Dog Nutrition - Making Sure Your Dog Is Getting Th
Dog Nutrition - Learning the Difference Between Good Food & Bad Food

Recognition and understanding of a dog’s dietary needs is a big challenge for most pet owners as it requires a general knowledge of the basics of dog nutrition.

Are they still bright and clear? If you find that the eyes are bloodshot or glazed, or if you see any secretion around them, you can bet there is something dietary that is lacking.

Does your dog eat up everything or are there left overs? Is the appetite increased or have you got a picky eater? Check the body weight regularly, ideally every 2 - 4 weeks, and note it down. This way you are always be able to adjust your pet’s diet and control his or her weight.

Are there any changes in the way your dog behaves? Is she still alert and interested in her environment or has she become more sleepy and lethargic?

Try to recognize even the smallest alteration on your dog and note it down. Then start to investigate. Read, ask professionals about changes you have observed and the possible causes.

Dandruff and dry skin can be a sign that your dog’s diet is missing essential fatty acids or a certain protein source. This skin condition may well disappear once that element has been added to your dog’s food.

It is best to write everything down in a pet diary including your observations, what you have done, and whether it was helpful or not. Make notes about behavior patterns, habits, cravings or pickiness, and note any observed changes.

This will help you to be able to understand your dog’s current nutritional needs, so that you can make the necessary adjustments for your particular dog that will provide the right nutrients at the right time. You will be able to keep your canine pet healthy and will be rewarded with a happy and close relationship to your dog for a long time.

Nutrient requirements for dogs are published by the National Research Council of the National Academies (NRC) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Requirements for proper dog nutrition are the percentages of the 6 organic components of food to meet a dog’s daily allowance: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, water.

For good dog nutrition, protein should comprise 21-26% of the food. The difference between active, low-active, lite and puppy foods is the percentage of protein. Proteins are critical in the proper development of bone, muscle, blood, tissues, hormones, enzymes, and for the proper function of the immune system.

The protein ingredient is the most expensive component. The source of this protein is critical. There are 22 amino acids that make up proteins and 10 are critical for daily dog nutrition.

Meat protein is closest to human quality!

The source of the protein determines its quality. Meat protein is closest to human quality. Animal protein can be any part that contains protein including skin, hoofs, hair and lips, so it is often not digestible. Lower digestibility of protein means a lower amount of nutrients available to the dog for growth and maintenance of cells. Pick food with at least 2 animal sources of protein in the first 5 ingredients listed. Best sources are whole meats or single-source meats (i.e. chicken meal versus poultry meal). Dog Nutrition - Analyzing Dog Health Through Feces, Dog Nutrition, Dog Nutrition - The Vital Function of Water