Meeting all your dog's nutrient requirements through food- is it possible?
Updated: Aug 15, 2022
I think most people would agree that getting all needed nutrients from food vs supplements is ideal. What many don't understand is that it's not always possible - not just in health supportive diets with limited ingredients, but also proactive diets. I plan to do a few posts in a series of food vs supplements just to help demonstrate a dog's reality.
In this example with manganese, I'm using a 35lb dog's requirements. They need ~9mg of manganese over the week. Pumpkin seeds and raw beef tripe are touted as good sources of Mn, but you can see how many calories we use up in the overall diet if we rely on these foods. Personally, I would never rely on pumpkin seeds for a dog as the nutrients aren't going to have the same bioavailability as an animal product - even if you grind them. #phyticacid #inhibitors
An average 35lb dog may eat ~ 4200-5000 calories per week. The graphic shows how the two foods would affect the caloric allowance...do you see where I'm going with this? That's a lot of calories used trying to meet just one nutrient requirement!
I've shown in previous social media posts/nutrient slides how high dog's nutrient requirements are compared to people requirements. Getting enough nutrients via food is very hard for people, with dogs we have even less food to work with to get those nutrients.
When a diet is formulated to be balanced over a week, ALL the required nutrients are considered in combination with your dog's caloric needs (among other factors like age, lifestyle).
I understand people wanting to prioritize food sources over supplements but there are times when supplements are needed.