A Guide To Zinc Deficiency In Dogs
Zinc is one of the most essential nutrients needed by your dog’s body. While other vitamins help your dog to be active and energetic, zinc for dogs is needed more on their immune system. This is why zinc deficiency in dogs can really cause serious health problems.
What causes zinc deficiency in dogs?
Your dog can acquire and maintain the right amount of zinc through their regular food. Examples of high zinc foods (when eaten raw) are beef, buffalo, chicken, lamb, pork, sardine, and many more.
While some of these dogs might not be preferred by your dog, there are numerous dog food and zinc dog treats which you can feed your pet in place of these meats. All you have to do is to check their nutritional values and look for zinc citrate and zinc methionine which are both the best forms of zinc for your dogs.
What happens with zinc deficiency in dogs?
Scary as it is, there are actually numerous illnesses that your dog can get with zinc deficiency.
The most common one is zinc-responsive dermatosis. The early stage of this disease includes erythema or the sudden redness on your dog's skin, resulting in alopecia. This mainly occurs on the eyes, muzzle, paws, and even on the groin area.
Zinc-responsive dermatosis is one of the earliest signs of serious zinc deficiency. However, it is often dismissed as a typical skin disorder that could be solved with the proper dog soap or topical ointment because of its nature. But when not appropriately diagnosed, it could lead to an unresponsive immune system.
A faulty immune system basically means that your dog’s body cannot repeal any infection. This often starts with serious digestive issues characterized by diarrhea and decreased appetite. Because of this decreased appetite, your dog will not acquire other essential nutrients that might lead to dog flu, coughing, and other secondary infections.
These secondary infections, when not treated properly, can then result in multiple organ failures. This is why zinc deficiency must be addressed at its earliest stages if not wholly prevent it.
How can you prevent and treat zinc deficiency in dogs?
There really is no clear-cut treatment for zinc deficiency as it depends on the symptoms that come with it. Basically, you would have to treat the infections while addressing the zinc deficiency.
One of the best methods to prevent and minimize the additional risks of zinc deficiency is to make zinc supplements for dogs a staple in your dog’s everyday routine. Numerous dog multivitamins in the market contain the perfect amount and form of zinc for your dogs.
Not only can these food supplements address zinc deficiency, but they can also minimize the recurrence of symptoms as they can improve the skin and coat condition, digestion, hip and joint, and boost the immune system of your dog.
Taking care of your dog is not a walk in the park. There are several “silent killers” that you have to be wary about, such as zinc deficiency. But the good thing is that with the right appetite and multivitamins, you can prevent these problems easily.
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