Minerals and Your Pet

measuring cup

What do minerals do for my pet?

Minerals perform many different functions, from keeping bones and cartilage strong to transporting oxygen in the blood to maintaining fluid balance in muscle and nerve function. At any time, they're hard at work in many biological processes that keep your pet healthy.

While the function of some minerals can be separated from that of others, it is impossible to adequately nourish a dog without providing all the minerals in their proper proportions. This is due to the fact that minerals interact in many aspects of body function and maintenance.

Minerals are relatively simple molecules compared to other nutrients, which can be large and complex. Nutritional issues related to minerals include the amount of each in the diet, proper balance of all minerals, and the availability of minerals in the dog's food.

Supplementation of any one mineral to an otherwise balanced diet can create imbalances and possibly disrupt your pet's nutritional health. Manufacturers producing good quality dog foods maintain a safety margin for all essential nutrients in the product formulation to compensate for any loss during normal processing and storage and for the variation in the needs of individual dogs.

Situations requiring supplementation should be addressed by a veterinarian. Supplementation may sometimes be needed to correct a specific deficiency due to a dog's inability to use the normal level of a particular nutrient.

The minerals are usually grouped into macro and micro categories. Macro-minerals are needed in greater amounts in the diet, and found in larger amounts in the body than micro-minerals.

Here's a list of common minerals you might encounter, and the category they fall under:


  • Calcium (Ca)
  • Phosphorus (P)
  • Sodium (Na)
  • Chloride (Cl)
  • Potassium (K)
  • Magnesium (Mg)


  • Iron (Fe)
  • Zinc (Zn)
  • Copper (Cu)
  • Manganese (Mn)
  • Selenium (Se)
  • Iodine (I)
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