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On October 28, 2013

Evaluation of calcium, phosphorus and trace minerals in dry dog foods

Calcium concentrations exceeded recommended limits in some maintenance foods labeled for all life stages, underscoring the need to feed diets appropriately formulated for specific life stages.

This study aimed to evaluate the concentrations of calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper, manganese and selenium in several commercially available dry dog foods, and compare the levels with current Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommendations for the maintenance of healthy dogs.

Forty-five over-the-counter dry maintenance foods and five therapeutic dry foods formulated for dogs with hepatic or renal disease were tested. Mineral concentrations were measured via inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry or inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy and compared with AAFCO-recommended minimum and maximum values. Thirty-nine of 45 maintenance foods were in compliance with AAFCO recommendations for all mineral concentrations evaluated. Calcium-to-phosphorus ratio in foods formulated for dogs with renal disease was above, and copper concentration in foods formulated for dogs with hepatic disease was below, recommended ranges for healthy dogs.

Calcium concentrations exceeded recommended limits in some maintenance foods labeled for all life stages, underscoring the need to feed diets appropriately formulated for specific life stages, particularly for large- and giant-breed puppies. Studies investigating the bioavailability of minerals are necessary before firm recommendations can be made.

Source:  Jason W. Gagné et al., 2013. Evaluation of calcium, phosphorus, and selected trace mineral status in commercially available dry foods formulated for dogs. JAVMA online, September 2013. doi: 10.2460/javma.243.5.658.

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