Dogs need biotin because it is involved in many metabolic and cell division processes in the body. Also known as vitamin H (skin) or vitamin B7, it should be a firm, regular component in balanced dog nutrition.
What biotin does for dogs in the organism will be examined more closely in the following. The best known effect of the water-soluble vitamin is a shiny, beautiful coat.
But biotin can do even more …
That’s why biotin is so important for dogs.
First we become chemical: Biotin has a decisive effect on metabolic and cell division processes in the organism of our four-legged friends. Vitamin H has an influence on protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism and also plays an important role in the cell nucleus.
Among other things, it regulates the blood sugar level and – in its most visible effect – ensures a radiant, shiny coat by improving the structure of coat and skin and the growth of the undercoat. No matter whether you feed your dog mainly dry food, canned food or in the form of barfen – your sofa-wolf usually gets enough vitamin H from the food.
In some cases, however, there may be a biotin deficiency.
Biotin deficiency: These are the symptoms
Fortunately, biotin deficiency is extremely rare in dogs. You can recognize it by the following symptoms:
– Dull, brittle fur
– dandruff – itching – eczema
– hair loss
– Lack of vitality (in older quadrupeds)
These symptoms can also be related to other deficiency symptoms or diseases – to be on the safe side, you should check with your vet if you suspect you are suffering from any of these.
How much biotin does my dog need?
To a small extent, the dog organism produces biotin itself – but this is not enough to cover the need, so that it must be additionally absorbed through the dog food. So far, it has not been possible to determine clearly how much biotin is needed for dogs. The daily requirement is currently estimated at 2 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. For example, a dog weighing 20 kilograms needs about 40 micrograms of biotin per day.
Some animal welfare practitioners recommend more, especially at the time of the fur change, where the need rises. According to studies, there is no risk of overdose – surpluses are simply excreted by the body and side effects are not known.
Which foods contain biotin?
Biotin is present in many foods, but often in very small amounts. As a general rule, dogs (and cats) do not use the vitamin as well if it comes from a grain source. Animal products, such as calf or beef kidneys or liver, are better. Here is a small overview of foods and raw materials that are rich in biotin:
– offal – soya beans – egg yolk – yeast – wheat germ – wheat bran – oat flakes – salmon – beef muscle meat
Caution with raw eggs as biotin supplier
If a dog suffers from a lack of biotin, it often means that it should be fed with raw eggs. However, this household remedy should not be used as it is not allowed to feed the whole egg. The vitamin is only contained in the egg yolk. The surrounding egg white, on the other hand, has a negative effect on the absorption of biotin, as it binds the vitamin in the body and makes it worthless.
These topics on dog nutrition might also be of interest to you:
Vitamins for the dog: health and immune system
How healthy is linseed oil in dog nutrition?
Caution poisonous! Food that dogs should not eat