Most of the time, a dog is part of your family, and you want to make sure his health is intact. It is vitally important that dogs get the right nutrition to keep in ocular health.
Proper nutrition is essential because it provides your pup with energy, a beautiful coat, and overall health and wellbeing. It is essential the foods that are fed to your dog are nutritionally dense foods to have an excellent health outcome.
With so many dog food companies on the market that may have fillers or ingredients which may not be so good for your dog, it is essential to know what foods your dog needs in order to stay healthy.
Protein is essential for dogs; it is a macronutrient that provides them with energy. Since protein has non-essential and essential amino acids, it is crucial for dogs to get both in their diet because protein supports strong muscles, bones, hair, nails, and skin.
It is also a necessity because it makes certain enzymes, neurotransmitters, hormones, and antibodies to help living organisms to function correctly. Dogs’ bodies cannot make store protein, so it needs to be supplied continuously to dogs in their diet.
Dogs who are mothers need to have twice as much as other adult dogs. Puppies need this twice as much as well because they are still growing. The best food to give the dog to get their protein will be lean meats, eggs, fish, beans, and lentils if you are looking for an alternative.
Another nutrient that dogs need is fats; the three fatty acids saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated are all considered fats. Fat provides the best source of energy, because unlike protein and carbohydrate it has twice as many calories per gram as either of those.
Fat also has the critical Omega threes and Omega sixes, which helps aid soluble vitamins to be absorbed. Fat also protects the organs inside the body and helps regulate body temperature; it helps your nervous system to be healthy.
However, gastro issues and pancreatitis can develop by consuming too much fat. The best ways for dogs to get fat are from fish, and as for fish oils make sure they are low mercury and there are plant-based oils that are dog-friendly like hemp seed and flaxseed.
It is essential for dogs, as it is for humans, to get the right vitamins. Vitamins are an enclosed compound that helps the metabolic function. Vitamins should be consumed in small quantities.
There are fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E, N, K; while other vitamins such as vitamin B & C are water-soluble. Vitamins from fat are stored in the liver and in the fatty tissues; however, vitamins found in water not stored in the body.
Since the body does not produce vitamins, the diet has to provide them. The critical roles vitamins play in a dog’s body are to build a supporting immune system, provide antioxidants, keep blood to thicken, help provide the nervous system to function correctly, joint health, and help keep levels of calcium and phosphorus up.
If you prepare food for dogs at home you’ll need to add some type of supplementation for vitamins; however, if you are feeding them a balanced diet from a commercial brand you may not need to add any vitamins because the brand already added them, and it can cause toxicity in the dog.
The proper way to provide the best quality vitamins available would be to feed dogs meats, either muscle or organ, and plant-based foods that are for dogs.
Another vital nutrient that dogs need is made up of a complex of amino acid glutamine and glucose known as glucosamine. This nutritionally based ingredient is developed in the body and helps to promote joint health in the dog. The best way to get it is through chicken feet, oxtails or pigtails, trachea, beef knuckle bones, or cartilage bones.
However, there are some dog foods with glucosamine that have added the ingredient to their name-brand food which should provide the correct dosage your dog needs. If in doubt about the right amount your pooch should consume, ask your vet and supplement as necessary to reach the ideal quantity.
Minerals, unlike vitamins, are an inorganic compound that the body needs to help the functions of the metabolic system. A body does not make minerals, so just like humans, dogs must also get theirs from their diet.
There are two different types of minerals—microminerals and macrominerals. Calcium, phosphorus, sodium (aka salts), chloride, magnesium, and potassium are all considered macrominerals. Selenium, iodine, zinc, iron, and copper are considered microminerals.
The difference is macrominerals are needed in the body at a higher level than those in microminerals. However, each type of mineral is just as important as one another. Minerals are a lot like vitamins because they help living things function; for instance, keep bones healthy, move oxygen in the body, help heal wounds, provide antioxidants help, support nerve transmissions, and help aid fluid balance.
Puppies require more minerals; in fact, they need double the calcium because their bodies are growing. However, larger dogs need to be monitored and not over accumulate in phosphorus and calcium. Every food is different in how many minerals they contain; for example, phosphorus is high in meat, calcium is higher in bones, copper, and iron are higher in organ meats, and zinc is high in shellfish.
Carbohydrates are yet another macronutrient, and they consist of starches, indigestible fibers, and sugars. Although dogs do not technically need carbohydrates for their source of glucose because dogs can synthesize glucose that is provided from eating protein and fats.
However, many carbohydrates contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, which help with a dog’s overall health. There are good carbohydrates that contain vitamins and minerals like you would want to give a dog but stay away from bad carbohydrates that do not provide the beneficial ingredients.
The best way to provide carbohydrates to dogs is by giving them vegetables, fruits, and grains that are dog-friendly.
While not a food, just like humans, all other mammals need water to survive; it does not have a taste, a flavor, a color, or an odor. Scientifically, it is a chemical that is made up of one oxygen molecule and two hydrogen molecules.
All living things are made up of a high percentage of water. Water is essential by helping nutrients to dissolve and be transported to cells, controls the body temperature, breaks down fat helps digestion of carbohydrates and fat, gives a cushion to the nervous system and organs and rids the body of waste.
The amount of water a dog needs depends on their specific needs of health, activity, and temperature. Some dogs need more than others; for instance, if the dog eats more moisturized foods, it needs less water, or if the dog is in a hot environment it needs more water. This is especially true if it is summertime and you haven’t yet given your long-haired pooch their yearly trim.
You should now be more aware of the nutrients your dog needs in their diet. Remember to always check labels because advertising can be misleading to the consumer—always check and make sure your dog is getting the requirements they need. An optimized diet will provide them with the strength, energy, and health they need to have a happy life.