Articles & Recipes

Nutrition for Our Best Friends... Our Dogs

February 16, 2011

After having watched the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show earlier this week, I started thinking about just how/what we feed our best (furry) friends. So, I thought I'd turn to Better Food for Dogs for a little advice:

"Humans and canines have been closely conected throughout their mutual histories. While we don’t fully understand how, or why, our two species came together, the bond between human beings and dogs is deep and complex.

Although both species have benefited from this unique relationship, domestication has altered dogs in many ways, including their ability to choose what they eat. While dogs can thrive by eating the same foods as humans, they are inherently carnivorous.

This means that their nutritional requirements differ from ours. For instance, dogs have a much greater need for protein and calcium than we do. They also have short digestive tracts and teeth that are designed to rip and tear food, rather than crush it as human teeth do.

To accommodate these physical characteristics, the protein they consume must be easily digestible. Because domesticated dogs depend solely upon humans for their survival, it is incumbent upon us to understand their needs so we can do our best to ensure their health and happiness.

 

A dog that is fed a well-balanced diet rich in beneficial nutrients shows many recognizable signs of good health. These include:

• Healthy coat that is soft and shiny and doesn’t mat easily

• Little or no “doggie odor”

• Abundant energy

• Strong immune system, which keeps him/her healthy

• Brightness, a sparkle in his/her eyes and a sense that s/he is enjoying life

• Well-muscled body

• Well-formed stool that is not voluminous and is easily produced, with no straining

 

Common problems associated with low-quality diets include:

• Skin odor

• Dull, greasy coat, usually accompanied by dandruff

• Susceptibility to generalized infections, such as ear infections that become chronic or skin infections caused by greasy, seborrheic skin

• Thin, undernourished appearance

• Low energy level

• Voluminous stool"

 

Better Food for Dogs: A Complete Cookbook and Nutrition Guide

David Bastin, Jennifer Ashton, Dr. Grant Nixon

9780778800569

 


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