Mineral Nutrition of Adult Canines: Whole Ingredients as a Primary Source of Minerals Instead of Supplemental Minerals
Over supplementation of minerals is a potential problem for the companion animal food industry. The objective of this thesis was to assess the feeding of adult maintenance canine diets which used ingredients, rather than supplements, to supply most if not all dietary minerals. In one study, dogs which were fed a diet with reduced or no additional iron supplementation were able to maintain normal hematological statuses with no signs of iron deficiency anemia. In a second study, the vegetable ingredient based diet had equivalent or higher digestibility values for minerals compared to the animal ingredient based diet. This study also revealed that dogs do not increase mineral absorption when fed a diluted diet compared to an intact diet, resulting in inaccurate true digestibility calculations. These results suggest that reduction/elimination of mineral supplementation may be feasible and new methods need to be used to assess mineral digestibility in dogs.