Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Minerals are essential nutrients that are needed in small amounts to keep the body healthy. Minerals do not give energy or calories, but can help with other functions in the body. The body does not make minerals. To meet your daily needs, minerals must be obtained through your diet.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Minerals play a key role in the maintenance of osmotic pressure, and thus regulate the exchange of water and solutes within the animal body. Minerals serve as structural constituents of soft tissues. Minerals are essential for the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contraction.
Minerals essential for animal life include common salt (sodium chloride), calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, cobalt, iodine, zinc, molybdenum, and selenium. The last six of these can be toxic to animals if excessive amounts are eaten.
For dogs and cats, some of the main functions that minerals perform include bone development, nerve and muscle function, balancing of fluid in cells, thyroid function, skin and coat maintenance and red blood cell production.
Vitamins are the foundation of balanced animal nutrition. They are essential, irreplaceable micronutrients that are required for normal physiological functions including growth, body development and reproduction, as well as animal well-being and general health status.
Vitamins and minerals are considered essential nutrients—because acting in concert, they perform hundreds of roles in the body. They help shore up bones, heal wounds, and bolster your immune system. They also convert food into energy, and repair cellular damage.
Minerals play a vital role in the regulation and maintenance of various cellular activities within the animal`s body. Minerals are of two types: Macro minerals (required in large quantity) and Microminerals (required in small quantity). Yes, animals need minerals.
Minerals are inorganic elements present in animal tissue. Minerals do not provide energy. Minerals are needed in minute quantities in the diet.
Small amounts of certain minerals are also essential to the proper functioning of animal bodies. Minerals such as zinc and copper are involved in reproduction and the immune system. While water and minerals help sustain the physical body of animals, rocks and soil are more important in terms of their environment.
More than 18 mineral elements are believed to be essential for mammals. By definition, macrominerals are required by the animal in the diet in larger amounts and microminerals or trace elements in much smaller amounts.
Iron is one of the most necessary minerals for the dog`s body. It plays many roles, but its most crucial function is transporting oxygen throughout the body. Calcium and phosphorus are two minerals that are the building blocks of bones and teeth.
Minerals are important for your body to stay healthy. Your body uses minerals for many different jobs, including keeping your bones, muscles, heart, and brain working properly. Minerals are also important for making enzymes and hormones. There are two kinds of minerals: macrominerals and trace minerals.
Minerals in animal nutrition are obtained through the feed. For this reason, a correct balance of the percentage of macro and microminerals that each animal requires must be made. In ruminants, minerals are obtained through forages and feed.
Minerals are vital components of our food. They fulfil a wide variety of functions, such as building materials for our bones, influencing muscle and nerve function, and regulating the body`s water balance [1]. They are also components of hormones and enzymes and other biologically active compounds.
Minerals are those elements on the earth and in foods that our bodies need to develop and function normally. Those essential for health include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, chromium, copper, fluoride, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium.
Minerals

Minerals like zinc and magnesium contribute to your brain health and neurological function. Deficiencies of these minerals can increase your risk for depression and anxiety disorders. Important minerals are found in whole grains, nuts, spinach and other leafy greens, and lean meats.

