7 October, 20

Nutrition and quality of life

As experienced dog owners and trainers, promoting the best quality of life possible for our dogs is one our passions and priorities. Dogs are happiest when they are at optimal levels of health, and proper nutrition is an important part of this. Dogs may be famously indiscriminate eaters, but ensuring they follow a healthy diet is their owners’ responsibility, and not one which should be taken lightly. Poor nutrition may either lead to or exacerbate a host of avoidable health conditions which can have a severely detrimental effect on any dog, and significantly reduce its quality of life.

While today’s dogs have evolved and physiologically diverged from the Grey Wolf which it is descended from, both animals’ digestive systems and needs are relatively similar. They are scavenging carnivores, meaning that while their ideal diet is animal-based, they can survive on small amounts vegetable matter if absolutely necessary. Having said that, to achieve optimal health, dogs do need to follow a largely meat-based diet. Ideally, their sources of meat will be raw and unprocessed. This allows for optimal health and wellbeing, and of course quality of life.

Unfortunately, the modern pet food industry does surprisingly little to promote quality of life in animals. Highly monetised and weakly regulated, an alarmingly large number of pet food companies produce low-quality and unhealthy feeds that have a tendency to make animals unwell. This problem is particularly prevalent among manufacturers of dog food, where kibble is the default foodstuff for most pet owners. Kibble is a dehydrated biscuit-based feed primarily consisting of carbohydrates with a surprisingly low protein content. The protein that does find its way into kibble tends to be of poor quality rather than lean muscle, which is what dogs need and benefit from the most.

While kibble is cheap and undoubtedly convenient for owners, it often causes an array of problems which reduce dogs’ quality of life. When combined with how most pet dogs are under-exercised, this promotes overweightness and obesity, which a number of other health conditions are second-order effects of. These include poor circulation, joint issues, and decreased mobility. In brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds such as Pugs, Mastiffs, and Bulldogs, obesity can even prevent normal breathing with sometimes fatal results.

Proper nutrition allows dogs to dramatically improve their quality of life, resolve, and prevent many of these health conditions. While a good diet is the best starting point for this, nutritionally valuable supplements also have much to offer. Rejuvenate, our flagship product, can play an important role in maintaining joint strength in healthy dogs, allowing them to enjoy a range of physical activities as they mature and age. If you would be interested in an obligation free discussion on how we can help improve your dog’s quality of life through improving its nutrition, we would be more than happy to facilitate this. For more information, please email enquiries@mydognutrition.co.uk.

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