Being a dog owner isn’t an easy task. Teaching your pet basic rules and taking proper care of it may be costly and time-consuming. Walking, bathing, playing, and feeding can be a drag sometimes, but it’s something you need to do for your dog to be well and happy.
Among all those activities, preparing balanced meals is a crucial one. If you’re a responsible person, you don’t give your pup just anything you find in a local grocery store. After all, you want to make sure it gets the best quality food and thrives, right?
One way to do that is to get some recommendations from dog food reviews that are available online; You can also find out what essential ingredients every dog’s meal should include and become an expert yourself. Just read our article and take notes – your barking companion will thank you for that!
Meat is a fundamental component of all dogs’ diets. It helps them build a strong skeleton, keep a healthy weight, and strengthen their muscles and joints as they age. Lack of meat proteins can lead to various diseases or even death. To maintain a healthy balance, ensure lean protein makes up at least 30% of the whole diet plan.
The source of meat proteins can be found in chicken, beef, pork, lamb, rabbit, and venison. Some fish, including mackerel and salmon, will do the job, too.
Although meat is so important, it shouldn’t be the only food your pet gets, as today’s dogs aren’t 100% carnivores; they need a balanced diet adjusted to their age, breed, and activity level.
Carbohydrates and Grains
All pets need energy, and they get it from carbohydrates and grains.
Carbs are found in fruit, vegetables, and rice, but not all are good for dogs. Some animals may also be allergic to certain ones. Avoid low-quality products and shop for ingredients like pumpkin, kale, squash, berries, and rice.
Aside from being an additional source of energy, grains also improve digestibility. Contrary to popular belief, they are a natural part of the dog diet. Even wild dogs and wolves consume them, as they start eating from the content of their prey’s stomach. If you want to include some grains in your pet’s diet, oatmeals and rice are the way to go.
There’s no need to get rid of fats from your dog’s diet. They’re beneficial for cell function, digestion, and even the pet’s coat, making it healthy and shiny.
Healthy fats come from fish, chicken, and various oils, such as canola, sunflower, and olive oil. Fat is also essential for vitamins A, D, E, and K to be absorbed and digested. They are all quite important too, as you will learn in the next section.
As you already know, fat-soluble vitamins must be included in a meal. They help your dog’s digestive and immune system, as well as metabolism, work properly. These chemicals also keep blood cells and nerves healthy. Moreover, vitamin A has a significant impact on skin and coat.
Aside from A, D, E, and K, dogs need B-vitamins, too. Like the former, B-vitamins are critical when it comes to metabolism and immunity, as well as a healthy nervous system, blood cells, and balanced hormones. Check the labels for substances like biotin, riboflavin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and beta-carotene, and make sure they’re there. And finally, don’t forget about vitamin C and choline.
To provide your four-legged friend with enough vitamins, pick fruits and vegetables like carrots and spinach. Liver, nuts, and grains have lots of them as well. Use supplements only if your vet advises you to do so – there’s no need to include additional vitamins, as long as the diet is healthy and balanced.
Last but not least, it’s essential to keep your dog hydrated. Pick high-moisture foods and give your pet plenty of clean water. In most cases, about an ounce of fluids per pound of the body should be enough. However, young pups and more active or lactating dogs need to drink more than a typical adult dog.
Don’t forget to change the water in the bowl more often when winter comes – don’t let your pet drink it stale and cold. Bear in mind that we all dehydrate quicker in winter, and dogs do so even faster than humans. Although they can deal with dehydration by eating snow, it doesn’t contain enough water to meet their needs.
A Well-Fed Dog is a Happy One
Giving your dog a healthy mix of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals may seem like a challenge. However, there are many guides and resources to help you with that. When in doubt, contact a certified nutritionist and design a diet plan together. And if you don’t feel confident enough to prepare the meals yourself, buy them, but read the labels carefully. Check if the food meets the official nutrient standards or has passed the feeding trials, and what kind of dog it’s meant for – dogs differ in their needs depending on their age, breed, activity level, and current condition.
Focusing on the dog diet isn’t as complicated as it appears, and it’s worth all the effort. By following those tips and expert advice, you’ll stop worrying about your pet getting enough nutrients and see it become healthier and more energetic.