Diet and Nutrients for Dogs
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Diet and Nutrients for Dogs

Essential nutrients for Dog:

There are few essential nutrients that your dog should consume on a daily basis. If you’re not feeding him with the essential nutrients, it will result in poor health and obesity.

Below are the essential nutrient details for dogs:

1. Protein:

Proteins help to build and maintain muscles, organs, bones, hair, nails, body tissues and the immune system. Many of the manufactures use vegetable protein in their foods which makes it difficult for the dogs to digest. The best sources of proteins are beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, grains, and soy.

Signs of protein deficiencies are as follows:

  • Growth problems
  • Weakened immune system
  • Poor muscle development
  • Dry, brittle fur
  • Anemia

Adult dog requires a minimum of 20 to 25% protein in its diet for reproduction and growth.

2. Water:

Your dog's water need mainly depends on the energy level it possesses. If it is more active then large quantity of water is required.

It is highly important for your dog to access the water more easily and frequently. Some may reduce the intake of water during evening and late evening to avoid the use of bathroom in night time.

Water is essential for a dog's body as it is useful in the following ways:

  • For the transport of oxygen and nutrients to circulate throughout the body.
  • To maintain the body temperature.
  • For loosening the muscle tissues.
  • Helps in digestion.
  • It removes bacteria through urinary tract.
  • Eases constipation.

3. Vitamins and Minerals:

Vitamins and Minerals are the essential nutrients needed by your dog to maintain good health and growth. Since it cannot produce the essential nutrients on its own, it is essential to supply it externally.

Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium should be given to them which are rich in the following food items:

  • Milk
  • Fish
  • Bread
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Grains

Many of the pet food manufacturers has promised that their product contains the entire supplement. But some of the vital supplemets may be lost during heating process. So it is necessary to choose the right brand of food product that contains all the vitamins and minerals.

It is important to consult a veterinarian to know what is the right amount of nutrients and minerals that your dog needs on a daily basis.

4. Fat:

Fat helps the dog to provide with the healthy skin coat, eyes, brain, and other tissues & also gives energy to be active for the day. Dog needs a minimum of 5% of fat in their diet. So it is important not to buy a fat-free dog food.

Source of fat are rich in the following foods:

  • Lamb fat
  • Chicken fat
  • Herring oil
  • Sunflower oil

5. Carbohydrates:

It is the most important nutrient along with Proteins and fat. It provides high level of energy for your dog to be active.

Don’t give uncooked grains for your dog as a supplement of carbohydrates as it may cause indigestion. It is good to give your dog rice and grains which is cooked along chicken or beef broth.

Carbohydraes are rich in the below sources:

  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Whole grain breads and other grains
  • Corn
  • Barley

6. Fatty Acids:

The dietary fatty acid is categorized as essential and non-essential. The Non-essential fatty acids can be produced within a dog’s body once it meets a certain requirement.

The essential fatty acid has to be supplied externally through the diet foods. These fatty acids are rich in grains and animal fat. Many of the pet food manufactures have appropriate level of fatty acid in their products itself.

Dogs require one essential fatty acid (linoleic acid), which is a type of omega- 3 fatty acid. Linoleic acid is rich in Vegetable oils including flaxseed oil, canola oil, walnut oil, and soybean oil.

The high quality of this omega- 3 fatty acid has several health benefits. Before feeding the omega-3 fatty acid, consult with your veterinarian once to know the right amount to feed.

Feeding appropriate proportion of food:

Dog should typically have two meals a day. A recommended meal serving size is mentioned on all the food packages.

  • For Toy dog requires 2-12lbs: 1/2 - 1 1/4 cups
  • For small dogs require 15-25 lbs.: 1 1/4 – 2 cups
  • For medium dogs require 25-50 lbs.: 2 – 3 3/4 cups
  • For large dogs require 50-100 lbs.: 3 3/4 – 6 3/4 cups
  • For extra-large dog requires over 100 lbs.: 6 3/4 plus

Feeding right food:

It is important to feed right food for your dog to be healthy and active.

For giving the right food, milk should not be replaced with water since it results in diarrhea.

Raw meat, fish or eggs can create problems in your dog’s body such as dermatitis, seizures, etc.

It is most important that your dog's food is thoroughly cooked and please avoid anything with small bones, which can cause your dog to choke. Keep sweets out your dog's reach. Chocolate, in particular, can be toxic to them.