Lecithin for Dogs

Lecithin is a substance that is known to have some benefits and stimulate memory and learning abilities. Many dog trainers will recommend the administration of lecithin for dogs prior to starting and during a training course. Lecithin can be supplemented in the form of pills, but there are also some natural sources of lecithin that may be given to your dog.

The Composition of Lecithin

Lecithin is a substance that is made up of:

  • Phosphoric acid
  • Choline
  • Fatty acids
  • Glycerol
  • Glycolipids and triglycerids

Lecithin is present in all living cells and organs of dogs and may be included in your dog’s diet. Lecithin is also used as an emulsifier in preparing food.

When Should Lecithin Be Administered

Lecithin is present in the dog’s body and is essential for the well being of all cells, preventing health problems. If not consumed in sufficient amounts, the dog may easily be affected by viruses and diseases. Lecithin provides immune system support and can help when the dog is recuperating after a disease or a surgery.

Lecithin may be administered as a supplement for dogs that are preparing to start a training course or are during a training course. Studies have shown that lecithin improves memory and orientation and should be beneficial when the dog is learning commands and other tricks. Lecithin may also reduce cholesterol and can be administered as a supplement for canines that have high cholesterol.

Even if there are no major side effects when your dog receives lecithin supplements, consult your vet prior to administering lecithin. Soy lecithin is more recommended to lower the cholesterol levels and is most effective when combined with niacin.

Lecithin should not be administered in dogs that are on a certain diet (e.g. a low fat diet). Let your vet know if your dog gets a special diet prior to asking for lecithin.

Sources of Lecithin

Lecithin is often used as a natural additive in foods, being an emulsifier. Lecithin prevents the crystallization of sugar and improves the shelf life of the dog foods. However, lecithin may also be used as a dietary supplement and administered in the form of pills. Lecithin may also be found in a number of ingredients such as:

  • Soy beans
  • Egg yolk
  • Cabbage
  • Split peas
  • Cauliflower
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Fish eggs
  • Organic meat
  • Animal brain (i.e. chicken and sheep)
  • Animal liver and kidneys

Side Effects of Lecithin

Lecithin is known as a safe dietary supplement and no major side effects have been reported. However, there may be a few adverse reactions, especially if your dog receives lecithin in higher doses:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Lack of appetite
  • Gas
  • Skin rashes, if the dog has intolerance to lecithin

Discontinue the administration of lecithin if your pet has diarrhea or vomits for over 24 hours. Any major side effects should be reported to the vet.