Does the Pet Food You Buy Have These Nutrients in the Right Amounts?

By March 30 | See Comments

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Just like humans, dogs need diets that are rich in all the nutrients. However, there are some essential ingredients that can cause more harm than good if given in excess quantities. Pay more attention if you have the following ingredients in the pet food you buy:

  • Protein – Although dogs are well -known omnivores, proteins are an essential cornerstone of their daily nutrition. Ideally, the proteins that you give your dog must come from easily digestible sources, especially for dogs that have kidney disease. If the protein's quality is poor, it can cause digestibility and metabolism issues, leading to nausea, weight loss, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • Magnesium – Although it is a necessary nutrient, magnesium can sometimes cause severe, life-threatening illness. If taken in excess amounts, it can have a negative impact on the heart and the nervous system, causing symptoms like paralysis, weakness, respiratory depression, cardiac arrest, coma, and death. Magnesium also leads to bladder stones. While both cats and dogs suffer from these effects, the problem is more common in dogs.
  • Phosphorous and calcium – These are two nutrients that can have harmful effects if given in excess quantities. The ratio of phosphorous to calcium in the dog food is very important. Unusually high levels of either of the two nutrients alter the proper ratio of the two and impacts the bones of your dog negatively. This is particularly the case with large breed dogs that are in the prime of their growth phase. Moreover, phosphorous and calcium intake is an important consideration for dogs that suffer from ailments like kidney disease. The requirements change depending on the stage of the disease and the constitution of the animal. Excessive amounts of either can worsen the condition and precipitate the formation of bladder stones.
  • Sodium – Sodium helps in regulating the blood pressure, transmitting nerve impulses and maintaining the balance between the bases and acids in the body. In spite of all this, excess quantities of sodium can impact the kidneys, heart, and nervous system. If your dog has a kidney or heart disease, the sodium intake must be monitored strictly as excess levels of it can cause the disease to progress faster. Excess sodium also makes your dog thirsty, leading to frequent urination. Excess sodium can cause dehydration if your dog does not consume enough water to counter the water loss that accompanies the flushing out of the excess sodium.
  • Vitamin D – Feeding your dog unusually high levels of vitamin D leads to increased levels of calcium (as vitamin D is involved in absorbing calcium in the body). This can cause adverse symptoms that involve the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, cardiovascular system, and nervous system.
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