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Are your pets getting all the essential minerals they need?

excited smiley boxer lying down in grass

Throughout the course of your pet’s life they will need a range of minerals to help them to grow strong and stay healthy. As each mineral performs a different role within their body, it’s important to make sure that they are getting all of them. This is the one of the main arguments against feeding your pet a plant-based vegetarian or vegan diet as they are thought to be lacking in the essential minerals your carnivorous cats and omnivorous dogs need to stay fit and well.

Minerals work together to provide and support many important bodily functions in your pet including hormone production, nerve and muscle function and building healthy bones. While a lack of minerals can cause health issues, overconsumption of certain minerals can also be a concern so it’s important to find the right balance.

As it happens, most shop-bought pet food will come packed with all the minerals your pet needs but if you do plan on making your own pet food then it’s good to know what role each individual mineral plays in keeping your pet strong and healthy.

golden Labrador staring up, wearing a brown collar

The most important mineral that your pet requires is calcium. It can make up as much as 2% of your pets body weight! Calcium can be found in broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and raw bones and helps with blood clotting, nerve function, muscle contraction, and of course, strong bones and teeth. Getting the correct amount of calcium is particularly vital for young kittens and puppies.

Phosphorus is another vital mineral for healthy bones and teeth, working alongside calcium to boost its bone-building power. Phosphorus can be found in eggs, fish and animal tissues. Magnesium also works in partnership with calcium, allowing your pets body to absorb it more efficiently. Broccoli, green beans and spinach are good sources of magnesium.

Other minerals that are required in smaller amounts include sodium, chloride, copper, zinc, iron, manganese, selenium, iodine, fluorine and chromium.

Vitamins and minerals all work together and play their own important roles in keeping your pet fit and healthy so it’s important to make sure they have a well balanced diet.