You, of course, want your dog to love you. Then, get yourself a lovely dog! Dogs are innocent and pure creatures that provide unconditional love, joy, and, hope. They give our lives meaning and help us learn great lessons such as taking responsibility and serving the right and balanced dogs food is one of the most important tasks you should take care of.
If you have a dog or planning to get one, this article will inform you greatly. Here, you will find details about everything related to your dog’s food.
Dogs Food & Health
We want our dogs to live longer, healthier, and happier. For this reason, we must carefully choose food for our furry friends. The kind of food we select needs to positively contribute to our dogs’ bodies. They have to get the energy as well as the nutrients they need for good health. It is essential to keep our dogs’ food balanced so that they can be fit and active. If not, they will experience stomach upsets and other health issues.
Poor nutrition will automatically lead to serious health conditions such as fur loss, obesity, allergies, and many others. Once you notice that your dog is showing some signs of malnutrition, you need to take them to a vet to appoint a suitable treatment plan.
To help your dog be in a good health, you must closely manage and evaluate their diet throughout their lifetime.
What Should Your Dogs Food Diet Include?
To remain healthy, your dog’s diet should incorporate various types of nutrients. These include proteins, fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and water. It is important to know the right amount your dog needs to keep their health. This will, of course, depend on their size, breed, stage of life, and other factors.
Understanding your dog’s food requirements help choose healthier food for your beloved pet. To guide you, below you will find the essential kinds of nutrients your dog needs:
1- Proteins and Amino Acids in Dogs Food
For your dog to have a healthy and balanced diet, protein must be a part of this diet. As you may know, protein plays several roles in your dog’s body. It is responsible for forming new skin cells, growing hair, and repairing muscles. Moreover, protein helps in creating some of the body’s chemicals so that our dog’s body will function normally. If you wish to keep the immune system of your dog strong, then protein is what you need.
Protein contains amino acids. Your dog needs 22 amino acids to produce the protein needed. While your dog can make about half of these essential amino acids, 10 are the number of these amino acids that dogs cannot make on their own. Here comes the role of food.
You should be aware of the fact that your dog’s body does not store protein. Therefore, you need to make sure to incorporate this specific nutrient into your daily diet. The need for protein varies from one dog to another according to their age and level of activity. For instance, hunting dogs, and pregnant and lactating ones will need a high level of protein. This also applies to sick and injured animals as the protein helps them to quickly recover. In addition, large dogs need high levels of protein to keep their whole bodies healthy and strong. As dogs get older, their need for protein will automatically decrease. But it is still essential for them.
If your dog’s diet has little protein, your dog will show some symptoms such as weakness, weight loss, and a dull-looking coat.
– Vegetarian Lifestyle
You may think of following a vegan lifestyle for your dog. In fact, dogs can depend on only a plant-based protein diet. However, you have to make sure that you get protein from various sources to reach the minimum daily amount your dog needs. To do so, it is advisable to consult a veterinary nutritionist.
– The Amount of Protein Your Dog Needs
According to AAFCO, about 18% DM of protein for maintenance and approximately 22% for growth on a daily basis. One last study argued that no benefits can be found in exceeding the amount of protein in your dog’s diet. 30% is the percentage of protein that your dog needs at any life stage.
If you add more protein to your dog’s diet, this will have negative results and can be harmful.
2- Fats and Fatty Acids In Dogs Food
Simply put, fats are the main source of energy for dogs. They are made up of some building blocks known as fatty acids. It is highly important to include the essential fatty acids in your dog’s daily diet as their bodies do not make them. These essential fatty acids are divided into two groups: the first is called the omega-3 and the second is known as the omega-6 fatty acids.
Indeed, fats are crucial for the canine body. In addition to energy, your dog also needs these fats to normally develop. Furthermore, they are considered to be the source that produces some hormones such as prostaglandins, which decrease inflammation. Thanks to these fats, your dog’s food tastes good. They also result in a healthy and shiny coat.
