Dog Nutrient Guide

Dog Nutrient Guide

Boron

Boron is one of the micronutrients required for optimal health and is involved in maintaining good bone mineralization. Boron is essential for proper assimilation of calcium into the bone matrix, or in simpler terms makes sure that calcium stays bound to the structure of the bone. Borate, or sodium borate, is used in laundry detergent, cleaning products, and pesticides.

Deficiency:

  • Weakening of bones (osteoporosis)
  • Arthritis

Excess:

  • Cough
  • Decreased urine production
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry skin
  • Excessive drooling

Fresh food sources:

Spinach, kale, apples, potatoes

Calcium

Calcium is known for its role in building strong bones and 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.

Deficiency:

  • Soft and brittle bones
  • Bone deformities
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Stunted growth in puppies
  • Tooth deformities, teeth loss, loose teeth

Excess:

  • Weakness
  • Listlessness
  • Increased drinking and urination
  • Loss of appetite

Fresh Food Sources: 

Broccoli, spinach, and beans, and fish

Chromium

Chromium is a trace element and an essential cofactor for the hormone insulin which regulates the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. 

Deficiency:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Weight loss 

Excess:

  • Severe gastrointestinal irritation or ulcers
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Fever.
  • Vertigo.
  • Cramping of muscles.
  • Intravascular hemolysis.
  • Circulatory collapse.
  • Liver damage.

Fresh food sources:

Broccoli, liver, and brewers' yeast

Cobalt

Cobalt is used in the body to help absorb and process vitamin B12. Cobalt aids in the repair of myelin, which surrounds and protects nerve cells. It helps in the formation of hemoglobin (red blood cells). The body may use cobalt in place of zinc. Cobalt also helps regulate and stimulate the production of some enzymes, such as thyroxine, a thyroid hormone.

Deficiency: 

  • Diarrhea
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Loss of appetite or eating more than usual
  • Lack of energy
  • Weakness
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Refuses to exercise or play
  • Lack of muscle mass

Excess:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Breathing trouble
  • Cancer
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Deafness
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive salivation

Fresh food sources:

Meat, fish, shellfish, liver

Copper

Copper is necessary for a number of body processes including the formation of collagen, bone and connective tissue, the absorption of iron, the development and maturation of red blood cells, the function as an antioxidant, and the development of pigment in hair.

Deficiency:

  • Anemia
  • Blood vessels that rupture easily
  • Bone and joint problems
  • Elevated LDL cholesterol and reduced HDL cholesterol levels
  • Frequent infections
  • Loss of hair or skin color

Excess:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice
  • Weight Loss

Fresh Food Sources: 

Liver, organ meats, spirulina, winter squash, peas, green beans

Iron

Iron combines with Copper and protein to form hemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Iron also is necessary for certain enzymes in the body to function normally.

Deficiency:

  • Anemia
  • Weakness
  • Increased susceptibility to stress or disease
  • Constipation
  • Gums and inside of eyelids that appear to be pale or white
  • Panting, labored breathing, rapid pulse

Excess:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

Fresh Food Sources: 

Liver, seaweed, spinach

Magnesium

Magnesium is needed for hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heartbeat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps regulate blood glucose levels and aid in the production of energy and protein.

Deficiency:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Heart trouble
  • Anxiety
  • Lethargy
  • GI or urinary issues

Excess:

  • Impaired nerve impulses
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Lowered heart rate

Fresh Food Sources: 

Sea Vegetables, Beans, leafy greens, fish, pumpkin, and squash

Manganese

Manganese is predominantly stored in the bones, liver, kidney, and pancreas. It aids in the formation of connective tissue, bones, blood-clotting factors, and sex hormones and plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation.

Deficiency:

  • Muscle weakness or trembling.
  • Hyperactive or improperly triggered reflexes
  • Difficulty walking
  • Muscle pain
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Lethargy or abnormal behavior

Excess:

  • Manganese toxicity is basically unknown in dogs and cats

Fresh food sources:

Whole grains, seeds, nuts, eggs, and green vegetables

Molybdenum

Molybdenum is an essential catalyst for enzymes to help metabolize fats and carbohydrates and facilitate the breakdown of certain amino acids in your body.

Deficiency: 

  • Mouth and gum disorders
  • Mental disturbance
  • Coma

Excess:

  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea with mild abdominal pain

Fresh food sources:

Organ meats

Phosphorus

Phosphorus works with calcium to help build bones. Dogs need the right amount of both calcium and phosphorus for bone health. Phosphorus also plays an important structural role in nucleic acids and cell membranes. And it’s involved in the body’s energy production.

Deficiency:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Uneven heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle pain
  • Seizures
  • Weak bones, lameness, or fractures 

Excess:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Muscle tremors
  • Muscle wasting
  • Seizures
  • Decreased bone density

Fresh Food Sources: 
Muscle meat, fish, beans

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.

Deficiency:

  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle pain
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Generalized muscular weakness

Excess:

  • Arrhythmias
  • Weakness
  • Collapse

Fresh Food Sources:

Summer squash, pumpkin, bananas, papaya, green beans, asparagus

Selenium

Selenium is one of a group of trace minerals that is essential for proper body functions in both humans and animals. An adequate amount of selenium is needed for the proper function of the thyroid gland and the immune system. Selenium is an antioxidant which functions in conjunction with Vitamin E and certain enzymes to protect cells.

Deficiency:

  • Selenium deficiencies are extremely rare in dogs and basically unknown in cats.

Excess:

  • Loss of nails and hair
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Nervousness
  • Lameness
  • Anemia

Fresh food sources:

Eggs, turkey, pork, chicken, spinach, sardines

Sodium

Sodium helps with the regulation of blood pressure, blood volume, the transmission of nerve impulses (signals), as well as the maintenance of acid/base balance in the body.

Deficiency:

  • Seizures
  • Less alert
  • Disorientation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lowered muscle strength

Excess:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness
  • Confused and disoriented
  • Mental depression
  • Walking in circles
  • Head pressing

Fresh Food Sources: 
Meat, Fish, Eggs

Sulfur

Sulfur is essential for humans, animals, and plants. When it enters our body it can be incorporated into tissues like skin and cartilage. It is also found in some proteins and vitamins. There is little reason for concern about either toxicity or deficiency of sulfur in the body. 

Deficiency: 

  • Reduced protein synthesis
  • Joint pain

Excess:

  • Flatulence

Fresh food sources:

Kelp, meats, fish, poultry, egg yolk, legumes

Zinc

Zinc plays an important role in many substances in the canine body including enzymes, proteins, and hormones. Zinc is also important for immune system function and thyroid function.

 Deficiency:

  • Hair loss, and scaling and crusting of the skin
  • Skin Lesions
  • Excessive shedding

Excess:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Jaundice
  • Orange colored feces

Fresh Food Sources: 

Meat, Shellfish, Eggs, Legumes