Dogs and diet



Konstantinos Moustakidis, Veterinary AUTH


Without a doubt, the issue of feeding our dogs and other pets is crucial both to maintaining their health and well-being and to building an even closer relationship with his or her partner. Decoding the rewarding meals and snacks, further reinforces the pet's relationship with its owner as a need for emotional as well as essential vitality. Ancient Greek philosophers, as well as important later ones (eg Ludwig Feuerbach), conclude that "man is what he eats ...".  With a broader approach to this finding it could be argued that even if we did not adopt it completely for animals, we would certainly agree with the conclusion that pet food and its quality act as a springboard to guarantee their excellent physical condition and good health.

The subject of dog nutrition is vast and rich in details and interesting approaches, so that it is really impossible to exhaust it in a single reference. However, one could argue that since the interwar period when industrialized dogs were first introduced, it was essentially the first step towards a new approach to the daily need to provide our beloved companions with balanced and rational nutritional, nutritional and nutritional needs in our "convenience".

The intensification of the life span of urban areas, but also the inability of most dog owners to prepare their beloved pet's food on a daily basis, either for a limited time or due to ignorance of specific nutritional requirements, has led to the boom in industrialization producing "dogfoods" that save time and also provide the dogs with a fully balanced and rational diet.

Ready-made dogs are divided into three main categories:

- Dry foods. Their main feature is the low water content (about 12-14%), which is also the most important prerequisite for their long-term maintenance. Distinguished as "whole", self-contained dietary supplements, and "supplemental", cereal-based, they may be enriched with vitamins and minerals and provided in conjunction with cooked or canned foods to dogs. Dry foods are not particularly palatable because of their obvious inability to display their organoleptic characteristics (odor, taste, color). But they are perfectly balanced nutrition, with the ability to be enriched with nutritional supplements where necessary (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.). An important parameter for their optimal performance is to provide dogs with plenty of clean water throughout the day, as these foods are dehydrated.

- Semi Dried Foods. Their water content ranges from 14-70%. They are more attractive than dry foods, but they have not yet become widespread, perhaps because of the need to add a large amount of preservatives and antioxidants to them because the increased presence of water makes them more vulnerable. 

- Canned foods. They are widespread, contain more than 70% water, are very attractive and especially fond of dogs. Compared to the dry they are advantageous because they are more desirable and tasty, but they are disadvantaged because they require more time to clean the tins and perhaps more walks as they most often promote the production of larger quantities of stools, less "tight" and smelly.

Of course, there is the solution to cooking dog food, which for some is yet another way of expressing love for their pet. A basic prerequisite for choosing this method is a good knowledge of the nutritional requirements of these animals, as well as the luxury of having enough time on a daily basis from the owner. But what are these particular nutritional requirements... We may be given the opportunity to approach them in greater detail in a forthcoming communication. Until then... good appetite!






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