How To Give Your Dog Essential Nutrients With Everyday Foods
Over the years owners have become so attached to their pet pooches that they now bend over backwards to ensure that they are getting the essential nutrients that will keep them at their optimum health.
Gone are the days of corn-based kibble and overly fatty treats. However, finding a healthy balance of good, nutritious food and supplements can be hard, so we have created a list of the top 5 nutrients that will not only boost your dog’s health but also can be easily concealed in your dogs food or given as a healthy snack.
Over-supplementation is something that you most certainly should avoid, however if you are looking for that little bit of extra help to get your dog in the best health possible, gain a shiny coat and boost their immune-system then check out the following nutrients.
Remember that you should always talk to your vet before making any big changes in your dog’s diet.
1. Omega 3’s
We talk about Omega 3’s a lot, thats because they are so important to your dogs health.
Omega 3 fatty acids helps to maintain healthy skin and coats, promotes a strong and healthy immune system as well as plays a vital role in cell growth. If your dog is not getting enough fatty acids in it’s diet, then the following issues will often present themselves; dry and flaky skin, dull coat, dermatitis and even loss of hair.
By increasing the levels of EPA and DHA (the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils), many benefits can be seen these include;
- Improvement of coat and skin health.
- Reduced amount of inflammation from conditions such as allergies
- Immune system regulation, boosting of suppressed immune systems and calming overactive immune systems.
- Lowering fat production.
- Provides support for dogs suffering from kidney disease, heart disease and cancer.
- Reduce inflammation within the body.
Remember that both DHA and EPA are extremely fragile and are unlikely to survive being stored in a bag of kibble, so do not rely solely on what the labels tell you. Other sources of Omega 3 include:
- Fish oil
- Fatty fish like Salmon
- Kangaroo meat
Iron has an important function within your dog’s body. It combines with copper and protein, to form haemoglobin, which is the molecule, found in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body.
Iron is also essential in creation of certain enzymes that help the body to function normally. Iron is absorbed by the small intestines. Your dog constantly needs a supply of iron since red blood cells only live around 110 days, then die and need to be replaced.
Adding Iron to your dogs food will not only help to boost their immune system, but can also help with the following;
- Prevent an Iron deficiency that can lead to canine anaemia. Canine Anaemia is where your dog is not able to create the necessary red blood cells that your dog needs to function properly.
- Iron can help to increase your dog’s energy levels.
- Help your dog’s bowels to function normally.
- Healthy gums and teeth.
There are many foods, which are rich in iron, these include
- Red meat
- Poultry, such as chicken and Turkey.
- Beans and Pulses.
- Dark Green Vegetables, such as spinach.
Zinc is one of the most important minerals within your dog’s body. Zinc is involved in a large amount of metabolic processes and plays a vital role in over 200 enzymatic/metabolic pathways and is integral to the function of the whole immune system.
Zinc is also involved in the production of numerous hormones, which include the thyroid hormone, insulin, sex hormones, growth hormone and cortisone. It also has a major part to play in DNA synthesis as well as cellular reproduction.
It helps with brain function, learning and memory as well as helping to maintain good eye site. Overall it is an amazing nutrient that should be included in your dogs diet.
Adding zinc to your dog’s diet can have a range of benefits for your dog:
- Helps to boost your dog’s immune system and prevent common illnesses.
- Increased energy levels.
- Slows down the ageing process.
- Fast response to wound healing.
- Good overall digestive health.
- Good eye site.
Zinc can be found in a whole range of foods:
- Red meat
- Green leafy vegetables, which include spinach.
- Pumpkin seeds (these can be given whole as a treat for your dog.)
4. Amino Acids (Protein)
In order for your dog to function at an optimal level, your dog needs amino acids, or protein. Proteins are made up of amino acids and dogs require 22 amino acids in order to make necessary proteins to function properly.
Dog’s are only able to make around half of the 22 amino acids that they require, so the rest must come from their diet. Amino acids play a key role in producing hormones and enzymes, which are required for basic, day-to-day functionality.
Protein also acts as the building blocks in the creation of hair, nails, muscles, tendons, ligament, cartilage and bone all of which are required to function normally. It provides essential energy and helps the immune system stay in tip-top condition.
Protein is an essential nutrient for your dog and provides a number of benefits:
- Strong and healthy immune system.
- Strong and healthy bones and teeth.
- Increased energy levels.
- Fast healing response.
- Healthy digestive tract
- Increased metabolic activity (making it easier for overweight dogs to lose weight).
- Slows the signs of aging
- Overall health.
Protein is found in almost all animal products, which include:
- Red meat.
- Poultry include chicken and turkey.
- Cheese (which should be given as a treat in moderation).
- Fish including salmon, mackerel and tuna.
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is an extremely strong and potent antioxidant, which improves lipid profiles and enhances the overall health of your dog. CLA’s can be found in certain meat and dairy products, which can be given to your dog.
CLAs have been known to provide the following benefits:
- Help in aiding weight loss
- Improve the overall function of the immune system
- Help aid the body in fighting cancer (there have been a number of scientific studies which have shown that adding as little as 0.5% CLA into your dogs diet can help to reduce tumours by over 50%).
- CLAs also help to reduce inflammation within the body, which can dramatically help to reduce inflammatory reactions from allergies, which include dry itchy skin, warm spots amongst many other conditions.
A dog cannot create its own CLA so it has to gain it by eating the following:
- Grass fed meat