As a dog owner, you need to be able to take proper care of your dog. Failure to do so might jeopardize the health of your beloved pet companion. An important part of taking care of your dog is knowing the nutritional needs of your dog. Let’s take a look at some nutrients that will improve your dog’s quality of life.
Dogs are primarily carnivorous, but they have adapted to more omnivorous feeding habits due to their intestinal makeup and dental structures. This means that dogs get the nutrients that they need from both plant and animal sources. Giving your dog a strictly meat diet may not meet all their nutritional needs. They also need other nutrients, so we’ve prepared a list of the top five for your dog’s healthy development.
Proteins supply a dog’s body with energy. They are responsible for building and maintaining body tissue. Proteins are also responsible for fuelling the body for biological reactions. The proteins needed by a dog’s body is made up of 22 amino acids, your pet can synthesize at least half of these amino acids. The rest of these acids come from their protein intake.
Giving your pup natural, high-quality proteins from animal products such as meat, poultry or fish will ensure that they get all the proteins that they need.
Fats or fatty acids are an important part of a dog’s meal. This is because the fats are responsible for regulating their body temperature and cushioning their internal organs. This helps protect them from injury and provide nutrients for your dog’s nervous system.
The fats that are required for the proper development of your dog are called essential fatty acids. These fats aren’t naturally synthesized by the body, so you have to include them in their diet. You should also be careful as to what foods you feed them, as not all fats are good for your dog.
Minerals play different vital roles in dogs. For instance, calcium and phosphorus ensure that your pet has healthy bones, as minerals are the foundation of most of your dog’s bone matter. Sodium, calcium, magnesium and potassium are responsible for fluid balance as well as nerve transmissions. Iron and zinc help a dog’s body with the circulation of oxygen and the healing of wounds.
Vitamins are responsible for the growth and health of your dog. Some of the necessary vitamins include Vitamin A that boosts their immunity system and helps them prevent infections and Vitamin D for maintenance of the calcium and phosphorus levels. Dogs also need Vitamin E and C, which serve as antioxidants, while Vitamin B12 helps them maintain a healthy nervous system. Dogs also need foods rich in Vitamin K, which plays an important role in the clotting of blood, so your dog can heal properly in case of an injury.
Dogs get their energy from glucose, which is broken down from carbohydrates. While this energy fuels their day to day activities, dogs don’t necessarily need carbohydrates for fuel. Instead, dogs get vitamins and minerals from plant-based carbohydrates such as corn, brown rice, or even potatoes.
In addition to these 5 nutrients, your dog needs to take as much water as possible daily. This is because water supports most of their body functions. Some of these functions include helping their bodies to regulate their temperature and break down and transport nutrients to the body cells. Water also enables proper digestion of their food and easy removal of waste. This is why you should ensure that your dog’s food is wet and that they have access to lots of clean water.
Failure to give your dog the proper diet will not only affect their health but also their quality of life. Proper diet can also prolong your dog’s lifespan, giving you more time to enjoy their presence in your life.
Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital and Emergency is a veterinary service provider that is available for all dog owners in Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth and areas around Ventura County. We provide consultations for all your dog’s needs. Give us a call, and we’ll be happy to make an appointment for you.