Dog Nutrition: Vitamins and Supplements
Essential Vitamins, Essential Minerals and Essential Trace Elements – also known as the essential ingredients, are a requisite of your dog’s daily dog food diet. Vitamins, Minerals and trace elements play a crucial role in the day-to-day bodily metabolic processes in humans and canines – see precise nutrition.
Vitamins are essential for the life of your dog, so how do we define vitamins? According to Stedman’s Medical Dictionary a vitamin is “one of a group of organic substances, present in minute amounts in natural foodstuffs, which are essential to normal metabolism.” Vitamin deficiency disease can be cause for concern for dog owners and is most likely caused by long term lack of vitamin B3 – niacin, within the daily feeding diet; it can also be caused from alterations in your dog’s protein metabolism in disorders such as Carcinoid Syndrome or Hartnup Disease.
As vitamins along with minerals and trace elements are present in some natural foodstuffs in minute quantities, it is important as a dog owner concerned with the health and well-being of your dog especially for your dog’s medium and long life health, to become very selective when choosing your puppy or dog’s daily dog food diet.
The primary vitamins are identified as vitamin A, D, E, K, C and B complex. A, D E and K vitamins being fat soluble. Vitamins C and B complex being water soluble vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins in the body are normally stored in special storage cell – lipocytes, within the human and canine body.
Wherein the water soluble vitamins are not stored in the body except periodically in minute amounts. The storage of the fat soluble vitamins within the body poses a real threat if over supplemented, as they are stored and can build up to unhealthy level.
Incidentally, of the four essential fat soluble vitamins, two vitamins – A and D, have the potential and capability of developing to toxic levels, although, the experts suggest that vitamin toxicosis is unlikely with modern day foods and supplements – see fat soluble vitamins, however the disorders and diseases concerning lack of certain fat soluble vitamins are well documented relating to the lack of these vitamins.
Vitamins and supplements are absolutely essential to life and well-being of your canine companion. Crucially to understand the fact that when your canine is going through his growing stage – puppy to young adult has most demand, their need for these soluble fat vitamins are greatly increased, compared to adult and mature adult dogs. Acceptance that various life changes such as lactation, pregnancy and healthy exercise of your canine will greatly increase the needs for fat soluble vitamins.
Dogs fed with a carefully balanced food diet will would be expected to receive a complete and balanced diet, including all his essential vitamins, essential minerals and essential trace elements – although it is crucial you are capable of reading and understanding the manufacturers labelling information as this is crucial to selecting the complete, nutritious and nourishing daily dog food diet.
When a dog receives a carefully balanced diet it will be crucial not to give your dog excess amount of these essential ingredients, as they can be harmful to your dog’s health. Supplementing your dog with any of the essential ingredients vitamins, minerals and/or trace elements can be extremely dangerous for the health of your dog.
Be aware that if your dog is receiving medication for illness, injury or disease then giving your dog supplements can become problematic as some dog vitamins and supplements ingredients, especially herbal, may adversely interact with other medication supplies by your vet. You vet needs to be the person who decides when and if your dog needs supplements of any description.
Minerals compared to all other nutrients are relatively simplistic molecules, as nutrients composition can be extremely large and complex in comparison. The complete components of minerals with the canine’s body have a make-up of 0.7%, yet minerals are vital for the healthy functioning of the canine’s bodily processes.
The functions in the body of minerals are complex as they vary from the formation of bone, cartilage the balance of fluids and acids and maintenance. Minerals are also participating in the transportation of oxygen in the blood, also including the normal functioning of muscles and nerves, and last but not least the production of hormones.
Minerals are essential for vitamins, enzymes and other minerals in the body to create their unique and essential effects. Minerals are classified and groups into macro and micro categories. Macro need to be supplied in greater amounts within your dog’s daily dog food diet, and are used within larger areas within the functions of the body than micro-minerals.
It is crucial that the dog’s daily dog food mix contains the exact balance of all his essential minerals – macro and micro-minerals, within the dog’s body and the individual minerals must be in exacting proportions, again within the daily feed diet.
- Calcium (Ca) and Phosphorus (P)
- Magnesium (Mg)
- Potassium (K)
- Sodium (Na) and Chloride (Cl)
- Copper (Cu)
- Iodine (I)
- Iron (F)
- Manganese (Mn)
- Selenium (Se)
- Zinc (Zn)
Unfortunately, without the intake of the exact proportions of the minerals can affect the ability of the canine to correctly absorb the necessary minerals in the intestines. There are certain diseases which can adversely affect the canine’s ability to absorb the necessary minerals within his intestines, which can be the cause for excess loss or the lack of retaining various minerals, and thus withholding of one or even several minerals can create imbalances and possibly adversely disrupt your canine’s nutritional health.
In exceptionally rare instances it may be necessary to be correcting the mineral balance when there is a specific imbalance of deficiency or excess due to your canine’s inability absorbs the normal level of a particular mineral – see mineral supplementation in dogs. It is imperative that this balancing procedure should be under the direct care of the veterinarian.
Trace elements similar to minerals it is easy for a dog owner to underestimate the importance of essential trace element and minerals for your canine. Trace elements are described as the essential catalysts for all the vitamins and all other nutrients in your canine’s body being used for developing.
Replacing and maintaining good health and well-being and the full quota of these essential trace elements combined with the remaining essential ingredients is crucial for your dog’s balanced nutritional diet and need to be provided for dogs precise nutrition for every life stage from puppy through to older adult dogs, to maintain healthy energy levels within your canine’s body for its proper functioning and long term health.
