Canine Dietary Concerns

Canine Dietary Concerns

Canine Dietary Concerns

Long gone are the days of feeding your dog scraps off the table. Heightened dietary concerns have led to great insight into what it takes to keep your dog healthy in all of its life stages. According to Nutrition for the Growing Puppy, the key to good nutrition is a “complete” and “balanced” diet. This is a diet comprised of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. A key component is also, of course, fresh water.

A great resource for determining how much your dog needs of these components can be found at: Your Dog’s Nutritional Needs. Healthy dogs require lots of protein, as it provides ten essential amino acids that they cannot produce by themselves. Fats provide your dog with plenty of energy and are best for your dog when they are derived from animals. Fatty acids such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 are extremely important in a dog’s diet as it helps them maintain a healthy skin and coat as well as fend off diseases. Carbohydrates include sugars, starches, cellulose, and dietary fibers. These substances usually come from plants. Many commercial dog foods tend to overuse carbohydrates due to their abundance and inexpensiveness, so as an owner make sure your dog is ingesting only healthy amounts. In most cases, it is better to focus on protein-rich dog food instead of food rich in carbohydrates.

Vitamins and minerals are important for a dog’s diet, but feeding them any additional supplements is not necessary when they are eating a complete and balanced diet. To learn more about vitamins and antioxidants and how they help your dog, consult this article: Integrative Therapy in Dogs with Nervous System & Other Disorders. It is also important to note that many dog foods are tailored for a certain stage of the life cycle—Puppy, Adult, and Senior. These labels should be adhered to so you can ensure your dog is getting the nutrition it needs. You may also elect to feed a dog food designed for all life stages.

It is reported that around 20% of dogs in the United States have some kind of allergy. If your dog is allergic to its current food the best course of action is switch to a natural dog food that contains fish as the main ingredient, as it is considered hypoallergenic. To learn more about food allergies in dogs, read up on Canine Food Allergy. According to their report proteins in beef, dairy products, wheat, chicken, egg, and soy products are most often linked to food allergies in dogs.  The report also notes that although corn is not usually a source of allergy for dogs, it is indigestible to dogs and should be avoided.

Make sure to do your research when deciding what to feed your dog, and never assume that they can just eat “anything.” If your dog has a weight or other health problem, make sure to take that into consideration when picking out their dog food. A healthy, natural and balanced diet will surely increase your dog’s lifespan and maximize the years you have together.

Here is an official list of dog food that has been recalled and may be hazardous to your pet’s diet: Pet Food Recall Products List