Why does my dog need potassium?
Potassium is an important nutrient and is essential for your dog’s health. These are just some functions it helps to regulate:
- Heart rhythm
- Digestive system
- Neural function
- Immune system
It also works with calcium to strengthen canine teeth and bones and maintains your dogs PH levels to hold onto calcium in the bones and blood.
So its very important to ensure your dog is within the optimum range for this super nutrient.
How much potassium does a dog need daily?
This depends on how active your dog is, as active hounds need more potassium than your average couch potato. A good rule of thumb is all dry food should contain around 0.6% of potassium. Obviously, younger pups will be more active and therefore need more potassium than the seniors.
Which foods are high in potassium?
Most dogs who eat kibble will get enough potassium from their normal food as it’s usually fortified. Check the information on your particular brand and look for ingredients like poultry and vegetables.
For owners who prefer to raw feed, try to incorporate foods like:
Chicken & Turkey
Fish – especially salmon
Cooked potato & sweet potato – never feed any potato raw, as it can be toxic to dogs.
*Tip – try making a veggie casserole or a recipe for banana and peanut butter treats which are packed with potassium!
Symptoms of low potassium in dogs
One of the signs of low potassium in dogs is the need to eat grass. If your dog hasn’t an upset stomach but is chomping on grass you may need to look at their potassium levels.
Low blood potassium (Hypokalemia) can be very dangerous in dogs and its symptoms include:
Severe muscle weakness
Abnormal heart rhythm
If you notice these symptoms you should consult your vet immediately.
Symptoms of high potassium in dogs
If your dog is urinating less, because of a blockage, infection, kidney or bladder problem, it can lead to Hyperkalemia, a buildup of potassium in their system. This condition can also be fatal and should be investigated by a professional urgently.
Irregular heart rhythm
How to treat low potassium in your pet
If you suspect your dog has Hyperkalemia it will need diagnosing promptly by a vet. There may be many underlying causes, such as urinary infections, trauma, gastrointestinal diseases, kidney disease or leukemia.
You should never try to treat it at home yourself.