While buying food for your pet, make sure to read the list of ingredients to see where these fats are coming from. They need to be extracted from plants. The appropriate food for your dog is one that offers a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
3- Vitamins In Dogs Food
There are various types of vitamins. Each type performs a given function. This may include blood clotting, bone development, neurological function, and others. For a nutrient to function as a vitamin, you need to make sure that the nutrient is an organic compound, not a fat, carbohydrate, or protein. There are no sufficient vitamins in your dog’s body to normally function. Therefore, they should be a part of your dog’s diet. If this diet includes no vitamins, this will automatically lead to abnormal function.
In both cases, excessive and deficiency in one vitamin will lead to toxicity and other serious issues. To avoid this scenario, it is better to closely monitor the sources of vitamins in your dog’s diet. You may need to utilize both vitamins as well as mineral supplements to get the amounts your dog requires.
Well, to help you better understand what vitamins your dog needs, let us group them into two categories. The first includes fat-soluble vitamins, while the second incorporates water-soluble vitamins.
4- Fat-Soluble Vitamins In Dogs Food
There are four types of fat-soluble vitamins. These include A, D, E, and K.
– Vitamin A
Vitamin A is also known as retinol. It is essential for effective vision, growth, healthy skin, immune system, and reproduction. Because of its importance, AAFCO said that dogs of all ages need to consume 5,000 IU/ kg DM.
A deficiency in vitamin A will lead to night blindness, other skin issues, and weaknesses. In contrast, excessive consumption of this vitamin will lead to toxicity and bleeding. You can get natural vitamin A for your dog from the liver, dairy products, fish oil, and egg.
– Vitamin D
Vitamin D, also called as cholecalciferol (D3) and ergocalciferol (D2). Your dog does not produce is on its own. Thus, you need to include it in their diet. It is important in the sense that it helps to keep calcium and phosphorus in your dog’s bones.
500 IU/ kg DM is the dose recommended by AAFCO for dogs of all ages. The main sources of vitamin D are marine fish, fish oils, freshwater fish, eggs, beef, liver, and dairy products.
Serious health issues may be caused because of deficiency in vitamin D such as some bone issues.
– Vitamin E
This vitamin is also called alpha-tocopherol. Vitamin E plays the role of an antioxidant in your dog’s body. Deficiency in this particular vitamin may lead to a decrease in eating and some neurological issues. AAFCO stated that 50 IU/ kg DM is appropriate for all dogs.
The great sources of vitamin E are vegetable oil, seeds as well as cereal grains.
– Vitamin K
This vitamin is known by the name of menadione. It is essential for blood clotting and bone development. AAFCO argues that 1.64 mg/ kg is appropriate for puppies and adults. Deficiencies in this particular vitamin may lead to prolonged clotting and hemorrhage
5- Water-Soluble Vitamins In Dogs Food
Dogs quickly absorb these kinds of vitamins. There are many important water-soluble vitamins in dogs. These include the following:
– Thiamin (B1)
Thiamin (B1) is essential for a healthy nervous system in your dog. According to AAFCO, you need to provide your dog with 1mg/kg DM, it is for all dogs. You can find this particular vitamin in grains, yeast, and the liver.
You need to carefully examine the amount of Thiamin that you give to your dog. This is because deficiency will automatically lead to some health issues related to the heart and nervous system. On the other hand, overdoses cause problems in the heart and respiratory system.
– Riboflavin (B2)
The second one is Riboflavin (B2). AAFCO claimed that 2.2 mg/ kg DM is the right amount for all dogs. Deficiencies are not usually happening. But if they occur, you may notice weight loss and other skin, eye, and heart issues in your dog.
– Pyridoxine (B6)
Pyridoxine (B6) is essential as it helps in creating neurotransmitters. 1mg/ kg is the amount assigned by the AAFCO. It is found in meats, grain products, nuts, and vegetables. Deficiencies result in weight loss, anemia, weaknesses, and kidney issues.
