You’ve got a dog – congratulations. Trust us: you won’t regret this decision. A puppy is a great companion who helps you stay active, calm, and happy – and gives you many opportunities every day to have fun. However, for your dog to improve your quality of life, he needs to be healthy. And that means that you should walk him regularly, take him to the vet when necessary, and, of course, feed him well.
Many beginning dog owners find themselves facing a choice: to buy food for their dog in the store or to make it themselves. In this article, you will find some information that will help you make the right choice: what nutrients do dogs need, how store-bought food differs from the home-made one, and what to remember when cooking for your dog. Read on, discover more about this topic, and make sure that your dog is well-fed.
What Nutrients Do Dogs Need?
All animals, including dogs, need protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to grow and develop properly. However, the amount of each of these nutrients a dog needs depends on his age, weight, and activity level. Is your dog always hungry? Click here and check why – that may be because he doesn’t get enough nutrients.
Protein is necessary for your dog’s muscles and organs to function properly. It also helps maintain hair and skin health. A puppy needs more protein than an adult dog because his body is still growing. A healthy adult dog should eat between 20-30 percent of protein in his diet.
Fats are necessary for a dog’s proper development and good health. They help dogs absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fat is also essential for the immune system to function properly. Fats help keep a dog’s coat shiny and healthy. The recommended amount of fat depends on the type of food you choose to give your dog. Most dog food contains fat in the form of fish oil, animal fat, or vegetable oil.
Carbohydrates are used by the body for energy. Dogs don’t need to eat much carbs: their bodies can produce all they need. But if you plan to feed your dog a low-carbohydrate diet, he will need more fat in his diet.
Vitamins are essential for your dog’s health, as well as for his growth and development. Because dogs can’t produce vitamins on their own, they need to consume them through their diets.
Dogs need Vitamin A to grow and develop properly. Vitamin C supports a dog’s immune system, protects against infections, slows down aging processes, and helps the body heal faster after an injury. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium and phosphorus and is also known to reduce inflammation and lower the risk of cancer.
Vitamin E is also important for the immune system, as well as for a dog’s heart and reproductive health. And vitamin K helps your dog’s blood clot properly (if he were bleeding severely, he would die without it).
Minerals are also necessary for your dog’s growth and development – they facilitate the absorption of vitamins in the body.
- Calcium is necessary for strong teeth and bones;
- Phosphorus helps build strong bones as well;
- Iron helps transport oxygen throughout the body;
- Iodine is essential for the thyroid gland;
- Selenium helps fight cancer;
- Zinc strengthens the immune system;
- Manganese is responsible for metabolizing proteins; copper helps maintain connective tissue;
- Sodium regulates fluids in the body;
- Potassium helps regulate heart rhythm;
- Magnesium aids in muscle relaxation; and chloride maintains fluid balance in the body.
What Is the Difference Between Store-Bough and Homemade Dog Food?
How do you decide whether to feed your dog store-bought food or make it yourself? There are several important factors to consider. The most important one is the quality of the ingredients used in the food you choose.
First, let’s talk about homemade food. Many dog owners prefer to feed their dogs homemade food because they can control what goes into it. They know exactly what their dogs are eating, and they can avoid chemicals and additives that may be harmful for their pets.
However, the biggest downside of preparing your own food is that it takes time and effort. You have to find high-quality ingredients that will cover all of your dog’s nutrition needs, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Also, if you have a busy schedule, it can be difficult to find time to prepare food for your pet every day. Finally, depending on the recipe, homemade dog food can be more expensive than store-bought food.
Store-bought dog food is convenient and simple: all the work has been done for you, and you don’t need to worry about your dog’s nutrition. All you need to do is read the label and make sure that there are no additives or preservatives in the food you choose (if there are, then stay away from this product).
Another thing to remember is that when choosing a store-bought dog food, make sure that it contains all the nutrients your dog needs. Some brands have recipes for puppies as well as for adult dogs. Choose the one that fits your dog’s age and activity level.
Also, always check the expiration date on the package to make sure that the food hasn’t expired. If it was manufactured too long ago, the nutrients in it may have deteriorated – and that could be dangerous for your dog.
A Final Note: What to Remember When Feeding Your Dog
If you decide to feed your dog store-bought food, you won’t have to worry about buying the necessary ingredients and checking the nutritional elements off your list. However, store-bought food can be very filling. Make sure that he eats regularly, but not too much. It’s also important not to overfeed your dog – this can lead to obesity and other health problems.
If you decide to feed your dog homemade food, make sure that you use a recipe that is appropriate for his age and activity level. Try out several recipes to figure out which one works best for your dog. Be careful not to give the dog food that was prepared for you, either – this can lead to digestive problems and even an upset stomach.
Remember: healthy dogs live longer – and they are happier!