Vitamin K for dogs isn't at the top of our list but maybe it should be because one form is highly toxic. Here's a quick review including natural food sources and where the dangerous form lurks.
There are three forms of Vitamin K.
K1, K2, and K3.
The benefits of K1 and K2 are that they:
I'm sure there is more but the point of this page is to talk about blood clotting and poisonous Vitamin K.
Let's talk about the first one for a minute. Blood being able to clot is something we don't think about often, but obviously it's very important.
For instance, when a dog eats rat poison, the chemical stops the blood from clotting. The dog begins bleeding through the intestinal tract and without large doses of Vitamin K1, the dog will bleed to death.
a terrible thing to think about, I know. I once had a wonderful cat die
from rat poisoning and the whole incident was so gut wrenching for me I
didn't leave the house for a month. I had no idea what was wrong with him and I never kept poisons in the house. By the time I got him to the vet, it was too late.
Food With Vitamin K (K1)
It can also be found in plants such as: spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, broccoli, kale, cabbage, asparagus, and mustard greens.
Chlorophyll is the substance in plants that gives them their green color and it also provides vitamin K. I have given my dogs liquid chlorophyll on their raw home made food, especially if I have no green leafy vegetables in the house.
Vitamin K2 is synthesized by the good bacteria in the digestive tract and absorbed by the body. (Another reason to avoid canine antibiotics if possible.)
I doubt this vitamin ever needs to be supplemented by itself, especially if your dog gets greens in his diet or kelp in a good dog food supplement.
Vitamin K3 is the Bad Guy!
I have the distinct impression that Vitamin K3 is purely a synthetic monster. This man made version can be found in many commercial dog foods, supplements, treats and edible toys. This one scares me and should scare you too. Not only does it stops the natural cycle of Vitamin K in your dog's body, it considerably weakens the immune system and causes cytotoxicity in liver cells - This stuff is TOXIC.
It goes by different names and if you buy commercial dog food, check for the following names:
These are often listed as "a source of vitamin K activity" or "vitamin K supplement".
Beware, some manufacturers leave out the "menadione" part of the above chemical names in their ingredient lists.