Your Dogs Nutrition 101

Dogs have specific nutritional needs, but most pet owners do not realize that all dogs and most pet foods are not alike. Many commercial dog food brands are lacking in key nutrients, so reading the labels is a must. Price and brand names are not good gages of quality when it comes to food.

Dogs are carnivorous so they need meat and protein, along with carbohydrates, vitamins, fat, minerals, and water. The manufacturers have choices as to the types and amounts of proteins, minerals, and vitamins that they put into their products. Higher levels of animal protein like chicken, lamb, and beef are needed by active dogs, while proteins found in plants or grains such as corn, soy, wheat, and rice are sufficient for less active dogs.

Puppy foods generally contain more protein than adult or maintenance foods. What you are looking for is a food that has two animal proteins in the first three ingredients listing. This is a good rule of thumb that applies to all dogs and breeds, not just puppies.

Carbohydrates are important buy only in small amounts. You should avoid foods that contain soy, because altogether soy is high in protein, it is also a carbohydrate that slows down digestion and prevents other vitamins and minerals in the food from being absorbed.

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Vitamins come in two types, water soluble, and fat soluble. Vitamins B and C are water soluble, while vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble. The B and C vitamins are lost through urination and need to be included in every meal, while vitamins A, D, E and K are stored up in the fatty tissues of the body and liver.

The type of dog food is important, because of digestion time. Raw foods, such as meat, vegetables, and even fruit are the easiest foods to digest, and usually in about 4 ½ hours. Semi moist processed dog foods take longer, usually around 9 hours to pass through the stomach, and dry dog foods take up to 16 hours before the dog is receiving energy from the food.

For more information, please consult your veterinarian, as they are the best judge of your dog’s individual needs. But it is up to us, the pet owners to care for our four legged friends by continuing to read those labels!

About The Author: Brent Jones and his partner Randy Jones have been in the pet industry for a long time. Recently they formed the website on the site, customers can read articles about anything pets as well as shop for the latest trendy items for their best friend. Feel free to check out the site at

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