Where do we begin with nutrients for our curious canines? There are a lot of things we need to remember for our pet, vaccinations and parasite control to name a few, when it comes to food it seems like a whole new game. And it is! But it does not need to be that confusing. Once you understand the critical nutrients your dog should be having, it is easier to talk to your Vet team about choosing a properly balanced diet with all the important nutrients. We have narrowed it down to the essentials that you should look into and definitely incorporate in your pet’s food plan.
Your dog should enjoy a diet that is rich in nutrients, including vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus, and has a balance of protein, quality fats and micronutrients. Most high-quality pet food includes these important benefits. However, our furry friends have different nutritional needs depending on their breed, age and lifestyle. Especially if your pet has a health issue such as with their joints, their food can change again to help with this. We have made understanding the benefits in these nutrients easy!
- Proteins: As amino acids are included in proteins, this is integral for growth, maintenance and repair across most aspects of their body. In dogs, protein is also used to help maintain a healthy coat. Protein can be found in meat, eggs and dairy products.
- Fats: Fatty acids and a concentrated source of energy are some of the positive aspects of your pet eating a controlled amount of fats. With protein, fats can help a range of vitamins absorb into their body.
- Carbohydrates: The carbs that can be found in whole grains help with their iron, minerals and fibre to name a few.
- Minerals: The important minerals for your pet includes macrominerals, calcium and phosphorus. Minerals help to maintain your dog’s bone and metabolic functions.
- Antioxidants: Antioxidants, which include vitamin A, B and C, can make a very big difference in your dog’s health and fight against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that are highly reactive and can damage cell membranes, DNA and enzymes. The problems with free radicals are that these molecules are now being considered a factor in your dog developing diseases faster and aging prematurely. Antioxidants can be found in fruits and vegetables. When purchasing your pet food, make sure it is high in antioxidants, beta-carotene and selenium. Some antioxidants to be aware of include:
- Vitamin E: This antioxidant helps fight the free radicals that can affect your dog.
- Vitamin C: While this neutralises free radicals, Vitamin C also restores Vitamin E and helps increases its antioxidant activity.
- Selenium: This antioxidant is an essential component of beneficial antioxidant enzymes.
- Beta-carotene: Beta-carotene helps remove free radicals. This is through working with vitamin E.
Most high-quality pet food includes the nutrients mentioned above. The best option when trying to decide on what pet food your dog should have, is to chat with your vet care team. They understand all the information and requirements your pet will need. Remember, each pet needs a different diet that suits them better for their health needs!