Pantothenic Acids for Pets

Is your dog or cat showing signs of stress?

It could be a result of Pantothenic acid deficiency. Pantothenic acid, also known as Vitamin B5, is known as an ‘anti-stress vitamin’ since it is involved in the production of adrenal hormones and antibodies produced by the body’s white blood cells. 

Pantothenic acid is an essential nutrient for both dogs and cats as captured in the NRC’s report on essential pet nutrients in the 2006 publication.

It is a water-soluble vitamin that is not stored in the body and needs to be replenished daily. Water-soluble vitamins are excreted in the urine and cannot be stored in the body, so it’s important to make sure your pet is getting enough pantothenic acid in their diet.

What is Pantothenic acid?

Pantothenic acid is part of the B-complex group of vitamins and is essential for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, as well as for the production of energy. It also helps to synthesize hormones and supports a healthy immune system.

To be utilized Pantothenic acid first need to be hydrolyzed to Pantothenate.

The formation of pantetheine from pyrophosphate and phosphoric acid occurs in the intestinal lumen via two hydrolases, pyrophosphatase and phosphatase, with pantetheine as the end product. Pantotheinase is a third intestinal hydrolase that transforms pantetheine into pantothenic acid.

The Greek word for Pantothenic is ‘pantos’ which means “from all quarters” which means it can be easily obtained. You may be thinking that there is no pantothenic acid deficiency as they are readily and abundantly available but that’s not true.

Pantothenic acid refers to a chemical combination of pantoic acid and β-alanine. Unlike vitamin E or vitamin K,  pantothenic acid is a single compound and does not occur in several chemically related forms

It was first isolated in 1931 by Roger J. Williams from the liver and royal jelly.

Sources of Vitamin B5:

The sources of Vitamin B5 include; beef, brewer’s yeast, eggs, vegetables, organ meats (especially liver and heart), rice and wheat bran, mushroom, saltwater fish, and whole wheat.

Pantothenic acid is found in a wide variety of foods, including meats, vegetables, legumes, eggs, and whole grains.

Some good sources of pantothenic acid include:

-Organ meats (liver, kidney)




-Milk and dairy products

-Whole grains and cereals

-Legumes (beans, lentils)

-Nuts and seeds

-Vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes)

Pantothenic acid is also available in supplement form. Supplements are often in the form of pantothenic acid (also called calcium pantothenate), which is the most common form used in supplements.

Benefits of Pantothenic Acid:

Pantothenic acid is essential for many bodily functions, including:

-Energy production

-Fat and carbohydrate metabolism

-Hormone synthesis

-Supporting a healthy immune system

Energy production:

Pantothenic acid is essential for the production of energy from fats and carbohydrates. It plays a role in the Krebs cycle, which is the process that cells use to produce energy from nutrients.

Pantothenic acid combines with coenzyme A (CoA) to make acetyl-CoA, which is used in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle to create citrate from oxaloacetate during glucose and fatty acid oxidation.

Fat and carbohydrate metabolism:

Pantothenic acid helps the body metabolize fats and carbohydrates. This means that it helps the body break down these nutrients so that they can be used for energy or stored as fat.

Hormone synthesis:

Pantothenic acid is involved in the synthesis of hormones, including adrenal hormones and sex hormones. This means that it helps the body produce these important hormones.

Supporting a healthy immune system:

Pantothenic acid plays a role in the production of antibodies, which are important for fighting infection and disease. It also helps to regulate the immune system.

Pantothenic acid is also known as the “anti-stress” vitamin because it helps the body produce hormones that help deal with stress. It’s also been shown to improve exercise performance and help heal wounds.

Signs of Pantothenic Acid Deficiency:

According to Silber RH Research on symtoms of Vitamin B5 deficiency in dogs, dogs that ate pantothenic acid-deficient meals had a decreased appetite and might develop abrupt prostration and coma, tachypnea and tachycardia, gastritis, enteritis, and intussusceptions; if the problem is not treated, death can result.

Pantothenic acid deficiency is rare, but it can occur in pets who have problems absorbing nutrients from food or who don’t eat enough foods that contain pantothenic acid.

Pets with a pantothenic acid deficiency may experience the following symptoms:


-Muscle weakness


-Digestive problems

-Muscle cramps

-Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet





If you think your pet may be deficient in pantothenic acid, talk to your veterinarian. They can help you determine if your pet is deficient and how to best treat it.

Panthothenic acid deficiency in cats:

Gershoff SN and Gottlieb LS study in 1964 did not find any specific deficiency symptoms in cats but suggested that a lack of pantothenic acid might be a factor in the development of certain health problems.

As per NRC’s 2006 report, kittens and adult cats need stable amounts of pantothenic acid in their diet for good health, and no deficiency signs have been reported in cats.

Is Panthothenic acid safe? Is Pantothenic good for cats and dogs:

Vitamin B5 is considered nontoxic when taken at recommended doses. There is no established upper limit for pantothenic acid intake from food or supplements.

While pantothenic acid is considered safe, taking large doses of pantothenic acid supplements can cause side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Pantothenic acid should not be fed to pets with liver disease or kidney disease.

Pantothenic Acid Supplements:

Pantothenic acid supplements are available in both pill and powder form. They can be found at most health food stores and online retailers.

When choosing a pantothenic acid supplement, look for one that is high quality and contains pure pantothenic acid. Avoid supplements that contain fillers or artificial ingredients.

Pantothenic Acid Toxicity:

Pantothenic acid is considered safe and has a low risk of toxicity. However, taking large doses of pantothenic acid (more than 10 grams per day) can cause side such as;

  1. Muscle weakness
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Nausea
  4. Vomiting
  5. Stomach pain
  6. Headache
  7. Dizziness
  8. Irritability

How much pantothenic acid does my dog need?

AAFCO recommends feeding puppies, adults and senior dogs 12 mg per kg of their body weight on a dry matter basis. The table below shows AAFCO’s minimum nutrient requirements for Vitamin B5.

 This AAFCP recommendation is equivalent to 10 ppm for dogs.

How much pantothenic acid does my cat need?

AAFCO recommends feeding your cat a minimum of 5.75mg per kg of their body weight on dry matter basis. This recommendation is similar for kittens, adults, and senior cats. The AAFCO table below has more details.

 This AAFCP recommendation is equivalent to 5 ppm for cats.