Article by Kathy Chapman
Things to Consider Before Feeding Your Dog a Natural Diet
Eating a healthy and nutritious diet is something that we strive for. It is something we are taught from a young age. As soon as you understand the different food groups and their importance, you tend to make a conscious effort to eat foods that fall into these categories.
While this is important to remember when considering your own diet, it is also essential that you transfer this knowledge to the diet you give your pet. Naturally, there will be some differences in the nutrients that your dog needs comparing to yourself. Some things overlap, however.
Ensuring your pet has the proper diet is critical for their growth and development. Not to mention, as a devoted pet parent, you must promote and protect their health while doing what you can to minimize the risk of disease and illness.
That is not to say you and your pet cannot have the odd treat. Life is all about balance, after all! Whether you choose to set aside specific days to have a treat or opt for healthier treats to give yourself and your pet, it is entirely up to you.
At the same time, you might be considering the possibility of introducing your dog to an organic or natural diet as a means of promoting a healthy lifestyle. Some pet parents choose to give their pets an organic diet to manage and maintain any health conditions that their pets might have.
Dogs with genetic or digestive issues may need particular food in their diets or might need to avoid them altogether. It can certainly be overwhelming when in this position!
If you are interested in finding out more about using this type of diet in your own home and what benefits it could have for your pup, read on for more! We feel confident there is something of value below.
Protein and Fat Balancing
Your dog gets their energy from three main food groups in its diet. Naturally, you want to ensure they are getting the right amount of energy to keep them going throughout the day, without them getting too filled with energy during the night when you are trying to rest!
It is estimated that your dog’s diet should include approximately between ten and twenty percent of fats. This includes any fats or oils that you might be adding to their meals before serving.
At the same time, you want to ensure that the protein content in your dog’s diet is high. Protein provides your pup with amino acids, which are an essential component in creating energy. Amino acids also contribute toward the creation of muscle tissue for your dog. Ensuring they are receiving the correct amount is critical for their development.
Naturally, raw meat and raw food provide your dog with a high number of natural proteins and fats. But this is not to say that you should not monitor how much they are eating. Fat contains a higher number of calories than that of protein. Without restricting the amount of fat that your dog is consuming, they could be at higher risk of overeating and gaining weight, becoming obese in the process.
There are products on the market tailored for promoting a high protein diet for your pup, which can be added to their meals before serving. Organic probiotics for dogs from companies like Native Pet promote healthy gut bacteria. You can rest assured any digestive issues your dog may have been experiencing previously will be minimized.
Calcium and Minerals
Dogs need a steady stream of calcium and minerals in their diet. Much like that of protein, calcium promotes growth and development. You must do your best to ensure that your pup is receiving the right amount.
It is estimated that calcium needs to make up around ten to fifteen percent of your dog’s overall diet. Naturally, this needs to be a bit higher if you have a puppy, for they are constantly growing and developing.
While your dog can get a certain level of calcium and minerals from eating purely raw meat and associated products, this is not a high enough calcium level to effectively prevent any bone or joint issues in your dog. Bones are an ideal way of tackling this issue.
Bones contain around sixty-five percent of the minerals that your dog needs to be healthy. Not to mention, giving your dog a bone is an ideal way of keeping them occupied too! One thing that should be discussed here is to always supervise your dog if they are to chew on an actual bone.
Ensure you are also giving your dog a raw bone, do not cook it beforehand. Cooking a bone causes it to dry out, making it more susceptible to getting jagged edges which could prove potentially fatal.
With chewing and scraping, bone fragments could come loose and get lodged in your dog’s digestive tract. Not something you want to face as a devoted pet parent. Artificial bones provide a welcome distraction for dogs of all shapes and sizes and promote the exercise and development of bones and joints.
You needn’t worry about bone fragments coming loose on these, either. These are harder and bigger bones, not designed to be eaten. They are designed with hours of gnawing in mind, perfect for keeping any troublesome pups out of harm's way and busy!
Much like that of protein, there are supplements on the market specifically designed for boosting the amount of calcium and magnesium your dog is consuming. Eggshell powder is a popular choice, although it does have less magnesium in it. It is, therefore, not recommended as a supplement for puppies.
Like us humans, dogs need a certain number of vegetables in their diets. Fruit and vegetables provide a high number of nutrients associated with promoting immune benefits. In other words, fruit and vegetables help boost our immune systems, something that has been incredibly important throughout the last year or so.
While that is very well the case, you must ensure you select fruit and vegetables for your pup, which will not do more harm than good. It is estimated that ten percent of your dog’s diet must be made up of vegetables, with it recommended that broccoli, kale, and blueberries as top choices.
Avoid high sugar fruit, opting for ones that are digestible by your pup. Fruit and vegetables in your dog’s diet promote high levels of Polyphenols, which are required for preventing and treating several diseases. Polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory properties, ideal if your dog has issues with any of its muscles and joints.
The right balance of nutrients in your dog’s diet promotes healthy gut bacteria and digestion. You needn’t worry about them being smelly!
While these are a handful of the essential things to consider when opting for a natural or organic diet for your pup, we hope it has shed some light on the intricate details. Naturally, the diet you choose to implement for your dog is entirely up to you while also tending to any individual needs that your dog might have.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding the proper diet. What might work for someone else is not guaranteed to work for you. If you are unsure of what best to use for your pup, consider contacting your registered veterinarian for some advice and guidance.
By Kathy Chapman
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