Dogs are omnivores. They can eat from every food group including carbs, meat, and veggies. Just like us, dogs need proper nutrition to grow healthy and strong. Also, they vary in their specific nutritional needs depending on their age, size, and activity. A better understanding of canine nutrition will help you choose a better diet for your pup.
Dogs need their protein and lots of it! Proteins contain essential amino acids that help facilitate muscle growth and energy production. Since dogs are omnivores, their protein sources can come from both plants and animals.
However, there are specific amino acids that are critical for their biological needs. These 10 essential amino acids include arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Studies show that dogs can tell if any of these amino acids are missing in their meal. Although most of these amino acids are in plant proteins, they are not a complete source. So, if you choose to give your pups a plant-based diet, make sure that there are ample amounts of essential amino acids.
Fats and Fatty Acids
Fats and fatty acids are a prime source of energy. Additionally, they serve as transporters for fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, E, D, and K. Specific fatty acids also make dog’s skin and coat feel healthy and shiny. Dogs can get their fats and fatty acids from plant oil in their food or from animal products.
Vitamins and Minerals
Dogs require small amounts of vitamins and minerals in their diet. These nutrients foster body functions such as bone growth and cellular processes. Each type of vitamin and mineral benefit your pups in different ways such as facilitating energy production and protein synthesis. The daily recommended daily amount of vitamins and minerals measure out to only a fraction of a teaspoon.
Vitamins and minerals interact to benefit the body. A balance consumption of these nutrients is critical for proper nutrition. Too much or too little can interfere with functioning and absorption. For example, deficiency in calcium leads to bone loss, skeletal abnormalities, and fractures. On the other hand, excess calcium can also lead to skeletal abnormalities.