Copper is A Common Dog Food Ingredient
Commercial pet food contains numerous vitamins and minerals.
Why are they all in there?
Each nutrient has its own function.
Why is copper in dog food?
Copper is necessary for a number of important bodily functions.
Copper helps dogs’ form bones, connective tissue, collagen, and myelin, which coats and protects nerves.
The mineral allows the body to absorb iron, boosting red blood cell function.
The formation of melanin requires copper, an antioxidant, and is part of many enzymes, such as monoamine oxidase, lysyl oxidase, ferroxidase and cytochrome C oxidase.
Your dog gets copper by consuming meat, liver, fish, whole grains, legumes and supplements in commercial food.
Dogs eating a nutritionally balanced diet are unlikely to experience a deficiency.
Is Too Much Copper Dangerous?
Copper is essential to health and well-being, but in excess can be toxic.
Excess copper is typically caused by errors in metabolism, not improper diets.
High levels of copper accumulate in the liver, causing inflammation, cirrhosis, and eventually liver failure.
Genetics often cause abnormal copper metabolism resulting in liver disease.
The condition is most frequently seen in Bedlington Terriers, West Highland White Terriers, Skye Terriers, Dalmatians, Labrador retrievers, and Doberman Pinschers.
Symptoms of liver disease include:
- Weight loss, loss of appetite
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Increased thirst and urination
- Fluid in the abdomen
- Behavioral changes.
Bloodwork determines liver disease diagnosis.
A liver biopsy will determine liver disease caused by copper.
Treatment for this type of liver disease includes administering chelating agents like trientine or D-penicillamine to bind to the copper and excrete it from the body.
Aftercare includes zinc supplements and antioxidants such as vitamin E and S-Adenosylmethionine.
Dogs with this condition are often prescribed special diets.
Homemade diets are also an option, as long as a veterinarian approves.
How Much Copper is In PET | TAO?
The PET | TAO Beef Harmony Formula averages 61.5 mg/kg of copper on a dry matter basis.
According to the AAFCO, a dog food must contain at least 7.3 mg/kg of dog food.
The official maximum for copper is currently 250 mg.
What is Copper Sulfate?
Copper sulfate is the leading source of dietary copper in commercial pet food.
Copper sulfate is naturally occurring as Chalcanthite.
Old literature describes copper sulfate as Bluestone, Blue vitriol and Roman vitriol.
Want to learn more about how to properly care for your pet’s nutritional needs?