Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Nutritional Requirements Of Your Adult Dog - Minerals

Chapter #2: The Daily Dietary Requirements for Dogs
Dog Food

Some minerals are found in all foods, but no single food contains everything needed in the proper balance for good nutrition. Mineral needs for dogs include calcium, potassium, phosphorous, sodium, magnesium. sulphur and in trace elements, iron, copper, zinc, manganese, iodine, cobalt, and selenium. These make up less than 2% of any formulated diet, and yet they are the most critical of nutrients.

A dog can manufacture some vitamins on its own, but he cannot make minerals. Functions in the body include:
  • Building bones and teeth
  • Clotting and muscle function
  • Building hemoglobin
  • Aiding in protein synthesis
  • Tissue repair, immune system
  • Fat metabolism
  • Thyroid function
  • Vitamin B12 production
  • Vitamin E synthesis
  • Amino acid synthesis
  • Water balance
  • Nerve function

Deficiencies in the different minerals have different results. A dearth of calcium, for example, results in poor growth, rickets and convulsions. Deficiencies in iron or copper result in anemia. A shortage of magnesium causes convulsions, muscle weakness, and anorexia. Poor growth and skin and infertility follow a lack of zinc and manganese. Shortages of iodine cause goiter, hair loss and lethargy. We see muscle problems as a consequence of selenium deficiency, a lack of sulphur results in poor growth and coat. Kidney and heart problems are the effect of missing potassium, and sodium shortages cause hair loss and poor growth. Sodium shortages rarely occur. Excess sodium has been linked to hypertension in dogs.

Not only do dogs (and all organisms) need these nutrients, but they need them in proper amounts and balance for optimum health. For example, unless calcium and phosphorous are in balance, neither will be properly absorbed or utilized. Iron is critical for healthy red blood cells and is an essential component of some enzymes. Iron from animal sources is more readily absorbed than that from vegetable sources.

Dietary sources of these minerals include: milk, cheese, bones, bread, meat, vegetables, fish, greens, cereals, nuts, eggs and salt.

Article from: "Dog Food Secrets."
Author: Andrew Lewis.
This is just a small article from the book: "Dog Food Secrets."
If you want to read the full articles, you can buy the book from:
All right reserved to the author.

Monday, April 9, 2007

The Nutritional Requirements Of Your Adult Dog - Fats & Carbohydrates

Chapter #2: The Daily Dietary Requirements for Dogs
Dog Food


Fats are saturated or polyunsaturated, and your dog needs both. Together, they form the essential fatty acids (EFA's) necessary for good health. Fats increase palatability of food, provide a media for fat17 soluble vitamins, and affect food storage. They are vital for a healthy coat and skin, reproductive efficiency and kidney function. They also provide energy and aid metabolic processes.

Fat deficiencies result in a dull coat, delayed healing of wounds, lack of energy, heart problems, growth deficits and dry skin. Excess fats can result in obesity and liver disease.

Dietary sources for fats include animal and vegetable fats and oils. Fats should make up about 5% of the total diet.


Carbohydrates comprise a large group of compounds and include all sugars and starches. They provide energy and are a source of bulk in the diet. Carbs should make up no more than 50% of a dog's balanced diet, including 2 - 5% from fiber. Too much fiber in the diet can decrease the digestibility of other important nutrients and result in loose stools, frequent defecation and reduced palatability of the dog food.

Carb deficiencies can result in possible fertility and whelping problems. Excessive carbohydrates cause obesity.

Dietary sources for carbs include cereals, rice, pasta and potatoes. Oats, barley and brown rice are whole grains which contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients. They also contain protein and fat. Corn is a popular choice. Soy is another popular choice, but some experts warn that soy binds up other nutrients and makes them unavailable for absorption. Hence, dog foods containing soy are best avoided.

Dog Food

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The Nutritional Requirements Of Your Adult Dog - Proteins

Chapter #2: The Daily Dietary Requirements for Dogs
Dog Food
It is true that no dog is the same, and nutritional needs of dogs can vary. Various stages of the dogs’ life necessitate changing requirements, as well. All dogs, though, require minimum quantities of six basic nutrients: Proteins, Fats, Carbohydrates, Minerals, Vitamins and Water.

Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are known as the building blocks that form thousands of different proteins, each with a specific function Every different amino acid configuration corresponds to a different protein, including enzymes, hormones, genes, red blood cells, hair, skin, bone and muscle.

Dogs can manufacture some amino acids in their bodies; others must be supplied in their food. Dietary protein contains ten essential amino acids that dogs cannot produce on their own. Proteins from animal sources are preferable for dogs because they are easier to extract and digest than proteins from plant sources. The type of protein contained in the food is essential to know. Foods containing cereal proteins (wheat, corn, barley) have little nutritional value for dogs. Muscle meats, eggs and organ meats (such as liver) provide much more usable protein.

Proteins form the enzymes that metabolize food into energy and the hormones that guide various body functions. Proteins themselves can also be metabolized for provide energy. They build bones, repair tissue and maintain growth.

Protein deficiencies result in slow growth and weak or deformed bones. Also linked to animal protein deficiencies are chronic skin and ear infections, epilepsy and cancer, spinning or tail chasing, aggression, timidity, lack of pigmentation, excessive shedding, crooked whiskers, gastrointestinal upsets, poor appetite, a weakened immune system, and an impaired ability to heal from wounds. Excess protein can cause obesity and brittle bones. Dietary sources for proteins are complete dog foods, meat, fish, milk and eggs. Protein should comprise about 10% of your dog's diet.

Dog Food

Your Dog The Omnivore

Chapter #2: The Daily Dietary Requirements for Dogs
Dog Food
Unlike other predators, dogs are omnivores and require more than meat for daily nutrition. They have a poor sense of taste, having far fewer taste buds than humans, and are willing to consume almost anything that might offer nourishment. The lack of fussiness is accompanied by a requisite sensitive vomiting reflex, which permits them to reject foods after eating if they are unpalatable or dangerous.

The dog is also a natural gorger. In the wild, dogs gorge themselves of any food available, and then live off that nourishment for several days. This is possible because the dog has a large stomach and short intestinal tracts. Food breakdown starts in the stomach, but most of the digestion takes place in the intestines.

The lack of fussiness, the gorging behavior, and insufficient exercise combine to create an environment ripe for obesity. Per John M. Simon, D.V.M., author of What Your Dog is Trying to Tell You, obesity is the number-one canine health disorder seen in veterinarian's offices. As many as 25 - 44% of all dogs are overweight. Obesity is defined as weighing over 15% more than the standard accepted weight for the dog's height. Per Dr. Simon, "a portly pooch is at increased risk for musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, endocrine, respiratory, immune and reproductive disorders, including cancer." (p. 97)

Besides obesity, there are other visible indicators that a dog is not getting proper nutrition. Most obviously, an inadequate diet is reflected in the skin and coat. Other indicators include large, malodorous stools, chronic gas, dirty and brown teeth, bad breath, and a poor immune system -- which manifests itself in susceptibility to ear and skin infections, worms and fleas.

All of these indicators can and most likely will happen with any dog, but only occasionally. When they happen in unison, and frequently or continuously, it is time to examine the diet and make some changes.

Dog Food