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10 Nutritional Facts About Your Dog
Just like the food it eats, a dog can be considered in terms of raw materials. In the same way, a diet can be considered in terms of various nutritional components. A set of guidelines for manufacturers of dog foods has been assembled by the N.R.C. (National Research Council). The requirements for growing puppies are double those for adult dogs.
Protein is contained in all animal tissue at a relatively high level, and your dog needs a continual supply of protein in its diet to maintain itself and grow. Unexpectedly the dogs ability to digest protein is variable. Although most fresh meat is 90 to 95 percent digestible, dogs only digest 60 to 80 percent vegetable protein can cause colic and even diarrhea.
Carbohydrates incorporate sugars, starch, and cellulose. The simplest sugars are the easiest to digest. Adult dogs cannot digest lactose, the sugar naturally present in milk, although they can cope quite well with ordinary sugar or sucrose. Very high levels of carbohydrates are contained in boiled potatoes, rice, and carrots with dry dog food. All – meat canned food, fresh meat and fish have no carbohydrate derived energy but meat/cereal canned dog food and complete dry food contain 30 to 50 and 40 to 50 percent respectively.
Fats are present as molecules called triglycerides which are basically three fatty acids linked together. Some fatty acids are essential to a dog. A deficiency of them causes a dog’s skin to become itchy and it may develop a harsh, dry coat with dandruff. Fats are an important energy source for a dog. If a dog can obtain most of its energy from fat, it’s intake of protein can be reduced, lessening the demands on the liver and kidney.
Dogs need some minerals in large amounts and other in trace amounts. Calcium and phosphorus are closely related and are two of the most important minerals in your dogs diet. Calcium and phosphors are needed for bone formation and development. At birth, puppies have relatively low levels of these elements, but over – supplementation in adult dogs can cause bone deformations and diseases like rickets.
Lastly, water is important to all animals. Most dog’s bodies consist of about two thirds water. All dogs lose water from their body through sweating, panting, and elimination. This must be replaces so you should make sure that fresh water is always available. A healthy dog should take in ½ to ¾ fluid ounces per pound of body weight per day.
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