Pet Food Nutrients That Can Harm Dogs


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As a pet owner, you are obviously concerned about your dogโ€™s nutritional requirements, which is not unwarranted.According to Dr. Tony Buffington, a Professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center, dogs, like all animals, require their necessary share of carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and water.These nutrients allow your dog to grow and remain nourished. However, the scary truth is that some of these essential nutrients can actually cause your dog harm. So, keep an eye on these nutrients the next time you decide what to feed your furry friend.


Magnesium is an important nutrient. But, it can also cause medical complications, some of which can be life threatening too. Excess magnesium creates negative consequences that can affect your dogโ€™s heart and nervous system. This can lead to problems that include cardiac arrest, paralysis, weakness, coma, respiratory depression and also, death.Magnesium has also been known to cause the development of bladder stones. While cats can also experience these problems, dogs still remain the most affected.


Dogs, like humans, are omnivores, but, they do require their fair share of protein, on account of their smaller intestines. So, it would be good to include an optimal amount of protein into their diet. More importantly, make sure the protein comes from a source that is easily digestible. This is especially important for dogs that already have renal disease.If the protein is of low quality, your dog can end up with digestive and metabolic issues, along with diarrhea, vomiting, excessive weight loss, and nausea.

Calcium & Phosphorus

Phosphorus and calcium are also needed by dogs, but, excessive amounts can cause problems, just like other nutrients. In fact, it is very important to look at the calcium to phosphorus ratio as well. If either of these nutrients is fed in high amounts, your dog could end up with bone related issues.Growing large dogs are even more sensitive than small dogs to excessive phosphorus and calcium intake.You need to be extra careful if your dog has kidney disease. Such dogs have very specific requirements, which can vary depending on which stage of the disease they are in. Excess calcium or phosphorus can worsen their condition and even cause bladder stones to form.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D in excess causes calcium levels to go up and weโ€™ve already read about what too much calcium can do. Apart from that, too much vitamin D can also lead to the development of nervous system problems, problems in the gastrointestinal tract, and cardiovascular problems.

Salt (Sodium)

Sodium is needed by your dog to maintain the acid-base balance, regulate blood pressure, and help transmit nerve impulses. But, too much sodium can affect the kidneys, heart, and nervous system. It can also lead to dehydration, especially if your dog doesnโ€™t drink enough water to counter the effects of the excess sodium.

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