As veterinary science advances, more and more vets are suggesting giving supplements to your dog. You may have seen omega-3 fish oil pills at the office during your dog’s last checkup, or maybe glucosamine powder you can sprinkle on food to support your dog’s joint health.
But one of the most impactful (and often overlooked) supplements you can give your dog is a good source of full-spectrum minerals. Like humans, dogs need a variety of different minerals for optimum health, and they usually don’t get enough of these minerals from diet alone.
Here’s a look at why minerals matter for dogs, and how a high-quality mineral supplement can make a big difference in your dog’s life.
Why Minerals Are Important for Dogs
Minerals are important at every stage of a dog’s life. As puppies, dogs benefit from an abundance of minerals to support healthy growth and development. Minerals ensure that they build strong bones and teeth, grow a healthy coat, and flourish as they reach the size that they’ll be for the rest of their lives.
In adulthood, however, minerals become less of an addition and more of a requirement. Most adult dogs are deficient in at least one mineral—and like with humans, a big part of it is usually diet.
Dogs are omnivores, meaning they eat both animals and plants. Dogs evolved in the wild, consuming meat, bones, organs, fish, insects, grasses, vegetables, fruits—a wide range of nutrient-dense food.
Unfortunately, while modern dog food meets a minimum standard for nutrition, it falls far short of the ideal diet for dogs. Even raw meat diets, supplemented with homemade grains and vegetables, don’t come close to the variety or nutrient density that dogs need to thrive.
Of course, domestication has come with a lot of other benefits. Dogs are safe from predators, exposure, disease, and all manner of other dangers that exist in the wild—and fortunately, with a high-quality mineral supplement, you can help replenish the essential elements that most modern diets lack, giving your dog all the nutrients it needs to look and feel its best.
Signs of a Mineral Deficiency in Dogs
In dogs, common symptoms of a mineral deficiency may include:
- Lack of appetite
- Pale gums
- Weight loss
- Dull or coarse coat
- Cracked or discolored teeth
- Dry, flaking skin
- Increased shedding
- Hot spots (bald patches where your dog has scratched off skin)
- Anxiety or aggression
- Decreased enthusiasm (for playing, going on walks, etc.)
Any of these could be a sign that your dog is short on at least one essential mineral.
4 Benefits of Minerals for Dogs
Minerals are good for your dog in a wide variety of ways.
Your dog’s hair is one of the best indicators of its mineral status. Close to a dozen different essential minerals go into maintaining a sleek, soft coat, and deficiencies in any one of them can cause problems that range from skin dryness to coarse, dull hair.
If you notice that your dog is scratching or shedding more than usual, or that it’s developing hot spots—red, inflamed bald patches of skin—there’s a good chance it’s short on at least one essential mineral.
Conversely, giving your dog plenty of full-spectrum minerals will encourage a soft, lustrous coat. It may also decrease shedding.
Like humans, dogs need several different minerals to produce cellular energy, and if they don’t have enough, their energy levels can suffer.
Phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium are all essential substrates for energy production and muscle function. A deficiency in any one of them can cause your dog to be lethargic and less enthusiastic than usual.
One quick note: if your dog sleeps a lot, don’t worry! That’s not necessarily due to low energy production. Healthy dogs sleep 12-16 hours a day.
More often, lethargy looks like a lack of enthusiasm for things like playing fetch, eating, snuggling, or going for a walk. Those can be signs that your dog is low in energy-producing minerals—and a good full-spectrum mineral supplement can help replenish your dog’s mineral stores.
Strong Teeth and Bones
Calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus all contribute to bone formation and maintenance. When they’re low, bones and teeth can lose their density and become brittle, which can lead to limited mobility, fractures, tooth cracks, and pain for your dog.
Most puppies have strong teeth and bones, but it’s common for adult dogs—after about age three—to develop mineral deficiencies that weaken their teeth and bones. And as your dog becomes elderly, it needs more and more minerals to maintain its bone density. If your dog has already been dealing with unaddressed mineral deficiencies, it can end up in a lot of discomfort during its later years.
We all want our dogs to be with us as long as possible, and to live comfortably throughout their entire lives. A good mineral supplement supports your dog’s immune system, bones, joints, organs, and even mood, providing the nutrition your dog needs to live a long and happy life.
How to Choose a Good Mineral Supplement for Dogs
Unfortunately, a lot of pet supplements are fairly low in quality. They’re subjected to less oversight than human supplements receive, which means manufacturers can get away with selling cheap, ineffective formulations that don’t absorb well and won’t actually benefit your dog.
With BEAM Minerals, I’ve committed to providing the most effective, bioavailable full-spectrum mineral supplements in existence, and I’m proud to say that we bring that same level of quality to our pet mineral supplements. Our Complete Canine Minerals supplement has all the minerals a dog needs to live a long, healthy life, delivered in a highly absorbable, purity-tested formula.
If you want to give your dog a little extra love, consider adding a full-spectrum mineral supplement to its morning food. It’s one of the best things you can do to keep your pup happy and healthy, throughout its entire life.