Energy is the basic requirement of well-being. Isn’t it? We do get the energy from food. Food is the building blocks of our body. It’s the same with all the animals. It is important for pet parents to understand the basics of canine nutrition. Fundamentally, the essential nutrients for dogs are water, vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, fat and minerals. Minerals and Vitamins are needed for the proper functioning of the body. You need to make sure that the food contains certain levels of all these essential nutrients depending on the age of the dog. If you are not filling out the nutritional gaps, as a pet parent you are doing more harm than to good to your dog. Whether you make the food yourself or you buy the dog food, your pooch needs a balanced diet to stay happy and healthy for a long time. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the essential nutrients your canine companion needs to eat.
Life doesn’t exist without water. 70% of the mature dog’s body mass is made up of water. Water helps to regulate the body temperature, dissolve carbohydrates and fats for digestion, dissolves the nutrients and transports them to cells, cushions the nervous system and various other organs and flushes out the wastes from the body. Water fills up 70% of the dog’s body it is important to see that your dog is well-hydrated. Make sure that fresh water is available for your dog at all times. Dogs by nature regulate their water intake much by themselves. They drink a bit less water if they are fed on high-moisture foods.
Proteins are one of the core building blocks of the strong muscles of your canine companion. They also play a critical role in repairing the body tissues. Dogs are athletic by nature and it is important to see that they have their daily dose of proteins in their diet. Dog’s body cannot store the proteins like it stores the nutrients and the fats. Proteins are made up of amino acids and only food supplies most of the essential amino acids for the dogs. Some of the ingredients that are protein-rich are turkey, beef, lamb, egg, soybeans, fish etc. An adult dog requires anywhere between 18-25% of the protein in his diet.
Dogs are omnivorous and it means that carbohydrates are the main source of energy. They need anywhere between 40-70% of the carbohydrates in their diet. Both carbohydrates and proteins are the main sources of energy and most of the commercial diets include these elements in their products. Rice, wheat, corn, oats, barley etc are the best sources of carbohydrates. These ingredients are easily processed and digested.
Vitamins are important for the normal functioning of the dog’s body. Vitamin A helps to maintain hair and skin health. In the same way, Vitamin E is important for a healthy immune system. Fruits, vegetables and many common foods are the best sources of vitamins. Vitamins play a crucial role in converting calories to the energy. B-complex vitamins, Vitamin A, D, E, K are all important for the overall health of your precious pooch. It is not recommended to give vitamin supplements for the dogs. The wholesome and fresh food provides all the necessary vitamins to maintain health.
Minerals just make up under 1% of the dog’s body. But they are super important for the strong bones, healthy teeth and overall growth. Calcium and Phosphorus are the two important macrominerals. These two minerals must be given in right proportions to make sure that all the important biological functions run well. The right Calcium and Phosphorus ratio is 1:1. Even the microminerals like Iron, Zinc etc are important for your dog’s body.
There is a general notion that the fats are unhealthy. It’s not right! There must be a proper balance of fatty acids in the dog diet. Fats are a wonderful source of energy. They also add flavour and taste to the foods. They catalyse the absorption of some important vitamins. Pork fat and Chicken are good sources of common fats. That’s the reason why they are included in most of the dog foods. Soybean oil, cottonseed oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil etc are the rich sources of fat. Dogs need 10-15 percent of fat to maintain good health. However, it is important to see that there is a right balance of fats in the dog food.
You need to make sure that the treats should not add up more than 10% of the daily calorie intake. Overeating leads to dog obesity and it causes various health problems such as heart diseases and diabetes. Generally, adult dogs must be fed one or two times every day. Large-breed dogs must be fed at least 2 times a day. We hope our guide has helped you to know more about dog’s nutrition. Subscribe to our blog as we are going to share some awesome dog recipes that contain all the nutrition requirements in our upcoming posts.