• TeamResearch

Avoiding mineral excesses for optimal pet nutrition

Updated: May 9, 2020

DATE: 2012 (Article)

AUTHOR: James Richards & Karen Wedekind




"The implication to consumers is that meat-first diets are better for their pets.", "Elevated trace mineral concentrations are also common in petfoods relative to AAFCO recommendations."

Many petfood companies stress the importance of meat-first formulations. The implication to consumers is that these diets are better for their pets. However, meat-first diets may result in overages for a number of nutrients, especially protein, fat, calcium and phosphorus (Table 1). In general, the higher the level of meat in a petfood, the higher the concentration of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and certain micro-minerals.

Elevated calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) levels are common in petfood. Based on a survey of 58 wet and dry cat foods, Ca concentrations averaged 1.2%; P concentrations averaged 1.0%. Similarly, based on a survey of 70 wet and dry dog foods, Ca concentrations averaged 1.2%; P concentrations averaged 0.96%. (See a table of the survey results.) These values are similar to other published nutrient profiles for dog and cat food (SACNIV, 2000) and are double the recommendations by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (2012).


This website is a labor of love brought to you by the volunteers at Paws For Change. Our goal is to put together links to published research studies, articles, books, and other media which have influenced our approach to feeding diets that include fresh and raw foods. We encourage everyone to research further to gain a fuller understanding of any controversies or debates involved. It is a growing collection and we welcome you to use the submission form below if you have studies you'd like to suggest be included here.

Submit A Study
Paws For Change (1).png

 Brought to you by