6- Minerals In Dogs Food
Minerals are important for your dog’s organs, tissues, body fluids, and electrolytes. Minerals can be divided into macro minerals and trace minerals. They are highly essential for your dog’s body. An unbalanced diet that incorporates no minerals can lead to serious medical issues, and in other cases, death.
7- Macro-Minerals In Dogs Food
The following are some required macro-minerals:
Calcium (Ca) are responsible for keeping the shape of your dog’s teeth and bone. It is also important for blood clotting, muscle function, and nerve transmission. Approximately 99% of calcium is found in teeth and bones.
To have a balanced diet for your dog, calcium should be an important component in their diet. Calcium deficiency will, of course, lead to many dangerous issues such as bone reabsorption, decreased growth, eating, and a loss of teeth. In addition, your dog may suffer from some kidney failure problems.
Phosphorus (p) is vitally important for your dog’s body. It is a component that structures bone, teeth, RHA, and DNA. It contributes to the growth of cell energy use, amino, acid, and protein formation. 0.8% is the amount set by AAFCO specifically for growth and 0.5% for adults.
The main sources of phosphorus are found in animal-based ingredients such as beef, lamb, and fish. Deficiencies in phosphorus can lead to decreased growth, bone issues, and poor coat. Overdoses will cause loss of bone mass, the incapability of gaining weight, and other issues.
8- Trace Minerals In Dogs Food
These are also called micro-minerals. They incorporate:
– Iron (Fe)
Iron (Fe) is what transports oxygen throughout your dog’s body. Deficiencies can cause some issues such as anemia and lethargy. AFFCO recommended 80mg/kg for all dogs. To give your dog the iron they need for their body, you should offer meat ingredients and other fiber sources.
Deficiencies will lead to decreased eating, weight loss, liver issues, and others.
– Zinc (Zn)
Zinc is related to approximately 100 enzyme functions, skin and wound healing, the immune system, and others. thus, it is highly important as well. However, if it exceeds the amount needed, Zinc can interact with the rest of the minerals and reduce absorption.
For AAFCO, 120mg/kg DM is ideal for all dogs. To get the zinc your dog needs, consider giving your dog some meats and fiber sources. Deficiencies lead to hair loss, weakness of the immune system, and others.
The Best Food for Your Dog
Well, there is no one direct answer to the question ‘what to feed your dog ’? This is because each type of food suits various dogs. You need to take it easy and make sure that during the first stages, you are going to make some errors. This is normal and even essential to recognize your dog’s preferences and needs.
The first step you need to take is to select the type of food that is appropriate for your dog. There are plenty of types to choose from. These include wet food, dry food, raw food, and fresh food. Here you will find more details about various types of food for your dog.
If you face any difficulties while trying to choose your dog’s food, you can seek professional help at any time.
When to Feed Your Dog?
If you are a new doggie parent, you may find it difficult and confusing to start your dog’s feeding schedule. If so, you have to start the process by following the guidelines written specifically for your dog’s weight. While doing so, take into account your dog’s activity levels. If your dog is active, then feed them more.
Dogs need to consume at least two meals every day. 12 hours should be between these meals. If more, your dog’s stomach may become hyper acidic leading to nausea.
When sitting on a feeding schedule, your dog’s body will become conditioned and they start to expect food at the exact time each day. To help you out, let us divide the dogs into small and large breeds:
– Small Breeds
Small and toy breeds are known to have fast metabolisms. That is, they tend to burn energy quicker as compared to other breeds. For this reason, it is better to offer three meals a day to prevent lower blood sugar levels.
– Big breeds
Big or giant dogs can suffer from bloating and gastric issues.to figure it out, you have to give your dog several small meals over the whole day. Also, it is a good idea not to feed your dog before their walk and wait at least one hour after the walk to give them food.
How Much to Feed Your Dog?
It is essential to feed your dog the right amount of healthy food to keep their overall health. You may be wondering now how to know how much to feed your dog. Below, we have incorporated some ideas to be followed:
– Find out the Right Amount of Food
In order to determine the right amount of food to give your dog, you need to closely examine the type of food you choose and the number of meals you offer. In addition, you have to be aware of the body weight of your dog, metabolic rate, and amount of exercise.
