The basic strategy of dog care is healthy food which means nurturing with nutritious edibles which contains right amount of calories, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fats etc . You might be amazed to know the actual requirements of our canine companions is challenging to maintain.
Earlier, giving dogs a left over food was normal and usually followed. Today, dog food equates to commercially sold food like pedigree or royal canin. Commercially available foods makes sure they contain the nutrition requirement of a dog according to the prescribed standards. However, eating the same kind of food becomes boring for the dog and home made food is usually cherished by the dogs.
So, Let’s start with minerals.
Right quantity of minerals is required for optimum health.
Minerals are very important for dogs just like humans. The benefit of minerals are –
|Phosphorous Normal bones growth and repair|
|Calcium Bones growth and repair|
|Potassium Cellular maintenance, kidney health and muscle building|
|Sodium Water level correction and electric conduction|
|Iron Hemoglobin and blood cell maintenance|
|Magnesium Normal functioning of vital organs like heart|
|Copper and Zinc Healthy fur and coat|
Sources of minerals –
Calcium – Kale, broccoli, beans, bones, green leafy vegetables
Phosphorous – Eggs, fish, meat, animal tissues
Magnesium – Broccoli, spinach, tofu, tomato, beans, green vegetables, whole grains, sea food
Sodium – Fruits, vegetables, grain, milk
Potassium – Fruits, vegetables, grain, milk
Chloride – Fruits, vegetables, grain, milk
Iron – Red meats, poultry, eggs, shell fish, legumes
Food Item and Zinc Content –
Barley —– 44.4 mg/kg
Corn —— 13 mg/kg
Oats ——- 39.2 mg/kg
Rice ——- 24.4 mg/kg
Wheat ——- 20 mg/kg
Soybean meal —— 57.9 mg/kg
Fish meal ——- 157 mg/kg
Meat & bone meal ——- 101 mg/kg
Proteins are the building blocks of life. Dog needs proteins for –
Young pups needs diet rich in protein for their growth. Hunting dogs and other working dogs require high protein diet for optimal energy production and muscle repair and maintenance.
Increased quantity of protein intake can cause kidney failure, so care must be taken to feed the right amount of protein in food.
General rule is 2 grams of animal protein per kg body weight.
Sources of proteins are poultry, fish, beef, pork, muscle meat, liver, kidneys, lungs, grains, oil seeds.
Fat intake has to be optimized very carefully as it can cause obesity and other health problems like indigestion, fatty liver, diarrhea etc. Lack of fat in diet can too cause health problems. Fat helps to maintain healthy coat and skin and regulate normal kidney processes.
Normal Fat requirement is half of proteins. Example – If 10 percent of food intake is proteins, than 5 percent of fats should be consumed. Chicken fat, pork fat, sunflower oil can be considered as fat sources in food. Avoid Cheese as it can cause obesity and can make the dog lethargic.
Normally, carbohydrates form 40 to 50 percent of food intake. It provides easy source of energy to dogs to stay active and playful. Grains, fruits, vegetables, potatoes, milk, popcorn etc are the sources of carbohydrates.
Micro-nutrients, such as vitamin and minerals, plays vital role in dogs. In case your dog is suffering from any deficiency, consult the vet immediately. Don’t wait for warning signs.
Vitamin A – Carrot, spinach, pumpkin, liver, sweet potatoes, eggs, turnip
Helps to – Build immunity, healthy skin, eyes, and reduce obesity
Vitamin D – Fatty fish, egg yolk, dairy products, fish oil, beef.
Helps to – build strong bones and teeth.
Vitamin E – Whole grains, liver, plant oils, soybean oil, olive oil, corn oil
Helps to – Anti-oxidant, reproductive system maintain, healthy eyes and skin
Vitamin K – Liver, Green leafy vegetables, cabbage.
Helps in – Blood clotting.
Vitamin B – Whole grains, green leafy vegetables, beans, brewer’s yeast
Helps to – Proper cell growth and development, metabolism of carbohydrate, proteins, proteins and nervous system regulation
Vitamin C – Fruits, green vegetables, zucchini, green beans
Helps to – Boost immunity, anti-oxidant and reduces inflammation.
- If dog suffers from dry, scaly skin, it might be due to Vitamin E deficiency.
- If the dog is suffering from stress, flea infestation, it might be due to Vitamin B deficiency.
- Too much of Vitamin A and D can cause bone problems.
- Avoid self prescribing and giving multi-vitamins to dogs.
Fiber makes 3 to 5 percent of food intake. it is important for maintaining healthy digestive system and prevents constipation especially, for dogs who are living a sedentary life.
Snacking ? Snacks and treats are great to bond with your furry friend, but too much can cause obesity, diabetes, and other serious complications.
The following data represents the food item and calories intake
Small, bite-sized dog biscuits —— 5 calories
Medium-sized dog biscuits —— 20 calories
Premium dog biscuits ——– 70 calories
“Light” dog biscuits ——- 15 calories
Baby carrot ——- 3 calories
8 ounces of green beans ——- 25 calories
5 ounces of popcorn ——- 54 calories
1 regular slice of cheese pizza ——- 259 calories
1 small serving of cheese- coated French fries —- 399 calories
1 regular chocolate chip cookie ——- 180 calories
1 small serving of soft ice cream ——- 113 calories
1 large hamburger with cheese —— 525 calories
Due to the high caloric content of pizza, French fries, chocolate chip cookies, soft ice cream, and regular hamburgers with cheese, these food items should not be given to dogs as treats.
Water is important for hydration of dogs especially in summer season. If the dog feeds on dry commercial food, than water intake must be doubled. They should have access to clean water always. Water requirements may change in pregnancy or lactation. If your dog is vomiting, than water must be given with precaution. Consider approaching the veterinary doctor to understand the causes of vomiting.