Some minerals are found in all foods, but no single food contains everything needed in the proper balance for good nutrition. Mineral needs for dogs include calcium, potassium, phosphorous, sodium, magnesium. sulphur and in trace elements, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, iodine, cobalt, and selenium. These make up less than 2% of any formulated diet, and yet they are the most critical of nutrients.
A dog can manufacture some vitamins on its own, but he cannot make minerals. Functions in the body include:
- Building bones and teeth
- Clotting and muscle function
- Building hemoglobin
- Aiding in protein synthesis
- Tissue repair, immune system
- Fat metabolism
- Thyroid function
- Vitamin B12 production
- Vitamin E synthesis
- Amino acid synthesis
- Water balance
- Nerve function
Deficiencies in the different minerals have different results. A dearth of calcium, for example, results in poor growth, rickets and convulsions. Deficiencies in iron or copper result in anemia. A shortage of magnesium causes convulsions, muscle weakness, and anorexia. Poor growth and skin and infertility follow a lack of zinc and manganese. Shortages of iodine cause goiter, hair loss and lethargy. We see muscle problems as a consequence of selenium deficiency, a lack of sulphur results in poor growth and coat. Kidney and heart problems are the effect of missing potassium, and sodium shortages cause hair loss and poor growth. Sodium shortages rarely occur. Excess sodium has been linked to hypertension in dogs.
Not only do dogs (and all organisms) need these nutrients, but they need them in proper amounts and balance for optimum health. For example, unless calcium and phosphorous are in balance, neither will be properly absorbed or utilized. Iron is critical for healthy red blood cells and is an essential component of some enzymes. Iron from animal sources is more readily absorbed than that from vegetable sources.
Dietary sources of these minerals include: milk, cheese, bones, bread, meat, vegetables, fish, greens, cereals, nuts, eggs and salt.
Article from: "Dog Food Secrets."
Author: Andrew Lewis.
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