Royal Canin

Minerals: A Critical Part of Your Dog’s Diet

Five things you might not have known about minerals; their key functions

The primary goal of any dog’s diet is to provide nutrients that they can use to support growth, metabolism and repair. To ensure an optimal supply of nutrients, you need to include ingredients from all six nutrient classes: water, protein, fat (lipids), carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

While many of today’s conversations about pet food focus on proteins and vitamins, we don’t hear as much about minerals. Are your dogs getting the minerals they need to support their physiological functions?

Five Things You Might Not Know about Minerals

  1. Minerals are generally divided into two broad nutritional classifications based on how much of the nutrient is required for normal physiological functions: macrominerals, as their classification implies, are required in greater amounts than microminerals (also referred to as “trace minerals” or “trace elements”), which are required in smaller, trace amounts.
  2. Minerals from both classifications support an array of physiological functions that range from bolstering tissue structure and bone growth to serving as a cofactor for other processes, such as muscle contraction.
  3. All minerals are inorganic elements that are critical to the life of plants and animals. Because minerals cannot be produced by the body, they are considered essential nutrients, meaning that they must be obtained from the diet.
  4. Minerals do not provide energy, and they cannot be broken down beyond the element form. (For example, the electrolytes sodium and chloride are often provided collectively in the form of sodium chloride [NaCl], or table salt, which can be separated to provide both sodium and chloride — but neither are broken down further.)
  5. In most processes, there are no substitution options. This means that proper concentration of each element is critical for optimal function and health.

See the table below to match key minerals to their respective functions.

While minerals are an important component of a dog’s diet, this does not mean that you should provide your dog with a daily mineral supplement. Inappropriate supplementation can lead to mineral imbalances or excessive intake, and too much of most minerals can be as detrimental as a deficiency. For instance, calcium and phosphorus should be provided at calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of 1:1 to 2:1. This ratio of intake is extremely important, because excess phosphorus can dramatically reduce available calcium.

Royal Canin is dedicated to helping you deliver a specifically targeted level of nutrients, including minerals, to your dog as part of their daily diet — another example of our commitment to helping your dog thrive.