Nutrition is important to your petsí health. It is important to learn what your pet needs to stay healthy, happy and active. Making sure your pet eats what he should and not what he wants is the best way to ensure these needs.
Whatís the importance of good nutrition?
A complete and balanced diet is essential to maintain your pet in good health. He needs fresh water, protein, fats, minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates.
Water is by far the most important nutrition your pet requires. An adult dogsí body is 60% water and even higher in puppies (84%), it is understandable then that as little as 10% loss of body water can cause serious problems. Make sure that your pet receives 2.5 times the amount of food as water, but often it is just easier to offer the water free choice.
Protein is a very important part of your petsí diet, as it is the building blocks for life. Proteins come in different qualities, animal proteins have the highest quality and vegetables have the lower qualities. Considering that dogs are mostly carnivorous, they require a much higher level of protein than we do for example. Cats are completely carnivorous and require even higher amounts compared to dogs. It is said that dogs can eat cat food but that cats cannot eat dog food. This is because the protein taurine is not synthesized by cats, whereas it is in dogs. A rule of thumb: Always make sure to feed your pet food that is made for his species, age and energy requirements.
Fats They are an essential part of your pets diet, they are extremely high in energy as compared to carbohydrates. Fats are readily available from both plant and animal products. Some fats can be synthesized by the body, and some cannot. Despite their importance in food, there are many problems associated with over consumption of fats. The proper balance must be attained for your pet to be as healthy as possible
Minerals and Vitamins Minerals are important for nerve conduction, proteins, fats and carbohydrates are necessary for energy. Vitamins are important to help your pet process bio-chemicals.
Carbohydrates Are part of the nutritional requirements for your pet, however these are much easier to give in excess than any other form of nutrition. Normal dry pet food contains between 30-70% carbohydrates as they are a cheaper form of nutrition. In some pets, the surplus energy will be stored as fat, and obesity can occur. Take care to provide what is needed to your pet, preferably before weight gain occurs, as weight loss is much more difficult to achieve.