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How to Keep Your Dog Healthy

Aug 17, 2007
There are millions of dog owners around the world. In fact, dogs are the most common household pet. There are also thousands of different types of dog food that you can buy, and the choice can be bewildering. It is important to know exactly what your dog needs so that you can buy the right type of dog food to fulfill your dog's nutritional requirements.

Finding the right balance of nutrients for your dog is not as difficult as you might think. There are basically six basic groups of nutrients that your dog's diet must include. These are:

Carbohydrates
Fats
Minerals
Protein
Vitamins
Water

Carbohydrates are just as essential for dogs as they are for adults. Carbohydrates give your dog energy to be able to exercise and keep fit. If your dog does not have enough carbohydrates in his diet then he will be lethargic, and this can lead to him being overweight, and other problems.

Fats are needed in your dog's diet to help with the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Unsaturated fatty acids are also essential for your dogs health. Another aspect of fat is that it helps to make the dog food taste more appealing, and be digested more easily.

There are a number of minerals that are vital for a dog's heath. The main ones are calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium. These are essential for maintaining healthy bones, teeth, and the internal organs. Other minerals that your dog needs to allow their body to function properly are copper, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc.

Protein is essential in a dog's diet to help create amino acids. These are used throughout the body for vital functions, including rebuilding old or damaged tissue.

There are two basic types of vitamins that a dog needs for his body to function properly. The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are found in fatty foods and can be stored by the body. However, the water-soluble vitamins are the ones that need to be given more frequently as they cannot be stored in the body. These water-soluble vitamins are vitamin B6, vitamin B12, choline, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine.

By far the most important nutrient is water. Water is vital for your dog's health and well-being.
About the Author
S. Stammberger is editor of Dog Food Specialists . Keep you dog healthy. Find out what dogs can eat and should eat.
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