Dog Nutrition

The nutrition of dogs is a very complex issue, that is to be taken seriously. As in humans, the basic nutrients, essential for dogs, are the following:

- proteins, which are found mainly in meat, eggs, milk or fish

- carbohydrates, contained in a series of foods such as rice, flour and pasta etc.

- minerals, especially calcium, phosphorus, sodium chloride (table salt), magnesium etc.

- vitamins, especially those in groups A, B, D and E

The composition of the daily ration of food will take into accound the proportions of these nutrients; for example, for a growing dog, the optimal ratio between protein and carbohydrates is 1/3. The calcium to phosphorus ratio is 1/1.2. It's good to know that the needs for calcium and phosphorus remain substantial and permanent for adult dogs as well.

Vitamins are essential to life, but their use cannot be whimsical, especially in the first 7 - 8 months of the dog's life. It would be most reasonable to have a veterinarian determine the needs and daily doese required.

A few words about each group:

Vitamin A is considered to be extremly important for young dogs. It acts as protection against infections, takes part in the processes of sight and skin protection. It is found in fish and carrots.

Vitamins in the B group are particulary important and take part mainly in the good functioning of the adult dog's body. They are found in milk, meat, raw vegetables, rice and yeast.

Vitamin D serves to set the calcium and phosphorus needed for skeletal ossification. Puppies need 4 times the amount of vitamin D that adult dogs need. Vitamin D is also created in the skin, under the action of ultraviolet rays, that is why it is recommended to keep young dogs outside as much as possible.

Vitamin E takes part in the metabolism of nerve and muscle tissue and is also necessary to pregnant females in order to give bith to well-developed puppies. It is found in the seeds of cereals, in meat and in yeast.