Dog Nutrition 101

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It does not really matter whether you feed your dogs premium or world class dog food or just plain home-prepared food. What most dog owners fail to think about when considering diet options for their dogs is the actual content of the food given to their pets. As for all animals, dogs should have a complete and balanced nutrition provided by a good diet that provides them with the essential nutrients needed for proper growth and function. Similar to humans, in order to function efficiently in day to day activities, proper fuel should be available in the form of food and of course fluids taken in.

In addition to proper nutrition, the amounts of nutrients should also be taken into consideration. Adequate amounts of nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins would be better monitored if given in right amount. Just as in anything in life, too much of something can also be harmful. So, dog owners have to be extra careful in seeing to it that their pets are getting just the right amounts of things that should be in their bodies. In this way, they can continue being the fun and loving friends we have.

Here are some things to keep in mind when designing a diet for your dogs:

  1. Proteins

In all animal, proteins function to give mass and bulk to our bodies by allowing the growth of muscle. Dogs, in particular, have different requirements of protein intake according to their breeds. Some dogs need more protein as they are more susceptible to getting obese and so proteins allow their bodies to grow in muscle instead of fat. Some dogs are also particularly very active and enjoy playing outside and playing fetch, these guys are also those that should be given more amounts of protein in their diet.

As all dogs are different, it is for the best that you consult your veterinarian to help you figure out what exactly are the amounts you should be giving to your dog. In this way, a specialist can do the balancing of nutrients for you and maybe even be able to recommend certain foods that could give the best fuel for your dog.

Aside from healthy muscle tone and growth, proteins are also helpful in maintaining your dog’s fur. As proteins also have a role in hair maintenance, a good amount of this in your dog’s diet could make a big difference to your dog’s fur.

  1. Fats

Fats are often misunderstood nutrients in a diet. They automatically have the misconception that they are unhealthy and should completely be eradicated from one’s diet. This is actually not the case at all. Fats contribute to the absorption of vitamins such as vitamins A, E, K and D. Without fats, these vitamins could not be absorbed by your dog’s body and consequently cannot contribute to overall health as they are not present.

In preparing a diet for your dogs, see to it that there are always omega-6 fatty acids present. According to veterinarians and animal experts, this is the most important fatty acid component a diet for dogs should have. Again, the saying that everything should be in moderation applies here as well. Risks of obesity and heart problems affects dogs as much as it affects humans. In some dogs which are prone to obesity, fats are decreased to very minimal amounts just for the absorption of vitamins. This is due to the fact that if the amounts are increased further, adverse effects associated with cardiovascular problems can occur.

  1. Carbohydrates

When talking about dog’s diets, carbohydrates are not as needed to be present as proteins or fats. Dogs get their energy mainly on fats and proteins so the need for carbohydrates does not really exceed average amounts. Whole grains are a good source of carbohydrates for dogs. This enables dogs to also get doses of minerals such as iron as well as fiber. Keep in mind though that carbohydrates should be well cooked if you plan to feed some to your dog because if not, they may ferment in the large intestine which may be dangerous.

Dogs are very important loving friends that people can have. So take care of them and feed them food that are not only good but good for their health as well.

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