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Dog Food & Supplements - An in Depth Look at Nutrition For Your Pet - Part 5

In order to get the desired growth and performance of the dogs it is essential that all the twenty six nutrients needed by dogs have to be given to the dogs; none of these nutrients can be eliminated from these nutrients.

The nutrients interact with each other and hence it is essential that these are given in the exact ratios. In case any of the nutrients are in larger quantities it is necessary to increase the other nutrients quantity in the same proportion as prescribed. If this is not done you will find there are deficiencies in other nutrients.

This situation could be dangerous.

One can illustrate this by the following example. Calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D are some of these nutrients that interact with each other. It is necessary to maintain the proportion of calcium to phosphorus at 1.2 or 1. Further addition of calcium will create imbalance and there could be an inefficient mix of these minerals.

As a result of this the dogs could get a disease called rickets which is a deficiency due to lack of vitamin D or calcium.

You must realize that the purpose of vitamin D in the above set of nutrients is to transport calcium; this explains the relationship between these elements. In case the nutrient calcium is in excess or deficient rickets could occur.

This condition in the case of adult dogs is referred to as "paper bones".

Another example for this is the quantum of fat and vitamin B 12. If the level of fat is increased in the diet of the dogs, it will satisfy the energy requirements of the dog; however the requirements for other nutrients will not be met at the same time. This causes a nutritional imbalance. If you increase the fat content it is necessary to increase the quantity of vitamin B12 also.

The professional breeders try to breed over-sized, large boned "super dogs". Nutritional experts do not advise use of certain nutritional supplements such as oils, enzymes, and minerals without the supervision or recommendation of a veterinarian. This is very important in the case of calcium and cod liver oil (vitamin D), which are often used by breeders for growth of dogs. These items if given in excess could cause serious problems especially with regard to bone development.

In this connection, it is not out of place to mention that increase in vitamin and mineral supplements can accelerate the cause of heart problems, hip problems and also reduce the all-around health of a dog.

Dysplasia is a disease wherein abnormal development or growth of tissues, organs, or cells occurs. The hip dysplasia problem is rampant in all dogs irrespective of which breed it is. It is absolutely essential for professional breeders to understand the implications of upsetting intricate balances with their "home treatments" and super "bone builders" in spite of the genetic inheritance.

Although drugs play a very important role in the society it is necessary to learn not to misuse or abuse drugs. This misuse or abuse creates a whole lot of problems. Similarly, vitamin and mineral supplementation are very important for dogs' growth and development; however any misuse or abuse could create more problems.

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By Chang Seward

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