I am combining various vitamins and minerals into a food supplement for my dog and I currently measure each powder individually for each batch of food each week. The supplements are in powder form but have varying grain sizes. Examples include copper, zinc, dicalcium phosphate, kelp powder, table salt, Vitamin E, Vitamin B-12.

If I were to make a giant batch of the supplements above using the proper proportions can I safely measure out of that large batch the appropriate volume each week or will the various consistencies / densities of the powders unevenly distribute making the weekly scoops proportionally unbalanced?

Is there some piece of equipment that could be used to mix the powders guaranteeing even distribution for batch usage?

Thank you in advance for any advice.


1 Answer 1


It's hard to maintain homogeneity for the mix of powders. The bigger the batch, the less homogeneous it's going to be. Ideally you want to disperse solid ingredients; there are several techniques to do that. Two of the most popular ones are:

  • dissolving all the components in a non-reactive solvent and they dry out or precipitate the powder;
  • using a ball mill.

With supplements, however, it's somewhat trickier, as they may react with each other over time, with the solvent, or be contaminated in grinder. Also they are often granulated for a good reason: this reduces the contact with atmosphere and prolongs shelf life.

If you decide to avoid the dispersion part, then due to Brazil nut effect the largest powder particles will remain on top of the batch, the smallest – on the bottom. This is especially noticeable when the batch has been shaken, e.g. after being transported in a car trunk, or just being kicked a few times lying on the kitchen's floor.

All in all, I wouldn't recommend doing this. The probability of suffering from an imbalanced diet is too high. There are some multivitamin and mineral complexes designed for humans, maybe look for something similar for your pet.

  • $\begingroup$ @airhuff Thanks for the edit, this was indeed a typo. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Jan 20, 2018 at 2:52
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    $\begingroup$ No problem, and +1 for the answer. Also, I agree with the bottom line of "All in all, I wouldn't recommend doing this." However, I'm not clear what advantage your pre-grinding step of dissolving (or attempting to dissolve) all the components would bring to the table. Is the idea to further reduce the size of the granules in the initial powders? My first thought is that that would be a messy, time consuming step that wouldn't buy you much. It of course would also require a drying step before grinding. Just my 2 cents. $\endgroup$
    – airhuff
    Jan 20, 2018 at 3:12
  • $\begingroup$ @airhuff Oh, I didn't mean to make the grinding and ball-milling look like those are sequential steps. Those are two unrelated techniques, I'm going to edit the answer to make it clearer (if I fail, feel free to do it for me:) ) $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Jan 20, 2018 at 3:23
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    $\begingroup$ Ah, I get it. It's definitely clear in your edit. :) $\endgroup$
    – airhuff
    Jan 20, 2018 at 3:29
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer! I suspected this was the case but did not want to assume given my lack of chemistry knowledge! THANK YOU SO MUCH! $\endgroup$
    – Ben E.
    Jan 21, 2018 at 11:23

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