Your dog needs a diet that provides enough of the right nutrients and so it’s important for you to know what you are feeding your pet.. Nutrients from food are utilised by your dog for maintenance, growth and energy.
These six nutrient groups are essential for your dog’s optimal health:
Up to 70 percent of your pet’s body weight comes from water. Some of this water requirement will be met by his food, although dry food is only 10 percent water while canned food can be almost 80 percent water. You must always, always provide your dog with fresh, clean drinking water. Dehydration can cause serious health problems for dogs and if they lose just 15 percent of the water in their body, this can sometimes be fatal.
Certain minerals are crucial for your dog for various metabolic processes as well as for maintaining strong and healthy bones and teeth. As your dog’s body cannot make these nutrients, these must come from their diet.
Vitamins are compounds that your dog’s body cannot synthesise, so they must come from their diet. Only ever give your dog supplements on the advice of your Vet as too much of certain vitamins can make your dog unwell.
Fats contain more than double the energy of proteins and carbohydrates and are essential for creating cells and for the production of certain hormones. Fat insulates the body and protects internal organs. Dogs that are deficient in some essential fatty acids, may develop skin problems and their growth may be halted.
Dog’s bodies uses proteins to build cells, repair tissues and organs and produce hormones and enzymes. Proteins help their bodies grow and are important for maintenance. Most proteins come from animal products including meat and eggs as well as from vegetables like soy and cereals, but bear in mind that vegetable proteins are incomplete proteins.
Carbohydrates are needed by your dog for energy as well as for intestinal health and for reproduction. Fibre is one type of carbohydrate that your dog needs and is helpful in aiding digestion. Fibre can come from grain including rice, wheat and corn, but occasionally some dogs develop allergies to grains..
By ensuring that your dog has a healthy and varied diet you are allowing them the opportunity of living a long and happy life.