Dog nutrition is a must to be known, One of the most overwhelming choices to make when you bring your new dog home is what to feed him. Pet-supply stores and supermarket over flow with dry dog food bags, with all different brands, sizes,types and prices stacked on shelves.

All you have is a little or large dog, yet there’s enough dog food to feed every dog in each country. It’s easy to be confused. So let’s talk about your dog’s nutritional needs and what he really needs to live a long and healthy life.

Why Nutrition Matters

Gone are the days when all dogs were wild and had to forage for their own food in order to survive. While they might have stayed alive on scraps and small games, they didn’t live long or healthy lives. Coats were sparse, teeth quickly decayed, and eyes were dull and hollow.

Good owners have been taking care of their dog nutritional needs for a long time, but today it’s not enough to pour your left-overs or whatever on sale at the grocery stores into your dog’s bowl. Because more is known than ever before about good canine nutrition, you have the opportunity to make sure your dog has the right food to maintain a good immune system, build strong bones, and provide for proper growth.

If your dog doesn’t have all the essential dog nutrients at the right stages in life, he will suffer from being under or overweight or have skin problems, bowel dysfunction, bone loss, or digestive upsets. Your dog’s body needs a combination of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water in order to stay healthy.

Protein: The first ingredient listed in most premium dog foods, is usually beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, or duck.

Other sources best for dog nutrition include meat meal, fish, fish meal, liver, eggs, milk and milk products, wheat, corn, rice, zucchini,soy, and barley. This Protein is responsible for your dog’s metabolism, growth and development, digestive and reproductive functions, blood flow, and repair of body tissues.

Carbohydrates: They are usually the second or third ingredient listed in most quality dog nutritional foods.

Corn, rice, wheat, and oats are common carbohydrates that give your dog the energy he needs to be active. Carbohydrates are also a source of fiber, which helps digestion and elimination.

Fats: Specifically oleic and linoleic acids

Fats provide energy, keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy, are important in hormone regulation, and make your dog feel satisfied.

Vitamins: It helps the body fight diseases and maintain the critical balance between constructive and destructive cellular changes

Vitamins themselves must be properly balanced since excesses or deficiencies of vitamins, or interference between vitamins can cause serious health problems. The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K, and E are stored in the liver and fatty tissues. Since they can be maintained in the body, vitamins are needed for dog nutrition. An excess intake of these vitamins can easily become toxic.

Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are flushed from the body daily and must constantly be replaced. Both plant and meat sources contain vitamins, plus manufacturers often add vitamins to dog food during processing.

Minerals: They are needed for body’s metabolic processes and to keep the proper level of salts in the bloodstream.

They also are an essential part of your dog’s bones and teeth. Canines need seven major minerals and 15 trace minerals. Like vitamins, all minerals, especially trace minerals, need to be properly balanced or they can be toxic.

And as with vitamins, deficiencies or excesses can contribute to myriad health problems, from anemia to hip dysplasia. Dog nutrition needs minerals that are present in both vegetable matter and animal tissues or are added by the manufacturer during processing.

Water: It is the most essential nutrient of them all. It is necessary for the proper working of every living cell in your pet’s body.

Since water is constantly being used up or excreted through normal body function, dogs need to continually replenish their supply.

The best way to keep your dog fully hydrate at all times is to always give her access to plenty of clean, fresh water.

The Importance of water

Water is very important to every living creature, and your dog is no exception. Water is needed for dog nutrition, water makes up around 60 percent of your adult dog’s body, and even more of your puppy’s Constitution. Dogs need water to help their cells function properly and aid in proper digestion. Basically, dogs need water to live. Without water, a dog will die within a few days.

The water in the dog’s body needs to be replenished on a regular basis since it is routinely lost through respiration, digestion, and urination. Sorry to say, but even dog owners don’t drink enough water🙄 talkless of providing water for their pets.

On hot days or when exercising heavily, your dog needs even more water to keep his body running smoothly. To keep your dog at optimum health, provide him with constant access to plenty of cool, freshwater. Freshwater is also good for dog nutrition.

Choosing The Best Food For Your Dog

Dog nutrition starts from here. When it comes to choosing a pet food for your pet, you have many choices. While everyone would rather pay less, the cheapest pet food isn’t always the best for your dog nor is the most expensive or most heavily advertised meal. You need to choose wisely so that your dog could get the best dog nutritional meal.

The 4 Best food For thought are:

  • Premium Foods
  • Grocery Store Foods
  • Canned Foods
  • Dry Foods

Like people, every dog has unique nutritional needs, depending upon his size, activity level, and other factors. Add in specific likes and dislikes and you’ll have even more food choices to think about. Look for food that provides balanced nutrition, contains the best ingredients, is highly digestible, and is appetizing to your pet. Start by looking at the labels for dog nutritional values.

