Canine Nutrition

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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To provide canine nutrition, you need to understand its elements. First is protein. Proteins from animal sources, meat and meat byproducts, are more complete and easier for a dog's digestive system to extract and digest than proteins from plant sources. Second in canine nutrition are fats. Fats increase how palatable (yes, tasty) the food is. They provide a media for fat-soluble vitamins. They are essential for healthy coat and skin, reproductive efficiency, and kidney function.

Third in canine nutrition are carbohydrates. Carbohydrates should make up about half of a dog's diet. They will come from corn, soybeans, or perhaps rice and wheat. Fourth in canine nutrition are vitamins. Vitamins help with the proper absorption of fats and carbohydrates and chemical reactions in the body, are both water soluble (excreted if they are not used), and fat soluble (stored in fatty tissue). Fifth in canine nutrition are minerals. Minerals help with bone formation, muscle metabolism, fluid balance, and nervous system function.

Where You Won't Find Good Canine Nutrition

The short answer on ensuring proper canine nutrition is that you won't find it in the pet food aisle. The long answer is that pet food manufacturers seem less concerned about animals and more about profits. The emphasis seems to be on recycling "trash products."

Trash products include inferior grains, fats, waste materials from the human food industry, and plant renderings. Preservatives, additives, colors, flavorings, and other non-nutritive substances are added to these waste ingredients to extend their shelf life and improve their taste. They are then marketed as the best foods you can feed your pets.

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