Unlike carnivorous cats, dogs are considered omnivores because their digestive systems can adapt to diets that include vegetables and grains. This is why the best types of food for your dog should not contain just meat products but also ingredients providing calcium and iron, two minerals essential for your adult dog’s general health. While dry dog food offers dental benefits and nutrients essential for energy and metabolic processes, wet food for dogs has the fat and protein dogs need to maintain overall health. Although canned dog food is about 70 percent water, dogs still need access to fresh water at all times. Even mild dehydration in dogs can cause weight loss, gastrointestinal problems, and infections.
Importance of Protein in a Dog’s Diet
Turkey, beef chicken, and liver are rich in proteins providing the primary building blocks for tissue growth and production of hormones, cells, and antibodies. Although eggs are rich in protein, veterinarians do not recommend giving raw eggs to dogs as a protein supplement. Raw egg whites contain avidin, a protein interfering with biotin (vitamin B7) functioning in the dog’s body. Biotin supports fat metabolism, cellular growth, and muscle and skin health.
Feeding your dog low-cost, poor quality dog food containing excessive carbohydrates and fillers may lead to protein insufficiency. Symptoms of protein insufficiency in dogs include diarrhea, weight loss, lethargy, and dehydration. Cheap proteins such as gelatin or collagen are often found in off-brand dry and wet dog food. Before feeding your dog any kind of dog food, check the list of ingredients to make sure you are giving your dog nutritious, high-quality food. If you need a recommendation on what kind of food is best for your dog, contact your local veterinarian.
Fish Oil Supplement for Dogs
Canine fish oil supplements contain essential fatty acids important for skin/coat, joint, heart, and brain health. Fish oil for dogs is extracted from tuna, mackerel, and salmon, although it is not the fish itself that manufactures the oil. Instead, oils are generated from what the fish eats, specifically microalgae, microscopic sea creatures or smaller fish that have consumed tiny organisms rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
What is Specially Formulated Dog Food?
Some brands like Hill’s or Royal Canin make dog food containing specific nutrients meant to address certain health issues in dogs. Ingredients found in specially formulated dog food include folic acid, niacin, vitamins A, D3 and B12 and beta-carotene. Royal Canin also offers dog food tailored for pure-bred dogs. For example, Royal Canin dry dog food kibble for Shih Tzus is shaped to make it easier for them to hold in their mouth and chew properly.
If you think your choice of dog food may not be supporting your dog’s health adequately, bring your pet to All Animals Veterinary Hospital, located in Dawsonville, Georgia for a checkup. Our veterinarian has over 23 years of experience and will recommend a dog food that will help your furry friend feel itself again. Call 706-216-8387 to schedule an appointment.