How Much Does a Dog’s Health Depend on Food?
Author: Amanda Brahlek
Your dog’s dinner has some apparent and immediate results. Most of which include excitement and ravenous eating. But how does your dog’s food affect their long-term health? Your dog’s diet is the foundation for your dog’s overall wellbeing.
How Does Your Dog’s Diet Affect Their Health?
Like us, your dog has specific dietary needs for a healthy life. While your dog’s diet is quite different from your own, what they eat still needs to support every aspect of their body, and how it functions. This means your dog’s food affects your dog’s
- Brain function and nervous system
- Energy level
- Organ function
- Joint Health
- Skeletal Health
- Digestive Health
- Skin and Coat Health
When your dog eats, their body begins breaking down the food and pulling nutrients out of the food for the body’s use. The body converts sugar into energy and uses the nutrients to build and repair cells. The food that cannot be used passes through the digestive system, becoming waste.
And while the quantity your dog eats matters, the quality of your dog’s diet is equally as important. You want your dog to eat food that provides the most balanced nutrition. This gives your dog a stockpile of energy and the components needed for healthy cells. Higher quality foods are properly balanced, without fillers or excessive preservatives, so that more of the food can be utilized (and less passes as waste).
Low-quality or unbalanced diets can have a negative impact on a dog’s health.
What Makes a Dog’s Diet Balanced?
For centuries, a dog’s diet was never a commercial consideration--for the most part, dogs ate what their owners did. In fact, the first commercial dog food was invented in 1860. Since its introduction, dog food has come a long way. And now we know a tremendous amount more about the science of what dogs’ nutritional needs are.
So what are a dog’s nutritional needs and how do these components affect your dog’s health?
Protein: This is the most important dietary need for dogs--this is why you should feed your dog a protein-rich diet. Protein in your dog’s diet can come from meat or some legumes, eggs, and dairy. Your dog’s body uses protein to build and repair their body’s tissues like muscle, skin cells, and fur. It also is the source of your dog’s energy and their immune system’s strength.
Protein from meat is the most beneficial for your dog since it is converted into amino acids and usable energy.
Chondroitin and glucosamine: These dietary elements are structural components that the body naturally produces in the joints to aid in repair of cartilage and to cushion joints. The best natural source for these elements are in the cartilage components of meats sources like beef tracheas, gullet sticks, and tendons.
Vitamins & Minerals: Dogs require vitamins and minerals to perform hundreds of jobs in their bodies. They strengthen bones, boost energy, repair cells, and play a role in transforming food into energy.
Fiber: High-quality fiber moves food through your dog’s digestive system and aids in blood sugar levels.
Antioxidants: These are found in fruits and vegetables like blueberries, sweet potatoes, and spinach. Antioxidants improve your dog’s memory and mood.
A properly balanced diet will help your dog feel their best physically and mentally.
While you should always read your dog’s food ingredients, investing high-quality treats can also support a well-rounded, healthy diet. Choose a dog food recipe and treats that support your dog’s needs. For example, dogs with osteoarthritis or are prone to hip dysplasia benefit from treats rich in glucosamine and chondroitin. If you’re unsure of the quality of your dog’s food or your dog’s individual dietary needs, have a chat with your vet.
Want to Provide Your Dog with the Best Health?
Your dog’s diet is key to a healthy, happy, active life. Yet it’s important to remember that your dog’s diet isn’t the only factor that affects your dog’s health. Exercise, mental stimulation, and quality time with you will also improve your dog’s overall health. Natural Farm offers high-quality dog treats that will provide your pup with mental stimulation, glucosamine and chondroitin, and a dose of unbeatable flavor.