Can I Give My Dog Iron?

Can I Give My Dog an Iron Supplement?There’s no doubt that Iron is essential for humans as well as dogs, but pets normally receive sufficient amounts of this important mineral when they’re routinely fed quality foods. Therefore, routine supplementation is typically not needed.

There are, however, scenarios where levels dip making extra iron necessary but such deficiencies are usually linked to medical problems. Providing a dog with additional amounts of this mineral without a diagnosis is questionable and possibly dangerous, though toxicity is rare.

Give iron supplementation to your pet only after a medical diagnosis is performed. If you have reason to believe that your dog is lacking then involve a veterinarian because you certainly don’t want anemia to develop.

Can I Give My Dog Extra Iron? Answer: Yes, if a vet finds a deficiency

In any case, most human-formulated supplements aren’t as well suited as those designed for pets.

We give our youngest dog a quality canine-formulated iron supplement after it was confirmed that she was mildly deficient. We’ve since improved her diet. Finding out the underlying reasons for low iron levels is important and should be a priority. A good vet will provide the type of iron supplementation plan, if required, for your dog’s particular needs.

There’s an excellent supplement made for dogs already suffering with anemia.

Reasons for Deficiencies

Many dogs lack a quality diet and therefore don’t get their iron needs met. Losing lots of blood, either internally or externally, is another reason for low iron levels. This can occur, for example, if your dog has a bleeding ulcer. Puppies can have low iron levels if the mother lacks this mineral. Less common causes involve parasite infestation or urinary tract infections.

Too little iron can be problematic. Have your dog or puppy checked out if you suspect something is wrong.

Iron & Associated Anemia

Dogs can get anemia if they have an iron or vitamin B12 deficiency. In any case, it’s important to identify such a problem early on. Anemia, or low levels of red blood cells, could be a sign of something more serious. Ideally, a vet should begin a treatment plan for such a concerning underlying issue and this usually requires more than just basic iron supplementation.

Either injectable iron dextran or ferrous sulfate, taken orally, may be prescribed by a vet.

Symptoms and Guesswork

If you suspect that your dog is deficient in iron then get them evaluated by a veterinary professional. They will likely test the blood and urine. A good vet will provide solutions that are tailored for their particular illness or deficiency. Your dog may not even need an iron boost.

Just don’t give a supplement based on guesswork. Vitamin deficiencies, including lack of iron, can be quite worrisome if they linger too long. Signs of low iron levels can manifest in the form of poor appetite, lack of playfulness, constipation, change in stool coloration, depression, general weakness or lethargy.

Checking Fido’s Iron Levels

Check the inside of your dog’s mouth to see if parts of the tongue or gums have turned light pink or a whitish color. This can be cause enough to start looking for other symptoms. Some owners instinctively know when a pet isn’t quite right. In any case, you should also evaluate the type of dog food you are providing.

Sufficient Iron is Automatic

Providing a quality diet to your dog will, under normal circumstances, cover their iron requirements. Once that’s in place, you simply need to stick the same daily diet routine. This strategy is beneficial for both you and your dog and you won’t have to worry about an iron deficiency situation.

Conclusion on Extra Iron

Dogs don’t normally need iron supplementation unless there is a medical reason for providing it. Perhaps your dog suffers from something that causes their iron levels to dip, but a proper diagnosis critically important. If your pet does need extra, consider an iron supplement designed for dogs instead of a human product. Otherwise, provide a quality dog food and stop worrying yourself.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Antoinette May, 2016

My dog was diagnosed with a nose tumor and was bleeding from his right nostril 2 months ago. The vet gave Prednisone after 2 weeks but that was not helping as he started bleeding from the left nostril. She then put him on Piroxicam and now he seems to be getting worse, bleeding and swollen muzzle. He now seems tired. I am thinking he’s becoming anemic. What can I do to help?


Terence March, 2014

Internal organs of poultry such as heart and liver are good for dogs except that liver should not be fed daily as it is too rich in vitamin A and iron. Excessive vitamin-A can result in toxicity and too much iron can cause damage to the liver.


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