VITAMINS AND MINERALS
These are obviously essential dog nutrition to your dog’s health, well-being and vitality. Try working out a weekly plan to vary your pet’s diet, keep up their interest so that their ‘snouts’ never leave the bowl when you put down one of your delicious homemade doggie dinners. A dog’s digestive system is much more simple than a human system, so just a combination of the right levels of nourishment will keep them happy and satisfied.
4 essential proper dog nutrition includes a good combination of vitamins and minerals, plus a little fat will certainly assist in keeping Mimi’s coat in tip-top condition – your pet will look and feel better, and with daily grooming on top of this, you will have a prize winner. Your perfect pet is only interested in ‘what’s for dinner’ not what’s in it, but as most vitamins and minerals are all but tasteless, it really is a case of tempting their taste buds.
Meat is a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, but feeding meat alone to your dog just won’t work. Meat also lacks other essentials such as calcium which is easily topped up by using fresh bone meal – and don’t forget to add that little bit of fat, it is actually good for them. Lean meat is obviously good for them, including chicken and turkey, but you must also have the addition of ‘organ meat’ such as liver, kidneys, heart, etc., as they contain an essential rich source of vitamins not available in the leaner variety of meats.
Essential for muscle growth and healthy tissue, proteins are again found in meat, but also in fish, eggs and some dairy products, the latter three of which are easily digestible and of high usage ranking for your dogs, and tend to enter the bloodstream at a faster metabolic rate.
Fats are a must for dogs, but within moderation, as you don’t want slender, athletic Rover to turn into a fat couch potato with no energy and problems such as pancreatitis and worn out joints. Fatty acids are crucial to your dogs’ overall health as they regulate the immune system and are powerfully anti-inflammatory.
Dogs CANNOT produce them themselves, so they must be included in the diet as they really are beneficial to most organs and also aid healthy skin and coat. Most important fatty acids are from the Omega range, namely 3 and 6. Omega 3 is found in oily fish such as mackerel, sardines and of course the ubiquitous salmon, but can also be found in flaxseed or hempseed oil and is absorbed into the body at a reasonably fast rate, promoting healthy skin and a glistening coat. Omega 6 can be found in sunflower oil, but beware – half a tablespoon to 1 tablespoon is more than enough oil for your dogs’ daily intake, depending on size.
More or less 50% of your dogs’ diet should include carbohydrates in some form – this can be corn, sweet potato, brown rice, oats or even soya beans and any form of whole wheat. Grains should be used more in moderation as you will see throughout the article, but they do contain essential vitamins and minerals which boost energy levels and help doggie’s tummy function properly.
In general, grains work on a ‘slow release’ basis and supply fiber to the body, assisting in healthy nerve tissue production and tip top liver, heart and brain functionality. Not all grains suit all dogs; some can be an irritant, but the only way to find this out is to try them in your recipes in small quantities. If your dog starts to react in any way, it will only be temporary, so move on to trying another grain.
Probably the least irritant and mildest grain is barley, particularly useful for upset tummies. Its taste and texture also seem to be extremely attractive to pooches. Likewise, Quinoa has the same settling effect on sensitive tums, and is regarded not only as a super-food for humans but increasingly so for dogs!