Essential Dog Nutrients To Improve The Quality Of Their Life

  • 19/02/2020
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Like humans, your dog needs proper nutrition to grow and stay healthy. No matter what type of food you’re feeding them -- homemade or commercial dog food -- it should contain all the necessary nutrients in the right amount.

However, most people get confused when it comes to feeding their dogs because they don’t know which nutrients are required for their dogs’ wellbeing.

To feed your dog with a proper diet, you need to know their nutritional requirements and how these needs develop once they grow old.

Nutritional Requirements of Dog

While there are a number of nutrients to improve the quality of your dog’s health, there are some dietary components that must be present in your dog’s food.

When you buy commercial dog food, it’s important that you check the label as well as the review of that particular food. Make sure this review covers the necessary things you need to know about that particular food.

The following is a list of some of the fundamental nutrients for your dog.

Protein

Protein is one of the most essential nutrients that provides a good amount of amino acids, the building blocks of life. It is necessary for the maintenance of your dog’s fur and hair.

Your furry friend must have a certain amount of protein every day as it is necessary for the production of hormones, enzymes, antibodies, and neurotransmitters that keep their body functioning optimally.

Proteins are particularly vital for puppies and pregnant dogs. The best sources of this nutrient are eggs, lean-muscle meat, fish, lentils, and beans.

Fats

Fat is an essential macronutrient made up of fatty acids and offers the most concentrated source of energy to your pet’s diet. It’s crucial for providing essential fatty acids, helping absorb the fat-soluble vitamins, regulating their body temperature, promoting a healthy nervous system, and protecting the internal organs.

Fish and fish oil, flaxseeds oils, and hemp seed oils are good sources of fats that you can add in your canine diet. However, be careful as too much fat can cause issues like gastrointestinal problems and pancreatitis.

Vitamins

Vitamins are important to ensure the proper metabolic functions of your dog. These organic substances come in two forms: water-soluble (vitamin B and C) and fat-soluble (vitamin A, D, E, and K).

You must ensure that your dog’s food contains the necessary vitamins as they boost the immune system, regulate calcium, provide antioxidants, and maintain the nervous system function.

You can add any canine-friendly plant-based food or muscle meats to ensure vitamins in their diet. However, if you feed them with commercial dog food, then don’t add additional fat-soluble vitamins to avoid toxicity.

Minerals

Minerals make up less than 1% of canine body weight but are still important for numerous bodily functions.

These inorganic compounds perform a number of functions that are vital for supporting life, such as, constituting a major part of bones, assisting in wound healing, carrying oxygen throughout the body, aiding in nerve transmission, providing antioxidant support, and regulating fluid balance.

Organ meat and shellfish are some of the good sources of the mineral. While feeding a senior dog, monitor the level of phosphorus and calcium to avoid any orthopedic disease.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are another type of macronutrient consisting of starches and sugars. This nutrient is important for the production of glucose, the fuel that runs the body.

Besides, carbohydrates in the form of whole-grain can supply some essential minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and plant-based nutrients. However, make sure the food you’re feeding your pet doesn’t contain any high-glycemic carbohydrates, as they raise the sugar level while providing zero nutrition.

Choosing The Right Nutrition Based on Your Dog’s Age

When you’re planning a nutritional diet for your dog, you must consider their age. The nutritional requirements change when a puppy grows into an adult dog. You have to keep that in mind while feeding them.

Food & Nutrition for Puppy

Compared to an adult or senior dog, a puppy requires twice as many calories to stay healthy. That’s why commercial puppy foods are specially formulated with nutrition.

When puppies are approximately 4 weeks old, mother’s milk becomes insufficient for them. That’s why you must start the formulated puppy foods from that stage. Make sure their food contains 20 to 30% protein.

You should feed your puppy 2 to 3 times daily. However, how much the quantity will be totally depends on their breed and size.

Food & Nutrition for Adult Dog

While feeding your adult dog, choose a diet that can deliver nutritional and caloric requirements. Make sure you use portion control using a timed or free-choice feeding method.

In the timed feeding method, you will make a portion of food for your dog available for a certain time and remove it when the time is up.

A meal feeding method lets you feed your dog a certain amount of food twice a day. It’s a good choice for the dog that is overweight.

A free-choice method allows your dog to eat food whenever he wants. This is not a good method as you might end up overfeeding them.

Food & Nutrition for Senior Dog

Usually, the dog is considered a senior after he is 8 years old. You need to be a bit careful while choosing food for senior dogs as they tend to develop some health issues.

It’s a bit challenging to choose the right diet plan for senior dogs as it depends on their breed and health conditions. However, there are some common factors, which you should consider while feeding them.

While buying dog food formulated for senior dogs, make sure it is lower in calories but high in protein. It’s because dogs tend to lose the ability to assimilate proteins as they become older.

Final Thoughts

Your dog needs special care in every stage of his life. It’s crucial that you choose the right food in the right amount to make sure they stay healthy and happy.

However, every dog is unique. So, selecting the perfect diet for a dog can be challenging. You can ask your veterinary health care team to choose a diet for your furry friend that provides all the essential nutrients.

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