Potassium Supplements For Dogs
By Hungry Bark | January 7, 2021
If you’ve ever had leg cramps, someone has probably told you to go eat a banana. This is because bananas are full of potassium, and potassium plays a huge role in muscle function. It may be surprising to learn that this is also true in dogs!
Potassium is one of the most essential minerals in every diet. It keeps many different bodily systems functioning. Since potassium plays such an important role in the body, deficiency can lead to a number of problems in your dog.
Want to know more about potassium for dogs? Keep reading to learn how to recognize signs of low potassium in your dog and how to supplement their diet to make sure they are getting the right balance of this vital nutrient.
What Does Potassium Do?
Potassium is an electrolyte. It helps maintain the balance of fluid in the body and helps nerve impulses and muscles function. It is also a major part of brain activity and heart health.
Potassium levels are influenced by the amount of sodium and magnesium. These three electrolytes work together to maintain balance in the body. An increase in sodium can cause a decrease in potassium.
What Are the Side Effects of
A Potassium Imbalance
Since the level of potassium is so important, too much or too little potassium can have devastating effects. Fortunately, potassium imbalance is uncommon in healthy dogs and can be treated fairly easily.
Too little potassium, hypokalemia, can result in:
- Muscle cramps
- Irregular heartbeat
- Kidney problems
- Stomach problems
Hypokalemia can be caused by medications, chronic kidney disease, diarrhea, vomiting, malnutrition, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Too much potassium, hyperkalemia shows side effects like:
- Slow heart rate
- Decreased urine output
Hyperkalemia is usually caused by medical conditions. Urinary tract obstruction, diabetes, bladder stones, leukemia, and Addison’s disease are all conditions that can lead to hyperkalemia.
Potassium Supplements For Dogs
If you have a dog on diuretics, with IBS, kidney disease, or blood pressure medications, you may need to look into a potassium supplement for dogs. These are usually oral supplements and should be given under the guidance of a veterinarian. Potassium levels need to be monitored in dogs with chronic health problems.
If your dog is eating high-quality dog food, there should be no reason to supplement their potassium intake, unless they are on medications that may cause hypokalemia or are suffering from a chronic disease.
Likewise, if your dog is healthy, there is no need to worry that they are consuming too much potassium in their diet. The recommended amount of potassium for a healthy dog is at least 20 mg per day.
Potassium Chloride In Dog Food
If you read your dog food label, you may see potassium chloride in your dog’s food. This is a safe form of potassium added to dog food to make it nutritionally balanced.
In addition to its other effects on the body, potassium chloride for dogs also helps their bodies digest more efficiently. Potassium chloride in dog food helps your dog better absorb the nutrients in their food.
Make sure your dog is getting the potassium they need by feeding them high-quality dog food that is nutrient-dense. Hungry Bark doesn’t just add potassium chloride to all recipes, every recipe also includes superfood ingredients that are rich in potassium. Peas, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes add potassium as well as other essential nutrients and healthy dietary fiber to your dog’s bowl.
If your dog is healthy, you can keep them that way by making sure you feed them a nutrient-rich diet. Since most nutrient deficiencies are the result of a poor diet, the food you give your dog can have a major effect on their health. A healthy diet can prevent many problems and help maintain your dog’s quality of life.
If you are concerned that your dog is not getting enough potassium, consult your veterinarian, they can point you in the right direction.