The Importance of Minerals for Dogs
Elevate Your Dog’s Food Beyond Simple Nutrition
Welcome to ‘Ingredients with a Purpose’ – a series of science informed articles on the role the ingredients in your dog’s food plays in achieving their best health and wellbeing at every stage of their precious lives at the same time helping to reduce the environmental impact feeding them has on our precious planet.
We understand there are a LOT of options when it comes to what you feed your dog. We also understand you want to offer them the best food possible, and labels can be confusing. The goal of this series is to give you clear insight into the reason for the inclusion of every ingredient in our super premium plant-based food, the role it plays and what is necessary to guarantee you are feeding your dog an all-natural, complete, and balanced, diet.
These are the key elements necessary for positive nutrition.
The Importance of Minerals for Your Dog’s Health
More than 18 mineral elements are believed to be essential for all mammals including your dog. Macrominerals are required by our dogs in their diets in larger amounts and microminerals, or trace elements, at far lower levels.
Minerals are an essential class of nutrients that must be included in a healthy, balanced diet. They are crucial for the proper development and function of your dog’s body. Specific minerals must also be present in a dog food in the right amounts to provide optimal health.
Research undertaken by the University of Guelph on the ‘True digestibility of minerals in animal and vegetable ingredient based adult maintenance dog food’ showed that true digestibility of endogenous minerals was similar or greater (in the case of calcium, phosphorous and iron) in dogs fed diets that are largely plant-based than those fed largely meat-based food. (4)
Chelates (or chelated minerals) are organic forms of essential trace minerals such as Copper, Iron, Manganese, Calcium and Zinc which in their non-chelated form are inorganic. Chelates are trace minerals bound to amino acids.
Dogs absorb, digest and utilise mineral chelates better than inorganic minerals. This means that lower concentrations can be used in their food (1). Mineral chelates offer health and welfare benefits in pet nutrition. In addition, dogs fed chelated sources of essential trace minerals excrete lower amounts in their faeces, so there is less environmental contamination.
The poor retention and high excretion rates of inorganic minerals led to environmental concerns during the 1980s and 1990s, and so in 2003 Europe legislated a reduction in permitted feed concentrations of several trace metals (Co, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn)
As certain minerals (Zinc, Copper and Iron) are vitally important to your dog’s overall health and wellbeing, and are known to absorb better in chelated form, Bonza add these 3 minerals in a blend of the more expensive chelated with inorganic forms to ensure your dog benefits from optimum levels of these minerals.
Scientific studies show that Calcium and Manganese absorption rates are not improved by chelation and therefore there is no benefit to chelation of these minerals.
Our plant-based ingredients provide very good levels of naturally occurring minerals and means we rely less on added trace minerals than many other dog foods.
Zinc deficiency can result in many problems for your dog including:
• Lack of protection from infection
• Abnormal iodine metabolism
• Interference with normal cell development including wound healing, and replacement of intestinal lining cells, skin cells, hair, and nails
• Interference with normal sexual function (important in breeding animals)
Puppies affected with zinc-deficiency experience stunted growth, diarrhoea, crusted and cracked footpads, and multiple infections. These puppies do not respond to zinc supplementation, and usually die or are euthanised.
Copper is necessary for a number of important bodily functions. It helps dogs’ bones form, connective tissue, collagen, and myelin, which coats and protects nerves. The mineral allows the body to absorb iron, boosting red blood cell function.
The formation of melanin requires copper, an antioxidant, and is part of many enzymes, such as monoamine oxidase, lysyl oxidase, ferroxidase and cytochrome C oxidase.
Copper deficiency can result in many problems for your dog including:
• Bone and joint disease
• Poor coat colour
• Ligament and tendon issues
As its primary function, iron combines with Copper (Cu) and protein to form haemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Iron also is necessary for certain enzymes in the body to function normally.
Iron deficiency results in the development of anaemia (lower than normal number of red blood cells). In iron deficiency anaemia, the size of each red blood cell and the amount of haemoglobin it contains are also reduced. Symptoms of anaemia include decreased growth rate, weakness, and increased susceptibility to stress or disease. Animals with iron deficiency may also develop constipation.
The absorption of Iron in the body is aided significantly by natural sources of Vitamin C in the diet.
Quinoa, chickpeas, fava (broad) beans, spinach and kale provide natural sources of iron in our plant-based dogfood.
Calcium is known for its role in building strong bones, but it also performs several other functions in your dog’s body. Calcium helps keep your dog’s nails, teeth, and coat healthy.
Calcium is required for digestion, blood clotting, squeezing and relaxing muscles, releasing hormones, and proper nerve function. Calcium even helps your dog maintain a regular heartbeat!
Hypo-calcemia (calcium deficiency) can be caused by a variety of factors, including low body protein, kidney failure, an overactive parathyroid, and even nursing offspring (since bodily milk takes up a lot of the mother’s calcium). It is often seen in dogs with poor diets – such as all meat diets or when homemade or raw food diets are not administered carefully.
Chickpeas, fava (broad beans), and seaweed provide natural sources of calcium in our plant-based dogfood.
Most minerals share the same functions, in both the human and animal body, when absorbed into the bloodstream.
Manganese helps your dog to digest and absorb proteins and carbohydrates they gets from their diet. Furthermore, this mineral also acts as a catalyst in over 300 enzyme functions in your dog’s body. Some of these enzymatic actions include the conversion of food into energy and fatty acids.
Manganese combined with other minerals, assist in the formation of a healthy skeletal structure for your dog. This is why you will find more of the mineral in the bones than any other parts of the body. Manganese also aids in the optimum functioning of your dog’s internal organs. Organs such as the liver and the kidneys function effectively which in turn promotes good health in your dog.
If you want your dog to look youthful for years, ensure they get their manganese. This mineral is an active antioxidant that stops oxidation in your dog’s body. Internal oxidation releases free radicals that are harmful to body cells.
Manganese deficiency is very rare in dogs and cats; when it does occur, new born and young animals are more likely affected. The symptoms of manganese deficiency include poor growth, skeletal abnormalities, reproductive failure, and ataxia (loss of equilibrium)
Selenium, like the other trace minerals is necessary to sustain life of canines. It is one of the critical nutritional factors for immune system along with zinc, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and linoleic acid. Adequate selenium is necessary for the normal functioning of the immune system and thyroid gland.
Selenium is a mineral found in the soil. Selenium naturally appears in water and some foods. While dogs and humans only need a very small amount, selenium plays a key role in the metabolism.
Selenium is getting significant consideration for its role in various functions such as anticancer, joint health, skin and coat, immune resistance and antioxidant properties. It is generally found that organoselenium compounds have substantially greater bioavailability than that of inorganic selenium.
We include a highly bio-available organic food-form selenium, Organic Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-3060 together with Sodium Selenite an inorganic form. Oats and Reishi Mushroom offer rich sources of natural, organic selenium in Bonza products.
Bonza is formulated to deliver the optimum balance of high-quality minerals together with PhytoPlus®, a proprietary blend of superfoods, super herbs and botanicals, designed to support your dog living its longest, carefree life all the while improving the sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of feeding them.
Bonza. Nose to Tail Good Health.