Healthy Teeth for Dogs: Minerals and Vitamins

by on October 19th, 2014
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You know it’s important to keep your dog’s teeth in good condition. We brush our dog’s teeth and give him chew-toys and bones. But it’s also important to look at your dog’s diet in relation to the health of his teeth and gums. Most commercial dog foods are “complete and balanced,” and so should contain the proper amounts of all vitamins and minerals needed for good oral health. However, you should still be aware of what components of your dog’s diet contribute to healthy teeth and gums.

Calcium
This is one of the most important minerals in your dog’s diet, and not just for healthy teeth and gums. Calcium plays a huge role in many body systems. Calcium builds bones, helps maintain healthy blood, and is vital to muscle function. Along with the formation of healthy teeth, calcium also keeps your dog’s jaw and gums healthy. It is possible to have too much of a good thing, however. An excess of calcium in your dog’s diet can lead to bone and joint issues. A proper balance with phosphorus is needed for optimum health.

Phosphorus
In balance with calcium, phosphorus is required for maintenance of bones and teeth. It is difficult to get an excess of phosphorus; most often health problems result because of deficiency. It also aids in the absorption of some B vitamins.

Magnesium and Copper
Both of these minerals work with calcium on bone formation and muscle function. Where calcium tenses muscles, magnesium relaxes them. Copper is important for a dog’s proper formation of bone, tissue and cells. Magnesium is also vital for the absorption of certain vitamins.

Vitamins
While a proper balance of all vitamins is important, there are a few that specifically help maintain good oral health in your dog.

Vitamin D (Calciferol)
Vitamin D aids in absorption of calcium, which is essential for normal development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. It also helps maintain adequate blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D can be manufactured by the body with sufficient exposure to UV radiation, aka, being outside. It is not necessary to supplement with vitamin D unless your dog has other health problems, or is unable to go outside.

Vitamin C
This water-soluble vitamin aids in the health of your dog’s immune system. While important for overall health, a strong immune system specifically helps your dog fight periodontal disease. Otherwise known as gingivitis, this is an infection of the gums and underlying structure of the teeth. A strong immune system will allow your dog to better fight it off infections.

Sources:
Dog Food Project
10 Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Your Dog
Periodontal Disease in Dogs


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