Proper Use Of Zinc For Dogs

This page details the use and dosage of Zinc for dogs, including side effects and safety guidelines.

Zinc is a natural trace mineral found in dogs, and is second in abundance only to iron (generally). It is easy to make the mistake of thinking that because it is a natural substance, it can be given in very large amounts safely. However, this is not true. Dogs who receive too much zinc are at risk of developing a condition known as “zinc poisoning” or “zinc toxicity”. On the other end of the scale, a deficiency in zinc causes a reduction in T cell mediated immune system responses. Deficiencies most commonly occur when owners try to switch their dog onto a raw/homecooked diet without understanding the full nutritional needs of their pet.

Zinc dosage for dogs

Zinc recommendations depend largely on the phase of life your dog is in. For growing dogs, 0.8 mg/lb a day is most typical, whereas for maintenance the recommended value is often cited as around 0.3 mg/lb a day.

Your vet will be able to help you with this. You should always consult with your vet before supplementing your dog with zinc.

Is zinc safe for dogs?

Zinc, though natural, can be unsafe for dogs if given at heightened amounts. For this reason you should speak to your vet if you suspect a zinc deficiency and work out a plan for fixing the problem.

Safety precautions:

  • Speak to the vet before beginning zinc supplementation
  • Look out for signs of zinc toxicity (listed below)
  • Let your vet help you work out your dog’s daily zinc requirements

If your dog is on a homemade or raw diet, though this is very healthy, it’s important that you take into account their daily zinc requirements as a zinc deficiency can lead to immune system issues amongst other problems. Be aware of zinc toxicity signs and symptoms to ensure your pet isn’t receiving too much of the supplement. Symptoms of zinc toxicity includes vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, jaundice, orange coloring of excrement and a lack of appetite. Blood tests will be able to confirm the condition.

Uses of zinc for dogs

Zinc supplementation is often not needed, but may be given to dogs to treat:

  • Zinc deficiency

Some sources recommended that you don’t exceed 1 gram of zinc per day.

Side effects when giving zinc to your dog

Side effects are unexpected unless too much is given. Signs of a zinc overdose include gastric problems, fatigue, orange feces, jaundice, depression and a lack of appetite.

Vitamin C for dogs as a supplement
Wikipedia information about zinc