A balanced diet is just as important for dogs as for humans. In the same way, processed human food is bad for us and often deprives us of essential nutrients, and so does processed dog food.
People may take supplements to ensure they have enough vitamins and nutrients without realizing that dogs might need the same to help to reach optimal health.
Keep reading to find out exactly how to ensure your dog gets all the essential nutrients they need.
What essential nutrients do dogs need?
Proteins: A dog’s body can only make 13 of the 23 amino acids they need, so the other 10 must come from their food
Fats: linoleic acid, omegas 3 and 6
Carbohydrates: sugars, starches, and fiber from grains and vegetables.
Vitamin C: since dogs’ bodies make vitamin C; most generic dog food doesn’t contain it.
Note: if dogs are eating a balanced and nutritious diet, there is no need for them to take supplements.
Many environmental and dietary factors play a role in your dog’s health. The good news is you can do many things to help prevent illness.
Fresh air, exercise, and a healthy, nutrient-rich diet can go a long way toward boosting their immune system and reducing premature aging.
Understandably, many people are wary about what they can feed their pooch other than available dog food, which is why it is essential to get quality dog food rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients.
You can then supplement as needed.
For example, you can add healthy fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet.
Packed with vitamins A and C and plenty of fiber to assist digestion, apples are as good for humans as they are for us.
You don’t need to feed your dog cups of spinach daily, but adding a few leaves to your dog’s bowl occasionally provides a powerful antioxidant for them.
When washed and cut up, strawberries are a great addition to your dog’s diet in moderation. Strawberries are full of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants and can whiten your dog’s teeth.
Feed your dog on a schedule
One of the worst things you can do is overfeed your dog. Most dogs will eat way past when they are full.
So, feeding them too often or not regularly enough puts them in danger of overeating and gaining weight.
Ideally, you should feed adult dogs twice daily.
While treats and the odd scrap of table food won’t harm your dog, ensure you only offer these things in moderation.
An overweight dog suffers many of the same health problems that humans do, including heart disease and diabetes.
Final thoughts on essential nutrients for dogs
And there you have all the basics you need to know to ensure your dog gets enough essential nutrients.
Richard Thomas has been a freelance writer for animal and pet care for over a decade. He also is a volunteer dedicated to animal rescue and welfare, working for different organizations. He lives with two adopted cats and a rescue dog.