Dog Nutrition

In this section of the DogBuffs dog health guide, we will be looking at the role nutrition plays in health, and covering some highly recommended dog vitamins and supplements. Food is a popular topic on forums dealing with questions about dog health, especially given the recent furore over recalled pet food.

Pet food marketing spiel will generally seduce you with images and messages which strike an emotional chord, such as food which echoes the breakdown of a human diet, or one which appears to be based on natural ingredients but is still heavily processed.

We need to read between the lines and use plenty of common sense. If we take into account the suffering animal and the expense of vet treatment, supporting your dog’s health is clearly an important matter.

Did you realize how simple and easy it is to support healthy liver function in your pets? Denamarin and Denosyl are great products that are designed to assist the normal liver processes in both dogs and cats. Denamarin for dogs and Denosyl for dogs are available here at the lowest prices anywhere on the web.

The new hot topic in joint care for pets is glucosamine for dogs. You have probably heard of Cosequin & Dasuquin for dogs, but did you know that they are brands, and not drugs?

Get the facts on Cosequin and Dasuquin joint supplements for dogs. Long praised by athletes, as well as those burdened by joint pain, glucosamine is commonly utilized as a preventative to future problems as well.

Older pets can also really benefit from supplements like Cholodin which contains Choline. Choline can help to reverse the damaging effects that aging has on pets, both mentally and physically.

Nutritional Considerations

Dog nutrition is not just about selecting the right food for your dog. Of course there are particular lines of large dog food, and you can buy specialist products for older dog health, and so on, but what’s needed here is knowledge of a deeper nature.

Please consult our dog food sections for more on particular brands and general information. Dog food at a minimum has to be nutritionally sufficient to power your dog on a daily basis, but it doesn’t just stop there.

Eyes, Teeth & Paws

Basic deficiencies in minerals and vitamins could cause problems with the health of your dog’s eyes (the eyes are very sensitive and like in humans, can get infected).

In many cases of poor canine health, eyes can be a key indicator that all is not well. Be sure to look your pet in the eyes often, and tell him how much you love him. In addition, you should pay special attention to paw care, and give your pets pads and claws a regular visual inspection. Healthy teeth help your furry companion to have proper digestion from the get-go.

If your pet has specific medical needs your vet may deem it necessary to give you a dog food prescription diet, however if you feed raw to begin with, or at least no byproducts and gluten, you’ll probably almost never need to go to the vet.

BARF & The Parasite Myth

More and more owners are feeding their pet with raw food after the scandals which exposed many leading brands to have toxic ingredients in their recipe. However, a common myth says that the BARF diet is not without risk.

Raw food can transmit parasites and bacteria such as Roundworms, Hookworms, Tapeworms, Trichinella – Trichinosis, Protozoa, Trematodes, Toxoplasma (in the case of cats), and Salmon Poisoning Disease (in the case of dogs). But the reality is that when we say Bones and Raw Food (BARF) for dogs, we mean meat & meaty bones fit for human consumption. When non-raw advocates talk about the parasite risks, they neglect to mention that parasite levels are negligible in human grade quality raw dog food.

Freezing raw meat and bones usually does kill most parasites and bacteria, like the parasite in salmon that can kill a dog. Deep freezing salmonids (which include trout) for a day or two takes care of that parasite very effectively.

Spot The Symptoms

Symptoms of a parasitic infection can include diarrhea, vomiting, and a “cute” potbelly as is often seen in puppies. Poor coat condition and a general appearance of low health are also indications of dog parasites or a bacterial infection. If you think your animal has a parasite, get the vet to take a stool sample.It’s wise to be aware of what could be contained in that raw diet, but it is not cause for alarm.

Many people and their pets are experiencing brilliant success feeding raw food. Some dog nutritional “experts” recommend cooking to kill parasites in raw food, saying that it is necessary to help the digestibility of the protein. This is simply not true. Dog parasite infestations need not be harmful as a healthy dog has a powerful immune system which can take care of these types of things.

A regular anti-parasitic program of treatment, such as yearly heart worm check ups, regular worming and flea control etc, and your pet should not be at risk. It’s good to be able to spot the signs though just in case – an itching dog can spell fleas which may be affecting your dog’s health, diarrhea could indicate food poisoning or parasites. Canine parasite and bacterial infections are unpleasant for the animal and can cause serious problems if left unattended.

Dog Nutritional Supplements

If your dog’s diet is sufficient it should not be necessary to buy nutritional supplements, however the effects of a poor diet in the past can be reversed more easily with canine nutritional supplements.

A brilliant dog nutritional supplement called FortiFlora Canine, one of the most popular probiotics for dogs, can support their digestion and immune system.

Fortiflora Feline can help your cats to have better digestion too. Just like in humans, health and nutritional supplements can be used to strengthen immunity, prevent disease and bolster good health. Sport nutritional supplements may be beneficial for working or high performance dogs. You can purchase any nutritional supplement online at DogBuffs for less than local pet stores.

Many commercial brands of food fail to address a healthy diet, and it is really worth researching the ingredients that go into your dog’s food. With more and more brands including vegetables, fruit and grains, questions over the nutritional value of corn and the nutritional value of fruit for canines need to be asked. The answers lie in research and common sense.

Questions About Dog Health

The Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements is a well respected publication which compares and contrasts over 500 products available in the States and Canada and is essential reading when choosing supplements for your family.

It’s a shame that dog nutritional supplements are not analyzed in the same way. A scientific based nutritional supplement review on dog nutrition supplements and also food brands would be a useful tool for pet owners. The major problem is that many brands which claim to be the perfect nutritional diet, vitamin, supplement etc. may not be founded on fact, and this is also true for homeopathic/herb based products, so do your research.

Obviously, as well as supplements, dog nutrition is vital and in most cases a daily or weekly dose of canine vitamins and daily probiotics should be the only supplements required for most pets with a general level of activity.