– Take a Close Look at the Feeding Guide
You will notice that there is a feeding guide on your dog food label. You have to read it and understand it to know the recommended amount for your dog.
Can You Mix Different Foods?
Once you know how to get the amount of food right, it is an excellent idea to mix various foods for your dog so that there will be many chances to have a balanced diet. To do so, you need first to consult a veterinarian. Otherwise, mixing food can negatively affect your dog and cause weight gain for example.
Changing Your Dog’s Food
Changing your dog’s food suddenly can result in gastrointestinal upset like vomiting and diarrhea. Once you decide to change your dog’s food, you need to do it gradually in order to help your dog adjust to the new type of food. Here, you can find more pieces of information about changing your dog’s food.
Feeding During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, the puppies get all their needed nutrients from their mother. For this specific reason, it is highly essential for your pregnant dog to have a healthy as well as a balanced diet.
Normally, in the first 6 weeks of pregnancy, the puppies are usually small and they do not require a lot. Therefore, a normal diet is enough for the mother.
During the last third of pregnancy, however, puppies will start to quickly grow and their demand will increase. Here is our guide on how to feed your dog during and after pregnancy.
What is Poor Nutrition?
As a dog owner, it is important to keep in mind that insufficient or poor nutritional habits can cause your puppy to suffer from a number of health issues including obesity, emaciation, rickets, allergies, and fur loss. Dog owners should pay attention to the quality and amount of food they serve to their pets in order to reduce the risk of developing these conditions. However, it is worth noting that sometimes these disorders can also be triggered by some medical disorders and infestations of parasites.
Having a dog is not an easy task but it is worth it. Therefore, pay attention to your pet’s nutrition and diet. If they show any symptoms of malnutrition, you should seek professional help and consult a veterinary expert for an evaluation of their gastrointestinal health and daily diet to prescribe appropriate medications or to help you out with a healthy nutritious lifestyle for your furry friend. To maintain your puppy’s physical health and well-being, it is essential that you always give the best to your canning companion. Proper food and nutrition are components that should be carefully considered to ensure the happiness of your pet.
Symptoms of Poor Nutrition in Dogs
Your dog can show a number of signs and symptoms when receiving improper and poor nutrition. These include the following:
- Bad breath
- Body odor
- Dull coat
- Excessive shedding
- Fur loss
- Inconsistent or unusual bowel movements
- Increased allergies
- Skin disorders
- Weight loss or an inability to gain weight
- Stunted growth
- Bowed limbs
- Frequent infections
Types of Poor Nutrition in Dogs
You need to be aware of the fact that inadequate nutrition can result in the rising of a number of different health issues and diseases. These include the following:
– Congestive Heart Failure
Using excessive amounts of salt in the diet can severely increase your dog’s chances of developing congestive heart
– Growth Disorders
Dogs who consume either much or little calcium in the first stages may suffer from abnormal bone growth and other issues.
Obesity can be the result of eating in large amounts or consuming food that is not balanced for your dog’s circumstances. For example, eating food that incorporates high-fat rates or low protein.
Causes of Poor Nutrition in Dogs
– Medical Disorders
You will find that some disorders and diseases can be developed. And they stop the absorption of nutrients. These include intestinal tumors, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Poor nutrition is not only linked with a lack of proper nutrients but also an overabundance and it is common knowledge that consuming more overall calories can lead to obesity.
– Under Feeding
If you do not give your dog the amount of food they need, they will suffer from weakness and be sensitive to many diseases and allergies. If the caloric deficiency is not examined by a professional, it may result in death by starvation.
We all want our lovely and pure creatures to live longer and happier with us. For this reason, we need to do all that it takes to maintain our dog’s health. The first step is to make sure that our pet’s diet is balanced and incorporates any single component that contributes positively to their development.
In this article, we attempt to provide you with all that is related to your dog food. Now the turn is yours to take good care of your furry friend. Enjoy their companionship, enjoy their unconditional love.