Is it Important to add Digestive Supplements to your Dog’s Diet?

Before we get into whether or not digestive supplements are important for your pet, let’s start with what exactly are digestive supplements for dogs. Commonly acknowledged as ‘digestive enzymes’, supplements for dogs basically offer a helping hand to your pet’s digestive system.

So what are enzymes? They are minute protein molecules that are present in each living cell and are responsible for multiple functions and activities such as detoxification, energy production, and increasing metabolism. Therefore, digestive enzymes for dogs assist in proper digestion by enhancing absorption of nutrients.

If your dog is showing signs of poor digestive health (for instance abdominal discomfort, vomiting, and gas), pains or issues with joints, or minor sensitivities with certain foods, then adding digestive supplements in its food is extremely important.

Now one can question why are supplements required when dog food is supposed to provide enough enzymes to promote healthy digestion. What most people don’t know is that the enzymes present in most pet foods are unable to survive the heat process that goes into eliminating germs. That’s why the digestive enzymes present in dog food are usually not enough for proper digestion.

Your pet’s good health is credited to two important enzymes, metabolic and digestive. Metabolic enzymes function towards carrying out vital bodily functions of maintaining and building each tissue, cell, and organ. And we’ve noted before that digestive enzymes work in your pet’s stomach and intestines.

Consequences of Lack of Digestive Enzymes in your Pet’s Digestive Track

The lack of enough digestive enzymes in your pet’s diet will rob vital metabolic enzymes from performing important tasks such as immune function because its body prioritizes digestion of food as the most important activity for survival. Therefore, lack of digestive enzymes first attacks your pet’s immune system.

Not having enough digestive enzymes also pose a threat to incomplete digestion, allowing partially (or not fully) digested food particles to enter the bloodstream from the large intestine.

Benefits of Adding Digestive Supplements in your Pet’s Diet

  • Restores or/and supports immune system
  • Maintains normal body weight (without hunger cravings)
  • Promotes proper cell growth
  • Supports respiratory health and stimulates healthy teeth and gums
  • Helps greatly in reducing skin irritation
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Common Food-Related Myths That Might Be Affecting Your Pet’s Health

Health and nutrition are two topics that are highly researched and conjectured upon- it is not just about human health but also about our furry friends.
Here are a few myths about the food you feed (or do not feed) to your pets, to help you tell facts from fiction-

Prescription diets are the best

Foods that pet owners see at the veterinarians’ are not always the best choice for your pets’ health. Most of these foods are sourced from grains (or its by-products), and by-products or leftovers of poultry that are not the healthiest food choice.

Pet supplements and food must be sourced from the most organic sources of meat. The digestive systems of cats and dogs are designed by nature to function optimally when fed on animal protein.

Table foods are bad for your pet

A holistic diet for your pet should include pet supplements and nutrient-rich meals. It may include healthy human foods like steamed veggies, oatmeal, finely chopped fruits, meat and rice- junk food should never be fed. Table food you want to feed your dog or cat should be healthy for them. Moreover, it needs to be kept in mind that if you will be providing human food to your pet, the portions should be carefully measured so that it does not lead to any weight issues.

Only ‘balanced and complete’ food should be fed

This is another common food-related myth. You need not worry about meeting all the nutritional requirements of your pet at each and every meal as over the course of the day (or week), all such requirements get fulfilled. In order to stay healthy and complete all the levels of the food pyramid, wholesome meals may not suffice. This is where pet supplements come in handy to fill those gaps.

Proteins are hard to digest for old pets

Contrary to popular belief, animal proteins are essential for ageing pets, while plant-based proteins are hard to digest and assimilate for them. Their organs are forced to work double when they are fed soy- or corn-derived proteins as these are not the type of proteins their systems have been designed to digest.

Importance of Providing Balanced Nutrition to Pets

A proper combination of nutrients is highly essential when feeding your pets. This is because, like humans, your pets too require a certain combination of carbohydrates, proteins and other minerals in order to function normally.

Certain nutritional supplements are manufactured keeping specific functions in mind. For instance, some dog foods are meant for specific stages of an animal’s life like pregnant or geriatric dogs, while others are developed for providing hypoallergenic nutrition or for keeping a check on specific health conditions which can be related to the heart, kidneys or any other part of the body.

In other words, each and every nutrient in your pet’s food serves a specific purpose, in the absence of which your pet may not be able to maintain and repair muscles, bones, teeth and fight off infection.Let’s discuss the importance of providing balanced nutrition to pets in detail.

Body Condition and Muscle Tone

Every cell in the body is made of protein which helps in building hair, muscles, organs and other tissues. It is also required in order to repair cells which have been damaged and create new ones. Protein is also important for growing and pregnant pets. The protein in diet ensures that your pet is able to build and maintain strong muscles.

Skin and Coat Health

A dog with a shinier coat is a healthy dog. This is because dogs which are provided with optimal amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in their diet will have a skin which is healthy and a coat which shines. Dry skin lead to hair breaking and patches of fur falling out very easily. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory effects which reduces itching and other irritation in pets.

Digestion and Elimination

Fiber in food helps in proper digestion and elimination in pets. The pet foods are developed by experts to make sure that the much needed nutrients are easily available and can easily be absorbed by the body of your pet. Digestibility is extremely essential so that your dog can use up all the nutrients in the food and rid the body of what is unwanted. The food provided should be such that it provides all the required nutrition but produces very minimal stools.