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Our dogs are our best friends, it’s a cliche, but it’s true. A good diet for our dogs means that they can be happy and healthy for years to come. What’s more is that not looking after your dog’s health can leave you with large veterinary bills and you may need to find $5000 or more to cover the costs. We all know that a good diet is good for us, but what does a good diet look like for a dog and why is it so important?
Why is good nutrition so important for dogs?
Muscle and body condition – Protein is an integral building block for skin, hair, muscles and organs. Dogs also need protein, like we do, for repairing damaged cells and making new ones. Protein is especially important for young dogs and dogs who are pregnant. Ensuring that your dog has enough protein will mean that they can build and maintain strong muscles.
Skin and coat health – You may already know that a rich shiny coat is most likely a sign of good health in a dog. This is because dogs who eat a healthy balanced diet with Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids will have healthy skin and healthy hair. Not only does correct nutrition mean that your dog will have a healthy coat, but Omega fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory properties, which will reduce itching and irritation for your dog.
Good digestion – Looking after your dog’s nutrition means that they will have the right carbohydrates to aid healthy digestion and elimination. Carbohydrates provide us with fibre, which allows our food to pass through your digestive system with ease and allows us to easily absorb the nutrients we need. This is exactly the same for dogs. Dogs that have poor nutrition with not enough fibre will not be able to absorb the nutrients they need from their food.
Dog Treats were once only used as rewards for dogs, but today they play a larger role in your pets diet. Learn about the good and bad ingredients that go into dog treats.
Immunity – Last but certainly not least, good nutrition for your dog means improved immunity. The vitamins and minerals found in good quality dog food help keep your dog’s immune system functioning well. Minerals promote the normal function of the cell and help your dog maintain good health. While vitamins work in your dog’s system to reduce the damage done to body cells on a daily basis. Without the correct vitamins and minerals in their diet, your dog would eventually become sick. Healthy immune system means less trips to the vet and less pain and discomfort for your dog.
Feeding your dog a healthy balanced diet with all nutrients that they need means setting your dog up for a long happy, healthy life. With the correct nutrition your dog will be able to have a robust immune system, healthy digestion, strong muscles and a good coat.
What do dogs need for good nutrition?
Just like humans, dogs need a good balance in their diet. That means having the right proportion of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals and water, every single day. Having this proper balance ensures everything can function properly.
When considering what to feed your dog, start off with a commercially available dog food rather than making your own at home or giving your dog the same thing you eat, which will help you with your household bills. It is really difficult to give your dog a healthy balanced diet without using commercial dog food. Look for foods that are labelled ‘complete’ this means that they will have all the recommended nutrients that your dog needs.
Make sure that you are buying the right kind of food for your dog, for their stage of life and taking into consideration any extra requirements. You may need a specific dog food if your dog is a giant breed, very active, overweight or pregnant. If you’re ever worried about what you’re feeding your dog, a good person to ask is your vet. All veterinary staff will have a good idea of which brands are well established and offer high quality dog food, so ask your vet for a recommendation.