Dog Health

Dog Food Ingredients 101: Iron Proteinate

April 11, 2023

#AtoZChallenge 2023 letter I I like to think I’m pretty knowledgeable when it comes to knowing what I’m feeding my dogs, but this month’s A to Z challenge is the first time I’ve taken a deep dive to really learn more about some of the ingredients that are commonly present in commercial dog food.  What do you feed your dog?  Have you ever taken the time to research all of the ingredients in your dog’s food?  This challenge has been really eye-opening for me for sure.

This post is part of our 2023 April blogging from A to Z Challenge!  Join us this month as we go through the alphabet, A to Z, learning more about some of the ingredients that are commonly (or not so commonly, in some cases) found in our dog’s food!

What is Iron Proteinate?

Iron proteinate is, basically, a mixture of the metal iron with a protein carrier.  Protein carriers are typically hydrolyzed proteins that bond together with iron to make it more bioavailable when it’s consumed by an animal.

Why is Iron Proteinate Added to Dog Food?

Iron proteinate is added to dog food as a source of iron.

Iron Proteinate dog food

Cons of Feeding Iron Proteinate to Dogs:

Iron proteinate can be more expensive than other forms of supplemental iron.  But I doubt iron proteinate would be added to any dog food in amounts so high that it would significantly increase the cost of the food.

Too much iron in the diet can sometimes lead to iron poisoning.  This shouldn’t be a risk if your dog’s only source of iron is his/her food.  However, can become an issue if your dog consumes too many multivitamins that contain iron, iron supplements, fertilizers, pesticides, or the contents of single use hand warmers.  Signs of iron poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, fatigue, low blood pressure, abdominal pain, rapid heart beat, seizures, and coma.

Benefits of Feeding Iron Proteinate to Dogs:

Protein bound, also called chelated, minerals are more bioavailable (verses non-chelated minerals) and easier for dog’s bodies to absorb.

Iron, in the proper amount, is required for proper function of the circulatory system.  It is part of dog’s red blood cells and is essential for oxygen transport.

So What’s the Verdict on Iron Proteinate?  Is it Safe as a Dog Food Ingredient?

Iron is an essential mineral for dogs.  Iron proteinate is the preferred type of iron supplement to be added to dog food because it is more bioavailable than other forms of iron.  It’s possibly for dogs to overdose on iron, but this isn’t normally a worry for dog’s who are receiving supplementary iron in their food.  Iron poisoning is more of a concern for dogs who get into things they shouldn’t, such as dogs who consume large amounts of vitamins containing iron.

Iron Proteinate

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