Foods high in zinc for dogs

Foods High In Zinc For Dogs

Let’s get straight to the point. Here are some foods high in zinc for dogs.

Zinc content in meat foods (in descending order):

FoodZinc Content (mg/100g)*
Lamb, ground, raw3.41
Beef, raw3.38
Game meat, elk, raw2.40
Turkey, Ground, raw2.35
Game meat, deer, raw2.09
Duck, meat only, raw1.90
Pork, boneless loin, raw1.60
Game meat, rabbit, domesticated, raw1.57
Sardines, cooked1.31
Egg, whole without shell1.24
Chicken, breast, meat only, raw0.68
Salmon, chinook, raw0.44
Zinc content in meat foods (in descending order)


Zinc content in vegetarian foods (in descending order):

FoodZinc Content (mg/100g)
Spinach, mature0.42
Broccoli, raw0.42
Kale, raw0.39
Zinc content in vegetarian foods (in descending order)


How much food does your dog need to eat each day to meet its zinc requirements? If you feed it only these natural foods instead of commercial dog food, for example, in the case of lamb with the highest zinc content, you must feed your dog at least 5.2lbs or 2.35kg of lamb to achieve the zinc intake of 80mg per day (calculated in terms of raw weight). This is obviously unrealistic because eating too much meat in adult dogs, especially older dogs, increases the burden on the digestive system and increases the risk of major diseases such as pancreatitis.

As a result, the most secure choice is to feed the dog AAFCO-compliant dog food on a daily basis.

AAFCO recommended minimum concentration of zinc is 80 mg/kg DM (80 mg per kg dry matter) in the adult dogs’ maintenance nutrient profile consistent with the updated NRC RA and FEDIAF Guidelines concentrations.

It should be noted that AAFCO only set the minimum zinc content standard for dog food based on the dry matter weight, but does not set the daily zinc requirement standard for dogs of different body sizes and weight. The good news is that we can calculate the daily minimum zinc requirements base on the AAFCO minimum zinc standard for dog food.

First of all, according to AAFCO standards, if your dog eats 1 kg of AAFCO-compliant dry dog food, it can get at least 80mg zinc every day, in other words, according to AAFCO standards, this dog’s daily zinc intake should not be lower than 80mg. As long as we know the recommended daily feeding amount of your dog, we can calculate its daily zinc requirement.

Next, let’s take “Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+ Adult Formula” as an example. The zinc content of this dog food on the package is 150mg/kg food, and according to our caculation, the weight of 1 cup of kibble is about 4 ounces/113g. Let’s estimate the zinc intake of dogs of different body sizes according to Purina ONE recommended daily feeding amount.

Recommended Daily Feeding Amount of Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+ Adult Formula:

Dog Body WeightFeed AmountFood Weight (oz)Food Weight (g)Zinc ContentAAFCO Zinc Content Standard
3-12 lbs
(1.4-5.4 kg)
       1/3 to 1 cup1.3 – 4 oz38 – 113 g6 – 17 mg3 – 9 mg
13-20 lbs
(5.9-9.1 kg)
1 to 1-1/2 cups4 – 6 oz113 – 170 g17 – 26 mg9 – 14 mg
21-35 lbs
(9.5-15.9 kg)
1-1/2 to 2-1/4 cups6 – 9 oz170 – 254 g26 – 38 mg14 – 20 mg
36-50 lbs
(16.3-22.7 kg)
2-1/4 to 3 cups9 – 12 oz254 – 339 g38 – 51 mg20 – 27 mg
51-75 lbs
(23.1-34 kg)
3 to 4 cups12 – 15.9 oz339 – 452 g51 – 68 mg27 – 36 mg
76-100 lbs
(34.5-45.4 kg)
4 to 5 cups15.9 – 19.9 oz452 – 565 g68 – 85 mg36 – 45 mg
Over 100 lbs
(45.4 kg +)
5 cups + 1/4 cup /10 lbs (4.5kg) of body weight over 100 lbs (45.4kg)19.9 oz + 1 oz/10 lbs of body weight over 100 lbs565 g + 28g/4.5 kg of body weight over 45.4kg85 mg + 4.2 mg/10lbs of body weight over 100 lbs45 mg + 2.2 mg/10lbs body weight over 100 lbs
Zinc Content of Recommended Daily Feeding Amount of Purina ONE SmartBlend Vibrant Maturity 7+ Adult Formula

If you mainly feed your dog homemade dog food, then you need to supplement your dog with extra zinc. Apart from commercial dog food, the most effective way is the zinc supplement for dogs. Zinc supplements are divided into two types: inorganic zinc and organic zinc.

Inorganic zinc, such as zinc sulfate and zinc oxide, has low absorption rate and utilization rate, and has great irritation to the intestines and stomach. Accordingly, the price of inorganic zinc is very cheap and the use cost is the lowest.

Organic zinc such as zinc citrate, zinc picolinate, and zinc gluconate are highly absorbable and easily used by your dog’s body.

Chelated zinc is slightly less absorbable than zinc picolinate and zinc gluconate, but it generally doesn’t cause as much stomach upset as some other forms of zinc.

inorganic zinc supplements and organic zinc supplements.

I have created a table of data for some zinc supplements for dogs that can be purchased on the Internet, which details the zinc composition, zinc content, dosage, and cost of use (week, month) of each brand of supplements, which you can refer to later.

Final Thoughts

There are so many kinds of zinc-rich foods for dogs, but feeding these natural foods alone are often unable to meet the needs of dogs for zinc, which often causes disease in the dog’s metabolism, skin, etc. My advice is to feed your senior dog with AAFCO compliant dog food, as the AAFCO has set a minimum standard content for zinc in dog food. (Feeding AAFCO-compliant dog food can not only meet the daily nutrition needs of dogs, but also greatly reduce the risk of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD). For more information, see this blog post)

If you are not feeding your dog commercial dog food that meets AAFCO standards, you’d better add zinc supplements to your dog’s food.

If you are concerned about cost, you can choose inorganic zinc such as zinc sulfate and zinc oxide.

If you want better absorption and utilization of zinc by your dog, it is recommended to use organic zinc such as zinc citrate, zinc picolinate and zinc gluconate.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top