Pet SupplementsBone and joint supplements can help prevent and relieve arthritis pain in dogs. The use of Glucosamine and Chondroitin is widely recommended for reducing inflammation, increasing joint lubrication, and rebuilding cartilage. When given on a regular basis, these nutrients can improve comfort, flexibility, and range of motion in dogs.


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Feeding your dog a healthy diet can help prevent or control certain diseases and promote a longer and healthier life.

Dog Nutrition

Are you meeting the nutritional needs of your dog? As the health and condition of your dog is greatly affected by the food it eats, it is important that you feed your dog the nutrients it needs to maintain good health. If your dog has bright eyes, shiny coat, good energy, and an ideal body weight, it is a good indication that your dogs nutritional needs are being met.

A dog requires many different kinds of nutrients in its daily diet for its body systems to function properly and for optimum health. To help pet owners, veterinarians, and pet food companies develop healthy diets for dogs, scientists who study the nutritional needs of animals have established recommended daily allowances for dietary nutrients. Your dogs health depends on your attention to dog food ingredients and being fed a diet with the right balance and supply of nutrients.

Dog Food

It is important to choose a well-formulated dog food that provides your dog with the right amount of essential nutrients for good health. There are many healthy dog foods, so it is a matter of finding the one that meets your dogs unique nutritional needs. Dog foods are made in various formulas to meet the needs of all dogs, including puppies, normal adult dogs, senior dogs, and dogs with special nutritional needs. Look for a dog food that is labeled as 'complete and balanced' diet. To help pet owners choose healthy foods, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) requires that dog foods labeled as 'complete and balanced' must meet certain nutritional standards.

Dog Supplements

Many dogs get sufficient nutrients from their dog food and regular diet, but some dogs may benefit from vitamin and mineral supplementation. Dogs vary in their nutritional needs, depending on age, pregnancy, illness, and health conditions. Although vitamins and minerals are essential to a dogs health, supplements should be given with care in order to avoid causing toxicity or a nutritional imbalance in your dog. Your veterinarian can advise you on appropriate supplementation for your dog based on individual health needs.

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Essential Nutrients

Knowing what to feed your dog can help prevent or control certain diseases and promote a longer and healthier life. Specific diets will vary from dog to dog, however, as each dog will have unique nutritional requirements based on its size, breed, age, and any underlying health conditions.

The basic nutrients that dogs need to survive include:

  • amino acids from protein
  • fats and fatty acids
  • carbohydrates
  • vitamins
  • minerals

Protein (Amino Acids): Without protein in the diet, dogs would not survive. Dietary protein contains 10 essential amino acids (arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine) that dogs need for all aspects of growth and development, including: building body tissue such as muscle, bone, skin, and blood; regulating the immune system; and making glucose for energy needed by the body to function. A deficiency in any of the essential amino acids can cause serious health problems.

Fats and Fatty Acids: Dietary fats supply the fatty acids that play an important role in many aspects of dog health, including: skin and coat health, joint health, eye health, allergy treatment, cell function, controlling inflammation, transporting fat-soluble vitamins, and heart health. As a bonus, food fats usually improve the taste and texture of dog food.

Two primary types of fatty acids essential for health are the omega-3 fatty acids, which include Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and the omega-6 fatty acids, which include Linoleic acid (LA), Gamma linolenic acid (GLA), Dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA), Arachidonic acid (AA).

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates, which include sugars, starches, and dietary fibers, are a main ingredient in most commercial pet foods as they are a more affordable source of calories (energy) than protein. Most carbohydrates in dog food comes from cereal grains (rice, wheat, corn, barley, and oats), legumes, and other plant foodstuffs.

While the high level of carbohydrates in dog food (which can range from 30% to 70%) is well tolerated by most dogs, it can occasionally cause health problems. Some dogs develop an intolerance and suffer from digestive disorders, resulting in mild to severe gas, bloating, and diarrhea. For other dogs, high levels of carbohydrates can lead to excess weight and obesity.

Vitamins: Vitamins are organic substances (made by plants or animals) that are essential to life and good health. They are involved in thousands of different metabolic activities in the body, including growth, digestion, vision, muscle function, immune response, reproduction, energy metabolism, and enzyme functions. When a dog is vitamin deficient, it can cause a variety of health problems. Since most vitamins are not made by the body, they must be supplemented in the diet.

Depending on how vitamins are stored in the body, they are classified as either water-soluble vitamins or fat-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins (B1-thiamin, B2-riboflavin, B3-niacin, B5-pantothenic acid, B6-pyridoxine, B7-biotin, B9-folic acid, B12-cyanocobalamin, choline, and vitamin C) should be included in the diet each day as the body only stores them in small amounts and excretes them daily. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) are stored in the liver and fatty tissue, and while necessary in small doses, must be taken in the proper dosage as they are toxic in excess amounts.

Minerals: Minerals are inorganic elements that come from the soil and water and are absorbed by fruits, vegetables, and other plants. They are essential nutrients for a dogs health as they play an important role in many functions of the body, including formation of bones and teeth, transmitting nerve impulses, muscle contraction, maintenance of fluid and acid/base balance, hormone production, and transportation of oxygen in the blood.

There are 12 minerals needed by dogs; calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chlorine, copper, iron, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iodine. Not only is it important that each of these minerals be included in the diet, but they must be given in the proper balance so as not to cause any health consequences.