Minerals for DOGS

Nutrition, last updated 01st, Feb 2017, U K Atheya

Minerals for Dogs

Calcium and Phosphorus.

These are the macro minerals .These minerals are required for bones, and cell membrane and nerve function. Ideally, there should be more calcium than phosphorous, in the ratio of 1.2-1.4 :1. Meat is the only diet that is minus calcium. In young pups, calcium deficiency caucuses over stimulation of parathyroid glands, a gland in the throat which increase calcium in blood circulation by drawing calcium from bones. This over stimulation causes swollen, painful and deformed joints and makes bones very fragile. In whelped bitches, in normal lactation the convulsive seizures can be seen. The feeding of high calcium diet during pregnancy is responsible for the convulsive seizures, fits in which body twitching is noted. The over feeding of calcium for a long period of time is main cause of zinc deficiency. This is particularly true in large breed of dogs. The zinc deficiency   can cause bone malformation.
The calcium supplementation of pregnant bitches is not necessary, the commercial feed and the home cocked food has sufficient calcium and phosphorus in ratio of 1.2 to 1. The excessive calcium interferes with zinc and magnesium absorption and will affect the normal growth of pups, difficulty in giving birth, (dystocia) and pups will show signs of blot in pups.
So contrary to good advise given by most of veterinarians, calcium supplementation is not necessary in healthy dogs and pups. This is being written on the basis of research results of over last 25 years, which reveals that to much calcium is harm full to bones. The old dogs and ill dogs may need calcium. Thus, feed good quality commercial feed or home made feed takes care of calcium requirement of dogs.
The vitamin D maintains calcium phosphorus balance. It is synthesized by the skin of dog. Rickets is rare in dogs. Excess, of vitamin D causes calcium deposit in soft tissues and bone deformity.


It is necessary for bones and muscle contraction and has synergistic effect on calcium, phosphorus and potassium balance in body.


It is micro mineral.  It is essential for muscle function, skin, reproduction and works   as anti oxidant ,neutralizes  “ free radical” (atoms molecule that destroys cell membrane).It works with other trace minerals.

Copper and Iron

It is stored in liver and is involved in oxygen transport through blood.
Some breeds of dogs, Doberman and cocker spaniel, has the tendency for copper build up, that causes iron poisoning. Which is manifested by vomit ion, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and lethargy .


It is necessary for skin, taste buds and functioning of immune system. Deficiency in food can cause “genetic dry food disease”. The low meat and high cereal diet is responsible for this condition. This can be easily cured by feeding good commercial feed.  The problem of feeding micronutrients in dogs is that, excess of one misbalance the other nutrient. So feeding good commercial feed during critical period is a good practical suggestion. 


It is rarely associated with natural deficiency in the diet.


Agam Prabhakar
great... any off the counter tablets/ syrups that are available...and are safe to use?

By: Agam Prabhakar | 28 May 2009

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