Things You Need to Know About Dog Food and Nutrition
When pet owners visit a veterinarian, one of the most common questions they ask is the type of food their dog should eat. Experts in dog food and nutrition advice that dogs should eat a well-balanced diet because it is important for their general health and well-being. Knowing the type of food to give your dog requires an understanding of the nutritional needs of dogs, and the biological evolution of nutritional requirements.
The Nutritional Requirements for Dogs
Dogs need six basic nutrients and they include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins and water. The basic nutrients should be part of a dog’s daily diet because they are vital for basic bodily functions. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has established the minimum dietary requirements for specific nutrients. The maximum amount of certain nutrients a dog can tolerate is known, and the toxicity levels of these nutrients have been established. However, experts in dog food and nutrition have not established the effects of marginal deficiencies of nutrients in dogs.
Dog foods designed to maintain the health of dogs have approximately 30 to 70 percent carbohydrates. Dogs are omnivorous animals, and this means that they can metabolize carbohydrates as a source of energy. The ability to utilize both carbohydrates and proteins for energy enable healthy dogs to adapt well to most commercial diets.
The Blue Buffalo Small Breed Chicken & Rice Dog Food is one of the commercial dog foods rich in carbohydrates and protein
Protein is one of the key nutrients dogs need. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein responsible for strong muscles and tissue repair in dogs. Dogs can synthesize 50 percent of the amino acids they need. This means that the remaining 50 percent of essential amino acids must be taken through the diet. Some of the ingredients commonly used in dog food to provide protein include soybeans, lamb, turkey, beef, eggs, and fish-meal. Adult dogs without health issues need to consume approximately 18 to 25 percent protein in their diet.
Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe Premium Dry Dog Food will meet all the protein requirements for your dog
Some dog owners think feeding dogs with fat is unhealthy, but this is not always the case. Dogs need to feed on certain fatty acids in moderation. When fat is metabolized, it provides energy, in addition to giving food its taste and flavor, and enabling the absorption of specific vitamins. Fatty acids provided in the diet assist dogs in maintaining a shiny coat and a healthy skin.
Fats that are commonly used in dog foods include cottonseed oil, pork fat, chicken fat, vegetable oil, fish oil, sunflower oil, and soybean oil. A balance diet should provide from 10 to 15 percent fat, which is a requirement for staying healthy in most adult dogs.
The Natural Balance Fat Dogs Dry Dog Food contains all the essential fats your dog needs
4. Minerals and Vitamins
Dogs require essential minerals and vitamins to stay healthy, and they should be included in the diet. For instance, vitamin E assists your dog in maintaining a strong immune system, while vitamin A is responsible for healthy hair and skin. Fruits and vegetable are the most common ingredients included in dog food to provide vitamins and minerals.
Minerals are crucial in assisting the body to execute certain functions, and preventing ill health caused by deficiencies. The minerals dogs need in large amounts include magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chloride, sodium, potassium, and sulfur. Dogs also need some minerals in small quantities, the minerals are called trace minerals, and they include zinc, iron, iodine, copper, fluorine and chromium. The ingredients included in most dog foods to provide minerals are legumes, fruits, grains, vegetable, and meat.
Dog supplements also provide minerals , for example, the Rx Vitamins Canine Minerals Powder
Water is what completes a healthy diet, and it is essential for waste removal, temperature regulation, preventing dehydration and transporting nutrients. Even dry food contains some water, but dogs should always drink water after having a balanced diet. Filtered water is best for pets. Humans should always use a water filter for their own drinking water and if you’re looking for cool Water Filtered Bowl, check out this one
The Things to Consider When Selecting Dog Food
Quality should be your main consideration when choosing the type of food to give to your dog. The difference between quality dog food and premium dog food is the source and quality of ingredients. For example, two dog foods may contain 27 percent protein, but the foods may be significantly different in terms of digestibility.
The ingredients used in preparing pet food are normally listed based on weight. Each ingredient used is weighed before it is added to the food and ingredient such as fresh beef have lots of water. Most of the water is lost during processing, and this means that dry dog food that lists corn as the top ingredient may be superior to the one that lists meat first in terms of nutritional value. This means that you should select diets with recognizable, whole-food ingredients for your dog.
The complexity involved in choosing dog food is also evident in the listing of nutrients whereby some are listed as minimum percentages, while others are labeled as maximum. This means that some dog foods may contain higher or lower percentages of the respective ingredients. The best thing to do before choosing food for your dog is consulting a veterinarian.
Do Dogs Of Different Breeds Require Different Nutrition?
For decades, experts in dog food and nutrition have concurred that, there are nutritional variations among different breeds of dogs caused by difference in nutrients requirements and metabolism. For instance, some dog breeds interbreed in a specific location such as the Arctic Circle are called “water” breeds, and they may have adopted to the type of diet found in their area of origin. Genetic difference among dogs caused by inbreeding is another factor that may make some dogs to require individualized diet.
The lifestyle your dog lives is another factor you should consider when choosing food for your dog. Dogs that work, for example, those that take part in hunting and herding require different mixes of fats and proteins in their diet compared to sedentary house-dogs.
Life-Stage Effect on Dog Food and Nutrition
Puppies between the ages of 6 and 8 weeks require lots of food to give them the energy they need for their rapid growth and development. Puppy diet should contain lots of calcium. On the contrary, older dogs 7 years and above need a diet that is high in nutrients and low in calories.
One of the commercial foods specifically designed to nourish pappies is Iams PROACTIVE HEALTH Puppy Dry Dog Food – Chicken