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Decipher the role of SALT in your pooch’s diet

Something as simple as salt can become a matter of great concern for your beloved pet. Salt is nothing but sodium and chloride, but there are innumerable myths surrounding salt in dog’s diet. So, grab your cup of coffee and embark on this enlightening journey.

Dr. Sunita Patel

Why salt is important?
“Sodium chloride is required to main tain blood pressure, blood volume, transmission of nerve impulses and maintain the acid base balance in the body. Sodium aids in the transfer of nutrients to cells and removal of waste products. While, chloride is required for production of hydrochloric acid for digestion of protein in stomach,” said Dr Sunita Patel. Dr Gautam Anand told, “The excretion of sodium and chloride is a rather slow process in dogs, they need very limited amount of salt in the daily diet.”
Humans lose a great amount of salt by sweating. For those of you who didn’t know, dogs sweat from their paws and nose. Dr Prabhjot said, “Since dogs don’t sweat as much as we humans do, their salt intake should also be limited.”
Problems related to high salt and low salt diet
We all know that excess of everything is bad, but there can also be a problem if the required intake amount is not met.
Problems related to high salt intake: “While, high sodium or hypernatremia causes Untitled-14increased thirst, confusion, disorientation, seizures and coma. It can also result in vomiting, diarrhoea and water loss through urine,” told Dr Sunita Patel.  “Excessive intake of either of these two minerals is filtered through kidneys and released into urine. Seizures, blindness, dehydration, loss of appetite and sometimes death are some of the signs of sodium chloride toxicity in dogs. Always ensure your dog has access to clean drinking water,” told Dr Makarand Chavan.
Problems related to low salt intake: A low sodium diet may also cause a lot of problems. “Low sodium or hyponatremia causes lethargy, weakness, seizures and coma,” explained Dr Sunita Patel. “Difficulties in maintaining water balance, fatigue, dry and flaky skin, hair loss and exhaustion are some of the effects of a low sodium diet,” said Dr Gautam.
Dr Makarand Chavan told, “Prolonged diarrohea or severe vomiting could be major reasons of such deficiency and it is advisable to consult a veterinarian before the condition gets serious.”
Home-cooked food
What about home-cooked food? Is it balanced? “Home-cooked food is difficult to balance the protein, carbohydrate and fats required by body and needs supplementation with vitamins and minerals,” told
Dr Sunita Patel. “Their intake should be a balance of animal protein and fat, carbohydrates. Home meals must contain a balance  of cooked meat without bones (70 percent) with carbohydrates like rice or wheat  with certain vegetables like carrots, beans, pumpkin, bottle gourd (30 percent) – all cooked together,” she added.
“Home-cooked food can provide good nutrition, if rightly formulated by qualified veterinary nutritionist,” told Dr Manvir. There are a lot of dogs who are given home cooked food. In such cases it becomes the pet parent’s responsibility to see that the dog is getting appropriate nutrition. It is important you consult the vet for a proper diet chart and preparation of the same.
“The market is full of health supplements. If your pet eats only home-cooked food, then it is advisable that you give these supplements that would cater to their daily requirement of minerals and vitamins,”
added Dr Prabhjot.
Dog food
“Most of the responsible pet parents offer commercial pet food to their pets. They should ensure what they are feeding to their pets should meet the requirements of the pet. It can be ensured by seeing the label of nutrient composition at packet and consulting your veterinary nutritionist/veterinarian,” told Dr Manvir Singh.

On Dog Food
“Pet food has come into the market after a lot of research. It is a totally balanced meal,” said Dr Sunita Patel.

Foods that are a strict ‘NO – NO’
Cheese, bacon, ham, chips and sausages are some foods that have an excess amount of sodium. Thus you must always refrain from giving these to your pet. In case your pooch has some kidney, liver or heart disease there are chances that your vet may recommend a low sodium diet. This is done to decrease blood pressure and avoid accumulation of excess body fluids.
PS – Don’t fall prey to those soulful eyes, table scarps should go in the dustbin and not into your pet’s tummy. Be careful of what you make your pet eat. It’s your responsibility.

