A dogs’ nutritional needs differs from humans. What we believe as healthy for us often is not sufficient or appropriate for dogs. To ensure your dog receives the best nutrition you need to understand a dog’s specific needs and how to address these needs. Taking care of man’s best friend does take a little preparation and know-how.
There are essential nutrients needed to grow, go and glow. If your dog does not receive correct nutrients it will possibly result in poor health, stunted growth in puppies, lethargy and a shortened life span.
Dogs need five basic nutrients for survival: carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. These serve different functions in sustaining the health and well being of the dog and out guide will help you ensure your dog receives these nutrients.
Proteins are the health building block; they are chemicals made of amino acids. Your dog can produce some of these chemicals in their own bodies but the rest need to be supplied through food intake. The best sources of these amino acids are meat and its by products. Dogs can extract proteins from these a lot easier than it can with plant sources. Repeat: meat.
Choose foods that have an adequate amount of protein to help your puppies and dogs grow.
Fat is something everyone tries to avoid it because it can cause many health problems, but dogs, however, just like man, also have a need for the nutrients contained in fat.
The right amount of fat is necessary to promote good skin health and to carry fat-soluble vitamins. Fats are also essential to kidney function and reproductive health – and they make food more tastier too. Too much fat will result of course in obesity and lethargy.
Fifty percent of your dog’s diet must consist of carbohydrates, necessary for energy. Corn and soybeans are two of the more popular sources of this nutrient. If this source is clean and of good nutritional quality then ensure you dog’s diet contains at least 50% of these. Other carbohydrates include cooked rice and the dry cereals prepared specifically for dogs.
4. Vitamins and Minerals
A dog needs an exact amount of vitamins and minerals to be healthy, and although your dog may receive these nutrients from its general food intake, vitamin supplements for your dog should be considered. Today the formulated commercial dog feeds also make it easier for owners to ensure their dogs receive good nutrition.
Buying Dog Food Tips
Dogs need proper nutrition in order to be healthy, happy and for their coat to be soft and glossy. The cost of any dog food and its brand is only important if dogs could read or pay for the meal. The easiest and best way to find out which food is best for your dog is to observe how their response is to the food they take in.
The following are tips you should remember when feeding dog kibbles, nibbles or any kind of treats.
o Chocolate is lethal to dogs. The major components are methylxanthine alkaloids and theobromine in regular chocolate and are digested and excreted by humans in under 3 hours but the same compounds when ingested by dogs stays inside them for 18 hours and this has been proven to be fatal. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, excessive urination, hyperactivity, diarrhea and these can be followed by seizure, coma and ultimately death.
o Read the label of hte product. Dogs must have a diet rich in meat protein,so when you purchase canned foods look for chicken, turkey, any red meat, pork or other animal by products as these keep the dog’s coat smooth and healthy. Dogs prefer meat-based diets because they are easily digestible and is a great source of energy.
o Don’t give a dog just any bone. Contrary to popular belief, feeding bones to dogs is not necessarily a good idea. Small soft bones gnawed and eaten by dogs can splinter inside their throat and cause them to choke. Chicken necks do not splinter, neither does the brisket bone of any animal, so these are good to give the dog as they also provide gum and teeth care when the dog gnaws on them. Dogs have short digestive tracts and also they have no saliva amylase, the enzyme that humans have that is used to pre-digest starch.
o Dog food supplements are unnecessary only if you are sure that your dog receives a regular intake of complete and balanced food nutrients. Good sources of carbohydrates include rice, corn, oatmeal, wheat. A highly specialized nutrition diet is only necessary if your dog does not have enough physical activity or is currently undergoing a stressful routine change.
o Raw fish and eggs are forbidden in a dog’s diet. Consistent consumption of raw eggs makes a dog’s skin flaky as eggs lessen the biotin available in their body and the usual results are dermatitis and hair loss. Raw fish creates a thiamine-deficiency in a dog, and its effects are loss of appetite, abnormal posture, weakness and sometimes death.
Feed your dog a healthy diet as outlined above and he will have always a beautiful coat and give you many years of companionship.