'What should I feed my dog?' is perhaps the most frequently asked question by dog owners, and rightly so. Feeding your dog a well-balanced diet is vital to their health and overall well-being. To correctly answer this question, we’ll be looking at the nutritional needs for dogs and the six essential nutrients that every dog’s diet should have.

What are the dietary needs of dogs?

Dogs belong to the scientific order, Carnivora, which is a large group of mammals with a similar tooth structure. Generally, carnivores feed on meat only, but because of dogs’ dietary needs, their teeth and intestinal tract have adapted to an omnivorous diet. This means that dogs need both plant and animal foods to meet their nutritional requirements.

What are the six nutrients required for canine nutrition?

Carbohydrates

Contrary to popular belief, dogs are capable of digesting carbohydrates. They have slowly evolved from using fats and proteins as their primary energy sources and can now use carbohydrates for energy. Carbohydrates from plants are great sources of fibre, glucose, and starch, but you should make sure that complex carbs from grain are cooked before feeding your dog.

Proteins

Proteins are made up of amino acids. Dogs are only able to produce ten out of the twenty required amino acids, which means that the other ten need to come from food. Meats, meat by-products, and dairy products provide dogs with amino acids needed in tissue protein synthesis.

Vitamins

Dogs need vitamins for the normal functioning of their bodies. Vitamins are also essential for converting calories to energy, but they must be given in small proportions.

Minerals

Although minerals make up less than one per cent of a dog’s body weight, they play a crucial role in building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth. Balance is crucial when feeding your dog minerals because too much of one can interfere with the absorption of another.

Fats

Fats are the most concentrated source of energy in a dog’s diet. They also provide dogs with fatty acids used to maintain healthy and normal cells.

Water

Water makes up more than 50% of an adult dog’s body weight. If a dog loses ten per cent of the water in its body, that could have detrimental effects on its health, so it is crucial that your dog has fresh and clean water available throughout the day.

At Vetimage Solutions, we understand that a healthy canine diet isn’t enough to prevent illnesses. Some illnesses also need specialist machinery to diagnose the problem, and this is where we come in. Contact us today for more information.

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