Animal Friends Blog
When looking to see which minerals are important as part of your pet’s diet the words you read might take you back to science lessons at school and experimenting with all the different chemicals.
You might have used them in school and enjoyed watching things explode as part of their chemical reactions, but these minerals are actually an important part of your pet’s diet.
Why are minerals important for dogs and cats?
Minerals will help your dog or cat grow and develop. Each mineral can be used in one or more function and can also work alongside each other in helping your pet stay healthy.
What are the minerals my dog or cat needs?
Complete pet food that you might buy from the shop contains all your pet’s essential mineral needs but it’s always good to know what they mean.
Here are some of the minerals your pet needs in a healthy diet:
Calcium is the primary mineral required by your pet – up to two percent of total body weight is made up of calcium, almost entirely stored in the bones and teeth.
The correct amount of calcium is especially important for puppies and kittens, helping build strong, healthy bones and teeth (yes, those pesky, teething gnashers!) as well as muscle contraction, blood coagulation (clotting), and nerve function. Pretty important stuff!
Homemade food diet sources: raw bones, green beans, broccoli and cauliflower (which you can mash into your pet’s food – might be difficult to get your pet to willingly eat a cauliflower floret).
Another mineral that’s important for your pet’s bones and teeth – phosphorus is the second most common mineral in your pets body (around 25% of all the mineral material). Calcium needs phosphorus to maximize its bone-strengthening benefits, so these two minerals need to be carefully balanced in order to maximise the benefits to your pet.
Homemade food diet sources: animal tissues, eggs, and fish.
Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in our pet’s bodies, meaning it’s quite important. It’s needed by our pets to help with muscle contraction, nerve and enzyme function, and maintaining a regular heart rate.
Homemade food diet sources: Fruits and vegetables.
Another mineral helping with proper nerve and muscle cell function. You might see sodium included in your pet’s kibble in the form of table salt.
Homemade food diet sources: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables.
Most magnesium is found in our pets’ bones and soft tissues, including their skeletal muscles and livers. Magnesium also helps with calcium absorption, handy stuff.
Homemade food diet sources: spinach, broccoli and green beans.
Zinc helps with a lot of different things for your pet, from skin and wound healing to improving the quality of your dog or cat’s skin and fur. So, if your dog has better hair than you, blame the zinc.
Homemade food diet sources: eggs, pork, liver, lamb, broccoli and spinach.
Iron is considered a trace mineral for our pets, but it’s still super important. Just like it does for humans, iron helps with the production of our pet’s red blood cells which are responsible for transporting oxygen around their bodies.
Homemade food diet sources: red meat, fish, eggs and poultry.
You can thank copper for your pet’s hair colour. How? Well, copper helps with melanin production (this is why your dog is brown, blonde, black or blue), muscle function, bone growth, promotes absorption of iron and healing. No pressure, copper.
Homemade food diet sources: liver, duck, lamb, fish and veal.
There are a few other minerals that help keep your dog happy and healthy as well as all the different vitamins they need, sot really is a big team effort. For more information check out our article on making sure your pet’s nutritional needs are met.
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