Caring for your best friend


DOG FOOD ALLERGIES AND TOXIC FOODS

dog cat scratchingJust as people have intolerances to foods, so can dogs. Some of the symptoms of dog food intolerances are diarrhoea, vomiting, and gas.Dog allergy symptoms include dog itching skin, usually in the hind area (flanks, tail, anal area), paws, face and ears.It is not unusual for pet parents to believe their dog is suffering from “allergies” when in reality the cause of their problem is simply “intolerance” to poor quality ingredients that are very difficult to digest, such as grains.Dogs can eat many of the same foods that people can eat but there are a few that are highly toxic for dogs. Here is a partial list of foods that are harmful for dogs to consume.Onions or onion powder, Chocolate, Coffee and all coffee-related products, Tea Alcoholic beverages/ Hops, Macadamia nuts, Grapes and raisins, Tomato foliage (leaves and stems), Green parts of potato (green peelings, sprouts and foliage), Rhubarb leaves, Avocado tree bark, leaves, skin of the fruit and seed of the fruit. The actual flesh of the fruit is not toxic. Pits and seeds from fruits (plum, apricot, avocado, peach, apple and some varieties of cherries). Bitter almonds, and moldy or spoiled foods.Please make sure you always serve your dogs food and water in clean bowls.

NUTRITION FOR YOUR BEST FRIEND

Of all the decisions you make on behalf of your dog, their diet is the most important. Beginning their life with the best puppy food and transitioning into the best dog food will have an immediate and significant effect on the length and quality of his life. That being true, it is helpful to understand some fundamentals of canine nutrition. Nutrients are comprised of six basic categories:

1) Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates’ main role is to supply energy for your healthy dog. During digestion, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose which travels through the bloodstream and provides energy to those cells that require it. Carbohydrates are stored in small amounts in your dog’s muscles. They release energy that is used for short and quick bursts of energy. Carbohydrates that contain fiber also play a healthy roll in digestion and bowel health.

2) Protein

Protein is required for heathy tissue growth, maintenance, and repair, and is an important source of calories. There are 22 essential amino acids and, out of those, only 12 are produced by your dog’s body. The others must come from diet and are found in food sources rich in high quality protein such as beef, lamb and turkey.

3) Fats

Fats are energy yielding nutrients and the only source that can be stored long term for future use. If there are more fatty acids than needed, they are converted into fat and stored in the body. They provide the most concentrated source of calories and add flavor and texture to food. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids contribute to skin and coat condition, aiding in relief from itching, scratching, dry skin, dull coat and hair loss. Fats also contain vitamins A, D, E and K.

4) Minerals

Minerals are required to aid in nerve transmission, muscle contraction, development of bone and cartilage, blood regulation, and maintaining water and electrolyte balance, among many others.

5) Vitamins

Vitamins are comprised of two major categories, fat soluble and water soluble. It is not possible for an excess of fat soluble vitamins to be excreted from the body via urine, so toxicity levels can be reached more quickly compared to water soluble vitamins. However, the advantage in fat soluble vitamins is that your dog’s system can store them in the liver for future use. Water soluble vitamins are absorbed in the small intestines and excess amounts easily leave the body via urination. Because these vitamins cannot be stored, your dog needs his daily portion of each.

6) Water

Water is considered the most important nutrient. It regulates body temperature, maintains hydration and lubricates joints and eyes among many other functions. Always keep plenty of clean, fresh water available for your healthy dog.

 

We hope this information is helpful when caring for your pet. If you have other questions you can contact us here or talk to a pet health care professional such as a veterinarian.