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Your dog has special nutritional needs and in this chapter, you will come to know all about those needs.

v  Protein and amino acids
v  Fats and fatty acids for dogs
v  Energy needs of your dog
v  Minerals for your dog
v  Weight of your dog



Health and Nutrition


Health and Nutrition




Nutrition

Dogs need some special nutrition to survive and be healthy. There are so many things which you need to include in your dog’s diet. Following are the essential elements which you must include in your dog’s diet.

Protein and Amino Acids

Proteins are necessary for dogs more than they are necessary for humans. There are ten essential amino acids which dietary proteins contain. These amino acids provide some very essential building blocks for lots of biological compounds. These amino acids are more essential for dogs because they cannot create any of these at their own. These amino acids also donate carbon chains which are needed to construct glucose chains. High quality proteins contain a good balanced amount of these amino acids and you must provide your dog with that protein. Dogs also have very strong selection criteria for their food and it is said that dogs are known to reject or accept a specific diet which contains their essential elements. This selection can be made through internal biological needs or it can be just due to taste but most of the times this selection is triggered from internal needs.

Fats and Fatty Acids for Dogs

Dietary fats which are mostly derived from animal fat and seed oil provide a very strong source of energy and they also provide some very healthy fats which are used to store insoluble vitamins in body. Food fat also provides a very important role in cell structure and functionality.

Fat in food is also a guarantee that your dog’s skin and texture will remain healthy and glowing. If your dog’s diet is low in fat then, it will make their hair very dry and dull and their skin will also become very weak and open to different infections. Deficiency in omega-3 essential fatty acids can lead to vision problems and your dog can go through several other very dangerous infections and problems. In order to make it healthy for your dog, you should include some essential fats in his diet.

Energy Needs of Your Dog

Energy needs vary from breed to breed and they also vary according to the dog’s age and his activities. If you have a habit of playing with your dog and taking him to do exercise then, the energy needs will be different. Normally a growing puppy will need twice as body calories per pound of their body weight. You

need to start feeding your dog after 4 weeks of their birth because in that age mother’s milk is not sufficient for his energy and growing needs. If you have an older dog at home then, you must know that due to less physical activity they do not need normal amount of food. Normally they will need 20 percent less calories than normal middle aged adult dogs.

Minerals for Your Dog

Minerals are essential for strong bones and teeth of your dog. If your dog lacks these minerals in his diet then, it will make him weaker and he will not be that much active. Potassium, magnesium and sodium are necessary for dog diet can either contain too much minerals or they can suffer from deficiency of minerals but it is truly on the owner that they need to make sure that minerals are sufficient and enough for their dog. Excess of calcium and magnesium can cause skeleton abnormalities in growing puppies.

Weight of Your Dog

There are signs which can tell you the exact weight of your dog and you can know that whether your dog is overweight, underweight or the weight is ideal. If you can see the ribs,

vertebrate of your dog and feel no fat on the bones then, you must know that your dog is under weight and you should try to improve his diet. Ideal dog weight is when you can easily feel the ribs of your dog and can see an abdominal curve from above. In this state, you should stick with the regular diet plan. If you are not able to feel the ribs of your dog then, you need to reduce his diet because your dog is overweight.



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