Magnesium is an essential mineral that regulates muscle and nerve functions, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and developing proteins, bone, and DNA. Thankfully, there are readily available human foods high in magnesium for dogs.
Common foods high in magnesium include:
- Chicken and Fish
- Cashews and Peanuts
- Peanut butter
- Brown rice
- Bananas, Apples, and Strawberries
- Broccoli, Pumpkin, Squash, and Carrots
Here’s a breakdown of the healthy foods rich in magnesium for dogs, what magnesium deficiency is, and the importance of magnesium in your dog’s diet.
- What Is Magnesium Deficiency In Dogs?
- Foods High In Magnesium For Dogs.
- How Much Magnesium Do Dogs Need?
What Is Magnesium Deficiency In Dogs?
Magnesium deficiency in dogs — hypomagnesemia — is when magnesium levels in the blood are lower than normal. Magnesium deficiency is rare in healthy dogs but common when critically ill. In one pet hospital study, only 6.1% of patients were diagnosed with hypomagnesemia.
Of all breeds, Collies and German Shepherds had the highest odds of being diagnosed with magnesium deficiency. Dogs with an existing cardiovascular disease also showed high risk.
Traditional causes of magnesium deficiency in dogs include:
- Low potassium (hypokalemia)
- Use of diuretics
- Kidney damage
- Excessive stress
Magnesium, found in the bones, with some in soft tissues of the skeletal muscle and liver, is second to potassium in cell abundance. When magnesium levels are too low, sodium, potassium, and calcium levels can drop, too.
A drop in essential macrominerals can cause multiple symptoms, including:
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty walking or standing
- Heart arrhythmia
- Muscle pain
If your dog shows any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately. Hypomagnesemia untreated can be fatal.
Foods High In Magnesium For Dogs.
When considering adding magnesium to your dog’s diet, look for natural, healthy substitutes before turning to supplements.
Supplements can cause excess magnesium levels in the blood, known as hypermagnesemia. While rare, hypermagnesemia is life-threatening in dogs.
Your vet likely prescribed dietary food or suggested a kibble if your dog has been diagnosed with magnesium deficiency. Be sure to follow your vet’s guidelines.
Primary foods rich in magnesium.
If you’re considering home-prepared meals and want to be sure your dog receives enough magnesium, consider the following ingredients:
- Chicken breast: 3 ounces has 22 mg of magnesium
- Salmon: 3 ounces has 26 mg of magnesium
- Brown rice: 1/2 cup has 42 mg of magnesium
Healthy snacks rich in magnesium.
Adding nutritious fruits and vegetables into your dog’s snack routine is a safe and healthy way to increase their magnesium levels.
- Bananas: 1 cup sliced has 40.5 mg of magnesium
- Strawberries: 1 cup sliced has 21.6mg of magnesium
- Broccoli: 1/2 cup has 12 mg of magnesium
- Apples: 1 medium apple has 9 mg of magnesium
- Carrots: 1 medium carrot has 7mg of magnesium
Aside from fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds are rich in magnesium. Nuts are high in calories and fat, so you should not provide them regularly to your dog.
- Cashews: 1 ounce has 74 mg of magnesium
- Peanuts: 1/4 cup has 63 mg of magnesium
- Peanut butter: 2 tablespoons has 49 mg of magnesium
How Much Magnesium Do Dogs Need?
Your dog should consume 3.5 mg of magnesium per pound daily. For a 30-pound dog, that’s 140 mg each day.
Commercial foods should supply the minimum daily requirement.
Look for the guaranteed analysis on a dog food label. Most labels will show that 0.04% of the “as fed” amount is magnesium. That amount converts to 60mg per 100 kcals.
Some dietary foods — especially those for kidney health — have 0.09 to 0.12% magnesium.
When transitioning your dog’s food, do so gradually over a five to seven-day period to prevent an upset stomach.
Unless instructed by your veterinarian, supplement macrominerals and nutrients in your dog’s diet through all-natural healthy snack foods high in magnesium for dogs, like fruits and vegetables.
With 56% of dogs in the US overweight or obese, leave high-calorie nuts and peanut butter as a rare treat or for hiding medication.
What are the best low-calorie fruits with magnesium to consider?
- Watermelon is 90% water and only 30 calories and 10 mg of magnesium per 100 grams.
- Strawberries are 91% water and a good source of fiber and protein. Strawberries contain 32 calories and 13 mg of magnesium per 100 grams.
- Cantaloupe is a sweet treat also high in water content and low in calories, with 34 calories and 12 mg of magnesium per 100 grams.
Keeping the health and nutrition of your dog at the forefront of your mind is commendable. Focus on finding a great, healthy primary food that supplies the perfect amount of micronutrients, carbohydrates, protein, and fat first.
Once you have the right well-balanced food, cut a watermelon into small pieces and enjoy it together. It will make your pup’s day.