What is Selenium Yeast in Dog Food?

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There has been a lot of talk about selenium yeast in dog food lately. But what exactly is it? And what do you need to know about this ingredient?

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about selenium yeast and how it affects your dog.

What is Selenium Yeast?

The Journal of Animal Science[1] defines selenium yeast as a naturally-occurring form of selenium that can be found in soil.

Selenium is an essential mineral for dogs, and it’s added to most dog foods in the form of sodium selenite or selenium yeast.

It helps regulate your dog’s thyroid and the body functionality associated with it and protects them from oxidative damage.

Bowl of dog food with selenium yeast

Why is it in Dog Food?

Selenium yeast has become the preferred source of selenium for dog food manufacturers.

It’s used as an antioxidant and preservative, but it also provides nutritional value as a source of selenium in your dog’s diet.

Since dogs can’t produce selenium on their own, it must come from their diet.

Most pet food companies add selenium yeast to their products to meet AAFCO[2] (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards for canine nutrition. 

Some companies also add selenium as a preservative, as studies have shown that it increases shelf life by 40 percent.

Is Selenium Yeast Good for Dogs?

Yes, selenium yeast is good for dogs because it provides them with the essential trace mineral they need to stay healthy.

Selenium is important for proper thyroid function and helps protect your dog’s cells from damage.

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Is Selenium Yeast Bad for Dogs?

No, selenium yeast isn’t bad for dogs as long as it’s added in the appropriate amounts.

Too much can be toxic, but the amount of selenium in dog food is regulated by the FDA.

Some people are concerned that selenium yeast contains inorganic arsenic, but the amount is so small that it’s not harmful to your dog.

Plus, selenium yeast is more effective at treating diabetes than other forms of selenium supplementation, according to researchers at the Medical University of Warsaw[3].

Is Selenium Yeast Bad for Dogs?

Sources of Selenium Yeast in Dog Food

Selenium yeast is a common ingredient in most dog foods. It can be found in both wet and dry dog foods.

There are several sources of selenium yeast in your dog’s diet: selenium yeast, swiss cheese, shrimp, fish oil supplements, and sometimes Selenomethionine, a supplement found in some dog foods.

How Much Selenium Yeast Do Dogs Need?

The FDA says that all dogs should be fed a diet with at least 20 micrograms of selenium per kilogram of body weight per day.

For a 35-pound dog, that is around 2 grams of selenium per day. 

The FDA also recommends that dogs get a minimum of 20 to 40 micrograms of selenium per day from food alone—about 10% of the amount recommended for humans to consume daily.

Most dog foods that contain selenium yeast have more than enough selenium to meet the daily requirement.

However, if you are concerned about how much selenium your dog is getting, contact your veterinarian.

Dog Foods with Selenium Yeast

If you’re looking for a dog food that contains selenium yeast, here are some of the best options:

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

This wet dog food is grain-free and contains high-quality proteins like salmon, turkey, and duck.

It also has added selenium yeast to help support your dog’s thyroid health.

Merrick Classic Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

Merrick Classic Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

With real deboned chicken as the first ingredient, Merrick’s wet dog food is a good choice for dogs with grain sensitivities.

In addition, the content of selenium yeast in this food helps to meet the daily nutritional requirements of dogs.

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Dehydrated Dog Food

This dehydrated dog food is made with humanely-raised chicken and doesn’t contain any grains, GMOs, or preservatives.

The selenium yeast in this food also meets the daily nutritional needs of dogs.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo’s dry dog food is made with premium ingredients like deboned chicken and doesn’t contain any grains, by-products, or artificial preservatives.

The selenium yeast in this food provides your dog with the essential trace mineral they need to stay healthy.

Wellness Core Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Wellness Core Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This dry dog food is grain-free and made with high-quality proteins like deboned chicken and turkey.

Related: Do Dogs Need Grain Free Food? Is it Actually Harmful?

Dog Foods without Selenium Yeast

If you’re looking for a dog food that doesn’t contain selenium yeast, here are some of the best options:

Iams Proactive Health Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Iams Proactive Health Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

IAMS’ dry dog food is grain-free and made with high-quality proteins like deboned chicken and salmon.

Wellness Simple Natural Dry Dog Food

Wellness Simple Natural Dry Dog Food

This dry dog food is made with only premium, all-natural ingredients and doesn’t contain any grains, by-products, artificial preservatives, or flavors.

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

This dry dog food is made with a limited number of ingredients to minimize the risk of food allergies.

It’s also grain-free and free from artificial preservatives.

Final Thoughts

Selenium yeast is a common ingredient in most dog foods.

It’s a good source of the essential trace mineral selenium, which is important for your dog’s health.

Most dog foods that contain selenium yeast have more than enough selenium to meet the daily requirement.

If you’re concerned about how much selenium your dog is getting, contact your veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few other common questions people ask.

Can Selenium Be Toxic?

Yes, selenium can be toxic at high levels[4]. The toxic level for dogs is around 3,000 micrograms per day. Symptoms of selenium toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and muscle weakness. If you think your dog has ingested a toxic amount of selenium, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

How Much Selenium is Safe for Dogs?

The FDA recommends that all dogs consume a diet with at least 20 micrograms of selenium per kilogram of body weight per day. For a 35-pound dog, that’s around 2 grams of selenium per day.

What is Sodium Selenite Used for?

Sodium selenite is a compound that contains selenium and is used as a dietary supplement. It’s sometimes added to dog foods to help ensure they meet the daily nutritional requirements for selenium.

Resources

  1. https://academic.oup.com/jas/article-abstract/77/12/3371/4645312?redirectedFrom=fulltext
  2. https://www.aafco.org/Portals/0/SiteContent/Meetings/Annual/2016/Committee_Report_Book_PRINT.pdf?ver=2016-07-12-103227-353
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31148299/
  4. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Selenium-HealthProfessional/

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