Mineral Composition of Dry Dog Foods: Impact on Nutrition and Potential Toxicity

J Agric Food Chem. 2018 Jul 25;66(29):7822-7830. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b02552. Epub 2018 Jul 11.


Detailed mineral profile of a selection of commercially available complete dry dog foods was determined using ICP-MS (Se, Cu, Mn, Zn, and nonessential trace elements), flame photometry (Na and K) and atomic and molecular spectrophotometry (Ca, P, Mg, and Fe). The contribution of ingredients to the mineral composition was correlated to the food market segment. Results showed an oversupply of essential elements due to the energy density effect on feed intake. Additives contributed from 40.8 to 55.1% to the total trace elements contents. With the exception of Se, all trace elements were supplied above the nutritional requirements of adult dogs. Legal limits of Cu, Se, and Zn were surpassed. The content of nonessential trace elements included values in the range of nanograms to micrograms per kg, without surpassing safe upper limits. This work brings awareness to the need to find supplementation strategies that ensure nutritional adequacy and avoid waste.

Keywords: dog food; essential elements; legal limits; nonessential elements; nutritional requirements.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / adverse effects
  • Animal Feed / analysis*
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Minerals
  • Pets
  • Spectrophotometry, Atomic
  • Trace Elements / chemistry*
  • Trace Elements / toxicity


  • Minerals
  • Trace Elements