Common nutritional deficiencies in dogs

July 26, 2022
2 mins read

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Some of the most common deficiencies seen in dogs are vitamin B9, vitamin B12, vitamin D, magnesium and zinc. Here is everything you need to know about your dog and nutritional deficiency.

We all want to make sure that our dog is healthy and happy, and when we begin to see problems with our dog’s health it can be extremely stressful and worrying. Just like us, dogs need a healthy balanced diet that provides them with all of the nutrients they need. If, for one reason or another, your dog becomes deficient in a mineral, vitamin or nutrient, you will see the negative effect on their health.

If you become concerned about your dog’s health or you think that they might have a nutritional deficiency the first thing to do is take them to the vet. Vets have been trained to recognise deficiencies and to prescribe exactly what your pet needs. Recognising the signs of a nutritional deficiency in your pet could help you avoid needing to find a $2000 loan or potentially more to cover the bills.

You should not be prescribing your own supplements for your pet as this can sometimes be harmful.

If your dog is eating a healthy balanced diet, like a nutritionally complete dog food, they shouldn’t be deficient in any nutrients. However, dogs can become nutritionally deficient.

Why might my dog be deficient?

There are a few things that could be causing a nutritional deficiency in your dog. The first is that they are simply not eating enough. Follow your vet’s advice on how much you should be feeding your dog.

Secondly, your dog may be eating nutritionally poor food.

To prevent this, make sure that you are feeding your dog bike shop bought dog food that is labelled ‘nutritionally complete’.

This will mean they’re getting all the nutrients they need. The last thing that could be causing a deficiency in your dog is some kind of digestive disease preventing your dog from absorbing the nutrition they need. This is something that your vet will be able to identify and treat. If you live in a rented property, be careful as if your dog vomits because of nutritional deficiencies, you are likely to be liable for the clean up bills.

Signs and symptoms of nutritional deficiencies

If your dog has become deficient in one or more nutrients, here are some of the signs and symptoms you might start to notice:

  • A change in faeces – i.e. colour, consistency, content or coating.
  • Depression – i.e. lethargy/lack of energy.
  • Skin or coat disorders – i.e. hair loss, infection, flaking skin

What should I do if I notice these symptoms?

Your first port of call when you notice something wrong with your dog should always be your vet. Your vet will be able to diagnose the problem, spot any other symptoms and prescribe whatever is needed to treat your dog. under no circumstances should you self-prescribe any supplements for your dog.

Giving your dog unnecessary supplements can cause weight gain which can lead to obesity. Also, if your dog is eating too many supplements, they may forgo their dog food meaning they will become deficient because they are not receiving the nutrients they need and their food.

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