On human food
“Salty foods upset the electrolyte balance and table scraps are not advised,” explained Dr Sunita Pate

Salt Facts

Importance of salt: It helps in maintaining the balance between intra and extracellular fluids of body. It also helps in transferring nutrients to cells and removal of wastes. Na and Cl play important role in regulating blood pressure.
How much salt is required in dog’s diet? Almost all foods contain NaCl and it is integral part of commercial pet foods also. The minimum daily requirement of sodium (Na) for dogs is rather lower than Chloride (Cl) and not particularly challenging to meet. AAFCO dog nutrient profiles which might be viewed as somewhat representative of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), list a recommended Na content of 0.2 percent on dry matter basis for both growth and maintenance OR 0.86 gm per 1000 kcal ME (Metabolisable Energy) for growth and 0.17 gm per 1000 Kcal ME for adult maintenance.
Problems related to low/high sodium intake: Problems related to low salt intake are extremely rare because all foods contain sodium chloride (salt). It may occur in case of severe diarrhoea and vomition that may lead to excess loss of Na and Cl from the body. Symptoms may include dehydration, disorientation and stupor. In case of your pet is suffering from certain ailments related to kidneys, liver and heart, you must take advice from a veterinarian who can recommend decreasing sodium intake for the pet. This will help decrease the pet’s high blood pressure or accumulation of excessive body fluid.
If salt or salty food is ingested in large quantity and sufficient drinking water is not available to dog, then salt toxicity may occur. Symptoms of salt toxicity are dehydration, vomition, seizures, blindness, loss of appetite, thriftiness and death if not treated. Generally extra salt (NaCl) is extracted from body through urine.

(With inputs from Dr Sunita Patel, Veterinary Surgeon, All India Animal Welfare Association and President, Pet Practitioners Association of Mumbai; Dr Gautam Anand, Dr Anand’s Pets Clinics, New Delhi;  Dr Prabhjot, Triguna Dog Clinics, New Delhi; Dr Manvir Singh, MVSc(IVRI) and Veterinary Nutritionist, College of Veterinary Sciences, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand and Dr Makarand Chavan, BVSc &AH, MVSc, Dogs and Cats Veterinary Clinic, Mumbai).

Diet for the moms-to-be and new moms

Diet during pregnancy…

The average duration of pregnancy in the she-dog is 63 days, but her energy requirements do not increase appreciably until the last third of gestation when most foetal weight gain occurs. It is important, therefore, to avoid overfeeding in early pregnancy, since this will lead to the deposition of unwanted fat and may predispose her to problems at whelping. A gradual increase in food allowance over the second half of gestation is all that is required and a satisfactory regimen would be to increase the amount of food by 15 percent of the dog’s maintenance ration each week from the fifth week onwards. At the time of whelping, she will be eating 60 percent more than when she was mated.

Because the additional requirements imposed by pregnancy are relatively small, they can usually be met by simply increasing the amount of her normal food, provided that is nutritionally complete and balanced. However, in late pregnancy and particularly if the litter is large, the space occupied by the gravid uterus may be so great that the physical capacity for food intake is limited and appetite is reduced. In this case, feeding a concentrated diet, such as one designed for puppy growth or active dogs, can help to ensure an adequate intake and offering smaller, more frequent meals can also be beneficial.

Calcium and Vitamin D supplements are sometimes given to she-dogs in late pregnancy and lactation as an ‘insurance policy’, however, these do not prevent eclampsia and may, in fact, increase the risk of eclampsia or calcinosis in her and produce developmental abnormalities in the puppies.

Diet during lactation…

Lactation represents the most nutritionally demanding life stage for the she-dog and at peak lactation (three to four weeks after whelping), she may need to eat anything up to four times normal maintenance allowance. Failure to the diet to meet these demands means that she will nurse her young at the expense of her own body reserves, with a resultant loss of weight and condition. If she is unable to produce enough milk or eat the amount of food she needs, then early supplementary feeding of the puppies may be necessary if both the mother and puppies are to thrive.

Consider a Labrador of 28 Kg with a litter of six 4-week-old puppies of 2.5 Kg each. At this stage each puppy will require an energy intake of about 500Kcal/day which is obtained from the mother’s milk. She therefore has to supply 3000 Kcal as milk each day. Her milk contains about 1300 Kcal/litre and so the amount of milk needed is at least 2.3 litres

There are obviously some losses of energy in the production of milk but if it is assumed that the process has an efficiency of 75 percent then in order to produce 3000 Kcal as milk, she must obtain 4000 Kcal from her food. In addition, to maintain her own body weight and condition, she will need her usual 1339 Kcal/day. Her total energy requirement is therefore 5339 Kcal or nearly four times her maintenance requirement. Obviously, it is strongly recommended to feed such an amount of food several small meals of a highly digestible diet, or alternatively, offer the food constantly over 24 hours. Ideally the food should be placed close to her bed, so that she does not have to leave her puppies in order to eat. This will also encourage the puppies to try their mother’s milk.

