5 Key Factors in Dog Nutrition

Dog nutrition is important for the development of a healthy dog. It’s also important to know how to raise a healthy dog. Dogs are just like humans in that they need certain vitamins and minerals to live and grow. This article will go over five key factors in dog nutrition, as well as tips on what you can do at home to raise your pup into a happy, healthy member of the family!

The Importance of Pet Nutrition

To maintain your dog’s health, it’s critical that you focus on their nutrition. You’ll need to feed your dog a balanced diet that contains the right amounts of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. You can’t do this on your own without consulting an expert first.

We suggest you talk to your vet before making any dietary changes. You’ll also want to consult a veterinarian before giving your dog anything new.

1. Healthy Carbohydrates

The first key factor in dog nutrition is healthy carbs. Dogs need carbs to provide energy, but they don’t require the same amount of carbohydrates as humans. The key is to feed your dog a diet that’s high in healthy carbohydrates and low on highly processed foods or sugars.

Whether you’re making your dog’s food by hand or feeding them commercial-grade dog food, be sure their diet only includes the best quality carbohydrates.

2. Plenty of Protein

Dogs need protein. Protein is essential for the development and maintenance of their muscles. Your dog will need protein every day in order to function properly, but it’s important not to overdo it.

If you’re feeding your pup a homemade diet, make sure they have plenty of lean proteins from sources like chicken or beef liver. Commercial-grade foods with poultry by-products might not be the best choice for your pup because they are often high in fat.

Protein is essential to maintain the health of a dog’s muscles. However, it’s important not to overdo it on too much protein as this can cause kidney damage and other problems.

3. High-Quality Commercial Foods

If you’re a very hands-on and nutrition-conscious dog owner, handmaking your dog’s food might be okay to do. However, for most busy people, commercial food is the most common way to feed our pets.

Unfortunately, not all commercial dog foods are created equally. Some brands are of lower quality than others.

The best way to find out where your dog food ranks is by looking at the ingredients list on the bag. Ingredients that you should avoid, like corn and meat-by-products, will be listed near the bottom of a long list while those higher up in the ingredient lineup should be looked at more closely.

The goal is to find food with the best ingredients listed at the top!

4. Fresh, Clean Water

Not always discussed is giving your dog clean water to drink. It’s important to have a clean water dish that is changed out regularly because bacteria will build up and make the dog sick.

It’s also important for dogs with kidney disease or diabetes (or those who are at risk) to drink plenty of fluids, which means more than just drinking from their water dish.

Most pet owners recommend adding some wet food or water to their dog’s meals to increase the water content.

5. Limit the Treats

Lastly, a healthy, balanced diet will not include too many snacks. Snacks should be limited to about one per day. If you give your dog treats, they should consist of less than 20% of the diet and not include anything fatty or high in sugar.

The best healthy snacks are green beans, carrots, broccoli, celery sticks (chopped up), applesauce (no added sugars), and unsalted rawhides.

Don’t Forget Exercise!

And of course, you can’t forget to exercise. Maintaining a healthy weight is only possible by balancing the food your dog eats and the energy they expend.

Exercise can come in many forms:

  • Walks
  • Running around outside
  • Playing with other dogs at the park

These are all great ways to get exercise for your pup!

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