Is my dog having a proper meal? Am I giving him enough nutrition? Many pet owners might have this question while they put the same commercialized feed everyday. Some owners even decide to cook at home for their pets or place an order of raw meats. What is the best meal for dogs?
Unbalanced nutrition can lead to severe illnesses. For example, raw meat diet has excessive phosphorus, which can lead to abnormal calcium-phosphorus ratio and to nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism. Too much liver tissue on diet can cause vitamin A toxicity.
According to Dr. Patricia Schenck, in her book “Home-Prepared Dog & Cat Diets, second edition”, about 31% of dogs and 13% of cats in the United States are fed with non-commercial diets by their owners. Still, the products from commercial food company are the major source of dogs’ everyday life.
Those products from commercial company actually meets all the nutritional needs. Based on their decades of researches and experiments made it healthy enough for dogs. Still, to achieve your dog’s personal appetite and health condition it puts you on a challenge to choose the right food (or product) at the right timing.
There are two basic guidelines published for pet nutrition; by Nutrient Research Council, and Association of American Feed Control Officials. NRC provides the minimal nutritional requirements when AAFCO’s nutrition guide is more than just necessary.
Determining nutritional requirements starts with knowing your dog’s developmental stage and daily energy requirement. It can also differ when a dog is in need of special care – under pregnancy or disease. It is also important to monitor your dog’s overall appearance, body weight, hair & skin condition and stool quality.
As your dog is consist of what it consumed, it is necessary to give a sufficient care even when your dog is extremely healthy. Don’t forget to do the regular health checkup for your dog, too!