If the mother is unable to produce enough milk or to eat the amount of food she needs, then early supplementary feeding of puppies may be necessary if they are to do as well as they should. This is initially best done with a milk replacer which has nutritional profile close to the mother’s milk. From about four weeks of age onwards, the puppies can also be encouraged to eat small amounts of their mother’s food.

An unlimited supply of drinking water should also be provided to cater for the large volumes that may be involved in milk production.

Milk production is affected by protein (quantity and quality) in the diet and it is important that the extra food supplied is of good quality. It is not appropriate to simply increase the dietary energy content by adding fat or carbohydrate sources.

nutrition

A ‘Golden’ diet

Royal Canin offers breed-specific diets, the recently launched being the Golden Retriever 25 and Golden Retriever 29 for your golden breed.

Breed – Specific Diets

Royal Canin is the inventor of breed specific diets, the Breed Health Nutrition range. The Breed Health NutritionNutrition range is formulated with quality nutrients, excellent raw materials and exclusive natural aromas, which the dog detects immediately. The very high digestibility level (more than 90 percent on an average) of the rigorously selected proteins, ensure the best possible assimilation by the body and good intestinal health.

The Breed Health Nutrition range combines scientific knowledge of nutritional precision,

  • Taking into account each breed’s particular sensitivities.
  • Formulating a unique diet to respond to each breed’s specific needs.

Why Kibble?

The kibble is a concentration of technical expertise: its shape, size and texture tailor-made to:

  • Help encouraging good oral hygiene due to a brushing effect.
  • Make it easier for brachycephalic breeds and puppies to pick up their food.
  • Help slowing down the speed of ingestion, in particular for greedy breeds who may gulp down their food.
  • Are adapted to the size and shape of each different jaw.

 

The Golden Retriever Diet…

The Golden Retriever has his own physiological specifities, which should not be mistaken with the Labrador Retriever’s.

nutrition

Right diet for mom & pups for a good start

Is your dog expecting or are you waiting for your new puppy to arrive? If so, Royal Canin has developed its Birth & Growth nutritional solutions, specially formulated to make the critical period from birth to weaning safe for your dog and her puppies.

It is very important to take care of the nutritional needs of the mom dog and pups. The five key stages of nutritiontheir life together include:

Gestation (almost nine weeks before birth)

In dogs, gestation lasts around nine weeks on an average. In the first six weeks, the mother’s energy needs are not that high. However, in the last third of her pregnancy, foetal development speeds up dramatically, and her nutritional needs change; this is when she needs a food with much higher energy, protein and mineral levels – but at the same time ingestive capacities decrease. At this stage, she needs to move to Royal Canin’s Starter, a very digestible energy-dense food.

Birth

A couple of weeks before the due date, move her to a quiet place, and make sure you have everything you might need ready. By the time of delivery, she should not have gained too much extra weight (around 25 percent above her ideal weight is fine) so that the delivery itself is not too much of a strain. After delivery, feed her Starter ad lib until weaning.

Lactation (lasts 6-7 weeks after birth)

From the first hours of life, the puppies will suckle from their mother who will produce up to three times her own weight in milk over the next 6 to 7 weeks. Her milk is very rich in proteins and fats and to produce it, the mother draws reserves from her own diet. Starter provides the lactating dog with the energy and protein she needs, along with necessary nutrients such as calcium and essential fatty acids.

Weaning (starts at four weeks after birth)

Weaning starts naturally at around four weeks. The puppies’ digestive capacities have developed, the first milk teeth have come through, and milk alone no longer completely fulfills their increasing energy needs. Start off with a ‘porridge’ of Starter, and then gradually reduce the quantity of water or milk replacer until you are just feeding dry food–this is the ideal transition to solid foods.

