7 Signs of Nutritional Deficiency in Dogs You Should Know About
Dogs need sufficient vitamins, minerals, protein, fats, and carbohydrates to live long, healthy lives, just like humans need nutrients from vegetables, fruits, and meats. Nutritional deficiencies in dogs can lead to severe health complications, such as diabetes or pancreatitis.
It’s important to check the nutritional value of the food you give your dog and keep an eye on your pet’s health and behavior to spot signs. Without the proper knowledge, it can be difficult to recognize nutritional deficiency in your pet unless symptoms have progressed significantly. That’s where this article comes in handy.
Below, our XDOG team highlights the issues that cause nutritional deficiencies in dogs and shares seven clear warning signs that your pet may not be getting enough nutrients. To ensure your puppy has the well-rounded diet they need to grow healthy and strong, check out our natural bully puppy supplements and other fine products.
This knowledge may just enhance your pet’s quality of life, so read on to learn more.
Causes of Nutritional Deficiency
Nutritional deficiency in dogs happens for one of three main reasons:
- Insufficient feeding
- Lack of nutrition in food
- Digestive diseases
Many people feed their pets based on the guidelines printed on the package, which is typically a good standard for the average dog. However, depending on such circumstantial factors as activity level or metabolism, some dogs need more or less than the recommended amount.
Identifying your dog’s feeding needs is important to maintain a healthy weight and nutritional balance.
Lack of Nutrition in Dog Food
Some brands advertise nutritional food with everything your dog needs. However, many such formulas contain preservatives and other artificial additives that could damage your pet’s health. Before purchasing dog food, it’s a good idea to check the label for risky ingredients like food dyes, corn syrup, vegetable oil, and unspecified meat products.
Sometimes, it’s not the food but an illness causing a nutritional deficiency. If your dog has a digestive issue manifesting as vomiting or diarrhea, they are likely not absorbing the nutrients they need. If you notice signs like these, you must get treatment for your dog so they can return to a healthy diet.
7 Signs of Nutritional Deficiency
Dogs can have deficiencies in vitamins, protein, minerals, and other essential nutrients, displaying different symptoms based on their deficiency. Below is a list of general symptoms associated with malnutrition in dogs.
1. Skin or Coat Disorders
The appearance of dry, flaky skin or sores on your dog is a common sign of a lack of minerals, protein, and essential fatty acids. These nutrients are necessary for maintaining a full, shiny coat, and a deficiency can cause the following skin and coat issues:
- Dull, brittle coat
- Slow hair growth after grooming
- Dry, scaly skin
2. Weight Loss or Gain
Your dog should maintain a consistent, healthy weight. If you notice your pet becoming thinner or bigger, it could indicate inadequate feeding. Some dog foods contain the right nutrients, but the ingredients are poor quality. To get enough vitamins, minerals, etc., your dog would need to eat more calories, which could lead to obesity.
On the flip side, some foods don’t have enough nutritional content to keep an active dog with a fast metabolism at a healthy weight, causing your pet to become underweight. Neither scenario is healthy, so don’t ignore any changes in your dog’s weight.
3. Change in Feces
Abnormalities in your dog’s poop constitute one of the common signs of nutritional deficiency. You might notice changes in your pet’s bowel movements, such as an increase in the number of times your pet goes or an odd color or texture of the feces. When your dog has a digestive health problem, their body struggles to take in nutrients from their food, leading to more health issues.
4. Reduced Immunity
Since proper nutrition is essential for boosting the immune system, frequent illnesses could indicate a lack of the vital nutrients required for a healthy dog diet.
You might notice that sores or wounds heal slowly or that your pet catches infections easily, which can appear as ear infections or “hot spots” on their skin. Severe allergies, whether to ingredients in food or environmental triggers, can also be a sign of needing a better diet.
5. Lack of Energy
If your dog isn’t getting enough nutrients to fuel all the running, jumping, and playing they do daily, you’ll likely notice a lack of energy in your furry friend. Your dog might lay around and take naps more than usual, conserving energy because they aren’t getting enough from their food. A lack of carbohydrates is the most common reason for fatigue caused by malnutrition.
6. Behavioral Issues
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause your dog to act differently than what you’re used to from your loyal pet. If a normally goofy and energetic dog suddenly becomes lethargic and uninterested in their favorite toy, they could be showing signs of a severe nutritional deficiency.
Other behavioral signs to look out for include:
- Eating feces or other inappropriate items
- Aggression and mood swings
7. Teeth Problems
The condition of your dog’s teeth can be a strong indicator of health issues. A balanced diet with plenty of vitamins is essential for keeping your dog’s teeth strong and healthy, significantly impacting your pet’s quality of life. Concerning changes in your dog’s oral health may include the following:
- Red, swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Plaque build-up
- Missing teeth
Boost the Nutritional Value of Your Dog’s Diet
At XDOG, our natural supplements help dogs of all ages and sizes have a balanced, nutritional diet to stay strong and healthy by your side. Whether your dog participates in shows or spends most of their time on your couch, you can combat nutritional deficiency in dogs with XDOG supplements for weight, muscles, and immune system support, ensuring they can keep living their best life.
Browse our shop for high-quality dog food and supplements, including healthy, high-calorie foods for dogs.