Biotin for your dog's skin

Is your dog constantly battling skin problems? He may have a biotin deficiency, but thankfully there is a solution.

Healthier skin and a younger-looking body. These are just two of the benefits of biotin, formerly known as Vitamin H. One of the most important nutrients in the body, biotin maintains healthy connective tissue which holds the body together. It is essential for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, as well as for cell formation, and assists with the metabolism of proteins.

Skin conditions arising from a biotin deficiency include dry, flaky skin, a dull or thin coat, excessive shedding, and intense scratching or biting at the skin leading to bald areas. Birds and rabbits will show similar symptoms in their fur and feathers. Talons, nails and beaks may also be in poor condition. Less readily seen symptoms occur in weakened tissue, which may contribute to hip dysplasia in dogs and other joint disorders.

In recent years, biotin has enjoyed popularity as an ingredient in shampoos, conditioners and cosmetics. This B vitamin, however, has to be ingested in order to gain its full benefit.

A primary source of biotin is the healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract, and it also occurs naturally in many foods, including liver, meat, egg yolks and most vegetables. Since the bioavailable content in these foods may not prove sufficient to provide proper balance, a biotin supplement can be helpful. It is also an effective alternative to expensive prednisone and antihistamine treatments.

Supplementation will reverse the unsightly and uncomfortable effects caused by a deficiency. The animals will look, feel and act years younger in a relatively short time. Less scratching will result in healthier, less-irritated skin and less shedding. Bald areas will show new hair growth as the rest of the coat thickens and regains its original luster.

Being aware of the signs and symptoms of a biotin deficiency will help you take appropriate measures. A healthy animal is a happy animal who will live a longer life.