Why Diet is so Important to Your Dog’s Health & Wellbeing

We hear it time and time again, particularly when gobbling down chocolate, the age old adage ‘you are what you eat’.

Unsurprisingly, the same can be said for our canine companions. A high quality diet is essential for their health and to avoid illness and disease into their twilight years. Whilst this is not a novel concept, many pet owners are unaware of just how much diet affects the health of their dog. Further, it can be very difficult to tell the difference between a good and poor quality dog food when presented with the myriad of choices at the pet shop. Thankfully the team at K9 Natural have you covered.

There are six essential components to a dog’s diet; water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.  Whilst most pet foods contain these ingredients, it is their quality and ratios that makes all the difference.

Protein

Adequate protein intake is essential for a healthy dog. Proteins are the building blocks for the trillions of cells in your dog’s body including those that make up their hair, skin, muscles and vital organs. Proteins are also critical for hormone and antibody production as well as general repair and growth so that your cute little furball turns into a strong athletic hound. Whilst there are many sources of dietary protein, with their complete amino acid profile, animal products are considered the best.  In addition, grass fed, free range and human grade products, such as those in K9 Natural, are the pinnacle.

Fats

A generally feared macronutrient, fat is another important ingredient for your dog’s health. Fats are a good source of energy and are vital for hormone production, cell structure and the absorption of essential fat-soluble vitamins from the diet. Similar to us, there is such a thing as too much bad fats and diets too high in these fats result in a dog that resembles more of a furry beach ball than an agile beast. An overweight dog is more likely to develop diabetes, certain cancers and suffer from arthritis… Yikes! That’s why good quality diets are higher in ‘good fats’ of the unsaturated, animal sourced kind and in particular the correct ratio of the essential Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Diets high in Omega 3s from ingredients such as green lipped mussels in K9 Natural food help maintain a beautiful healthy coat, help control skin allergies and even provide a generalized anti-inflammatory effect to boot!

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates often get a bad rap in the animal world. Whist there is conjecture in regards to their heavy presence in many commercial foods, there is no disputing the importance of their inclusion, albeit in smaller amounts and specific carbohydrate types. The reason for this is that certain carbohydrates, such as vegetables, provide dogs with my favourite ‘F’ word …. fibre! Just like for us, fibre is essential for good digestion, elimination and most importantly feeding the healthy bacteria in the gut that make up the microbiome. We are only just beginning to understand the immensity of health implications of a well balanced microbiome so ensuring your dog consumes adequate fibre to feed their healthy gut bugs is critical. All K9 Natural diets contain a 5% inclusion of fruit and vegetables to ensure your pooch is receiving their daily fibre tick.

Vitamins & Minerals

Finally, vitamins and minerals round out a balanced doggie diet and when fed in the correct quantities facilitate healthy metabolic, immune and nerve function. They also are important constituents (minerals) for bone and teeth development and maintenance. Importantly, inadequate or excessive quantities can lead to deficiencies, toxicities and even growth abnormalities….scary stuff. That’s why many diets follow the vitamin and mineral guidelines set out by AAFCO. AAFCO takes the guess work out of the nutrient game, allowing customers to be sure the diets on the shelf are giving our furry companions the nutrient profiles they need. Even better are diets labelled by AAFCO to be complete and balanced to support all stages of a dog’s life. K9 Natural ticks all of the above boxes, with a 5% inclusion of eggs, green lipped mussels,  vitamins and minerals, guaranteeing they’re being fed the absolute best in canine nutrition.

I apologise if this has been a bit meaty (pardon the pun), however I hope the critical importance of good nutrition for your pooch’s health and wellbeing is now ovbious. For me, choosing to feed Albus K9 Natural was an easy decision and even though it is in the premium price range, my Mum (the Queen of adages) always said ‘you get what you pay for’ and ‘you can’t put a price on health’.

PLUS Albus loves it!

By Dr. Josie Gollan