The dog is a carnivore, but that does not mean that it should consume exclusively meat products. A diet consisting only of meat is therefore unbalanced. It cannot meet the physiological needs of the animal, which then suffers from serious nutritional deficiencies. Let’s take a look at the trace elements and minerals essential for dog health.
Dog food and health
When adopting a dog, be aware that it is not a strict carnivore. Its diet must obviously meet his needs depending on their age and lifestyle, provide them with essential nutrients, energy, protect it from disease. It must also be rehabilitated if the animal has a particular condition. In other words, providing your dog with balanced diet and of good quality is absolutely essential for him to stay healthy.
It seems important to us to specify here that one does not feed his dog in the same way as his cat, each one having very specific needs, and their feeding behaviors are very different. To each his own bowl, so …
The place of trace elements and minerals in the dog’s daily ration
We cannot dissociate the supply of minerals from that of trace elements because there are interactions between them. Also, an imbalance between these nutrients can lead to bone demineralization, growth problems, poor digestibility of certain nutrients and many other problems. This therefore implies that each daily ration provides it with sufficient trace elements and minerals to tend towards perfect food balance.
As a reminder, here are the essential trace elements and their main roles.
- Copper: pigmentation of the hair and formation of collagen,
- Iron: formation of hemoglobin, this protein that gives blood its red color,
- Fluoride: oral health (note that an excess of fluoride represents a danger for the dog),
- Iodine: essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland,
- Manganese: reproduction, formation of cartilage and bones, brain development, lipid metabolism,
- Molybdenum: protein synthesis,
- Selenium: antioxidant involved in the prevention of inflammatory diseases,
- Zinc: immune system, synthesis of keratin and collagen.
The minerals that the dog’s body absolutely needs to function properly are as follows.
It is essential for the good health of bones, muscles, teeth, to avoid rickets, to metabolize lipids and proteins.
The daily intake of calcium in dogs varies according to the age of the animal, its sex, and the needs in canines are 10 times greater than those of humans. This intake is between 100 and 200 mg / Kg of body weight. To meet the calcium needs of a dog who receives exclusively a household diet, it is important to give him a calcium supplement, but always on the advice of the veterinarian because an excess of calcium causes calcification. On the other hand, industrial dog food, mash and kibble, can provide the recommended calcium intakes but you must choose products of very good quality.
It is involved in bone structure, muscle activity, the nervous system. Magnesium deficiency can be avoided if the dog’s diet contains meat, bones, fish.
It promotes the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, also allows the body to use calcium. Phosphorus and calcium are therefore linked. A phosphorus deficiency leads to bone fragility, muscle disorders. The foods that contain the most are meat, grains and fish.
It is essential for the proper functioning of the hormonal system, the nervous system, the heart, the muscles, and a potassium deficiency can be the cause of high blood pressure, hormonal disorders or even great muscle weakness. Meat products, fish and legumes are the foods that provide the dog’s body with potassium.
It regulates the water content, facilitates digestion, participates in the proper functioning of the nervous system and vital organs. However, beware of excess salt that can lead to poisoning in dogs. We therefore ban chips and other salty foods not suitable for dogs, and we have a light hand on the salt shaker when we prepare ourselves the daily ration of our little companion. Usually, industrial dog foods contain the right dosage.
What about the mineral supplementation in the dog’s diet?
Giving your dog food supplements to meet his mineral needs shouldn’t be taken lightly. It should therefore be known that if a deficiency is dangerous, theexcess minerals is also detrimental to health of the animal. A mineral supplement should therefore be given by the master only by decision of the veterinarian so as not to disturb the nutritional balance of his little companion.
If the dog enjoys every day of his life a perfectly balanced diet and of high quality, supplementation is unnecessary. Food intended for humans should not be fed to a dog. It is therefore essential to prepare the animal’s meals on the condition that it strictly meets its needs and, if you prefer to buy dog food, you opt for specific dietetic products and we banish what is not intended for him.