Growth (after two months of birth)

Around two months of age, a puppy’s growth speeds up and a large-size puppy can have his weight multiplied by 70 within 15 month! Such a quick development requires to provide puppies with a well-balanced formula so that their optimal growth is ensured within the risk of putting on any extra weight. During that period, puppies’ digestive system remains immature and their natural defences are still building up, which is why a smooth transition towards the ‘Junior’ food specifically tailored according to the puppy’s size or breed is necessary.

nutrition

Royal Canin’s nutritional diet for urinary disorders

Cystitis and bladder stones are two of the most common urinary diseases and lead to various clinical signs that are sometimes poorly understood by the owner. The main role of urine is to eliminate body wastes and toxic products that accumulate in the bloodstream. It also plays a role in maintaining the body’s equilibrium by regulating the quantities of water and minerals that are excreted.

Produced in the kidneys where nephrons carry out blood filtration, urine passes through both ureters to the urinary. It is released to the outside via the urethra when the pet feels the need to urinate.

How can I detect a urinary disorder in my pet?

The clinical signs of urinary disorders are various and sometimes subtle. Irrespective of their intensity, they always indicate discomfort or pain.

Your pet may show one or more of the following signs:

  • urinates more often and passes small quantities, or fails to urinate
  • licks the genital area frequently
  • crouches longer in the urinating position
  • strains or shows signs of pain while urinating
  • pinkish urine, indicative of the presence of blood
  • loss of appetite
  • behavioural changes

Does a urinary disorder necessarily mean a urinary stone?

NO. Low Urinary Tract Disease (LUTD) may have various causes and there are also some differences between cats and dogs. In fact it may be caused by:

  • cystitis (bladder inflammation) of infectious origin
  • urinary crystals/stones: these aggregates mostly form in the urinary bladder of pets.
  • neoplasm (tumour)
  • behavioural disorder etc.

To make his/her diagnosis, your veterinarian may suggest performing further examinations such as urinalysis to determine the urine pH, detect the presence of inflammatory cells, blood or protein…

What is a urinary stone?

These crystals occur when urine is saturated in minerals, either because the pet’s metabolism is abnormal or because his diet makes the urinary environment favourable to crystal formation. Urinary stones consist of aggregates of urinary crystals that are present in the bladder. They can be of four types: struvite stones (very common), calcium oxalate stones (most common), ammonium urate stones (much less frequent) and cystine stones (rare).

These stones may vary in size, be alone or associated with other stones, be of one type or mixed. Identification of the stone is very important in planning the most appropriate treatment.

What are the factors that promote stone formation?

As a general rule, the factors involved in stone formation are:

  • the degree of urine acidity (pH)
  • urinary concentrations of minerals
  • infectious cystitis

Small breeds such as Bichon Frise, Miniature Schnauzer, Poodle, Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier are known to be more prone to developing urinary stones. Dalmatians have a higher risk of ammonium urate stones due to a metabolic abnormality leading to excessive urinary excretion of urate. In general, male dogs are more affected by urinary calculi than female dogs (except for struvite calculi).

What is the treatment for urinary stones?

Treatment may consist of the administration of antibacterial agents to fight against a possible bladder infection, anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation of the urinary tract, or urinary pH modifiers.

Nutritional treatment

Some calculi, such as struvite, can be dissolved by a specific diet, such as Royal Canin. This diet is higher in sodium (in proportions safe for the pet’s health), resulting in increased water intake and therefore urine dilution. Moreover, this diet is specifically designed to reduce the urinary concentrations of minerals (magnesium, phosphorus) and urea, and to acidify urine.

Ammonium urate and cystine stones can also be dissolved. Dissolution requires a diet that alkalinises urine. Royal Canin diet is particularly indicated.

Other stones, like calcium oxalate, cannot be dissolved. Therefore they need to be removed by your veterinarian, under general anaesthesia.

What can I do to prevent stone recurrence?

  • If your pet has already had urinary crystals/stones: do not change his diet before consulting your veterinarian, even if he seems to be cured.
  • Do not withdraw the medical treatment prescribed by your veterinarian before the end of the treatment period. If you encounter difficulties in administering drugs to your pet, consult your veterinarian: he/she will give you some advice and may adjust the prescription. Your pet may seem to be completely normal even though crystals are forming again.
  • Ideally, divide your pet’s daily feeding amount into several small meals: this minimises fluctuations in urine pH.
  • Make sure that your pet has fresh and clean water available at all times.
  • Ensure that your pet does not have to wait to urinate. When your pet holds on, it concentrates its urine as well as the minerals that are contained in urine. Remember to take your dog out often.
Nutrition

Your dog is unique and so should be his diet!

