Dogs are not picky with what they feed. However, how do you then know if you are feeding your dog a balanced diet? Dogs need a balanced diet to stay healthy, energetic and happy. Make sure you feed your dog a complete and healthy diet, whether you are buying the food or making it yourself.
Through research and recommendations from veterinarians, many dog owners have come to appreciate the benefits of feeding dogs the right foods and supplements. You need to know that different dogs have different specific nutritional requirements. Poor feeding could lead to malnutrition or your dog being overweight.
Having trouble feeding your dog? Here are guidelines that could help you ensure that you give your dog the right feed with all the nutritional requirements. Make sure that the food or the supplements you are feeding your pet comprises of essential nutrients which include:
Proteins are vital for the growth and development of your dog. Proteins help in making body tissues. The tissues are made from amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins.
Besides tissue making, proteins also help the dog to develop good fur nails and skin. It is also good to note that pregnant dogs, lactating and growing puppies need more protein than the average dog because they need to develop new tissues, produce milk or build extra muscle.
Your dog needs fats for energy generation. Fats are also important because they enhance healthy skin.
Fats are critical for dogs that have reached reproductive age for easy reproduction, smooth functioning of body organs like the kidney and also absorption of soluble fats and vitamins.
Despite all the benefits, do not go overboard when administering fats to avoid obesity.
Carbohydrates include fiber, starches, and sugars which come from grains and vegetables. The carbohydrates are broken down in the small intestine of a dog, forming glucose molecules. This glucose becomes the source of energy used by the body cells. Energy from carbohydrates also helps the brain and the nervous system of your pet to function normally and efficiently.
Carbohydrates should be fed in moderation because excess could lead to obesity.
The body of a dog needs vitamins for chemical reactions, building bones, helps to support brain and to ensure that they are strong.
Vitamins are also essential in improving the skin of your dog, coat, teeth, nails, and overall health. Some of the vitamins that should never miss in your dog’s diet are:
Vitamin A which is responsible for proper immune system, fetal development for the pregnant dogs, growth and normal cell function.
Vitamin B is responsible for regulating energy and body metabolism and also facilitates enzyme functions.
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. It fights any harmful radicals in the body, ensuring your dog stays healthy.
Vitamin D helps the body of your pet to balance minerals like phosphorous and calcium. The growth of bones nails and teeth or the dog also depend majorly on vitamin D; hence it is a very critical vitamin. Without vitamin D it is impossible for him to develop properly.
Vitamin E helps in fat metabolism as well as cell function. Lack of vitamin E from the diet of your dog could lead to the degeneration of the muscles and the eyes. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble that helps in fat metabolism. This vitamin also helps in activating the ability of dog’s blood to clot.
Minerals are necessary for dog nutrition. They have to be included in the diet for it to be healthy and balanced. Your dog needs minerals for the development and proper function of the body.
Some of the important benefits of mineral intake include fluid balance regulation, muscle and nerve function, bone formation and transportation of blood throughout the body.
Sources for minerals for dogs include bone meal, beans, fish, organ meat, molasses, and organ meat.
Regardless of the feed or supplement that you choose to include in your dog’s diet, make sure that you administer in reasonable portions to avoid developing health issues such as obesity. Consider also including fiber and enzyme supplements which will aid with digestion.