Creatine is a natural amino acid that’s commonly used as a health supplement for building more muscle mass. Is it safe and appropriate for a pet dog be given this type of weight gain supplementation?
Produced in the liver, Creatine increases the production of adenosine thiphosphate (ATP), a type of chemical fuel, which helps muscles work longer. Obviously dogs are doing mostly cardio intensive activities and not weight training.
Creatine is also taken for diseases of the muscles and nerves, congestive heart failure, bipolar disorder, depression, and high cholesterol. These uses do not seem to apply to most dogs, but let’s take a closer look!
Can I Give My Dog Creatine? Answer: Not Recommended
There’s no valid reason to bulk up your dog and doing so is questionable.
Perhaps you are considering the use of Creatine because you want your dog to gain weight without adding fat. Feeding your dog red meat and fish is a better way to go about achieving this. Understand that some breeds are naturally very slim in which case Creatine would certainly be inappropriate. But dogs can also be skinny due to improper nutrition or because they have a parasite in their body.
So, when you want to make your dog bigger, you should first investigate the reason(s) for their skinniness.
Creatine monohydrate is one of the most frequently used forms. Some people use micronized creatine, which is purer that monohydrate, more easily absorbed, and causes no bloating.
Controversial for Dogs
Some people say that giving a dog Creatine is fine. They think that it shapes the muscles nicely, making them look fuller, while improving physical capabilities. Others disagree, saying that many dogs don’t know their exercising limits.
Over-training may put your dog in danger. The best way to help with your dog’s weight gain is under the guidance of your vet. They’ll know the right amount and the most effective methods for Creatine use.
Creatine Side Effects
Muscle cramping, upset stomach, dehydration, and diarrhea are the most common side effects of creatine in humans. Your dog may also feel some discomfort from using it. Usually, negative signs that may occur are temporary vomiting or diarrhea.
If these signs persist, you should seek help from a veterinarian, and provide your dog with professional care. Creatine causes muscles to draw water from other parts of the body, so your dog should always have extra water in their bowl. There’s a small chance that something worse will happen to your dog. Just ensure that Creatine is used prudently and in smaller amounts that make sense for your dog’s normal diet.
Warnings & Contraindications
When taken orally, and this is how you would give your dog creatine, there are very slight chances that creatine can cause some more serious side effects in your dog. Namely, there are some indications that giving creatine to your dog can cause liver, kidney, or heart function to deteriorate.
However, these side effects have not been proven, so they cannot be taken into consideration as realistic side effects. Aside from this, dehydration is another thing you should be concerned about when giving creatine to your dog.
Conclusion on Creatine
Creatine can, theoretically, be given to dogs but the real question is why would you want to do so? Your pet pooch can gain weight in safer and more natural ways. Instead, provide more healthy foods that contain high amounts of protein. Meats such as chicken, beef or fish are better ways to bulk up your dog. Don’t take any chances by giving human-formulated Creatine to your canine.