VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Have you got all the three macronutrients under check, and yet your doggo is not appearing to be in the pink of its health? There is more to it! When God made its creatures, he created a unique functional system fuelled with an intricate system of nutrients. Any deficiency on any parameters can break the flow of functioning, so the fulfilling nutritional value must be of utmost priority. Every aspect of the nutritious value must be checked upon. Vitamin and minerals might seem just the add-ons you could include in their regular feed without paying much attention, but these are the nutrition that differentiates a healthy pet from a thriving one. We know that merely telling you that an important nutritional form won't do; let us prove it to you! Then decide for yourself if you want your dogs to thrive or not.
Vitamins and minerals are an interrelated category within themselves, and other nutrients too. They help in the healthy functioning of the canine body if fed in the required proportion. Unlike other macronutrients, the trickiest part with vitamins and minerals is not their availability or bioavailability but the quantity of these nutrients. There is a fixed cap for almost all the vitamins and minerals; one could neither exceed that cap nor fall short of the cap.
For example, CALCIUM: While a lower calcium level can result in stunted growth, a higher calcium level can cause skeletal problems, especially in large breed dogs.
Similarly, VITAMIN A's higher level can cause dehydration in the body, joint pain and harm a dog's blood vessels.
Thus, you have to play extremely safe with vitamins and minerals, only feed the prescribed ratio by following the guidelines by AAFCO. Ideally, all the market-made commercial food products are prepared using the adequate nourishment required for dogs, including micro minerals and vitamins.
As per Professor Tony Buffington; DVM, Phd
"Most people are doing it because they want to, not because it is necessary."
The dog-parent community falls to the extremes. Some pet parents opt-in to feed their doggos based on what they have read or been told to, without realising the actual need of the hour. Similarly, the other end is committed to turning a blind eye to all these intricacies of a dog's life.
Experiences have taught humans to start listening to their body's needs and requirements rather than ingesting anything mindlessly. The same goes here if you have willfully taken up this duty of being a mother or father of a pet, you have to perform the same duties to help them stay healthy and happy. Know their bodies, garner knowledge for what keeps them intact and bridge the gap between their needs and fulfilment. So let's learn and understand what each micro mineral and vitamin did for us.
Since the beginning, our grannies have tutored us that carrots have this unparalleled capability of magically reviving all the lost vision. But, who knew, it was all Vitamin A's magic working, which pertains to our puppies as well. Vitamin A intake maintains the eye health and fetal development of a dog. In addition, it boosts the immune system and takes over all the cell functions in the canine body.
Thiamine, a derivative of Vitamin B, regulates energy and carb metabolism in the body. It activates ion channels in mural tissue to be processed by the body duly.
Riboflavin, B12 and niacin, a few other Vitamin B derivatives, also facilitate enzyme function in the body.
B6 facilitates glucose generation, nervous system functioning, hormone regulation, niacin synthesis, gene activation and triggers the red blood cell formation and immune response.
Pantothenic acid helps in energy metabolism by the canine body.
Folic acid works towards amino acid and nucleotide metabolism and facilitates mitochondrial protein synthesis.
Covid-19 singlehandedly became the torch-bearer to awaken the human world for Vitamin C's importance. However, Vitamin C can itself be synthesised in a dog's liver. If the body is incapable of making it in adequate quantities, it is suggested to be complemented through outside sources.
As we have already explored the importance of antioxidants in the canine body, Vitamin C boosts the source for all these antioxidants. In addition, it strengthens the body against potentially harmful free radicals, reduces inflammation, and delays cognitive ageing.
Vitamin D is commonly known as the "sunshine vitamin" Vitamin D balances minerals like phosphorus and calcium for healthy bone growth. Deficiency may lead to improper development, unhealthy muscles and an obstacle for bone growth.
It works to immunise the body against oxidative damages and facilitates proper cell functioning. In addition, fat metabolism is undertaken through this vitamin, eventually keeping eyes and muscle generation in check and keeps reproductive issues at bay.
It is a fat-soluble vitamin instrumental in activating your dog's blood's ability to clot. It is a no-brainer that blood is the riding hood for transferring and allocating nutrients to every part of the body. Therefore, any blood issue can easily disparage the whole working of the body.
Ingestion of certain rats and mice can seriously restrict the formation of Vitamin K, which may lead to hemorrhagic and health if not treated immediately.
Choline is a component of the phospholipid cell membrane. It supports healthy brain and liver function that treats pets with epilepsy.
These are further divided among the sub-category of Macrominerals and Microminerals/ Trace minerals. As the name suggests, Macrominerals are minerals used in higher quantities by the canine body, but trace minerals are required in comparatively lower quantities.
Minerals interact with each other to complement and supplement each other's requirements. Thus, however low the requirement might be, fulfilment is necessary for it may hamper the working and efficacy of other minerals and nutrients.
Calcium and Phosphorus
Although they are two different minerals, they are more than generally named and used interchangeably. They are the building blocks of teeth and bone structure of the canine body. Calcium performs various functions for the canine body that are irreplaceable, like
- Muscle contractions
- Constriction and dilation of blood vessels
- Blood coagulation
- Secretion of hormones
- A cofactor for enzymes
- Nerve impulse transmission
- Heart rate stability
- Blood calcium levels
Calcium is one such macro mineral that the body can store, and if the levels fall below the required level, it is released by the bones to soothe other organ's functioning.
Sodium, Potassium & Chloride
They make up major electrolytes in the canine body. Electrolytes are present in the body as charged ions and particles that maintain the body's fluid balance. It operates in transmitting nerve impulses, maintains osmotic balance and facilitates muscle contraction and acid-base balance.
Essentially magnesium makes up the content of enzymes, bones and intracellular fluids. Magnesium also influences neuromuscular transmission.
Consequently, the consumption of iron is also said to boost the immunity system.
Zinc takes care of the elemental immunity of a dog; it boosts hormones and enzymes. According to recent research, there are almost 200 enzymes that require zinc for its production.
A body deficient in zinc may take longer than necessary to heal or reproduce, so zinc not only protects against any pathogen but also takes care if any pathogen has entered for a speedy recovery or not.
Copper is the reason behind the healthy skin and eternal youth of your pooch. Copper maintains the synthesis of neurotransmitters, bones, connective tissues and formation of collagen. As a result, it boosts the body's antioxidant defence and maintains the goodness of skin and hair.
Selenium is another of the hidden gems for dog's bodies. It is available in two forms: sodium selenite and selenium yeast. It takes care of thyroid metabolism and stimulates antioxidant defence. Generally present in selenium yeast form in the commercially processed food category, selenium is an unavoidable ingredient.
Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fatty Acids may be the backbone of the canine structure, but they are irrelevant without the valuable existence of vitamins and minerals. There is no point in feeding your dog nutrients if the body is not ready to process those nutrients. Vitamins and Minerals are the catalysts for the metabolism of these macronutrients in the body.
Apart from providing the support, vitamins and minerals also provide the immune advantages which nobody disapproves of. The interactive nature of vitamins and minerals within themselves and other nutrients give them the importance and complications. Lack of it can disrupt the working of the overall nutrients too. So the chain must be maintained to work properly and efficiently. It is best to order a wholesome meal certified by a food nutritionist from pet store online, rather than investing in all your energies for homemade recipes only to miss one or two nutrient values.