What you feed your dogs is important. Dogs have specific dietary needs that, if left unfulfilled, may result in health problems. Quality commercial dog foods are sometimes made with beneficial grains, meats, vegetables, and vitamins, but cheaper brands are sometimes made with sketchy animal by-products (essentially slaughterhouse waste), chemicals, and artificial colorings. Supplements can provide dogs with the nutrients that are commonly missing from commercial dog foods. Let’s look at some of them.
Essential Amino Acids
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Essential amino acids have to be ingested because dogs’ bodies cannot create them naturally. These amino acids create enzymes, hormones, DNA, and other important proteins. If insufficient essential amino acids are ingested, your dog can suffer from a myriad of serious health problems. Essentially, essential amino acids are essential.
Fatty Acids (“good fats”)
This may come as a surprise to you, but not all fats are unhealthy. Saturated and trans fats certainly are, but there are many unsaturated fats that serve useful roles in the body. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats have even been linked to improved heart health in humans. Omega-3 fatty acids are perhaps the most well-known “good” fats; they are primarily found in fish, nuts, and various oils. In dogs, good fatty acids are essential to the maintenance of healthy skin, a strong immune system, and other important functions.
These enzymes help your dog’s body break down the food they eat and convert it to usable energy. Different enzymes play different roles in this energy conversion. Notable examples of digestive enzymes include amylase, lipase, and protease. Amylase helps break down starches into sugars and is present in human saliva, lipase helps break down and transport fats, and protease helps break down proteins. It is important that dogs ingest such enzymes to help with their digestion. It would be best if the dog food they eat contained these enzymes, but this is not always the case.
Antioxidants are substances that help protect cells by satiating the free radicals that make them unstable. In short, they keep your cells healthy and allow them to carry out their innumerable functions. Some antioxidants have familiar names, like vitamin C and E, while others are not as well known, like N-acetylcysteine or isorhamnetin. To learn more about the power of antioxidants and free radicals, check out this Liquid Health blog post.
As you now know, many useful ingredients may be missing from your dog food. If you’re concerned that your dog may not be getting all of the above nutrients from their food, considering using Liquid Health™ FidoNutrients, which is loaded with vitamins, a mineral-rich seaweed blend, plant-derived oils, and various nut and berry extracts to provide your dog with all the important nutrients above and more!
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