Biotin is one of the water-soluble B vitamins, also known as Vitamin H or Vitamin B7. It contributes to collagen and elastin production in humans (both of which are responsible for the rigidity and elasticity of skin and other tissues). Biotin deficiencies in humans are rare due to the various foods we eat on a daily basis. However, biotin may not be as readily available in your pet’s diet.
Unlike humans, horses do not produce biotin naturally and need it added to their diet. Biotin is needed for keratin production, which is a protein found in their hair and hooves. If your horse has dry, cracked hooves, it’s possible that their diet is biotin deficient. Dosage charts are available to help you add biotin supplements to your horse’s diet. Check out this article for more information about biotin for your horse.
So, what about Fido? Yes, even man’s best friend can suffer from a biotin deficiency. Some symptoms include anemia, dry hair or coat, skin lesions, and lethargy. Surprisingly, one cause of biotin deficiency in dogs is the consumption of raw egg whites. Raw egg whites contain the avidin enzyme, which binds to biotin and prevents their bodies from using the biotin. But, this only occurs with regular consumption of egg whites. In dogs, biotin not only contributes to healthy skin and coat, but it’s also essential for digestion, growth, and muscle formation. Additionally, biotin can be used to treat allergic reaction for your pup.
If you’re looking to add biotin to your pet’s diet, you can go about it a couple of ways. Concentrated and powdered biotin supplements are available, although there are additional benefits when it’s given in a supplement combined with zinc, calcium, and methionine. The addition of lysine, copper, vitamin B6, and omega 3 fatty acids also may increase the benefit of the biotin. With the addition of these minerals and nutrients, a supplement treat or specially formulated food is a great way to go.
Talk to your veterinarian if you’re worried about a biotin deficiency in your pet’s diet. Remember to do your research for the right type of supplement for your pet!