A number of minerals are essential for health: calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, sulfur, cobalt, copper, fluoride, manganese, and selenium.
Even with energy from the sun, plants cannot function properly without vitamins and minerals. All living things, both plants and animals, require vitamins and minerals for optimal health and growth.
Energy minerals include coal, oil, natural gas and uranium. Metals such as iron (as steel) is used in cars or for frames of buildings, copper is used in electrical wiring, lithium in rechargeable batteries, and aluminium in aircraft and to make drink cans. Precious metals are used in jewellery and mobile phones.
The 6 essential nutrients that your animals need are carbohydrates, protein, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals.
Animals obtain their nutrition from the consumption of other organisms. Depending on their diet, animals can be classified into the following categories: plant eaters (herbivores), meat eaters (carnivores), and those that eat both plants and animals (omnivores).
Plants, animals, and human beings require iron to make DNA, which encodes all life. Animals and humans also need iron to make hemoglobin, which delivers oxygen to the body. Iron also carries carbon dioxide out of the body, which plants need to function. Humans also need iron to make myoglobin in muscles.
Minerals are required for the production of chlorophyll and the process of photosynthesis, which converts sunlight into useful energy. Water absorption and circulation are both dependent on vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are also required by plants in order to enable nutrient absorption.
Animals need food, water, shelter, and space to survive. Herbivores can live only where plant food is available. Carnivores can live only where they can catch their food.
Minerals are nutrients necessary to maintain the body`s health. The 13 essential minerals include calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and others.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. good afternoon, how do minerals contribute to animal’s health and wellbeing?
ANSWER : A. Minerals are essential nutrients that are needed in small amounts to keep the body healthy. Minerals do not give energy or calories, but can help with other functions in the body. The body does not make minerals. To meet your daily needs, minerals must be obtained through your diet.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. What are the ways and/or steps to become a veterinarian?
ANSWER : A. Being a veterinarian is a rewarding career, but does involve a lot of schooling, experience and knowledge. Many people try out veterinary medicine through being a tech or assistant first, then continue on to veterinary school if they decide that is the path for them. If you are still in high school, the best way to start gaining experience is just by volunteering at your local animal shelter. Some clinics will also hire kennel technicians, a good starting job that gets you into a clinic and viewing procedures while working your way up. You can major in anything you want in college, however there are class prerequisites that must be met to apply for vet school. Majoring in a degree program such as biology, zoology or animal sciences often meets these requirements without having to take extra classes. Working summers as a tech or assistant, staying active in local animal groups and maintaining a high GPA will make you an ideal candidate. Once you are ready to apply for vet school you will need to take a GRE which is an exam graduate and medical schools use to determine how well you might do. Vet schools tend to look for applicants who are active in the community, have experience and have good grades. If considered, you will then have an interview to determine if you’re a good fit! Vet school itself requires four years, the first two focused on classroom and theory subjects such as anatomy, physiology and pathology. Your third year becomes more hands on with lots of labs and “shadowing” of vets in the school. Fourth year is usually entirely clinical rotations to give you a taste of all the things veterinary medicine offers!

Q. Just how toxic is the Lantana plant to dogs? In Arizona it is is commonly used by landscapers who don’t feel it’s poisonous to pets. (Esp dogs/puppies
ANSWER : A. Yes , it is toxic to all animals . I did research it a bit as I was not too familiar with the plant .Youu need 1% more than the animal weight to be toxic.
Animals in pastures with sufficient forage will often avoid Lantana, perhaps because of its pungent aroma and taste, but animals unfamiliar to the plant may ingest enough to affect them. Fifty to ninety percent of animals newly exposed may be affected. Foliage and ripe berries contain the toxic substances with the toxins being in higher concentrations in the green berries. Species affected include cattle, sheep, horses, dogs, guinea pigs, and rabbits (Ross, Ivan A. Medicial plants of the world. Totowa, N.J.: Humana. 1999. p. 187.)
The major clinical effect of Lantana toxicosis is photosensitization, the onset of which often takes place in 1 to 2 days after consumption of a toxic dose (1% or more of animal’s body weight).

Q. Is neutering a good idea? What are the main aspects to consider?
ANSWER : A. Neutering is a procedure that surgically removes a dog’s testicles for the purpose of canine population control, certain medical health benefits, and behavioral modification.

There are several pros and cons to neutering. The positive aspects of neutering include the following:
1. Reduces the risk of prostate disorders, including prostate infections, prostate cysts, or enlarged prostate tissue. It also reduces the risk of testicular cancer, perineal hernias, and perianal fistulas.
2. Reduces the risk of dominance and aggression in many dogs due to a reduction in the amount of circulating testosterone.
3. Reduces the occurrence of sexual behaviors, such as humping, urine marking, or licking of genital regions.
4. Population control – neutering prevents dogs from creating more litters of puppies that need homes.

