Thursday, November 7, 2013

6 Reasons Your Dog Needs Balanced Nutrition

Rocco practices his ideal balance
Just like pretty much everything in life, balance is what we like to strive for -- whether it's work/life balance or a balanced diet. 

And just like it is for human folk, pets need balance in their life too -- sleep, play, train, tricks (like Rocco's doing above!), and, of course, they need balance in their diet too.


So when it comes to pets, what is balanced nutrition and why is it so important?

First, let’s look at the key nutrients that your pet’s body needs to maintain good health and energy -- protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

So what happens if any one of these key nutrient is out of whack, either too high or too low? Let's look at each one.

Protein

Protein is a vital nutrient that helps support lean muscle tissue for adult pets. For growing puppies and kittens, protein nourishes growing muscle tissue.

If a pet’s diet is too low in protein this could lead to poor growth. If a pet’s diet is too high in protein, this could increase the workload of the liver and kidneys to get rid of excess nitrogen.

That’s because your pet’s body will only absorb a certain amount of protein – everything in excess must be processed by the liver and kidneys. You can see how over time this extra work could affect these organs.

Fats

Fats are very beneficial in your pet’s diet. Fats – in the appropriate levels – are excellent for healthy skin. Fats nourish the skin and make it soft.

What’s more, fats help with a luxurious coat and contribute to shiny fur! We know what happens with too much fat: weight gain. But what if there isn’t enough fat? Potential for a dull, dry and flaky coat.

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are also essential in your pet’s diet. Vitamins support the immune system; minerals help puppies and kittens grow strong muscles and healthy teeth. 

If the vitamins levels are deficient, your pet could experience fatigue or weakness. If the vitamin levels are too high, this could lead to organ stress. If the minerals are too high, your pet could be at risk for bladder stones.

Fiber

Fiber is great for healthy digestion, but if your pet’s diet is too low your pet could experience loose stools. And, with too much fiber, your pet could experience gas. Eeeks! We'd like to stay away from either scenario!

So the moral to the story is “balance.” Each of these nutrients is critical to survival. For optimal health, choose a food for your pet that provides proven, perfectly balanced nutrition.

We've learned a lot these past few months about Hill's new Ideal Balancea line of perfectly balanced pet foods using only natural ingredients to create recipes with optimal levels of over 50 nutrients. Want to know how your pet food stacks up? Check out this comparison tool from Hill's Ideal Balance.

And, because every good dog and cat deserves treats, come back in about two weeks and we'll have a great treat giveaway (both dog and cat treats, your choice!) from Ideal Balance!

Disclosure: I have been compensated for completion of this article. Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article. 

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