Dogs love to gobble up whatever they can sink their teeth into, but that doesn’t mean that they should. Like their favorite human, your dog’s gut health plays a major role in how they feel each day.
Without a well-balanced gut microbiome, they’re bound to feel lousy as their immune system fails to keep up in its fight against germs. Their energy levels could plummet as well, leaving you worrying about your pup rather than throwing the ball for them.
Thankfully, you can help your dog maintain a healthy gut by making sure that they get all the key vitamins and minerals needed each day. Ready to make that happen? Here’s what you need to know.
The Gut-Health Connection for Dogs
Although many dogs try to treat their gastric system like a no-holds-barred trash compactor, it’s actually an incredible eco-system full of beneficial bacteria and other microbes. When kept in balance with a nutritious daily diet, all these critters produce the building blocks needed for a healthy mind and body.
Without the right mix of vitamins and minerals, however, these organisms go haywire and fail to break down food properly. Then, it becomes a downward spiral as poor digestion allows essential nutrients to go right down the drain.
Also known as dysbiosis, this gut microbiome disruption causes all sorts of problems, including poor immune system function. The only way back from that is by consistently feeding your dog an easily digestible, wholly nutritious diet. Even then, it can take quite a long time for the gut to recover, so it’s best to take that approach from the start.
A Look at Your Dog’s Daily Energy Output
Without the right nutrient balance, your pup won’t have the energy needed to work, play, and do all their other doggie duties. So, if you want your furry companion to live their best life, proper dog nutrition must remain a top priority every single day.
To start, choose a nutritious, easily digestible kibble with the right balance of protein, fat, and fiber. Across all life stages, look for at least 24% protein, 12% fat, and 5% fiber. Aim for a moisture level in the 10% range as well, but don’t forget to give your dog free access to water at all times.
As for calories, the amount of food dogs need to maintain their energy levels depends on their breed, size, and everyday activities. Use their weight as a baseline, and then adjust the amount to better reflect your dog’s needs. Large 100-pound dogs should get 4 ¼ cups of kibble daily while 10-pound dogs only need around ¾ cup per day. If you have a medium 50-pound dog, feed them 2 ¾ cups instead.
Don’t forget to subtract out their treats as well to avoid overfeeding your dog. Overall, avoid giving your dog more than 10% of their food in treats each day.
Vitamins and Minerals Your Dog Needs
To stay in good health through the years, dogs need a balanced diet full of all the major vitamins and minerals. They should get the bulk of their nutrients from whole foods, although healthy treats are a must for morale, of course.
If you’re not sure what to get, why not try insect-based dog foods, like Jiminy’s? They have all the right nutrients for a happy, healthy dog, including:
- Zinc: Improves immune function, protein digestion, and skin and coat health
- Iron: Produces high energy levels and boosts the immune system function
- Choline: Promotes great brain health to keep your dog sharp and feeling their best
- Vitamin A: Helps boost the health of your dog’s eyes, skin, and coat
- Vitamin B: Assists in the healthy replacement of cells for wellness through the years
- Vitamin C: Ensures your dog’s immune system can fight against illnesses with ease
Cricket- and grub-based dog foods have all the nutrients needed for a balanced diet, many of which far exceeds the amount required by AAFCO. The insect-based foods have all the essential amino acids, for example, plus twice as much iron as spinach. Furthermore, these foods have the perfect omega 6 to 3 ratio needed for optimal health.
All the dog vitamins and minerals are necessary each and every day to maintain excellent gut health and overall wellness. So, don’t vary your dog’s food too much – unless you’re alternating their protein source between crickets and grubs, that is. Otherwise, a dog upset stomach is in your near future, especially if the gut microbiome gets unbalanced.
Choose the Right Food for a Healthier, Happier Dog
Dog nutrition starts with food made from a nutritious, highly digestible protein source, like Jiminy’s insect-based foods.
So, take great care in getting your dog on a food they love from the very start. Then, dial in their daily serving sizes and add treats to the mix to sweeten the deal even more. With that approach, your efforts will help ensure your dog’s gut stays healthy through every life stage.