We all know that for humans Vitamin C can help against cold, and glucosamine can help with joints. But is it the same for dogs? And what else is beneficial? Here is a quick guide to nutrients and ingredients you may find in good quality dog food.
Vitamin A – Good for eyesight
Vitamin C – Dogs can produce their own vitamin C, although this ability deteriorates with age. It helps with protection against viruses and decreases stress and can be topped up from your dogs diet.
Vitamin D – Helps the body to absorb calcium to build bone.
Vitamin E – This is usually actually added to dog food to prevent rancidity. It neutralizes free radicals and is therefore a fat-soluble antioxidant. Adding fish oils to food increases the need for vitamin E as it is used up neutralizing the added free radicals in the food. Vitamin E also helps fight muscle wastage, eye problems and can generally help boost the immune system.
Vitamin K – Helps blood clots to form fibrin allowing scabbing after injury to prevent risk of infection and speed up the healing process.
Calcium & Phosphorous – Essential for healthy bones, teeth & coat. Can help to prevent bone diseases later in life by aiding optimum bone growth.
Sodium Chloride – Essential for fluid homeostasis (balancing the fluids inside the individual cells and outside of them).
Zinc – Prevents zinc-responsive dermatosis. However, in excess zinc can cause problems with calcium absorption and can be toxic.
Iron – Essential for the oxygenation of red blood cells.
Manganese – For carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
Copper – Forms elastin, an important protein for tissue.
Omega 3 and 6 oils. Helps with immunity, prevents skin problems and gives a glossy coat, often in the form of salmon oil. Supports brain and retina developments in puppies.
Magnesium – An important co-factor in maintaining electrical balance across membranes and neurotransmitters.
MSM (Methyl Sulphonyl-Methane) – Enables the body to utilize vitamins and other nutrients in a more effective manner. Especially beneficial for cell rejuvenation and the healing of joints.
Glucosamine – Beneficial in promoting lubrication and viscosity of joints in older dogs, can also assist skeletal development in puppies.
Chondroitin – Keeps the cartilage in the joints hydrated and spongy.
Selenium – An antioxidant that reduces the risk of certain cancers and also helps with long term joint health. Helps to reduce the degeneration, thyroid diseases and hip dysplasia.
Fats or lipids – These are an essential form of energy and also help build the protective fatty casing around nerves in young dogs.
Proteins – Chains of amino acids that are essential for building and rebuilding tissue.
Carbohydrates – Essential form of energy.
Green Lipped Muscles – Provide a source of joint conditioners glucosamine and chondroitin.
Seaweed, kelp, spirulina – Supports digestive health and the antioxidant Vitamin A, supporting vision, bone growth and immune support.
Yeast extract – Valuable source of B vitamins.
Taurine – An amino acid found only in animal meat. It is essential for the cardiovascular, reproductive and visual performance.
Yucca – minimizes stool odor.
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