Healthy Dog Nutrition
A dog needs a balanced diet just like us humans. There are ingredients in dog food that will benefit your dog and others that will not. Some ingredients you want to stay away from completely. Proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates are all part of a healthy dog nutrition.
A healthy dog has protein in their diet. Proteins are made up of amino acids. A dog’s body makes thirteen of the twenty- three amino acids that are required for a dog. The other ten are going to come from the dog’s food. Your dogs protein is going to come from meats, eggs and dairy. Sometimes grains and legumes will have it also. These give your dog skin and coat health, promote bone and muscle growth, and keep the immune system boosted. Protein and amino acids are essential to making hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes and anti bodies that boost their immune system.
A dog’s body is made up of seventy to eighty percent of water. Water has multiple functions in a dog’s body. It regulates body temperature and flushes waste from a dog’s body. Water breaks down and transports nutrients to cells cushioning organs and the nervous system.
Fats in your dog’s diet supply the most concentrated source of energy. They provide essential omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. They enable absorption of fat soluble vitamins, protects internal organs, regulate body temperature, and promote a healthy immune system. There are two kinds of fats. The first one is polyunsaturated fat and that consists of fish oil, flax seed, and sunflower oil. The second one is a monounsaturated and that consists of olive oil. An adult dog should have ten to fifteen percent of fat to make a balanced diet.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins role is to boost immune system, serve as an antioxidant preventing blood to cot, and maintaining nervous system function. Minerals such as Iron carry oxygen throughout the body. Calcium helps maintain healthy dog nutrition by keeping bones and teeth strong. Zinc assists in wound healing and selenium helps antioxidant support. Sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium aid in nerve transmissions. Sodium, chloride and potassium will regulate fluid balances.
Carbohydrates are sugars, starches, and indigestible fiber. They can promote good health even though they are not essential for a dog. Carbohydrates can come from plants. The greens and vegetables give dog’s a better immune system and prevent cancer. Good carbs come from watermelon, apples, and bananas. Vegetable carbs can be peas, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Starches in a dog food average forty percent. Cost for manufacturers stay lower with added starches. Too much starch is when dog’s start to have issues with obesity.
Not so good
There is also ingredients to look for that you probably don’t want in your dog’s diet. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytolvene (BHT) are chemical preservatives known for causing cancer in animals. Ethoxyquin is a chemical preservative found in pet food that is actually banned in some countries. It is illegal to be put in human food but legal in pet food. The chemical preservative preserves fats in the dog’s food to make last longer. Instead of using Ethoxyquin, you can look for natural preservatives such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Rosemary.
Meat and bone meal and ‘by products’ can come from a rendering process. This is slaughtered animal parts like the kidney, brain, blood, etc. The meat can come from road kill, diseased animals and other nasty places not acceptable. Propylene Glycol is a moistening agent found in soft dog food and treats. It is chemically derived from ethylene glycol which is known as antifreeze. Food dyes like blue 2, red 40 and yellow 5 can contribute to allergic reactions, behavior problems and cancer in humans. Wheat flour can be fine in the right amount but too much can cause a spike in a dog’s blood sugar. This makes the dog hungry again so they will eat more. When dog’s overeat they end up with obesity and diabetes.
A happy life
For the best interest of your dog, choose a healthier dog food. The Association Of American Feed Control Officials has requirements to make sure what you see on the label is in fact true. They require the minimal amount of every nutrient a dog needs to be in the food. This keeps unsafe food off of store shelves. You don’t want to feed your dog something that you wouldn’t even eat if you were their spot. Keeping away from bad food is easier than its ever been due to all the varieties out there to choose from.