This trace element is one of the anti-anaemic factors that include folates, vitamin B12 and iron. Stored in the liver, it can be toxic for a very small number of dog breeds. It participates in the synthesis of melanin, which is a hair pigment.
A little background information
Copper is a minor mineral, a transition element, qualified in nutrition as a trace element due to its low quantitative importance, although it is vital for the body (<10 mg/ kg of body weight). Most of the body’s copper is stored in the liver. It can be toxic in excessive quantities, as produced by some predisposed breeds or lines of dog.
Its role in the body
Copper acts in the body to facilitate the intestinal absorption of iron and its incorporation in haemoglobin. It is an active element in many enzymes, especially those that promote cellular oxidation. It also plays a part in the synthesis of collagen in the tendons and the myelin of the nervous system.
Food that have a high copper content include meat (lamb, pork, duck) and proteinaceous grains (peas, lentils, soy).