Your dog’s body needs his essential trace elements replace and maintain the intricate ‘circuit board’ of electric charges and impulses so essential for your dog’s healthy state. Trace elements and minerals work together for it to remain balanced and perform at optimum efficiency, so your dog must receive and be replenished with the essential trace elements – combined with minerals, within his daily dog food mix.
Trace elements play a crucial role in replacing, improving and maintaining your canine’s bones, joints and teeth among other crucial functions within your canine’s metabolic processes. Have you ever noticed your dog eating green grass or lumps of soil or dirt? It is suggested by canine nutritional experts that this being a critical sign that your dog is deficient in trace elements and possibly minerals – these two work closely together to combine various essential metabolic bodily functions.
What to consider when selecting dog food?
Since the catastrophic 2007 international pet food recall dog food manufacturers was forced to create many new dog food diets and these was rushed to the pet food market in an effort to distinguishing their pet food products was safe for your dog. The manufacturers was keen to persuade the dog owning public that their new dog food products was grain and carbohydrates free and offered the dog lover a safer alternative to the normal previously unsafe pet food – the claim that carbohydrates in previous pet foods was just fillers with little or no nutritional value.
Another global concern was that the ‘not fit for consumption’ corn and grains in the pet food contained large concentrations of mycotoxins that can accumulate quickly in feed grade grain ingredients and was then used in most kibbles can become unhealthy for dogs through feeding. Grain free dog food products became the healthier alternative to the commercially processed dog food.
The right balanced dog food
As a dog lover it is important for me that my family dog is an important part of our household. So it is important that I take care of him with adequate exercise and a carefully balanced daily diet, essential for maintaining his long and happy health and well-being.
Assuming your family dog receives an adequate amount of exercise through daily interaction of playing and long walks, then it will be necessary to provide a dog food mix that provides optimum balance nutrition and energy – there are four categories of age stages, puppy, adult, mature adult and senior adult and each need a specific feeding regime specific to their age grouping.
Smaller breeds may need and prefer a specialist food product specifically for the breed size – smaller and easier to digest. Incidentally, a puppy feeding – do I need specific food for my puppy, is also precise and you will need to research online to find out the specific puppy nutritional requirements and it is crucial that your puppy receives a carefully balanced nutritious requirements based on life stage, size and specific health needs, so receiving a balanced daily dog food diet specific for his needs and requirements.
Incidentally, if your dog has low activity levels, or who can gain weight easily there is a choice of dog food that guard against obesity. There are obesity risks that need to be carefully assessed; his activity level, body condition score and his predisposition to fat content.
Assessing your dog’s obesity score can highlight the need to control obesity as adult dogs need a food which s low in fat and calories and high in fiber to allow them to feel full without reducing their food intake. Reduction in the sodium intake is important.
Your dog will have his ideal weight level, so even if your dog don’t look or show signs of obesity, it is crucial that you allow your dog to have regular weight checks by your veterinarian to ensure his ideal weight is maintained. Normally your veterinarian will monitor, assess and record your dog’s weight for his future reference, so regular veterinary visit are not only advised but also is essential.
Many commercial processed dog foods being made from ingredients consider by some specialist authorities and most dog owners to be as unusable or downright undesirable. These ingredients include:
- Some meat product and bone meal.
- Animal digest – common ingredient, is produced by chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis of animal tissue that has not undergone decomposition.
- Sugar based sweeteners.
- Animal by-products
It is crucial to understand that the less expensive commercially processed dog food general reduces the inclusion of meat products and saturate the product with more animal by-products, carbohydrates and grain fillers. Proponents of natural raw dog food products openly criticize the use of such inferior ingredients that are unfit for human consumption yet allowed within the manufacturing of pet foods.
Also criticizing regulations that allow for packaging so that the consumer believes they are buying natural dog food and not animal by-products –as listed above, that is not fit for human consumption. Natural raw dog food – dehydrated raw dog food, because it is made from natural raw ingredients including organic products and free range meats, then freeze dried to retain all its essential ingredients will definitely be more expensive, yet is your dog’s health more important than a few bucks more cost?
Dog owners who are supporters of natural raw dog food diets firmly believe that a natural raw diet of the dog’s ancestors in the wild is the dog’s most natural and nutritious diet and search out for the natural raw diet which replicate as near to the natural raw diet as possible.
Commercial frozen raw dog food manufacturers now use a process called HPP – High Pressure Pascalization, a unique process that destroys pathogenic bacteria through ultra-high pressure, water based modern technology. HPP is USDA approved and allowed for use on organic and natural food products.
DogFoodAdvisor – Saving Good Dogs from Bad Dog Food, DogFoodAdvisor has a specific purpose as a public service to assist the dog owner to make a more informed decision when shopping for dog food. Their philosophy is simple: “No dog food can ever be magically better than the ingredients that were used to make it” and also reads “… That’s why its important for you to know what’s actually in your dog’s food – before you buy it. And the only reliable way we know to do that is too carefully examine the label.”
The many articles and reports available there are the direct results of information they’ve personally aggregated from readily public sources… And of course, from dog food company resources…
The DogFoodAdvisor report – dog food review, acana dog food dry, published on 18/07/2014 concerning Acana Dog Food (Dry) and their intensive research from described resources as above, gave Acana Product (Dry) 5 Stars which being the highest grading for their awarding system. Acana product line have a total of nine dry recipes, three the company claims to meet the AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance, and the remaining six recipes meet the AAFCO for all life stages.
I am very pleased with this report as I have been using Acana pet food products for many years and clearly served my family dogs for many years and my dogs have remained ultra-healthy through all their age levels – puppy, adult, mature adult and senior adult. I will not hesitate to recommend Acana dog food – Free Shipping to your door on Orders over $35, as I continue to feed my next generation of our family dogs.
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