Supplements For Home Cooked Diet
by Joanne Carson, Ph.D.


Most of those who visit our website are now feeding either the Healthy Adult Diet or the Weight Loss Diet. This has been a great help in improving the health of dogs with canine epilepsy and in some cases has reduced seizures. The Liver Cleansing Diet has been successful in helping dog with liver damage heal from Phenobarbital damage. We owe a great deal of thanks to Dr. W. Jean Dodds for creating these three diets specifically.

For the Liver Cleansing Diet, supplement with Infant Liquid Multi Vitamins and use the same dose for the body weight recommended.

Knowing there are as many opinions on supplements as there are supplements themselves, I have carefully researched the ones needed for dogs with seizures with guidance from Dr. Jean Dodds and Dr. Raymond Peat. It may take a little time to put the supplements together but it will assure you that your dog will be getting all vitamins and minerals needed.

Reducing seizures does take fine tuning. Since you have gone to the time, trouble and expense of cooking the diets Dr. Dodds put together for your epileptic dog, then the addition of the following vitamins and minerals will bring your effort up to perfection.

Below are the vitamins and minerals and doses recommended with information and references on each. It covers Vitamin E, B complex vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin A and calcium and gelatin. Vitamin D they will get naturally from lying in the sun.

I would print this post out since it runs to 7 pages and your vet may like a copy.

Take care and God bless,
Joanne Carson, Ph.D.,
Metabolic Therapist
Los Angeles, California
Founder - Epi Guardian Angels

VITAMIN E (Tocopherol)

Vitamin E plays an essential role in the healthy function of all cells in the body. It is widely recognized as a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from damage. Vitamin E also plays an important part in the development and function of the immune system.

According to a study published in the "Cornell Veterinarian," vitamin E supplementation has an important influence on the dog's immune system, and dogs supplemented with vitamin E produce antibodies against vaccinations significantly faster than dogs on a vitamin E-deficient diet.

Clearly, vitamin E has a strong influence on the immune system. It is especially important to give your dog extra vitamin E in times of stress or illness. It should always be given when your dog has surgery or vaccination(s) or has experienced serious injury or shock.

DOSAGE: 4 to 8 IU per pound a day but not more than 400 IU a day regardless of weight

B Vitamins and Calf's Liver

The B-complex vitamins help ward off stress, alleviate neurological problems, and are essential for cell maintenance and growth, the production of antibodies and red blood cells, and the absorption of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

The B-complex vitamins are grouped together because they work as a team. The team is made up of thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), cobalamin (B12), biotin, folic acid and choline. The effectiveness of one B vitamin is to a large extent dependent upon adequate amounts of other B vitamins. For example, pyridoxine (B6) is necessary for the absorption of cobalamin (B12). Natural food sources rich in B vitamins never contain only one B vitamin. It is best to supplement the B vitamins together.

You can give your dog extra B-complex supplement when you know it is going to be stressed or the immune system is compromised. Vaccinations, surgery, and serious injury or shock to the body are the most extreme cases in which your dog's body needs a lot of extra support from the B vitamins. The B-complex vitamins will also reduce the toxic effects of antibodies and radiation from X rays or radiation therapy.

Other indications for giving your dog a B-Complex vitamin are highly stressful situations such as traveling or separation anxiety.

You can either get a low dose B complex (about a 25 mg complex) or if you want to make your dog REALLY happy, give them raw calf's liver two days a week. This gives them not only the complete B vitamins but vitamin A along with a good source of protein.

Raw Calf's liver - 1 oz per 10 lbs a week. (i.e. a 50 lb dog should get 5 oz of liver a week)

NOTE: You can buy raw calf liver in a tub and put the amount of ounces needed a week in the freezer cut up into little pieces in a baggie. Then you can thaw out the pieces and give them as treats or put them into a meal, raw or cooked.


Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce cancer risk, boost the immune system, stimulate wound repair, and reduce the risk of cataracts. Vitamin C is important for proper bone formation and the maintenance and plays a role in preventing heart disease. We also know that when a dog is stressed they need additional vitamins for their body to function properly and to protect it from disease.

