Top 5 Nutrients Your Dog Needs in His Diet

Dog's nutrition is essential for health. An unhealthy diet can damage metabolism, cause weight gain, and even hurt organs, like your dog's heart and kidneys.

As scientists learn more about dog's diets and their body, it's increasingly clear that what your dog eats is significantly tied to illnesses, disease, inflammation, and premature aging. Mineral balancing can make all the differences in your dog's coat, digestion, heart health and energy levels. Having the right balance is, well a balancing act, and learning about what minerals your dog needs is a step in the right direction. Go you!

Today we're going to talk about the top 5 nutrients your dog needs to be healthy and what fresh foods you can add to their diet for each nutrient. There are many nutrients your dog needs to be healthy and vibrant, and we will start with these five nutrients.

1. Calcium

Calcium is one of those nutrients that your dog can't live without in his diet. We've heard before that it builds strong, healthy bones but it also helps our dog's heart beat by supporting the contractions in the heart muscle. It helps with nerve signaling, muscle building and signaling too. 

If your dog is deficient in calcium, then it starts to affect your dog's bone and teeth health. It could cause hypocalcemia in your dog. Fish has high levels of calcium, but please ensure your dog does not have a sensitivity to fish before feeding your dog. Try our Food Sensitivities Test.

Foods rich in calcium:

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Beans
  • Fish (salmon and tuna are especially calcium-rich)

NOTE: Calcium supplements can be given to dogs, but it's not to be taken lightly. If you think that your dog needs a calcium supplement, then we suggest you seek out the guidance from your veterinarian.


2. Iron

Iron is vital for a healthy dog because it binds with copper and protein to form hemoglobin. Hemoglobin transports oxygen around your dog's body. If your dog has iron levels too low, then they can become anemic

Food rich in Iron:

  • Calf Liver 
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies


3. Zinc

Zinc is the second most common mineral in your dog's body. Did you know that zinc affects your dog's sense of smell and taste? Zinc is essential for immune and thyroid function. Zinc deficiency could mean that your dog is not protected from infections and other illnesses. It can also cause hair loss, crusting of the skin around the dog's face and chronic digestive issues. Dog's can't store zinc so she is going to need a daily, daily dose of zinc. 

Food rich in Zinc:

  • Rabbit
  • Lamb
  • Turkey
  • Sardines
  • Egg
  • Buffalo

4. Potassium

Potassium is an electrolyte and is vital to your dog's health. Potassium aids in the functioning of electrical charges in the heart, nerves, and muscles. If your dog is deficient in potassium, then they can suffer hypokalemia which is dangerous. Weight loss, lack of appetite, and muscle weakness are a few of the symptoms of hypokalemia.

Food rich in Potassium:

  • Banana
  • Sweet Potato
  • Yogurt
  • Salmon
  • Blueberries

5. Magnesium

Magnesium is second only to potassium as the most abundant substance in the cells. It's well... kind of a big deal. It's required for over 300 enzyme systems in the body. This includes transporting energy within the cells for metabolism. It also regulates calcium movement in smooth muscle cells. 

If your dog is deficient in magnesium then can cause depression, muscle weakness, muscle trembling and abnormal heart rhythms.

Food rich in Magnesium:

  • Broccoli
  • Banana
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Peas
  • Spinach

If you are concerned with feeding your dog fish due to mercury levels, then we suggest you look at the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) updated list of mercury levels in fish.


Concerned that your dog doesn't have all the nutrients he needs in his diet?

Try our Nutritional Blueprint Test and find out today!


Disclaimer: The information on this site is for educational purposes and is not met to replace the advice of your veterinarian. If you have questions about your pet's health, then we suggest you talk with your holistic veterinarian.