Dogs’ nutritional needs may differ from ours. What we deem as healthy for us might not sufficient or appropriate for them. To give your dog the best nutrition available you will have to understand their specific needs and how to address them. After all, taking care of man’s best friend does take a little preparation and know-how.
Your dog needs the essential nutrients to grow, go, and glow. If your dog does not receive proper nutrients it may result in poor health, stunted growth, lethargy and shortened lifespan.
Dogs like most animal life forms need the six basic nutrients for survival: carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients serve different functions in sustaining the health and well-being of your dog. This guide will elaborate on dogs’ need of these nutrients.
1. Proteins: the building blocks of your dog’s health
Proteins are chemicals made of amino acids. Your dog can produce some of these chemicals in their own bodies. The rest has to be supplied through food. The best sources of these amino acids are meat and its byproducts. Dogs can extract proteins from these sources a lot easier than it would with plant sources.
Choose feeds that have an adequate amount of protein in them to help your puppies and working dogs grow. Too much of this, however, may cause kidney problems and has been known to cause temperament problems.
2. Fats: delivering other nutrients to the body
Fat sound like a bad word – everyone tries to avoid it because it causes tons of health problems. Dogs, however, just like man, also have a need for these nutrients – albeit in a moderate amount.
The right amount of fat is needed to promote good skin health, and to transport fat-soluble vitamins. Fats are also essential to kidney function and reproductive health. They make food tastier too. Too much fat will result in obesity and lethargy.
3. Carbohydrates: doggie fuel
Fifty percent of your dog’s diet should consist of carbohydrates since they need it for their energy. Corn is one of the more popular sources of this nutrient, along with soybeans. If this source is clean and of good nutritional quality then that should be fine as well.
4. Vitamins and Minerals: keeping your dog healthy
It would have been easier if your dog only had to splurge on vitamins and minerals to get optimal health. However, the opposite is true. Your dog needs an exact amount of vitamins and minerals to be healthy. Although, your dog may receive these nutrients from food, vitamin supplements for your dogs could be helpful. Specially formulated commercial feeds also make it easier for dog owners to give their dogs good nutrition.