How to Meet Dog Nutrition Requirements
Just like human beings, dogs require dog nutrition requirements, a balanced diet for cell growth and maintenance, as well as promoting overall health. If there are no illness-related deficiencies, special needs or special instructions from a vet, dogs can derive all their nutritional needs from approved commercial pet foods. (Also read: Healthy Human Food for Dogs)
These pet foods are specially formulated to ensure that all essential food groups are properly represented. However, canines have different dog nutrition requirements, depending on age, among other things. Therefore, it is important to know the quality and quantity of food that you should give to your dog to promote proper health and prevent obesity. Here is what you need to know about the essential dog nutrients needed for optimum healthy living.
Water is very essential to a dog’s life, adding to dog nutrition requirements. The body of an adult dog is composed of more than 70% water. Although food will play a role towards meeting your pet’s daily water requirements, dogs must be provided with clean and fresh water throughout the day. Failure to do that may lead to serious health complications. For example a 10% reduction in the pet’s body water may lead to serious health issues while a 15% loss of water may lead to sudden death.
Proteins act as the main building blocks for tissues, cells, hormones, enzymes, antibodies and organs. They are essential for maintenance, repair, growth and reproduction. Proteins for your dog can be obtained from animal-based meats like lamb, turkey, chicken, eggs, fish and beef.
Proteins can also be obtained from vegetables, soy and cereals. However, cereal and vegetable proteins are considered incomplete. It is not advisable to give raw eggs to dogs. This is because raw eggs contain avidin, which is an anti-vitamin known for interfering with metabolism of glucose, fats, and amino acids.
These are very essential in providing energy while playing a crucial role in the intestines health. Carbohydrates are also needed for reproduction. Although there is no stated minimum carbohydrate requirement, critical organs like the brain require a certain glucose threshold. If this minimum is not attained, then the dog might start having health issues.
Fibers are a form of carbohydrates, which balance the bacteria population in the gut. This can help in managing chronic diarrhea in dogs. It is important to ensure that the source of fiber given to the dogs is moderately fermentable.
Such fiber will provide maximum benefits such as promoting a healthy gut as well as avoiding the bad side effects of fiber that is highly fermentable. They can be obtained from beet pulp, wheat middlings and brans. Foods with high fiber content are not suitable for young dogs or those with high energy requirements.
Fats have a very high concentration of food energy. This means that they can provide your dog with double the amount of energy present in carbohydrates or proteins. Fats are also important in cell structure while also needed in production of certain hormones.
Fats are needed by the pet’s body to absorb and utilize certain vitamins and minerals. Fats also offer protection and insulation to internal body organs. A shortage of fatty acids in the dog’s body may lead to stunted growth or skin problems.
Vitamins are essential in promoting normal metabolic functioning. The dog’s body requires certain vitamins, which cannot be synthesized by the body. This necessitates availing them in the diet.
Some people give their dogs vitamin supplementation, even after providing them with a complete and balanced diet. However, this is not recommended. Vitamin supplementation should only be offered, and the dog has been diagnosed with a certain vitamin deficiency.
Over supplementation may lead to vitamin poisoning. Excess Vitamin A may lead to joint pain and brittle bones while excess Vitamin D may contribute to kidney failure, very dense bones and soft tissue calcification.
Minerals must be provided in the diet, since they cannot be synthesized in the dog’s body. Minerals are very essential as structural constituents of teeth and bones. They are also useful in maintaining fluid balance due to their involvement in numerous metabolic reactions.
Dogs generally love eating. If not controlled, they can eat every hour of the day. Overfeeding should not be recommended, since it may result to overweight dogs, which can lead to other health issues. How often you feed your dog will depend on age as well as activity level. However, if the dog is fit, energetic and trim, then he is eating right. By following these rules on dog nutrition, your dog will be healthy.
My name is Diana Hutchinson. I am the founder of Tinpaw. I have more than 10-years’ experience in nurturing and caring cats. I also have a lovely fluffy White with black highlights Pomeranian named Max. I love them. Since long ago they had been became important members of my family.