6 What Basic Functions Must Animals Do To Stay Alive Important Nutrients of Dog’s Diet and Dog Nutritional Supplements

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Important Nutrients of Dog’s Diet and Dog Nutritional Supplements

Dogs need several different types of nutrients to survive: amino acids from proteins, fatty acids and carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. Your dog’s unique nutritional requirements will depend on his size, his breed, and his stage in life, among other factors. A better understanding of how dogs use the different nutrients in dog food and supplements and how much of them they need can help you choose a healthier diet for your pet.

PROTEINS AND AMINO ACIDS

Dogs cannot survive without protein in their diet. Dietary protein contains 10 specific amino acids that dogs cannot produce on their own. Known as essential amino acids, they provide the building blocks for many important biologically active compounds and proteins. In addition, they donate the carbon chains needed to make glucose for energy. High-quality proteins have a good balance of all essential amino acids. Studies show that dogs can tell when their food is missing a single amino acid and will avoid such a meal. Dogs are known to selectively choose protein-rich foods. It is not known whether this is simply a matter of taste or a complex response to their biological needs for all 10 essential amino acids. However, dogs can survive on a vegetarian diet as long as it contains enough protein and is supplemented with vitamin D in dog food supplements.

FATS AND FATTY ACIDS

Dietary fats, mainly derived from animal fats and various plant seed oils, provide the most concentrated source of energy in the diet. They supply essential fatty acids that cannot be synthesized in the body and serve as carriers of important fat-soluble vitamins. Fatty acids play a role in cell structure and function. Dietary fats tend to improve the taste and texture of dog food as well. Essential fatty acids are necessary to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. Puppies fed ultra-low-fat diets develop dry, thick hair and skin lesions that become increasingly vulnerable to infection. Deficiencies in the so-called “omega-3” family of essential fatty acids can be associated with vision problems and learning disabilities. Another family of essential fatty acids called “omega-6” has been shown to have important physiological effects in the body.

Providing important nutrients through a healthy diet and dog food supplements will go a long way in ensuring a long and healthy life for your family dog.

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