Which vitamins and minerals are important in your dog's diet?
Posted 24 February 2015 12:00 AM by Kristina Johansen
Your dog needs vitamins and minerals to grow, develop, and stay healthy. Some vitamin and minerals work alongside each other in groups, and others enhance other vitamins or minerals absorption and functioning. For example, Vitamin C helps absorb iron and vitamin D is an essential factor in the regulation of calcium and phosphorous balance.
Most vitamins cannot be synthesized in the body and must therefore be supplied in the food.
Vitamins are classified as fat-soluble (vitamin A, D, E and K), or water-soluble (B-complex vitamins and vitamin C) with Vitamins A, D and E being essential fat-soluble vitamins.
There are two basic groups of minerals: macro minerals and trace minerals. Macro minerals are required in larger amounts than trace minerals and are found in greater amounts in your dog's body.
Macro minerals include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, chloride, potassium and sulphur.
Trace minerals include iron, zinc, copper, chromium, iodine, selenium, manganese and fluorine.
Zinc is found in every cell in the body and functions in more enzymatic reactions than any other mineral. Adequate zinc is necessary for proper immune system function. It is important in skin and hair coat health and protein and carbohydrate metabolism and also helps with cell growth and heal wounds. Zinc is not stored in the body, so your dog is dependent on diet for this mineral.
Dogs manufacture their own Vitamin C but there is debate about whether they can produce as much as they need during stress.
Never feed supplemental vitamin C to a calcium oxalate stone forming dog or to a breed that is predisposed to these stones.
Vitamin B Complex
Even the basic functions of these vitamins are crucial. Therefore we need to supply them regularly. A dog with compromised kidneys often urinate more, which can create a B vitamin deficiency. Supplementation with a vitamin B complex is wise.