It is important to be aware of the nutritious value of your pet's food. As people become more and more aware of the importance of a balanced diet, they begin to ask questions relating to the nutritional intake of their pets. Here are a few answers to commonly asked questions about dog nutrition:
Does my dog need to have a nutritionally balanced diet like me? Dogs require a total of 39 nutrients in their daily diet, dosed in correct proportions. Some of these nutrients include: protein, fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. In addition to these nutrients in their food, water is also equally, if not more beneficial in a dog's every day diet.
Should my dog have protein in their diet? Dogs are officially classified as omnivores. This means that they thrive on both meat and vegetable diets combined. Protein aids in the growth of bone and muscle in puppies, and keeps them strong as adults.
Should my dog have fiber in their diet? Fiber is beneficial to your pet's digestive tract. It aids in constipation, weight loss, and helps keep their colon clean. However, too much fiber can be harmful to your pet by causing increased size and quantity of stool production, which can be painful or uncomfortable.
What about a fat-free diet for my dog? Dogs need fat. Fats provide more energy than carbohydrates and protein and they also make the food easier to eat and swallow. Fats also provide necessary fatty acids that help your pet's skin to remain healthy as well as adding shine to their coat.
People sometimes need vitamin and mineral supplements. Does my dog need any? If you are giving your dog a balanced diet through their dog food, they should be getting all the proper vitamins and minerals they need. Because people need different levels of vitamins and minerals than dogs, supplements can actually be quite harmful to your pet. If you are concerned about your pet's food and their vitamin and mineral intake, contact your veterinarian with any questions you may have.
How often should I feed my dog? Puppies should be fed two to three times a day, because they are rapidly growing and need the food to keep up with their energy and metabolism. Most owners feed adult dogs one or two times a day, depending on their personal preference, the recommendation of their vet, or on their dog's activity level.
When considering food quantity, how much should I feed my dog? The best guide to go by is the instructions on the dog food packaging. Know your pet's age, weight, activity level and size, and the instructions will tell you the proper amount of food to feed your pup.
As increased awareness about nutritional health makes its way through social circles, people begin to wonder about the nutritional health and needs of their pet. Remember, if you have any specific questions about your pet's nutritional intake, make an appointment and ask your vet. They will be able to help you determine the best diet for your dog.
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