Selenium and Dogs: A Systematic Review

Animals (Basel). 2021 Feb 6;11(2):418. doi: 10.3390/ani11020418.


The intent of this review is to summarize the knowledge about selenium and its function in a dog's body. For this purpose, systematic literature search was conducted. For mammals, including dogs, a balanced diet and sufficient intake of selenium are important for correct function of metabolism. As for selenium poisoning, there are no naturally occurring cases known. Nowadays, we do not encounter clinical signs of its deficiency either, but it can be subclinical. For now, the most reliable method of assessing selenium status of a dog is measuring serum or plasma levels. Levels in full blood can be measured too, but there are no reference values. The use of glutathione peroxidase as an indirect assay is questionable in canines. Commercial dog food manufactures follow recommendations for minimal and maximal selenium levels and so dogs fed commercial diets should have balanced intake of selenium. For dogs fed home-made diets, complex data are missing. However, subclinical deficiency seems to affect, for example, male fertility or recovery from parasitical diseases. Very interesting is the role of selenium in prevention and treatment of cancer.

Keywords: Canis familiaris; Se biomarkers; blood; nutritional recommendations; serum.

Publication types

  • Review