Well Balanced Pet Mineral Analysis Test Kit Review
As a concerned pet parent, I want the best for Oscar, especially when it comes to his health. After all, I want to be chasing squirrels with him for many more years to come. I feed him what I think is a quality dog food (Acana), but I often wondered if that’s enough. Is he getting all the minerals and vitamins he should be? I go to a Naturopath to ensure my body is balanced… wouldn’t it be grand if there was something like that for dogs?
That’s why I was so intrigued when I heard about Well Balanced Pet. This company sells a mineral analysis kit that provides comprehensive mineral hair analysis for dogs, cats, and horses. Blood and stool tests that you get from a vet will give you a limited view of your pet’s overall health. They don’t necessary uncover underlining issues that are a result of an imbalance of vitamins and minerals. Well Balanced Pet takes a closer look at what’s going on in your dog’s body by carefully analyzing its hair.
So you may be asking yourself: “What is a mineral analysis?” Well Balanced Pet’s analysis is a comprehensive screening test that accurately analyzes 57 specific nutrient minerals and trace elements. Mineral analysis can reveal toxic exposure and can determine just what your dog is lacking in his diet. It’s a great preventative measure to stop illnesses before they start. Because illness and disease take time to manifest and present symptoms, this kind of testing is an early detection system that lets you fight it before it gets serious. Armed with test results, you’re able to correct imbalances and deficiencies with diet changes or adding a vitamin or supplement to your dog’s health regimen.
I received my kit in the mail and found the instructions pretty easy to follow. In order for the mineral analysis to be done, you need to send Well Balanced Pet a sample of hair taken from your dog. To ensure that you provide enough hair for the analysis, the kit comes with a sample scale (no batteries needed). As you can see in the picture, just place the scale across a pencil or pen and start putting the hair clippings on one side of the scale. You know you’ve cut enough once the scale tips to the other side. All of the hair must be taken from the neck area, because it’s really hard for your dog to lick that area. You should cut it as close to the skin as possible – this is so you’ll collect new hair growth and the results from your dog’s current state of health will be analysed. Oscar didn’t mind the unscheduled haircut and sat still for the entire process.
Well Balanced Pet tests for Essential Trace Elements, Essential Macroelements, Nonessential Trace Elements, and Potentially Toxic Elements. I mailed the company the hair for analysis and waited about 2 weeks for the results. I was emailed a detailed report of the findings and what it revealed was an eye-opener.
When it comes to the Essential Macroelements, it turns out that Oscar has a deficiency in Calcium and Magnesium. Some of the side effects of a Calcium deficiency are fatigue, sleeping and digestive problems, muscle cramping, nervousness and irritability. I can definitely see some of these in Oscar. He’s a pretty nervous little guy (and I thought it was because of his cappuccino addiction). And I think he sleeps a lot, even for a Shih Tzu. When we’re playing in the back yard, he gets fatigued after a few minutes of running around. As well, when we are snuggling on the couch, he gets these leg spasms and tends to kick me in the neck (ouch!). So these results have got my attention.
The side effects of a Magnesium deficiency are metabolic weakness and dull headaches. The metabolic weakness can also be seen as fatigue, especially after tiring from physical activity. Again, I’ve seen this in Oscar many times. As for the headaches, I’m not sure if Oscar gets them. He’s never asked me for a couple of Advils because of a pounding head, so I’m just going to have to take a pass on figuring out if he’s had that side effect.
What were most concerning to me were the high levels of certain potentially toxic elements.
What were most concerning to me were the high levels of certain potentially toxic elements. Well Balanced Pet found high levels of Bismuth, Gadolinium and Strontium in its tests. At first, probably much like you, I had never heard of these things before. But when I dug a little deeper into each of these elements, I was treated to a lesson in toxicity. Bismuth is often used as a coloring agent in cosmetics and burn ointments, as well as other products. I started to look into Gadolinium, but couldn’t find out where this mineral could be found in my home or environment. Strontium is linked to calcium deficiency, which makes sense with Oscar’s test results.
I spoke to Ken, the chief analyst at Well Balanced Pet, to better understand the test results and see what I could do about them. He explained that the potentially toxic elements antagonize the healthy minerals and enzymes, affecting absorption into the dog’s body. These elements can also steal much-needed nutrients from the dog’s bones. Over time, toxic elements can lead to illness and potentially life-threatening diseases.
So what can I do about these nasty elements? Ken suggested that I take a look around my house to see if the toxic elements were being ingested there. I can also eliminate them from Oscar by giving him an antioxidant. A detox regimen of Vitamins A, C, E and Selenium will help get rid of the toxic elements and put Oscar back on track to optimal health. As well, I’m going to give Oscar preventative dosages of Calcium supplement that contains cofactors of Magnesium, Zinc and Copper.
Ken also suggested I take a look at the food I am feeding Oscar. He says to make sure his kibble has Chelated Minerals, such as Calcium Citrate and Chromium. He also recommends feeding fish-based, as long as the fish are free-range, not farm-raised. And stay away from foods that contain hydrogenated oils and ingredients from China. I know that Acana has a fish formula kibble, so I’m going to pick up a bag and see if feeding him this formula helps.
I am hoping that once Oscar finishes his detox and starts on his Calcium supplements, I won’t find any more evidence of toxic elements. Well Balanced Pet’s findings were a much-needing lesson in dog nutrition. Even if you are feeding your dog a high-quality kibble, your dog still may be missing many key essential minerals and vitamins in his diet. I’m planning on taking the test again in the next three to four months to see if there’s a change in the results. The price point is very reasonable – kits start at $139 for a single pet – which is much cheaper than a visit to the Naturopath.
If you want to learn more about this testing or order a test kit analysis for yourself, visit Well Balanced Pet website.
*Note: PetGuide.com was NOT compensated for this review. The opinions expressed in this post are the author’s. We provide unbiased feedback of the products and share products we think our readers would enjoy using and learning more about.
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
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