Nutrition is the science that interprets the interaction of diet and other substances in food about maintenance, growth, reproduction, health, and disease of an organism. Not only the human but also the dogs require nutrition for their survival.
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They need nutrition for optimum healthy living. When you are caring for dog or puppy, you may have to concern about the quantity of the nutrition that provides for dog according to the age ranges.
Your dog’s nutritional requirement depends on their stage in life, size and breed. The better way is to provide them with a healthy diet including essential nutrition to maintain their health and growth.
Dogs need a certain amount of energy to maintain their daily activities such as exercises, reproduction, and lactation. To fulfill these tasks they need nutrition to gain strength.
Usually, dogs require several types of nutrition including carbohydrates, amino acids from protein, fats and fatty acids, water, vitamins, and minerals.
Carbohydrates – Essential Dog Nutrition
Dogs get energy from carbohydrates including sugar, starch, and dietary fibers. Major food items that provide carbohydrate nutrition to dogs are legumes, cereals, and other plant foodstuffs.
Carbohydrates mainly help for better health of the intestine and essential for reproduction. Fibers are types of carbohydrates that maintain chronic diarrhea in dogs by altering the bacterial population in the small intestine.
This fiber source must be moderately fermentable. They help for a healthy gut. However, foods with much fiber may not be suitable for puppies and growing dogs. Usually, fermentable fibers are enhanced the immune function and helped for the regulation of blood sugar concentration.
Fibers without fermentable are used to reduce the caloric intake of overweight dogs. Glucose and fructose are carbohydrates known as absorbable carbohydrates. They are not digested by using an enzyme, are directly absorbed to the dog’s body to give energy.
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Amino Acids from Protein – Essential Dog Nutrition
Normally a dog requires bare of 18% protein for its daily diet to maintain growth. Proteins are the primary building blocks that are necessarily needed for growth, repair, maintenance, and reproduction. Proteins are found on cells, tissues, organs, enzymes, antibodies, and hormones.
Protein is an essential nutrient required for dogs because without protein they cannot be survived. Ten specific amino acids are contained in dietary protein, which is unable to produce by dogs on their own.
Usually, proteins are constituted in many dog foods including chicken, beef, fish, lamb, and eggs. Moreover, also dogs can survive on vegetarian foods if there is a sufficient amount of protein content.
Nowadays there are so many vegetarian foods in the market that are necessary for a dog’s diet such as soy, cereals, and vegetables.
You have to pay more attention while buying foods for your dog because some manufactured foods are made by vegetable protein. Dogs may be hard to digest vegetable protein foods. It is better to feed them foods made of animal protein.
Fats and fatty acids – Essential Dog Nutrition
Normally the dog needs a minimum of 5% fat in its daily diet. Lipids and fatty acids give energy to your dog. Fats are essential to produce some hormones and maintain the structure of a cell. An also fats are needed to absorb and utilize some vitamins and protect the internal organs of dogs.
Fats proved a more concentrated energy source in the diet. Fatty acids are essential to maintaining cell structure and function. Also very importantly fatty acids keep dog’s coat and skin healthy. Fats contain in foods increase the taste and texture of the dog foods.
If your dog may suffering from a deficiency of fatty acid, it may directly cause an increase in skin problems (dry, coarse hair, skin lesions) and a reduction of growth. You have to aware of not to buy fat-free foods for your dog.
Water – Essential Dog Nutrition
Generally according to the body weight dog needs 60 – 70 % of water quantity for its survival. Sometimes water requirement for the body depends on its activity level. We have to pay attention to our dog during feed time.
Because if we provide dry foods, we have to moisture foods by 10 % of water and if it is canned food moisture up to 78%. Eating many day foods make your dog thirsty. We all know that without water, it is difficult to survive. If your dog loses 10% of body water may drive to cause severe diseases and if it ran to 15% of loss your dog may probably die.
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Vitamins – Essential Dog Nutrition
Vitamins are organic compounds which required dogs in low concentrations for their metabolic activities. Most vitamins cannot be synthesized in the body, so it is necessary to gain from a diet.
|Vitamin Type||Functions||Diseases [Deficiency/Excess]|
|A||Growth, immune function, vision, fetal development,etc.||Loss of body weight, joint pain, skin lesions|
|D||Phosphorous balance, maintenance of mineral status||Rickets, loss of muscle tone, diarrhea, muscle atrophy|
|E||Defense against oxidative damage||Renal degradation, degeneration of skeletal muscles, reproductive failure|
Minerals – Essential Dog Nutrition
Minerals are the nutrition that cannot be synthesized in the body and must need to gain through the diet. They are the major constituents of teeth and bones. Also essential to maintain fluid balance in many metabolic reactions.
|Calcium||Formation of bones and teeth, impulse transmission, muscle contraction||Skeletal aberrations, skeletal abnormalities|
|Phosphorus||Skeletal structure, energy metabolism, DNA and RNA structure||Poor appetite, reduce weight gain|
|Magnesium||Hormone secretion and function, enzyme function||Irritability, reduction of weight gain|