The Science of Dog Food
A balanced diet is essential for the maintenance of good health
A diet should be nutritionally balanced; it is well documented that many animals offered a selection of unbalanced foods do not select a balanced diet and become obese through selection of high-energy foods. It is therefore our responsibility to make sure our animals are fed a balanced diet.
Moderate restriction of calorie and protein intakes has been shown to
- increase longevity
- decrease obesity
- decrease cancer rates
This can be achieved by:
- Feeding less by controlling the ratio amount (one cup instead of two)
- Feeding less with a smaller frequency of feeding (once a day instead of three times)
- Feeding the same ratio at the same frequency but feeding less protein (diet food)
Varying nutritionally balanced diets and providing “treats,” including fresh vegetables, can be appropriate and improve well-being. However abrupt changes in diet (which are difficult to avoid at weaning) should be minimized because they can lead to digestive and metabolic disturbances; these changes occur in omnivores and carnivores, but herbivores are especially sensitive.
In trying to provide a balanced diet, caution should be used in varying diets too much not to upset the digestive system and causing illness.
The function of carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals in the animal body
Are there any health benefits to be obtained from a good well-balanced diet?
- Healthy skin and coat
- Fresh breath
- Healthier teeth
- Optimum weight maintenance
- Firm stool with minimum odour
- Less chance of anal gland complaints
- Not too much or too little energy
- Less chance of heart disease
- Less chance of hip and knee problems
- Longer life expectancy for your pet
Carbohydrates – supply energy
Protein – helps with growth and repair of body tissue
Fat – acts as emergency backup for energy supply
Vitamins – aids in building resistance to infections
Minerals – required for growth, maintenance, reproduction and lactation
Identifying a range of suitable foods, food additives and ingredients fed to companion species
We mostly make use of “shelve food” bought from the store as well as treats which include anything from raw veg and chews to scraps from the table.
Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or BARF
In an ideal world where we have lots of time, the very best thing you can feed your dog is raw food. This would include a varied supply of plain white rice, pasta, vegetables, chicken, mince, fish, bones and fruit.
Unfortunately we do not all have the time to follow a BARF feeding plan so the next best thing is dry food. Most advertised and most used is the Royal Canin. I find it a great convenience food and most of my customers use this. There are a few whose tummies do not agree with this brand.
If Royal Canin is a bit pricey, or your pet does not agree with Royal Canin, Beta has a great range of foods.
Beta Sensitive l find especially good, or the Beta Puppy for pups that cannot stomach RC.
Please compare the ingredients of your supermarket foods to RC and Beta before you buy.
Most have fillers and additives in equal to feeding your child greasy take away food every day. It is better to feed these than NOT feeding your dog at all, but you will see the difference in their coat, skin and teeth.
Your dog will not live to be a healthy senior with a ripe age when kept on a poor diet.
The correct storage method for foods
- Areas in which diets and diet ingredients are processed or stored should be kept clean and enclosed to prevent entry of pests.
- Food should be stored off the floor on pallets, racks, shelves or carts.
- Unused, opened bags of food should be stored in vermin-proof containers to minimize contamination and to avoid potential spread of diseases.
- Exposure to temperatures above 21ºC , extremes in relative humidity, unsanitary conditions, light, oxygen, and insects and other vermin hasten the deterioration of food.
- Precautions should be taken if perishable items—such as meats, fruits, and vegetables—are fed, because storage conditions are potential sources of contamination.
A range of bedding materials used by companion species
Bedding is material, usually organic, used by animals to support their bodies when resting or otherwise stationary.
It reduces pressure on skin, heat loss, and contamination by waste produced by an animal or those it shares living space with.
- Shredded paper,
How the energy provided by protein and fat in food can be calculated
Food energy is energy that animals (including human beings) derive from their food, through the process of cellular respiration, the process of joining oxygen with the molecules of food (aerobic respiration) or of reorganizing the atoms within the molecules for anaerobic respiration.
Animals need a minimum intake of food energy in order to sustain their metabolism and drive their muscles.
The average active 35 pound dog needs about a thousand calories a day. 20 pound active dog needs about 650 calories. On average, a cup of dry food has between 325 and 600 calories per cup.
On average two to three cups of food per day for the average dog is sufficient.
But since each dog has its own unique energy needs, it’s impossible to accurately predict the exact serving size that’s right for YOUR pet.