Essential Nutrients for Dogs
The Healthy Barker knows that your pooch is completely dependent on you to make healthy choices for them. There are many advantages to feeding your pet fresh, lightly cooked meals made with fresh, whole foods. You have the ability to keep the scales tipped in your dog's favour for health and happiness.
The nutritional needs of your canine friend can be broken down into 7 categories. Here is what your your dog needs to stay healthy and happy and some of the things to watch for:
PROTEIN: Proteins are made up of amino acids, which convert to energy. They support metabolism and DNA formation. The key sources of protein are meat. There are 10 essential amino acids that are required for a complete diet.
FAT: Fat consists of fatty acids. They are converted to energy to support health and provide a healthy skin and coat. The balance of fat in the diet is key. The correct amount can correct issues with dry skin, dull coat, itching, hair loss and more. Too much can result in many health issues, including obesity.
FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS: Many vitamins require fat to be absorbed into the body. Because these vitamins are stored in the liver, the amount your dog eats should be controlled. Too much of a fat soluble vitamin can result in toxic levels over time.
WATER SOLUBLE VITAMINS: These are vitamins that are easily absorbed into the system with water. Excess amounts are flushed from the body, so they pose no risk of becoming toxic.
MINERALS: Different from vitamins, minerals are essential in the development of bone, cartilage, muscles and nerves. They regulate blood chemistries and aid in the production of hormones.
FIBER: Fiber supports many functions of body excretion. It controls the regularity of bowel movements (to much can cause diarrhea, too little, constipation) and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestines. If not balanced it can lead to gas and anal gland problems. Proper balance can reduce the risk of colon cancer.
CARBOHYDRATES: Carbohydrates are converted into energy in the system.and are important to digestion of food. It shouldn't exceed 20% of the diet as fed. Too much can cause obesity and many other health issues.
The Healthy Barker believes that quality ingredients make for healthier dogs. We also believe that the only way to guarantee the quality and safety of the food we serve our dogs is to make it ourselves. You and your dog will be glad we did!