The proper amounts of nutrients and vitamins and minerals are required to be in all dog foods that are labeled as “complete and balanced.” Just like a person cannot thrive without the right nutrients, neither can our canine companions. If you are feeding your dog a balanced completed diet, additional nutrients and supplements are usually not necessary. Only if a dog requires additional nutrients or a vet decides with you that your dog can benefit from such, buying expensive doggie vitamins can be a waste of money or possibly do harm as they can cause them to have nutritional problems.
What are the Benefits of Good Nutrition for Your Dog?
Dogs require a proper balance of nutrients when fed. Dogs, just like humans, are omnivorous and are intended to eat a wide variety of food groups. Dogs need certain amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water every day in order to function normally. They also need them in the right quantities. Balanced nutrition is key to providing a dog the right amount of these in the right amounts. Pet food makers design dog food using nutritional scientists and veterinarians to ensure that the right formula is in balanced and complete dog food products. These products are a dog food that provides for your dogs daily nutritional requirements and is not only nutritious but also delicious.
Prescription and specialized diet also require nutritionists and food scientists to develop. The nutritional requirements for puppies and elderly dogs are not the same. Dogs that have allergies require special food that removes the allergen from their diet, and there are special nutritional needs that can be addressed by diet for dogs with kidney disease and heart disease. Feeding a dog quality food is not a substitute for regular veterinary care. Diet is only part of protecting your dog’s good health. A quality diet can help prevent or minimize health problems.
Every nutrient in dog food serves a purpose. Without adequate nutrition, your dog would suffer from malnutrition. A dog with malnutrition is unable to do daily activities, cannot fight off infections easily, and could not maintain muscle tone, grow properly, heal normally or even have healthy teeth and bones. Being underweight is not the only sign of malnutrition. Problems with activity and behavior can indicate a problem with a diet. Proteins provide a source of energy and help with muscle function and growth. Fats provide long-term energy, protect nerve-endings, keep your dog’s brain functioning properly, and also provide the necessary fats and amino acids a dog needs to have a healthy and shiny coat. Carbohydrates in their diet convert into glucose, which allows a dog to have the energy to play and be active. Carbohydrates provide fuel to all their cells. Vitamins and minerals are necessary for everything from muscle contraction and nerve conduction, providing the needed calcium to have strong teeth and bones, and also they work to help fight off illness.
Muscle Strength and Tone
Protein is the foundation of every cell in the body. Protein is the main component to muscles, organs, skin, and hair in the body. Protein is needed to make new cells and to repair damaged cells. Young growing animals and pregnant animals need additional protein. Protein in a dogs diet is how they build strong muscles and stay healthy. The main ingredient in a complete and balanced dog food should be protein. Animal proteins from beef or chicken are the natural and best protein sources for dogs as it is what they prefer not only taste-wise, but meat provides the complete protein an animal needs.
Skin and Coat Health
A healthy dog has a thick, shiny coat of hair. Fatty acids like omega-6 and omega-3 in balance help a dog to produce the right oils for their skin. Assists in providing a lustrous coat. Dry skin can make dog shed more often and have hair that breaks or sheds easily. Foods with omega fatty acids also have an anti-inflammatory effect that can have a beneficial effect on itching and other irritation or allergies caused by various factors, including low humidity levels.
Carbohydrates are the source of the needed fiber in a pet’s diet. Fiber helps with digestion and elimination. Complete and balanced dog foods are made to provide nutrients in forms that are easily absorbed. Digestion is important as it allows a dog to get the nutrients they need from their diet and can rid the body of the waste products after all nutrition is extracted from their food. An ideal food provides the needed nutrition but produces a minimal amount of stool to clean up on walks.
Immune System Function and Metabolism
To keep your dog’s immune system and metabolism functioning normally, he needs the provided vitamins and minerals provided by his food. Vitamins known as antioxidants minimize the damage that is done to cells daily. The minerals in dog food encourage normal cell function along with vitamins to maintain a dog’s good health. Vitamins and minerals come various sources in a healthy diet. Nutritional deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals can make a pet ill. A proper diet for a dog provides all of these and treats should be kept as treats as they do not provide essential nutrients.
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