Though cuddles are important for your pet’s emotional health (and yours!), Fido can’t subsist on them alone. Proper nutrition in both daily food intake and treats is vital to maintaining a healthy and happy pup. Proper nutrition consists mostly of adequate water and protein, but the occasional treat is okay, too. All of these factors directly contribute to lengthening your pup’s life expectancy — and gives you more time to spend with him!
When you go to the store to buy dog food, keep in mind the healthiest options for your pup will not be the cheapest. Taking the time to make good choices means your dog’s happiness and life will be directly influenced.
Your dog requires the following as part of a healthy daily diet with proper nutrition:
Water is by far the most important aspect of your pet’s nutrition, just like for your own nutrition.1 Check your dog’s bowl every few hours to make sure it is constantly full and remains clean, especially if you live in a hotter climate. Additionally, make sure your pup gets about 2.5 times the amount of water than food. Make sure to use an appropriate waterer for your pet. For example, have been proven to encourage cats and dogs to drink more for better digestion.
Protein is also vital for Fido’s diet. Proteins from other animals are better for your dog than vegetable proteins due to the higher quality. Making sure your dog receives animal-based protein daily ensures that he/she sustains adequate amounts of essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Additionally, various fish proteins contain healthy omega-3’s, which are great for skin and heart health. Moreover, protein levels in food should also match your dog’s species, age, and energy level. Plus, some dogs have dietary restrictions, so keep those in mind as well!
Fats and carbohydrates are also an important part of a balanced diet. Your dog requires adequate amounts daily for its energy. However, beware of overconsumption, as many of the cheaper dog foods feature too many carbohydrates.
Minerals and vitamins are essential for a healthy and functioning body. Just like with a healthy human diet, the key to a healthy pup diet is balance. Found naturally in most foods, supplementing dry food with fruits and vegetables is a good way to increase needed vitamins and minerals in your pet’s diet. 2
Benefits of Good Nutrition
Skin and hair coat health is an easily seen benefit of better nutrition. Your pet’s coat will begin to shine as a result of the increased omega-3s from the added fish proteins. Moreover, increasing the dog food that has vitamins and minerals in it can help your pup fight disease. Your dog’s body condition is also benefited. Getting enough protein means your dog will have healthy muscles for his species, plus healthy skin, hair, and organs.
By using the above ingredients in your pup’s diet, your dog will be able to have better nutrition and a healthier lifestyle. There are many benefits of good nutrition for your pet in the short term and long term, such as skin and hair coat health, longer life expectancy, and increased digestive health.
Like we’ve talked about earlier, there can be a chasm of differences between the cheaper and more expensive dog food options that can directly translate to a difference in health and quality of life for your pup. Make sure to do your research before you go or at the store to make sure you’re getting the best option for your dog, comparing brands to each other and to health standards. Finally, it is important to make sure the dog foods you choose use FDA-certified pet colorants.3