An animal nutritionist suggested in a video from Petfood Forum (below) that pet food companies learn from livestock feed formulators. She recommended that pet food formulators consider chelated trace minerals to help avoid skeletal problems in dogs and cats. While fast-growing livestock breeds need the minerals to support bone growth and joint development, pets may benefit from chelated trace minerals to counterbalance other components of the animals’ diets.

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“In the case of pets, the reason why trace mineral bioavailability is an issue is because the diets are high in calcium and phosphorus and that reduces availability of zinc copper manganese,” Karen Wedekind, Ph.D., nutritionist with Novus International, said. “Those nutrients are important in skeletal health, so it could make a real difference.”

Especially in large breed dogs, canine hip dysplasia, osteochondrosis and osteoarthritis can all cause problems, she said.

“We have data in livestock saying that these micro-minerals can reduce lameness,” she said. “I know if if pet food companies would do some research that they could see what a difference it would make.”

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