Nurturing and maintaining four-legged babies is never easy. They require as much care and attention as human babies do or maybe even more. While every dog parent tries to incorporate the best combination of foods for their furry little friends. We might still miss some essential nutrients they require to develop and grow.
When it comes to taking care of dogs, knowing the essentials of pet nutrition is the most significant step. There are several dog foods available in the market, but how do we pick the right one? Or cook the right food for them? To understand that, let’s look at the essential nutrients your dog needs.
Needless to say, without water, life cannot exist. However, a dog’s water intake depends on his health, activity level and environment. Most dogs are efficient enough to self-regulate their water needs. Access to clean and fresh water is the topmost priority on a dog’s nutrition list.
Proteins are the nutrients that provide energy to the body. They supply critical essential and non-essential amino acids to your dogs. Since protein cannot be stored in the body, dogs require a constant supply of it. Look for dog food rich in natural proteins or get it from lean-muscle meats, fish, eggs, beans or lentils.
Vitamins play a vital role in your dog’s life. They help in regulating calcium levels, boosting the immune system and serve as an antioxidant. Thus, your dog’s diet must be vitamin-rich. All homemade diets require vitamins supplements whereas, commercial ‘complete and balanced food does not need any supplements.
Dogs require certain fatty acids that their bodies cannot produce naturally. Not all fats are beneficial for your dog; consider the source, quality and quantity of the fat while feeding your dogs. Healthy fats protect your dog’s internal organs, promote a healthy nervous system and regulate body temperature.
Carbohydrates are a primary fuel source for a dog. Not only are they a dog’s chief source of glucose, but they are also associated with other essential nutrients. They are not a necessary dog nutrient, but healthy carbs provide vitamins and minerals to the body that promote optimum health.
Minerals constitute a major part of dog bones, carry oxygen throughout the body, assist in healing wounds, provide antioxidant support and regulate fluid balance. Minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium and more are essential components of dog food.