The nutritional needs for a dog is very simple and covers 4 main food groups to help maintain good health. In order to keep our dogs staying fit, it’s important that we feed them a complete and balanced diet.
Just like us, dogs need a variety of ingredients in their diet to keep them healthy and maintain normal body functions.
The 4 Nutritional Needs For A Dog
Protein is essential for a dog’s health. It carries out many functions in the dog’s body, such as muscle repair, skin, hair growth, cell renewal and the creation of necessary hormones and enzymes. They are the building blocks that create strong muscles and repair body tissues.
In order for your dog to stay healthy, a dog needs 22 different types of amino acids. These acids are what makes up protein. A dog’s body can create many of these amino acids,yet some will need to be present in his diet.
Dog’s thrive on a high protein diet and suitable protein sources are meat, fish, eggs and some legumes and certain grain types.
As a general rule a highly active or working dogs will need the most protein whilst a low energy or older dog will need less.
Any excess protein that the dog’s body can’t use will be removed from the body via urine. However a constant excess of protein in a dog can eventually lead to weight gain.
A healthy adult dog will stay healthy on a range between 20 and 30% consumption of protein. Remembering that working dogs, puppies may need more.
Helps your dog by providing “quick energy” yet carbs do little to support the function of the body or the organs.
Some people think dogs don’t need carbohydrates, while others think a little in their diet is fine.
Strangely enough there are many commercial dog foods that actually “bulk-up” their product with an excess of carbs. They do this due to it to help fill up a dog.
Dogs need veggies and plant manner for the fibre and enzymes that help support a healthy body.
Dogs have always eaten some plant manner, especially when they were wild. They got their fibre and enzymes via
- Picking fruit from bushes
- ripping grass from the ground
- Or most likely, from the stomach of the small plant-eating prey that they caught.
Minerals can often be overlooked becuase they occur naturally within the body of a dog. However they also need to take in minerals for the nutritional needs as well. If a dog is mineral deficient, illness can easily occur.
Minerals perform the following functions:
- Bone & cartilage formation
- Fluid maintenance
- manufacturing of hormones
- function of muscles and nerves
- transportation of oxygen around the body via the blood.
Minerals often work together with vitamins and/or enzymes that are already present in the dog’s body. A healthy dog will easily absorb all the minerals it needs from its diet, as long as the diet contains the proper ingredients that it needs.
There is two types of minerals that are required in maintaining a nutritional complete diet.
Macro MineralsCalcium: Is vital for bone formation, blood coagulation, muscle contraction and nerve impulses.
It can be found in a dog’s diet via bones, dairy products and leguminous plants.Phosphorus: Helps the body to maintain strong bones, maintains the strength of cell walls as well as energy storage and transfer.
Good sources of phosphorous can be found in fish, milk, soybeans, wheat germ and whole grains.Potassium: Which lives within the cells is necessary for enzyme function, muscles and nerve function and fluid balance within the body.
This mineral can be found in unprocessed meats, leafy green veggies, and some fruit.
Micro MineralsCopper: Which helps the body to absorb iron is also an antioxidant and develops pigment in the coat of the dog.
Found in Liver, Fish, Whole grains and LegumesIodine: Essential for good thyroid function. The thyroid manages the metabolism of the dog and his normal growth rate.
Found in Fish, sea salt and as a supplement in the form of sea kelp.Iron: combined with copper and protein produces haemoglobin. Which helps move oxygen around the red blood cells.
Iron is present in liver, lean meats, fish, whole grains and legumes.Manganese: It carries out the correct utilisation of protein and carbohydrates by the body.
Found in Whole grains, seeds, nuts, eggs and green vegetables.Selenium: An antioxidant that can be found in high protein plans such as cereals. Zinc: Which is involved in the metabolism of the dog and has many roles within the body. It helps with brain function, learning, memory, eyesight and strong hair as a few examples.
It can be found in fresh meats.
What you can do
Choosing a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of looking after your dog. The nutritional needs for a dog is a complete and balanced diet. It is not important that every meal be complete and balanced, the key is variety, so that your pet gets a wide range of nutritional food to help maintain a healthy life.