What is magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral element that falls into the category of alkaline earth metals. In its rock-like form, it appears gray and shiny. The mineral is expelled when a star explodes in outer space but is also found inside living organisms. It is required for hundreds of vital body functions and biochemical reactions.
Symptoms of Low Magnesium
Balanced minerals are vital to your pet's body function. Magnesium deficiencies, for example, have been linked to heart disease. Many diets lack a sufficient amount of magnesium, leading to discomfort and severities such as:
- Muscle cramps
- Heart arrhythmia
- GI upset
- Urinary disorders in cats
Treating Constipation and Urine Crystals
Magnesium supplements can even help reverse pet constipation and urinary disorders. Cats are especially prone to intestinal difficulties from furballs. Additionally, a magnesium sufficient diet can help manage struvite urine crystals in cats.
While magnesium's external calming affects are obvious, the mineral can help relax the body internally as well, helping digestion and urinary processes move along.
Low magnesium levels or deficiencies can be treated with a number of topical treatments as well as some oral options. When given by mouth, magnesium can act as a laxative, so it is wise to ask a veterinarian for the best recommendation for your pet.
Some product treatments include:
- Ancient Minerals: topical in spray or lotion form, available at Ancient Arts
- Rx Vitamins: oral powder for Canine Minerals and Feline Minerals, capsules or liquid NutriCalm, available at Ancient Arts
- Standard Process Canine Support: oral powder supplement for Musculoskeletal, Immune System and Hepatic Support, available at Ancient Arts
- Milk of magnesia (magnesium phosphate): oral liquid to treat GI problems, available over-the-counter
- EverPup: oral powder, available on Amazon
You can also increase your pet's daily magnesium intake by feeding these magnesium-rich foods:
- Bone meal
- Pumpkin and squash
- Leafy greens
In animals, most magnesium is stored in bones, with a large amount also stored in organs and muscles. Meat trimmings can therefore be selected to have higher concentrations of magnesium.
This is one reason why many brands of processed kibble, which contains meat by-products, are not always a sufficient form of pet nutrition. Here also is an example of the benefits of a raw diet.
Note that some human foods high in magnesium are not good for your pet, such as:
- Wheat or gluten products
- Macadamia nuts and walnuts
How Much Magnesium Does Your Pet Need?
Dogs have a daily recommended value of 150 mg of magnesium and cats should get 25 mg daily.