The following are possible issues to consider:
1. Neutering is a surgery that requires general anesthesia causing slight risks involved in placing an animal under sedation and anesthesia. Performing bloodwork prior to any anesthetic procedure can help decrease the risk of complications prior to surgery.
2. There is an increased risk of neutered dogs becoming prone to obesity because of a change in hormones and activity level.
3. Neutering your dog at too early of an age can have complications.

Overall, neutering is a good idea for your dog in order to prevent population overgrowth and specific medical issues that can result if your dog remains intact. Consult with your veterinarian on the details of surgery and any risk factors based on your dog’s age and breed.

The AVMA supports the concept of pediatric spay/neuter in dogs and cats in an effort to reduce the number of unwanted animals of these species. Just as for other veterinary medical and surgical procedures, veterinarians should use their best medical judgment in deciding at what age spay/neuter should be performed on individual animals.

Read Full Q/A … : Spay/Neuter Your Pet

Q. My dog itchs all the time a codozon shot helps but don’t cure it after a bath she turns red and still itchs I changed dog food that didn’t help no fle
ANSWER : A. Do you live in a region where fleas are prevalent. Where I live the fleas are truly horrible, and I see many animals developing a flea allergy. This usually presents as relentless itching especially at the base of the tail, although it can be all over the body. Often on exam I won’t find a single flea, just red bumps, hair loss and itching. In response, I will start animals on an oral steroid such as prednisone (I think your doctor has administered an injectable steroid), while at the same time bathing the animal and starting on an oral flea preventative such as Comforts which I then re dose at 3 weeks instead of 4. Additionally, the environment needs to be decontaminated- flea bombing the house, vacuuming often and washing bedding on hot. The flea life cycle is short, however, so this needs to be one frequently as they will just continue to hatch in your home. Most importantly, I tell my clients, that any steroid (oral or injectable) does not fix the problem, but rather suppress your dogs reaction to it thereby making them more comfortable. Just the steroid alone changes nothing except giving them a brief break from their symptoms.

Now that I have spoken in depth about flea allergy, there is a potential that it is something else. Food allergies are slow to develop, and slow to change. If you wanted to eliminate a potential food allergy I would switch to a novel protein, limited ingredient diet. For example, lamb as the protein source if your previous food was always chicken or beef, and in a formula with very limited ingredients such as lamb, rice and veggies. A pet store should be able to help you with this. While on this diet they cannot have any additional treats for 1 month, to see if you have eliminated the allergy. From an Eastern Medical perspective, I also recommend novel proteins that are “cool”, such as fish, lamb, or duck while avoiding “warm” foods such as beef, chicken, pork.

Finally, all animals with allergies should be on an Omega 3 supplement. Given regularly, this can help reduce overall inflammation in the body both in the skin, joints, and other tissues. Good for allergies, arthritis and overall health. My dogs are on fish oils, but one of my dogs who is allergic to fish gets flax oil instead. I would be happy to consult with you further, but I hope this helps to some degree.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. Why does my dog want to always lick our lips when she gets in our face. More aggressive when we come home the licking is very aggressive. need to stop
ANSWER : A. This is an unwanted behavior that you will have to do some training with your pet to get it to stop. Some pets just like to lick to show affection. I would recommend working with an animal behaviorist or animal trainer to help curb the unwanted behavior. You have to work with someone either one or one, or purchase a dog training book that goes through step by step how to stop this. It is more than can be covered in a brief reply box here on the site. If she is jumping up on your before licking, then you have to first address the unwanted jumping behavior.

Another tid bit is to make sure that when your pet does not jump or lick that you provide positive rewards for good behavior as well. And to remain cool and calm because our pets are more receptive when we have a good attitude during their training. Good luck!

Read Full Q/A … : Why Does My Dog Lick My Face?