Dog feeding is a question that owners will always have to think about during their dog’s lifetime. How can a dog get the best nutrition – should it eat finished dog food, or should the owner make it for him? What does it need to eat to stay healthy and in good shape to do what the dog must do? The fact that the outer packaging of various commodities is not immediately obvious to people already makes a choice difficult. Those who are knowledgeable have the advantage of making better decisions about what to put in their dog’s food bowl and therefore lay the groundwork for a healthy dog.
1. What is the basis of dog feeding?
For dog owners, it’s always great to see their dog eating the food prepared for it non-stop. He eats well, but does he get all the nutrition he needs?
Proper feeding is essential for your dog, even if your dog is an adult. The unborn puppy gets the nutrients it needs from its mother’s food through the umbilical cord. If a dog’s mother has a deficient diet, it can hurt her child. This is an important reason why getting a puppy in a place where all aspects of breeding are good. Puppies get the nutrients they need to stay healthy through breast milk at birth. The milk (colostrum) that the puppy takes for the first time contains many calories and provides the puppy’s body with important substances needed to strengthen the immune system. Therefore, curious puppies begin to explore the world when they find a certain food and get a taste for it. With a good diet, they can grow up healthy.
2. How does a dog’s digestive system work?
Dogs are often thought of as carnivores, like their ancestors, the wolves, who lived in the wild. However, wolves do not live only by eating meat. They mainly eat small prey with their fur, larger prey with their intestines, pre-digested plants, fruits, berries, garbage, excrement, and carcasses. Wolves are very practical about food and willfully use what they can. The food of dogs and wolves is not substantially different. Still, the close relationship between dogs and humans has expanded the variety of food available to dogs to the point of altering their digestive system and turning them into an omnivore with a preference for meat.
Gobbling, not chewing
Dogs gobble their food, swallowing it when it is still a large piece. They use their sharp teeth and strong muscles in their jaws to cut anything too big into smaller pieces, whether it’s meat or bone. Their saliva ensures that the food slides better into the esophagus. When a dog is waiting for a meal, saliva is secreted by different glands and concentrated in the mouth. But dog saliva, unlike human saliva, has no fermenting enzymes.
Acidic attack in the stomach
Once the food reaches the stomach, the natural digestion process begins. The strong stomach muscles squeeze the food, and the gastric juices digest them. The amount of hydrochloric acid in a dog’s gastric juices is much higher than that in human gastric juices. This is necessary for dogs because they eat meat and foods that have gone bad from a human perspective, such as decomposing animal carcasses or feces. Many of the pathogens contained in food cannot survive in this acidic environment of a dog’s gastric juices.
After processing in the stomach, once the food reaches the small intestine, it can be broken down by the digestive juices and digestive enzymes in the small intestine. Next, the broken-down nutrients are absorbed into the body by the small intestine walls and reach all parts of the body through the bloodstream. The remaining components of the food will reach the large intestine. Some nutrients that are difficult to digest are also partially digested again here, mainly after the fermentation process. The liquid continues to be precipitated, and the rest is excreted as feces.
Very practical dog care general knowledge – water general knowledge
Not without water!
1. To ensure normal body functions, water is necessary. The amount of water can be arbitrary, but the dog must drink water at all times.
2. The dog’s body will lose water through breathing, skin, urine, and feces.
3. The dog’s need for water is related to the water content in the dog’s food, the temperature of its surroundings, and the degree of physical exertion.
A dog that eats wet dog food needs an average of 8 ml of water per kilogram of body weight per day (i.e. a 10 kg dog needs 80 ml of water per day); a dog that eats dry dog food needs an average of 45 ml of water per kilogram of body weight per day (i.e. a 10 kg dog needs 450 ml of water per day). If it is active or the temperature of its surroundings is high, then it needs more water. Then it will need more water.
- A sudden increase in the amount of water your dog drinks may be a sign of illness.
Nutritional Composition of Dog Feeding
A daily diet can provide your dog with the nutrients needed to maintain normal body function, repair damaged cells, and stay active. The prerequisite is that the food contains enough nutrients to meet normal metabolic requirements and a balanced ratio between the various components. What, how much, and in what proportions your dog needs depends on your dog’s condition, such as size, age, and daily activity level.
Protein Contains essential amino acids that the animal’s body cannot produce on its own. Their role is to constitute and maintain the normal function of cells and tissues. For example, protein is needed for muscle and blood formation during the adult years.
Lack of protein can lead to metabolic disorders, impaired growth, and susceptibility to infections; excessive protein intake can damage the kidneys and liver.
Protein is found in meat (mainly lean meat), fish, animal offal, dairy products, eggs, legumes, and brewer’s yeast.
Carbohydrates provide cells with the energy they need quickly and are the only energy supplier to the brain and blood cells. Insulin secreted by the pancreas is used to transport carbohydrates. Sugars are stored in the muscles, and when the muscles are full of them, they turn into fat.
Too little carbohydrate intake can lead to decreased stamina and hypoglycemia; too much can lead to obesity.
Carbohydrates are found in plant foods, such as corn, rice, millet, flour, potatoes, etc.
Fats Saturated fatty acids are excellent sources of energy and play an important role in regulating body temperature. Unsaturated fatty acids are essential for metabolism, fat-soluble vitamins, and the nervous system.
Too little fat intake can lead to low weight, lack of motivation, poor concentration, and metabolic disorders; too much fat intake can lead to obesity and organ steatosis.
Fats are found in fatty meats, butter, goose fat, butter, salmon oil, cod liver oil (rich in vitamin D), and vegetable oils obtained by cold pressing.
Dietary fiber Mainly carbohydrates that cannot be digested and absorbed by the small intestine, stimulate digestion, produce fluids and play an important role in detoxification of the body.
Too much or too little dietary fiber intake can lead to constipation.
Dietary fiber is found in the fiber in roughage, lentils, vegetables, and fruits.
Can dogs eat milk and eggs?
Each individual is different, and many dogs cannot drink milk or will only accept a little because they are lactose intolerant. Lactose-free milk is acceptable to most dogs. Raw eggs are considered a recipe for maintaining a beautiful coat, but egg whites contain anti-biotin proteins. If raw eggs are eaten, they can prevent the absorption of biotin from the B vitamin family, which can hurt the skin and coat; boiling the eggs before eating them will have no effect.
Why do dogs digest carbohydrates more easily than wolves?
A research team led by Erik Axelsson at Uppsala University in Sweden has concluded that the gene fragment responsible for metabolizing and digesting starch in dogs is very different from that in wolves, meaning that dogs are much better at digesting carbohydrates and plant foods than wolves. This is due to the domestication of dogs and the changed food supply by humans, and the dogs have changed themselves to adapt to these changes. Humans have undergone a similar adaptation process since the beginning of agricultural societies.