Despite the dignified, even anxious appearance, the Pug can’t hide his happy, affectionate, totally loyal – even exclusive – nature for long! Lots of love and care is needed to keep him healthy and happy. Royal Canin has launched Pug 25 – a food totally dedicated to the breed.

Sometimes unruly as a youngster, firm, kind training turns him into a totally calm and level-headed dog. His square (cobby) muscled physique means he plays with calm poise and dignity. The Pug is undoubtedly the oldest of the small molossoid breeds, with historians reporting his existence for two or three thousand years. Originally from China and sharing the same origins as the Mastiff or Tibetan Mastiff, the Pug arrived in Europe via Holland in the 16th century. The breed quickly became a favourite in royal courts, before it was supplanted by the Pekingese and Terriers. It was not until the 1960s that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor restored the breed to royal favour.

A delicate skin which needs care…

The Pug’s short hair clearly displays his skin, which is folded around the face as the breed standard requires. These folds can retain natural humidity in the skin and encourage the appearance of cutaneous irritation. Regular cleaning is necessary for good hygiene, and food can also contribute to good health: A patented complex of four B vitamins and an amino acid help reinforce the effectiveness of the cutaneous barrier. Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA-DHA from fish oil and Vitamin A have a supportive anti-inflammatory action.

A face with no comparison…

Carried n a large, round head, the short muzzle is completely square and not turned up. The jaw is characteristically brachycephalic, with slight lower prognathism, and the incisors are implanted almost in a straight line. In fact, picking up an object or food that is too flat is very difficult, and the Pug has a tendency to swallow his food without crunching.

A characteristic physique

The Pug’s compact form shows off his crisp and firm muscles. Regular, gentle walks, avoiding strong heat and intense effort, are enough to keep him in shape when combined with the right food, served in the right amount, and not too many treats. Regular, gentle exercise is also good for the digestive system.

A food…that takes care of all

Today, as a result of discussions with breeders keen to support this charming breed, and the benefit of scientific advances in terms of nutrition, Royal Canin has launched a new food dedicated to the breed:

PUG 25.


PUG 25 is based on ultradigestible (90%) proteins and a combination of fibres to stimulate transite and protect the intestinal flora.

PUG 25 is enriched with antioxidants which are effective against free radicals: Vitamins E and C, taurine, besides active plant extracts such as luteine and grape polyphenols.


This little dog has a relatively long life expectancy, and regular veterinary checks and a specially adapted diet can help make this long life a comfortable one.

Royal Canin’s pawfect diet for a truly noble-the German Shepherd

Powerful, liverly, intelligent, loyal..the German Shepherd has many impressive qualities. An excellent guard dog, he is also a perfect rescue dog due to his exceptionally refined sense of smell. He is appreciated not just for his physical aptitude and flexible character, but also for the beauty of his black and tan coat… a perfect blend of looks and character!

Caring for a dog who gives his all:
Blessed with outstanding physical abilities, He is a remarkably robust dog. Marrying power and watchfulness, he sets himself no limits, an element which needs to be considered to keep him in ideal shape throughout his life. The diet which he takes need to address the following:

Ensuring digestive safety:

The German Shepherd has a sensitive digestive system due to a proportionally smaller digestive tract, major intestinal permeability, and increased risk of gastric fermentation.

A sensitive immune system:

His natural immune defences are not always very effective in protecting the skin and mucosa, hence it is essential to reinforce his immune system to help him fi ght oxidative stress, which is responsible for ageing.

Watching over an alkaline skin:

Increased cutaneous pH levels predispose him to bacterial infections.

The joints of an athlete:

From growth onwards, his food needs to protect the cartilages to help fi ght against the development of arthritis.

Growth…a key phase in puppy’s life
Growth is a key phase for the puppy, because it sets the pattern for his future health. Over the period of a few months, the German Shepherd puppy goes through some major upheavals: weaning and transition to solid food, very rapid physical development, lifestyle changes, separation from his mother.

From weaning to 5 months – Intense and rapid development:

The skeleton requires considerable protein and mineral amounts, with exactly the right amount of calcium – neither too little nor too much. Also, the transition to solid food demands great care, because the puppy is incapable of assimilating large quantities of food or digesting starch. Weight gain needs to continue, but must be controlled so that the puppy does not gain too much too young, which will weaken a still fragile bone structure. During the fi rst weeks of life, the puppy benefi ts from maternally transmitted antibodies, but this protection is lost between the 4th and 12th weeks. With his own immune system still immature, he is then exposed to risk of infection, particularly as he has not yet been vaccinated. Only a specially developed food can help him through this immunity gap in total safety.

