Few years back, while trying to control Rocco’s allergies, we were looking for the perfect diet that would allow him to gain body mass and then help him maintain his ideal weight. I wrote about our trials and tribulations in a previous post. For a short period of time we switched to a raw diet and that’s when we first learned that Huskies tend to be zinc deficient.
After doing some research, I found out that Huskies and Malamutes have difficulties absorbing zinc, and if under stress, fed a diet high in calcium or plant sources they may develop a skin condition known as zinc responsive dermatosis. The condition manifests itself through hair loss, scaling and crusting of the skin around the face, head, and legs. As well as lesions that can encircle the mouth, chin, eyes, and ears. The foot pads may be scaly and the coat is dull and dry. This condition can also affect puppies who are on zinc-deficient diets (source).
If you are feeding a well-balanced diet your dog is most likely getting enough zinc. However, if you have a Husky or a Malamute, and especially if they are under any sort of stress, it might be a good idea to supplement. The good news is that zinc is relatively non-toxic and over-supplementation is rare. You can speak with your veterinarian to find an appropriate zinc supplement or you can try increasing your dog’s diet in zinc rich foods.
Here are some foods that are rich in zinc and make for a healthy treat:
- Pumpkin seeds (also great as a natural de-wormer)
- Eggs ( I usually give Rocco one raw egg a week, together with the shell)
- Bison meat or bison treats
There are of course many more, but these are the ones I feed Rocco.