1. Understanding ingredients Understanding the ingredients of your dog’s food items is a must for the dog lovers or dog owners. Whenever you feed the dog with different kinds of food items, you should always read the label and understand the contents about the dog feed types that are being used in such commercial preparations. You should understand the ingredients while buying food for your dog and also know what to look for. Feed items include dry and fresh food. The fresh dog food that is prepared in homes generally consists of ingredients like freshly cut chicken pieces in addition to the cranberry juices, blue-green algae, etc. If you come across any different kinds of preservatives and if the dog develops all of a sudden signs pertaining to the food allergy, suspect the unwanted ingredient in the feed items given. Similarly, understand about the moisture status. If the food item is having more moisture, then the dog may prefer this as well. Beet pulp, pasta, Soybean oil, wheat middlings, calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, copper sulphate, iron sulphate, zinc oxide, choline chloride, etc. are often the ingredients in case of vegetarian based diet items offered to the pet animals like dogs. Raw egg, chicken, beef, mutton, fish, quail etc. are often the preferred ingredients in case of dog diets that are prepared on the basis of the non-vegetarian items. Taurine is one of the essential ingredients for the dog’s nutrition. Likewise, in the case of dogs feed with frozen fish items, the vitamin called thiamine needs to be supplemented as an ingredient. Many premium type of dog food preparations contain essential fatty acids, carbohydrates with adequate fiber contents, vitamins like A, D, E and B complex vitamins. Furthermore, minerals like zinc, is an essential ingredient for skin health status and calcium, which is an essential ingredient for bone growth, tonicity of muscles. They should be enriched in these food items. However, the cost of those food preparations are comparatively more expensive than the food preparations with general ingredients. Though it may be better for your dog’s health.
2. Dogs need different diets at different ages Dogs need different diets at different ages. Yes. This is true. For example, the puppy needs milk as the major food item while an adult dog may need beef or chicken in addition to the boiled egg and milk. So depending on the age factor, the diet schedule varies in reality for the dogs like any other species. Puppies need greater amounts of protein, fat and carbohydrates than an adult dogs. Furthermore, puppies need more frequent feeding schedules in a day, unlike an adult dog. The movement-based requirements of diet are more in the case of puppies since they are often more active than the adult dogs. Elder dogs need restricted protein but the protein needs to be easily digestible and easily assimilated in the body. The diet schedule should have ample supply of water for them. Feeding aged dogs too much protein may finally lead to overburden to the renal structures and ultimately, the dog may end up damaging filters in the kidney. This is true especially when the immune system of these dogs is compromised due to many factors. Similarly, the elderly dogs need less food only because the movements of the adult dogs are highly restricted and hence, they have to spend a limited of energy. Female dogs in the pregnancy stage need not be fed a full stomach since it may cause some discomforts to the animal. However, the pregnant animal and the nursing animal need special type of food items that deliver a balanced type of nutrition with proper supplementation of vitamins and minerals. The nursing animal with puppies need to be fed with enough amounts of calcium and hence, there will not be any calcium based deficiency and the bones of the puppies will be strong without any curving. 6 3. Vitamin and mineral supplements
3. Vitamin and mineral supplements are the most important components in any dog’s feeding. If there is a balance in the vitamin and mineral supplements, then the animal will have a healthy life and hence, the immunity is not compromised in an unwanted way. This simply means that there the dog will be more disease resistance against various diseases. Pet owners should know that vitamins A, D, E, and K are the fat-soluble vitamins and others are water-soluble vitamins. Vitamins like thiamine, pyridoxine and cyanocobalamin are important for the functions of nervous system. Deficiency of vitamin A leads to night blindness and skin lesions and deficiency of vitamin D leads to the softening and weakening of the bones. These problems are many a time encountered by the dog owners. Among these, vitamin A toxicities may occur if you feed them in excessive amounts, like vitamin D. Hence, give emphasis on this while you are using these vitamins in the dogs. Cod liver oil from selected fishes has more vitamin A in them and are universally good feed for dogs. All dogs may not need supplements of minerals or vitamins to live well for the moment, but it is important for their future. If they become sick or aged or very young without proper feeding, supplementations are required for the upkeep of health status in them. However, one has to follow the instructions of veterinarian in this regard. If the dogs are fed with fish in frozen conditions, then they may be suffering constantly from vitamin B1 deficiency and hence, such dogs need to be given specifically B1. Careless supplementations of minerals may lead to diseases and hence, veterinarians always need to be consulted on the supplementation of minerals or vitamins. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, iron, copper etc. are given more emphasis in addition to sodium and potassium. Zinc is related to skin health and potassium is related to the muscle health and calcium with phosphorus is related to the bone health. However, if you feed the dog with chicken, mutton or beef along with required vegetables, artificial supplementation of mineral or vitamin tablets may be highly reduced but supplements need to be thought of when you 7 are not able to maintain a balanced nutrition as this happens with most of the dogs, due to multifaceted causes.