Common Nutritional Deficiencies in Dogs
Dogs need a regular supply of essential nutrients to live a healthy and active life. Even a slight deficiency in such nutrients could already make them vulnerable to several infections and diseases.
If malnutrition is a serious topic among humans, so it is with dogs. This is why all dog owners must know how to avoid it.
What are the causes of nutritional deficiencies in dogs?
Underfeeding is one of the most common causes of nutritional deficiency in dogs. Dogs should be fed twice a day. However, if they have a large built and regularly engage in strenuous activities, they could be fed at least thrice a day.
The quality of dog food should be taken into consideration, too. The nutritional facts should be prioritized rather than the brand.
Indigestion could also lead to nutritional deficiency. When food isn’t broken down properly, its nutritional contents are not absorbed by the body. So no matter how nutritious the dog food is, if the dogs can’t properly digest them, they are useless.
This is why it’s highly recommended that you add probiotics-based digestive supplements. Probiotics don’t just help the stomach digest food. They also transform the nutrients into their active forms so that the body may maximize their benefits.
What are the signs of nutritional deficiencies in dogs?
Nutritional deficiency causes weakness among dogs. They don’t have the needed energy to perform various activities, even the simple ones.
They also have poor coat conditions. Their skin looks dry and dull. They are also more susceptible to shedding than healthy dogs.
Malnutrition can affect their bowel movements, too. Their stool would either look watery or harder than how it should be. Also, instead of chocolate brown, it may have the color green, yellow, gray, and even black.
Dogs may also develop unruly behavior. Because of their underdeveloped neurological function, they have a hard time being focused, resulting in them being untrained.
What are the most common nutritional deficiencies in dogs?
One of the most common nutrients to be neglected in a dog’s daily routine is Vitamin B12. It is important to the cell development and neurological functions of your dog. Foods that are rich in Vitamin B12 are fish and eggs.
Most dogs also lack Vitamin D3. This regulates the amount of calcium and phosphorous on your bone’s body to avoid hip and joint development problems. This can often be found in liver and beef.
Lastly is Manganese. It helps dogs transform protein and carbohydrates into fatty acids that are essential in producing energy, increasing mobility, and boosting the immune system. Whole grains and leafy vegetables are the best sources of Manganese.
Unfortunately, some of the foods that produce these nutrients are not compatible with most breeds and cannot be eaten daily.
This is why it’s highly recommended that you add multivitamins to your dog’s daily routine. Besides the mentioned nutrients, some multivitamins also contain Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Iron, and Vegetable Fiber, all of which are beneficial to your dog’s health. They are also formulated in such a way that the body could easily consume them.
Feeding your dogs isn’t enough. You also have to make sure that you’re feeding them right.
Laura Robinson, DMV
Dr Laura practices at the Antonio Animal Hospital in California, where she was born and raised. She is an advisor to Wuffes, ensuring all our products and content is of the highest standard