Selenium for dogs is gaining popularity. This rise in popularity is the result of claims that this antioxidant can help with almost every aspect of a dog’s body and help prevent cancer. While selenium is an important part of a dog’s diet, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a supplement you should be giving to your dog. As with any other vitamin or mineral, it’s important to realize that more isn’t always better. It’s also important to talk with your vet about selenium for dogs. So, can dogs eat selenium? Let’s find out.
Can Dogs Eat Selenium?
In general, dogs won’t require a selenium supplement if they’re eating a high quality food. Dog foods from highly respected brands like Blue, Wellness, and the like make sure that their foods have all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that dogs need for optimal nutrition, so your dog is already getting all the selenium he needs. In addition to that, as with any other vitamin or mineral, too much of a good thing can end up being a bad thing. If your dog has too much selenium in his system, he can suffer from selenium toxicity, a condition in which a build up of the mineral causes a toxic effect on the body.
Selenium Toxicity Symptoms
Selenium toxicity can present in a variety of ways. All of these symptoms could also be signs of other issues, so if your dog shows any of these symptoms, it’s important to take him to the vet immediately. Symptoms of selenium toxicity include:
- Hair Loss
- GI Upset
- Skin Rashes
- “Garlic Breath”
- Nervous System Abnormalities
- Heart, Liver, and Kidney Damage (Acute Cases)
If you’ve been giving your dog a selenium supplement, and you see any of these symptoms, discontinue the supplement and take him to the vet immediately. Even if your dog is showing no signs of selenium toxicity, it’s still a good idea to discontinue use and consult your vet. You could end up hurting him instead of helping him, especially these days when it’s so easy for companies to tout the benefits of anything without any real proof or safety warnings.
Selenium for Dogs – Not Necessary and Potentially Dangerous
If you feed your dog a high quality dog food, he should have all the selenium he needs in his diet. Adding any extra could cause selenium toxicity, which is no bueno. My advice to all owners about any supplementation is to speak with their vet before giving any additional supplementation. Remember, too much of a good thing is a bad thing, and dog supplements are not nearly as rigorously watched as human supplements. There are cases where selenium for dogs might be a good idea, but those cases generally involve an underlying condition that needs to be treated and in the care of a vet.