How to identify nutritional deficiencies in dogs?

A dog’s diet is the factor that has the greatest impact on his health. Feeding your dog is essential. However, you must always consider the nutritional needs of your pet to ensure good health continuously.

Some nutritional deficiencies do not come from the diet but rather from an internal concern or malformation. Keeping track of your dog’s nutrient deficiencies will help you reveal any « hidden » health problems.

In this article, we will help you identify nutritional deficiencies in dogs in general.

Generic Symptoms of Nutritional Deficiencies in Dogs

Although there are now high quality dog ​​food products that allow him to meet his nutritional needs, we still have shortcomings in some dogs. These deficiencies are certainly due to dog food or other unbalanced preparations or to homemade food without any control.

When a dog’s body receives all its nutritional needs in quality and quantity, your dog is simply healthy. Otherwise, the impact will be on the health and the body of your dog.

When there is a nutritional deficiency in a dog, generic symptoms can be spotted. These will simply tell us that the health of the dog is not at its optimum. These symptoms are:

  • a change in thirst and urine production
  • a change from stool
  • a dull and not shiny coat
  • an extinct look
  • a messy diet
  • a gross change in weight
  • skin problems
  • a change in the behavior of the dog

Symptoms of carbohydrate deficiency

domestic dog eating from his bowl.indoor
Carbohydrates are essential because they bring energy to the body. Therefore, a dog with a carbohydrate deficiency will always be very tired and weak.

When there is not enough carbohydrate, the body uses fat as a source of energy. When a dog’s body works like this, his body produces metabolic waste that is commonly called « ketone bodies. » That’s why when a dog has a carbohydrate deficiency or diabetes, he has acetone breath.

Symptoms of a protein deficiency

The function of proteins is to repair and build new tissues as well as the production of antibodies necessary for the immune system. When a dog has a protein deficiency, he will have the following symptoms:
decreased muscle mass
problems related to dog development
repetitive infectious diseases
alterations of the skin and coat

Symptoms of lipid deficiency

The function of lipids is the formation of cell membranes, the protection of organs and the transport of certain vitamins. A dog that has a deficiency in fat will have the following symptoms:

  • dryness of the coat
  • desquamation and seborrhea
  • weight loss
  • a predisposition to infectious diseases

Symptoms of vitamin deficiency

Vitamins are essential for the body because they allow several chemical reactions necessary for the proper functioning of the body. However, they must be ingested in small quantities because they are micronutrients. A dog with a lack of vitamins will have the following symptoms:

  • lack or loss of appetite
  • dermatitis
  • a decrease in body temperature
  • an alteration in the dog’s hair
  • worries related to blood clotting
  • neurological problems

Symptoms of a mineral deficiency

Like vitamins, minerals are also micronutrients. A dog with a mineral deficiency will have the following symptoms:

  • growth problems
  • musculoskeletal alterations
  • iron deficiency (anemia)
  • a predisposition to infectious diseases
  • a restlessness or weakness of the dog
  • dryness of the skin and a fall in the coat

What to do if your dog has a nutritional deficiency?

First of all, it is essential to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. The latter will do the clinical examinations and the blood tests needed to identify what deficiencies are really involved. If necessary, he will prescribe the necessary medications.

Do not hesitate to ask the veterinarian for advice on your dog’s diet and the amounts needed for his age and weight.