There is an assumption among conventional veterinarians that because dogs manufacture a little of their own vitamin C there is no need to supplement it. However, holistic veterinarians have found that supplementing vitamin C in a dog's diet can clear up a variety of health problems. In my own case my Lucy had lots of hot spots that bothered her. A few days of Ester C and they cleared up.

Dr. Wendell Belfield points out in his book, "How to Have a Healthier Dog", "Fifteen years of clinical experience, involving over two thousand cases, has told me that dogs definitely benefit from extra vitamin C. When given supplements, they are much less likely to develop hip dysphasia, spinal myelopathy, ruptured discs, viral diseases, and skin problems. They live healthier and longer."

When supplementing vitamin C, use sodium ascorbate or some other form of buffered vitamin C because plain ascorbic acid may cause an upset stomach. The best is Ester C You can buy it in powder or tablet form and add it to your dog's food, or get it in a multivitamin. If they spit it out you can wrap it in a very small amount of cheese or a little piece of meat. The daily dosage for an adult dog is the following:


Small dogs: 250 mg
Medium to large dogs: 500 mg
Giant dogs: 1,000 mg


Vitamin A plays an important role in bone growth and maintenance, healthy skin, wound repair, vision protection from respiratory ailments, a strong immune system, and the production of sperm in males and normal reproductive cycles in females.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a genetic retinal eye disease common to all breeds (including mixed breeds) that causes blindness, but it may be prevented and halted by the addition of vitamin A to the diet. Vitamin A combines the protein and produces rhodopsin or visual purple. Visual purple is what enables your dog to see at night. One of the first symptoms of PRA is poor night vision, which is followed by day blindness and can also lead to cataracts. If your dog is under 8 years old and seems disoriented or uncomfortable going out at night or into a dark room, have a veterinary ophthalmologist test for PRA.

Nutritional sources for vitamin A are dairy products, eggs, liver, fish-liver oils, and yellow, orange and dark green vegetables and fruits.

We believe that giving your dog raw liver once a week will supply it with all the vitamin A that it needs. (see Vitamin B and calf's liver above) Calf's liver is the safest way to to give your dog vitamins A and B.

For those who do not wish to feed raw liver here are the dosages of vitamin A.

VITAMIN A DOSAGE: once a day

1,000 units per cup of food

OR: small dogs 1,500 IU
medium dogs 3,750 IU
large to giant dogs 5,000 IU


Adequate calcium with vitamin D is protective in many ways, including protection against cancer and inflammatory disease, as well as seizures. Egg shells, milk, cheese, and oyster shells are the best forms of calcium, and the milk and cheese provide the necessary vitamin D, which is especially important for animals that use drugs that deplete vitamin D. Liver is the best way to get the necessary vitamin D, since it also includes other anti-seizure and calcium-regulating nutrients.

A young animal's prepared food should contain about 1500 mg of calcium per pound of food, and about half that much for a mature animal. A pound of moist food is a pint, so a cup is a half-pound. Considering nutrient content per weight of food is appropriate, since it makes allowances for both the weight and the metabolic rate of the animal.

You can make your own calcium from egg shells and avoid any contamination. Buy organic eggs and after using the eggs rinse the egg shells thoroughly and put them aside in an open container. When you have gathered enough egg shells, put them in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes. Then when cooled, crush them and put them in a coffee grinder, or a fine grinder, until they are like powder.


10 to 50 lbs 1/8 tsp.
50 to 75 lbs 1/4 tsp.
75 to 100 lbs 1/2 tsp.
100 lbs + 3/4 tsp.

(or if you prefer) OYSTER SHELL CALCIUM DOSAGE: once a day

750 mg tablet or capsule per cup of food

NOTE: you can crush the tablet with a mallet or hammer if your dog spits it out.

If it's oyster shell or egg shell, you don't have to worry about an overdose, because they contain some other things besides the calcium.

Daily dose of oyster shell calcium:

10 to 20 lbs - 300 mg
20 to 40 lbs - 400 mg
40 to 60 lbs - 750 mg
60 to 80 lbs - 1,000 mg
80 to 100 lbs - 1,250 mg
100 to 140 lbs - 1,500 mg

REFERENCES: Click here for supplement article's references