Canine Nutrition 101: How To Create Your Dog’s Diet

Canine Nutrition 101: How To Create Your Dog’s Diet

Dogs are among the most loyal companions anyone could ever have. They’ll love you wholeheartedly without ever asking for anything in return. As a matter of fact, many dog lovers are able to say they can live a fulfilling life with dogs as their only company. After all, if you treat them right, dogs will never hate you, they won’t judge you, and most importantly, they’ll love you for the rest of their short lives.

And even though you may never be able to match the kind of love your canine best friend showers you with, it’s always worth it to keep trying. The best way you can show them your love is by caring for your dog the proper way, which includes providing them with the right nutrition. Besides giving them kibbles, you can create your dog’s diet on your own.

Here’s a recipe you can easily prepare in your kitchen for your dog:

Ingredients: 

  • 3 ounces of cooked protein (chicken, turkey, or beef)
  • 1 and 1/3 cups of a cooked carbohydrate (brown rice, oatmeal, or potatoes) 
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetables (carrots, spinach, or green peas) 
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of fat (olive oil or vegetable oil)

Mix them all together, and you can either top it with eggs or add powdered supplements your dog may need.

This is a simple and versatile recipe that may serve as your basis when figuring out how to go about feeding your dog. You can use different kinds of ingredients in varying amounts as long as the resulting meal meets your dog’s nutritional requirements. To step it up a notch, you can mix in the right probiotic for your dog to improve digestion, skin and coat appearance, and immune response as well as reduce allergy symptoms.

Your canine’s nutritional needs will depend on their size, age, activities, current health condition, and breed. For instance, bigger dogs will require more protein and calcium for growth and development, while older dogs or dogs with kidney problems will require less. Meanwhile, hyperactive, working, or sporting dogs should get more fat and carbs for energy, and dogs with diabetes should consume less. In addition, you may notice that some variants of dog food are formulated for specific breeds.

Human Foods That Can Be Harmful To Dogs 

Although the aforementioned recipe can be tweaked depending on your dog’s nutritional needs, you should still be cautious about what food you give your dogs.

Most types of food that are good for humans are also good for canines. However, there are some foods you should never feed your dog. Such foods can be harmful or even fatal to your four-legged buddy, so steer clear of them.

6 Essential Nutrients For Dogs

See to it that you incorporate the following into the diet you come up with for your dog:

  1. Proteins 

Protein is essential for cell growth and building muscles, especially for growing pups. A high-protein diet is usually recommended for working or sporting dogs such as the American Pitbull Terrier.

  1. Fats 

Your dog needs fat for energy. Healthy fats can come from oils extracted from plant seeds or animal sources such as fish oil, which is rich in omega-3 that keeps the skin and coat healthy, among other benefits it provides. Fats are also crucial for vitamin absorption and reproduction. 

  1. Calcium 

Calcium helps build strong bones, and some owners give their dogs vitamin C for better calcium absorption. This is a common practice for show dogs so they’ll develop a faultless posture that’s often a big part of dog show criteria.

  1. Carbohydrates 

Carbohydrates are an energy source for dogs, and they help increase stamina, control appetite, and promote better digestion.

  1. Vitamins And Minerals 

Your dog’s diet should involve several vitamins and minerals that are essential in improving their quality of life. In excess, however, such substances can be toxic to dogs. For instance, if you’re feeding your canine premium dog food or a well-balanced meal, added vitamins or supplements may be unnecessary and might do them more harm than good.

  1. Water 

Water is essential for dogs in the same way it’s essential for humans.

How Often You Should Feed Your Dog 

The number of feedings per day may vary depending on your dog’s age. Puppies two to three months old should be given four meals a day; puppies three to six months old should be given three meals a day, and puppies six to twelve months and until they reach adulthood should be given at least two meals a day.

Again, this may depend on their activities as well. What’s more, you should watch out for signs of overfeeding such as a sagging stomach, loose or soft stool, or excessive bowel movement.

Final Thoughts 

In case you decide to buy wet or dry dog food instead of preparing meals from scratch, make sure you buy brands with the right mix of nutrients. Such options would have statements such as ‘meets the nutritional requirements of dogs established by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)’ or ‘complete and balanced nutrition for dogs based on AAFCO feeding trials’ on their labels. This ensures that the brand is safe and healthy for your canine to consume every day.