Is Your Dog’s Nutrition Affecting His Health?, Peoria, AZ – Arrowhead Pooper Scoopers

If your dog sheds all the time and he has sores where he chews and scratches, he may be suffering from allergies and he may benefit from a change in diet. In today’s post we will discuss the diet of dogs and how it affects their overall health, well being, and even quality of life.

As many as 25% of all dog visits to the veterinarian involve problems with the skin and hair with the most common problems being:

Allergies: Flea bites

Skin Cancers

Bacterial Skin Infections

Seborrhea

Parasites: Mange

Food Intolerance/Hypersensitivity

Immune Related Skin Disease

Hormone Related Skin Disease

 

A deficiency in nutrition has a huge impact on your dogs’ skin and coat. It often occurs when dogs’ are fed a homemade diet over a long period of time. Over time, dogs that are fed a homemade diet lose key vitamins and minerals necessary to stay healthy and well. Deficiencies also occur when dogs are fed poor quality commercial dry dog food.

Dogs have different nutritional needs based on the stage of life they are in. When choosing a dog food, this is something to take into consideration. Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs because puppies are growing and tend to be more active.  Whereas adult dogs have different nutritional needs than senior dogs that have slowed down due to declining health.

Be sure to consult your veterinarian if you are concerned about your dogs’ nutritional needs. He or she may suggest a change in diet if the following changes have occurred:

Sparse, dry or dull hair that often contains “split ends.”

Slow growth or no growth of hair from hair that has been clipped or shaved

Dry Skin/Scales

Sores

Changes in hair color/Loss of hair

Skin disease related to nutrition is due to the following:

Lower fat content in food

Poor quality protein or fat

Lower nutrients that are digestible

High levels of some nutrients that inhibit the absorption of zinc, critical for normal skin

Protein and energy are necessary for skin and hair development in dogs. If your dogs’ food is lacking in protein or fat, then your dog may lose hair, or the hair may even change color. A coat that is lacking in nutrients may become dry, dull or even brittle. An adult dog should be eating food that has a protein level of 25 to 30 percent on a dry matter scale. Fat should be 10 to 15 percent dry matter.

 

Puppies have nutritional needs that are slightly higher than that of an adult dog. Protein and fat should be 30 to 35 percent dry matter while fat should be 15 to 30 percent dry matter. Puppies should be able to digest more than 80 percent of the food they eat.

Dogs also need essential fatty acids or (EFAs). A dogs’ body cannot produce EFAs so they must be included in your dogs’ diet. When a dogs’ diet is deficient in EFAs his skin often becomes scaly and dry and it also mats easily. Skin becomes less elastic and ear infections become frequent. Skin issues are easily resolved by making sure your dogs’ diet includes Linoleic acid. Linoleic acid should make up slightly more than 1% of the food your dog is eating.

Minerals also play a part in the quality of your dogs’ skin and coat. If your dogs’ diet is lacking in copper his coat may be dull, dry and patchy. Dogs’ that lack zinc may have hair loss, ulcers on the skin and skin that is thicker or cracked, especially near foot pads or over joints.

If your dogs’ issues are caused by something other than his diet, nutrition may still help when it comes to other issues he might be having. When dogs are dealing with itchy skin, providing Omega-3 FAs from fish may help with inflammation, causing him to scratch less by providing relief.

In cases of allergies, Omega-3 FAs allowed for reduced use of antihistamines that your dog might be taking. When choosing an Omega-3 FA, choose one from a cold water marine fish. Ask your veterinarian what Omega-3 FA might be best for your dog. That way you can determine the correct dose, together.

Always consult your veterinarian when you are concerned about the health of your dog, especially when it comes to nutrition. He or she is your best resource for information regarding your dog, and the health of your dog, for life.

Today we would like to thank http://www.vcahosptials.com for helping us write this post. See their website for more advice on the health of your pet.

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