Nutrition and Feeding
The feed requirement of a dog depends on the size, age, body weight, growth, exercise levels, metabolic rate and any specific injuries or illnesses.
Size: depending on whether it is a large or small dog the amount of feed required will differ. Larger dogs may need a high calorific diet but may have a slow metabolism rate making them more susceptible to gaining weight. The feed should contain high mineral content for the development of their bones. Smaller dogs tend to need a more nutritionally rich food but in a lower density due to their smaller stomachs.
Age: the age of a dog changes their diet significantly, the older the dog getting the ...view middle of the document...
Metabolic rate: the metabolic rate of a dog will change the feed requirements; dogs with a high metabolic rate can be prone to losing weight quicker than those with a low metabolic rate. Which means their calorie intake may be higher. Dogs with a low metabolic rate can be prone to gaining weight which means they will need a low calorie intake.
Specific injuries and illnesses: if a dog sustains an injury their exercise levels may decrease which should reflect on their diet, they should be taken in fewer calories but they nutritional value of the food should be greater to help repair their body. Some illnesses such as diarrhoea may need a completely different food in order to overcome the illness.
Nutrition’s to sustain life:
Every dog’s nutritional requirements differ, some need more protein than others and some need more fat than others. Research and professional advice may be needed before planning what type of diet a specific dog needs. The six specific nutrients that should be included in a dog’s diet are: water, protein, minerals, fat, carbohydrate and vitamins.
Water: this is the most important nutritional requirement in a dog’s diet to stay hydrated. The percentage of body water loss has fatal consequences, 15% loss can result in death. A dog should have constant access to water in all environmental conditions. Water can also be received through food and metabolic water. The requirement for dog is around 40- 60ml per kilogram of body weight in 24hrs. A dog may consume more when they are lactating, just performed heavy of prolonged exercise, a change in their diet, change in environmental condition and stress.
The loss of water in a dog can occur through normal bodily functions such as urination, faeces, respiration and sweat. However water loss can also occur through more abnormal bodily functions such as vomit, diarrhoea, fever and nasal discharges. If a dog appears to be consuming more water than usual this may be a sign of an illness.
Protein: the essential amino acids that make up protein are the most important part of protein which must be provided through the diet. The non- essential amino acids can be made through the dogs body through other sources. Commercially prepared foods are more preferable as the essential amino acids are specific to the certain breed the food is made for. Homemade diets are difficult to balance as the specific amino acids are hard to source and balance in different foods without missing out certain amino- acids.
Protein is essential in a dogs diet as it helps assist in the growth and repair of muscles; it also helps to manufacture hormones and enzymes. Any remaining protein can be converted into energy.
Preservatives, Antioxidants and colours are the three groups of additives that must be declared if they have been added to a food product under the European Commission Regulations. However natural additives can also be added to food such as vitamins and minerals....