Healthy Dog Foods: Understanding The Canine Diet
Us humans need a well-balanced diet, and this is also true of our pets, they need healthy dog foods. Dogs will naturally eat almost anything you put in front of them – but simply being full is not enough to ensure good health. Unhealthy dog food over time can shorten the life span of your faithful pet.
If you haven’t already grasped how important it is to know what’s healthy and what’s not for your dog, think of the effects on your own health if you were to eat canned and processed foods day in day out. We all have at least a vague idea of the effects of preservatives, additives and other chemicals. It can lead to long-term damage in the kidneys, liver, the heart, and the blood vessels. Most dog owners love their pets like their own children but some neglect to feed them healthy dog foods accordingly.
Table Of Contents
The Canine Diet
There is a need for dog owners to be more aware of what is nutritious for their dogs – a well-balanced diet is what they need to enable them to live their maximum life span. The question then is, “What is a well-balanced diet?”
For optimal health, our dogs need protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, and of course water.
Protein: The Meat that Matters
Protein is essential for the growth and repair of muscles, bones, and other body tissues. It is also used in the production of disease fighting antibodies, enzymes, and hormones. Signs of a lack of protein include a thin, tired, “immunosusceptible”, and generally “unhealthy” dog. All healthy dog foods will have a high protein content.
Carbohydrates: Energy Source
Carbohydrates are metabolized by the dog’s system and converted into glucose. Glucose serves as a fuel. Without carbohydrates, your dog wouldn’t be bouncing up and down at the thought of a long walk.
Fats: The Second Power Source
Fats act as a second power source, as whenever the glucose levels in the dog’s system are depleted, fats will take over as the fuel source. Aside from this, they are also used for nerve functions, because the sheaths that cover the nerves are made from fats. The dog’s body also utilizes fat to transport nutrients. There are fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K that won’t be absorbed by the dog’s body without fats. And lastly, fats are also used for hormone production.
Vitamins and Minerals: The Assistants
Practically, we can think of vitamins and minerals as assistants because they aid in every function that is carried out by our body. They aid in bone growth, healing, metabolism, fluid balance, muscle, and nerve function.
Even for humans, water is the most basic need. We can survive without food for a day or even for up to two weeks in extreme cases but not without water. Our pal also needs fresh, clean water – at least an ounce per pound of bodyweight per day. The rule is the same even in cold weather. Hot weather or vigorous exercise necessitates that you double or even triple the daily water consumption.
Knowing the Proportions
Now that you know what should go into your dog’s system, here are the proportions of the various ingredients go into making healthy dog foods. As a general guide, it should be fifty percent protein, forty percent carbohydrates, and 10 percent veggies. Vegetables will supply most of the vitamins that your dog needs. In most protein-rich food, your dog can get fats and minerals from the animal meat too.
The Final Advice
Seeing our dogs satisfied with what we feed them isn’t the main factor when choosing healthy dog foods. Going deeper into nutrition and unscrambling the ingredients dog food manufacturers put in, will give you the final verdict as to whether it is healthy enough for your dog.