5 Essential Nutrients Dogs Need – Wellness Through Nutrition
All plants and animals in the world require a wide range of nutrients to live long and healthy lives. Your pet is no exception. Feeding your pet a steady diet of cheap kibble will not provide them with the essential vitamins and minerals they need to live a healthy life. Worse, this kind of diet may actually encourage illness, autoimmune conditions, and oral health problems. To give you a head start when it comes to choosing a great diet for your canine companion – in addition to adequate water quality and intake – let’s take a look at the five essential nutrients dogs need to live a healthy life.
Protein – The Essential Building Block
Proteins are long chains of amino acids. These amino acid chains are the building blocks of all cellular life. With adequate protein intake, your dog can develop healthy organs and muscles – both vitally important for a well-balanced and healthy pet. Great sources of healthy protein come from eggs, lean muscle meats, organ meats, fish, and even beans.
A dog’s body does not produce its own adequate levels of amino acids to build enough protein for daily living. As such, your dog will require dietary intake to produce sufficient levels required for sustainable growth and maintenance. Keep in mind that puppies and pregnant or lactating mothers require about twice the amount of protein as an adult dog requires.
Fat – The Ultimate Energy Storage
Fats are macronutrients made up of various fatty acids. The three primary dietary fats are monounsaturated (olive oil), polyunsaturated (sunflower oil, flax oil), and saturated (butter, cheese, animal fat). Fats are the most concentrated forms of energy your pet can consume providing up to twice the caloric value of proteins and carbohydrates. More than this, fats are required for the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Without the absorption of these key vitamins your pet cannot experience long-term health and wellness.
Vitamins – The Metabolic Powerhouses
Your pet’s body does not produce adequate levels of the various organic compounds required for various metabolic processes the body needs to be healthy. These organic compounds, aka vitamins, come from their diet. Both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins can be acquired from a diet that includes various sources of leafy greens – the most efficient sources of vitamins, phytonutrients, and microbiome supporting compounds – as well as organ meats.
Minerals – The Inorganic Essentials
Where vitamins are organic compounds, minerals are inorganic compounds. There are two kinds of minerals your dog requires:
● Microminerals – Required in smaller quantities than macrominerals, microminerals are essential for various processes in the body. These include copper, manganese, zinc, iron, iodine, and selenium.
● Macrominerals – Like microminerals, macrominerals are required for various building blocks and metabolic processes in a healthy pet. These include magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, and chloride.
Minerals are required for various processes in a healthy dogs body. From oxygen transport (iron) and bone building (phosphorus, calcium) to nervous system health (potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium) and antioxidants (selenium) your pet’s body is rich in minerals.
Carbohydrates – Quick, Short-Term Energy
Of all the nutrients listed here, carbohydrates are the only ones not required for a healthy dog. Even so, they are the primary source of glucose and can play an important role in dietary health. As long as they come from healthy whole-food sources they can be a benefit to your pet over the long run.
Developing a solid nutritional plan for your dogs can be the best thing you do for them. Including these five essential