The food that we give our pets is vital for keeping them fit and healthy, and when we feed them good, nutritious food, we are helping them maintain a strong muscular-skeletal structure, helping to keep their organs healthy and providing them with everything they need for a healthy immune system.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can help to keep your pooches bones strong and healthy with a nutritious diet:
Bones in a little more detail:
Bones are made up of a combination of minerals that help provide structure and hardness, and they surround a protein matrix that give bones their flexibility. This flexibility enables bones to bend a little without breaking when they are put under a normal level of pressure.
Calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium and potassium are all present in bones, with the major minerals being calcium and phosphorous. The rest of the bone tissue is made up almost entirely of type 1 collagen, the fibres of which give the layers of minerals the support they require, to form bone.
Calcium is abundant as a mineral in a dog’s body and has many different health related functions. Not only does calcium form the basis for good bone growth and regeneration, but it also helps a dog’s body contract muscles, supports its muscles and nerve transmission, and aids in the process of blood clotting.
When your dog’s diet doesn’t include enough calcium, their body will quickly begin to take calcium from the bones to make sure that the cells can continue to function as they should, which can have a devastating effect upon your dog’s bones. Not only can their bones become weak when this happens but being deficient in calcium can also make your dog grouchy and anxious, and they may experience problems when trying to sleep.
However, caution must be taken when giving calcium to your dog, since too much in their system can cause similar problems, too. Finding a balance between the levels of calcium and phosphorous in your dog’s food is vital, and you will find that most pre-prepared food will give you this.
Healthy bones are given a boost with magnesium, which helps your dog’s body to absorb and retain calcium. Magnesium also helps give support to a dog’s central nervous system and cardiovascular health and helps the body to convert calcium in the blood into a form that can be use for muscle growth and nerve function.
If your dog isn’t getting enough magnesium in their diet, they can go on to experience problems with their nervous system, such as grouchiness and anxiety and they may go on to lose their overall stamina.
The nervous system is also helped by phosphorous, not to mention calcium metabolism, cellular repair and aids to digestion.
Insufficient levels of phosphorous in your pet pooches diet can lead to bones becoming weak along with pain appearing in joints, and they may even begin to experience autonomic issues with their nervous system, which may present itself with drooling, and runny eyes and nose. Metabolism can also be lowered without sufficient phosphorous levels present in the diet, and stamina may become reduced as a result.
If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from any kind of nutritional deficiency, or simply have concerns about the diet you are giving your pet, then you should always seek advice from a qualified veterinarian before attempting to rectify the problem yourself, or changing their diet in any way.