin B complex deficiency our only recommendation is that you consult your veterinarian.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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