First, what is a nutrient?
The official Google definition: “a substance that provides nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life.”
Just like we need the right balance of nutrients, so do our dogs. And, also like us, our dogs can lack key nutrients they need to thrive. Is your dog getting the right mix of these must-have substances? Here are five to look at now:
Water: Water is an essential nutrient, and it’s likely that neither you nor your dog are getting enough of it! Dehydration causes all sorts of problems and is so easily avoided. Mix a little flavor into your dog’s water dish if she’s reticent, or stir some warm water into her food, if appropriate. While you’re at it, down an extra glass for yourself!
Potassium: Deficiencies here can be devastating, even leading to cardiac arrest. Potassium works hard in the body, keeping everything in balance. Most commercial pet food delivers what your pup needs. However, if your dog experiences diarrhea or vomiting, especially for dogs who suffer with chronic conditions, consider adding a small amount of mashed banana to your dog’s food.
Vitamin D: A deficiency here causes painful problems like rickets. The good news? You and your pup can load up on Vitamin D together. Simply head out for a walk and soak up those rays!
Vitamin E: We know you’re in love your dog’s big, beautiful eyes! Keep them (along with the liver, heart, nerves, and muscles) healthy with Vitamin E. It’s found in peanut butter, so go ahead and treat your dog to a PB-stuffed puzzle toy to keep his eyes shining.
Fatty Acids: You’ve probably heard of Omega-3 and Omega-6 for human wellness. They’re just as important for a dog’s health! These essential fatty acids keep your dog’s body running smoothly in nearly every way. Stir in a scoop of coconut oil or sprinkle flax onto your dog’s dinner to increase these healthy fats.
If you’re concerned about a deficiency, talk to your vet first. Nearly all deficiencies can be addressed with food or a multivitamin supplement, but don’t change your pet’s routine until you’ve consulted with a pro!
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