From 5 months to the end of growth – Consolidating his assets:

During this period, weight gain slows down while the bone structure achieves to consolidate itself. The food must be less rich, although the puppy still needs 50% as many calories as an adult dog. From 5 months onwards, the puppy can digest larger amounts of food, but it is important to watch his weight gain carefully as being overweight at this stage can lead to joint problems in later age. The milk teeth, which came through at around 3 weeks, are replaced by the adult dentition at around 7 months old. From now on, it is important to encourage the puppy to crunch his food before swallowing, not only to slow down his speed of ingestion but also to encourage good oral-hygiene.
A pawfect diet for juniors < 15 months… Royal Canin’s German Shepherd 30
The diet ensures maximum digestive security which meets the needs of the German Shepherd’s puppy’s sensitive digestion, thanks to a selection of highly digestible proteins (L.I.P.), an energy concentration and Acti-Flora complex (probiotics and Psyllium) adapted to avoid overloading the stomach. Besides, its osteoarticular reinforcement ensures harmonious growth of the skeleton and of its mineralization, which helps to support the joints. It also supports the skin’s “barrier” role (pH>7) and maintains the natural beauty of the puppy’s coat. The diet also helps support the young puppy’s natural defences.

A pawfect diet for adults > 15 months … Royal Canin’s German Shepherd 24

It ensures maximum digestive well-being, aimed at the German Shepherd’s digestive sensitivity, thanks to highly digestible L.I.P. proteins, with copra oil and rice as the sole source of carbohydrates. A selection of fi bres specifi cally limits intestinal fermentation while maintaining intestinal fl ora. Besides supporting the skin’s barrier role and his natural defences, it helps maintain vitality in the older dog. Not only this, they support joints of active dogs.

Healthy Diet

Your puppy depends on a number of different nutrients for his health. This article discusses what they are and how they work

Your puppy depends on a number of different nutrients in order to be healthy. Each nutrient fulfils certain needs, so the body has to get them in a specific quantity and in the right ratio. The need for energy suppliers or minerals will differ enormously according to your dog’s age and activity level. This is why it’s nearly impossible to get the “right mixture” of nutrients with home-made food. So a commercially prepared puppy or dog food is best.

Here’s a list of the important nutrients your dog needs for a long and healthy life:

Water

Water is the most important nutrient for your dog. His body consists of 70% water, and each day he loses liquid, which must be replaced. Water is indispensable for many processes of metabolism. A dish of fresh water should always be available to your dog. Milk, on the other hand, may cause diarrhoea.

Proteins

Proteins are the basic components of cells. The body needs protein, especially to build muscles. Meat and fish contain a lot of protein; however, some plants such as soybeans are also rich in protein. By the way, a dog’s need for protein is only half as much as that of a cat. This is why cats and dogs should not eat each other’s commercially prepared foods.

Fat

Fat is an important supplier of energy. Certain vitamins are “fat-soluble”, which means the body can only absorb them in conjunction with fat. Special fatty acids are important for the health of your dog’s skin and coat. But be careful; too much fat means extra pounds for dogs as well as humans.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are important fuels. They are found in such starchy foods as rice, grain and pasta, and in sugar. Carbohydrates supply the body with energy, which is then very quickly converted to output. Vegetable carbohydrates have to be cooked to enable your dog to digest them and thus to use them.

Minerals

Minerals are substances that are present in different body structures. Calcium, for instance, is an important component of bones and teeth, phosphorus can be found in muscles, iron in the red blood cells. Many deficiencies are caused by a lack of certain minerals. The right calcium-phosphorus ratio plays an important role in growing puppies.

Vitamins

Vitamins maintain the functions of metabolism. Vitamin A is important for sight, Vitamin B for nerves, Vitamin D for bones, Vitamin E protects the skin, and Vitamin K supports blood coagulation. Only Vitamin C doesn’t have to be supplied in food for dogs and cats, as they are able to synthesize it.

Dietary fibre

Dietary fibre is the term for those components of food that are excreted undigested. It supports a healthy digestion, and can be found mainly in vegetables. A lack of dietary fibre leads to constipation.