Pet Nutrition Basics for Dogs & Cats
Good Nutrition is just as essential for your pet’s health as it is for your own health. Your pet needs a balanced diet to help keep him healthy. Unlike humans, your pet’s daily diet is the same day to day. For this reason your pet must meet all nutritional requirements and needs for proteins, vitamins, fats and minerals in this one diet.
Good nutrition is not only good for your pets overall health but also for their skin and hair coat. Good nutrition will influence the overall internal workings of your pet for optimal health and a happy long life!
Now we are going to take a long at some of the important nutritional values your dog’s diet should contain:
Protein intake is critical for your pet’s heath. It is his source of amino acids which are required for the manufacturing of bones, muscles, hair coat, skin and everything else in the body. Protein is an essential part of your pets nutritional and diet needs. A rough estimate of protein needed in his diet, is 20% in dog food and 30% in cat foods.
Cats are carnivores which meant they require meat protein and they have a higher need of protein in general. Dogs are omnivores like humans, so they are able to use both meat and vegetables. In fact, dogs can do well on a properly balanced vegetarian diet whereas a cat might not due as well since they require more overall protein.
Dietary fats supply most of the body’s caloric requirements as well as essential fatty acids. In fact “fat” is the most expensive of the ingredients found in pet foods. It is for this reason that that some of the lower pried dog food companies skimp on the quality and quantity of fats contained in the pet foods. Inadequate, poor quality fats will result in your pet having poor skin and coat health. There are some dog food manufacturers that add extra essential fatty acids to their food to promote healthy skin and coat – this food you would prefer feeding your dog!
Fiber (derived from plants) is the indigestible substance in food. A minimal amount of fiber is essential for proper food digestion. Without proper fiber intake, pets would suffer from diarrhea which could then result in more potential health problems and risks.
Poor quality pet foods include a higher amount of fiber because its cheaper then fatty acids and this in turn will make your pet product more stools then average. The proper amount of fiber will mean less pooper scooping for you, the pet owner!
Vitamins and minerals are needed in small amounts but they are essential to your pets health. Calcium and phosphorus (parts of the bone) sodium (essential part of the of the enzymes system) and iron (component of hemoglobin) are just a few of the many essential vitamins and minerals needed for your pets optimal health and nutrition.
So there you have it – Basic nutrition tips that will assure your pet is receiving a well balanced diet that will assure his overall health and well being. We hope this article will make it a little easier for you to help maintain your pets diet now that you understand more of what he needs!
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