How do you know which nutrients to incorporate in your doggy’s diet? Is it protein? Fat? Vitamins? Well all of them are important so let us talk more in-depth about them.
First, let us talk about every nutrient a doggy may need:
Macronutrients consist of indigestible units of sugar, starch, or fiber. Since dogs can get enough glucose from protein and fat, carbohydrates are the only food class dogs don’t need. Carbohydrates are the main source of glucose, the “fuel” that the body uses to make sure your doggy is active and healthy. Although carbohydrates are not essential nutrients for dogs, healthy carbs provide essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that help promote optimal health.
Minerals are inorganic compounds that the body needs to maintain proper metabolic function. The body cannot produce minerals and therefore must obtain them from food. There are two types of minerals: macrominerals and micro minerals. Macrominerals are needed by the body in higher concentrations than micro-minerals, but the two types are equally important.
There is no life without water. An adult doggy’s body mass is about 70 to 80 percent water. Water’s many important functions include: dissolving and transporting nutrients to cells; helps regulate body temperature; Hydrolysis of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates for digestion; Devaluation of organs and the nervous system; Wash waste from the body.
Fat is the most concentrated source of energy, with twice as many calories as protein and carbohydrates. It also contains omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids; allows absorption of fat-soluble vitamins; protects internal organs; regulates body temperature, and promotes a healthy nervous system.
Vitamins are organic compounds required in small amounts for proper metabolic function. Vitamins can dissolve in fat (A, D, E, and K) or water (B and C). Since the body cannot synthesize enough vitamins, they must come from food.
Now let us talk about the proper nutrients for each age group of doggies.
The best choice for small pups is good kibble designed specifically for puppies. They commonly make those with all the nutrients a puppy may need. A growing puppy needs more than twice the calcium of an adult dog. Calcium and phosphorus levels and ratios should be closely monitored in large breed puppies to avoid the risk of orthopedic disease.
Raw food is not recommended for very young puppies as they do not have an immune system to cope with the high bacterial load yet. It is also very difficult to balance raw food for puppy rearing.
After 16 weeks, you can gradually insert some raw meaty bones. At this point, permanent teeth begin to grow, urging them to actively chew on anything other than shoes or a sofa. For puppies, one bone per week is usually sufficient; and remember, the softer the better.
At this age, doggies should be fed once or twice a day. It is best to use good quality commercial dog food to make sure it is suitable for your dog’s health. Make sure the diet you choose is complete and balanced. You can add cooked or raw meat and vegetables or fish. Remember to not overfeed your doggy.
Senior doggies need close monitoring than any age group. Many older dogs have chronic health problems that can be affected or corrected by the diet you provide. So it is a bit tricky in planning out their diets.
For some, eating less often makes them happy and satisfied. For other people, it’s about keeping things the same. Some adult dogs may need more protein, fiber, or other nutrients to maintain their health. It is always best to get advice from your veterinarian to make sure your doggy is healthy.
Make sure to consult a professional for any of your doggy’s needs.