Everywhere we turn pet food is plastered with “added vitamins and minerals” They are supposed to fill the gap but could supplements be harming our companions?  


          Vitamins and Minerals. Don’t we hear that combination of words quite often? It’s a balance we all strive for, but unfortunately most of us do not get what we need on a regular basis from the food we eat, often because it is the wrong food. Vitamins and minerals are found in fresh foods and only added to junk foods like burgers and even milk. Our children’s cereals disregarding the fact that it’s loaded with sugars and colorful dyes have “with added vitamins and minerals” or “great source of vitamins and minerals” plastered on the boxes. Some take vitamin B supplements, and Vitamin D and fish oil, some take 10 or more vitamin supplements a day! We are so desensitized to this word combination that we don’t even realize that vitamins and mineral can be BAD! What?! Bad?! How is that possible? Doesn’t my Flintstone’s chewable “fill in all the gaps?” Yes, that is still true in some ways. Vitamin and Mineral supplementation is better than nothing at all BUT many supplements are artificially made or created in a lab often making them less effective compared to those found in whole foods and some even contain harmful chemicals! That certainly isn’t natural at all.
         When it comes to our commercially produced pet food there seems to be an unending list of ingredients on the back of the packaging. More times than not about ¾ of the ingredient list is added vitamins and minerals. Due to the high heat sustained during processing, most if not all the available nutrients in fresh ingredients including meat, fruits, vegetables and grains are destroyed. In order to make their product complete and balanced, manufacturers then add artificial vitamins and minerals. It kind of defeats the purpose of all those whole food ingredients to begin with. It just sounds fancy to state that the companies used real fruits, veggies and “fresh” meats in the food.
             One common concern when feeding a raw diet is if meat, organs and bone can provide all the required vitamins and minerals needed to function and live. With all the constant bombardment of supplements and added vitamins and minerals to virtually everything we or our companions consume, it may make many weary to imagine your companion can get all its nutrients from just these three sources.

             Below are two charts displaying common meat, organs and bones used in raw feeding as well as the vitamins and minerals each contain. Keep in mind that this chart does NOT show which sources are highest in the named vitamins and minerals just that they do contain them. This chart is also not species specific, some specie’s organs and meats contain more of one nutrient than another.
































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