Once you have found a food that meets these guidelines (minimum and maximum level of protein, fat, fiber, water). If not, don’t buy the dog food, after you get a food that meets that guideline. It is time for the final test: whether or not your pet will eat it! You can give your pet the best diet available, but if he doesn’t eagerly gulp it down, it isn’t the best diet for your dog in terms of dog nutrition.

Toy dogs, and Yorkies in particular, do not require the same food that medium or giant breeds do. Sidewise, dry dog food for small dogs should come in little pieces, not in big chunks. The ingredients should be different for a tiny breed than they are for a small, medium, or large dog, so as to maintain your dog nutritional values. When compared to other dogs, a tiny breed has a higher metabolism and needs more calories per bite of food or per pound of dog. Visit Therapydogs for more on tiny dogs.

Premium Foods Versus Grocery Store Foods

Dog food commercials and advertisement tout premium, high-quality food for your dog. This type is usually found in pet-supply stores while grocery stores generally avoid stocking premium dog foods in favor of moderately priced, popular brands as well as cheaper brands for penny-pinching owners. The majority of people argue which is best between premium food and grocery store foods for dog nutrition, Breeders, owners, and veterinarians have different opinions about what you should feed your dog. The answer is whatever your dog does the best on. No single dog food is perfect for every dog.

If you compare ingredients on both premium and grocery foods, they may appear very similar. On closer inspection, premium foods has more natural and whole-food sources with a higher quantity of meat-protein ingredients, while the grocery store food is high in by-products or vegetable products, such as ground corn, cereal, legumes, and grains which are also good for dog nutrition.

Premium foods also have more digestible nutrients that are more easily absorbed than grocery store foods have. This means your dog will be eliminating more often and you will have to feed more grocery stores than premium foods. In the long run, feeding a better food is usually cheaper.

Despite claims made that grocery store foods equal premium foods, most veterinarians recommend the better quality varieties.

Canned Food Versus Dry food

Pet owners wants to give their dogs a food they will like and will improve dog nutrition. Dry food seems boring to most pet owners while the canned food resembles a hearty stew-like treat.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Canned food is usually more expensive and contains more moisture (70% water by weight) and must refrigerate it if your dog doesn’t consume the whole can in one meal; otherwise, it will spoil. For dry foods gives more chewing action and may aid in keeping teeth tartar free. Dry food also is easily digestible and helps maintain healthy gums as chewing stimulates salivation. While canned foods look meatier than dry food, pet owners about the type of meat used in canned food. Some have a foul odor when you open the can and may give dog diarrhea.

According to this facts above, Dry foods are better than canned foods because it doesn’t spoil, is less expensive and can be added to other ingredients such as vegetables or fruit or a small amount of canned food.

All-Natural Foods

As people have become more health-conscious about what they eat, they have also become more concerned about what their dog nutrition. Dog nutrition is getting more pet owners to know more about their dogs. These premium foods are usually found in pet-supply stores, in natural- food markets, or via mail order. Some brands that feature all-natural ingredients (organic meats, grains, ascorbic acid, and natural preservatives with vitamin E) are available only from the manufacturer and are shipped directly to the pet owner’s home.

Did You know?

Veterinarians estimate that between 30% and 50% of today’s dog population is overweight.

Preparing Homemade Meals For Your Dog

Many dog breeders don’t mind making their own dog food because dogs don’t need much of it. These breeders or owners enjoy preparing homemade, fresh dog foods, and even raw foods incorporating bones to enhance dog nutrition. They feel the time worthwhile when they can choose natural ingredients free of processing.

Note: some controversy exists over whether or not a homemade cooked or raw diet is really good for dogs, but owners who prepare such diets say this is the most healthful for their pets.

If you decide to feed your dog raw meat, make sure it has been frozen first and comes from a reliable organic meat supplier, so as to maintain standard dog nutrition. Additionally, you must also be aware that raw meats do carry health risks, such as E. Coli bacteria and various parasites that can make your dog fall ill. Use raw diets cautiously, and be aware that there are risks associated with them.

Vary your dog’s diet and introduce the new food gradually to allow your dog’s system to become accustomed to the new taste sensation

For a small fee, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist will help you balance a home-cooked diet that suits your pocketbook, schedule, preferences, and your dog’s specific needs, and also maintain dog nutrition. Some holistic veterinarians can offer specific recipes for your dog. Visit Petsforum for a veterinarian nutritionist.

If you use chicken, be sure to use boneless, skinless breasts. Any pieces of bone left in the food can perforate the stomach and bowels and death can result

Can My Dog Go Vegetarian?

While a vegetarian diet is popular with many people, dogs need a variety of nutrients for dog nutrition, and not all of them can be found in vegetables. Deficiencies may develop if a dog doesn’t receive a few supplements along with an all-veggie diet.

Be cautious about serving only veggies and keep an eye on your dog’s coat and stool quality. Cooked vegetables are good for a dog, but a diet solely based on vegetables is not well-balanced and will leave your dog less healthy than if he ate a well-balanced diet.

For additional information visit Canine companions

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