If you recall our previous posts on protein and fats, then I’m sure the pet lovers here at PetHomeStay would’ve expected a post on the final macronutrient - carbohydrates. We’d also like to discuss the role of micronutrients for your pet, such as vitamins and minerals.

Credit: SMLP
Carbohydrates
The main source of carbohydrates are acquired in plants. Some informed pet lovers may even know that there is also one source of carbohydrate that comes from meat called glycogen, but it is only found in small amounts in the liver and muscles.  If your dog is not getting enough carbohydrates in his diet, the liver has to do extra work to make glucose from proteins.  On the other hand, when your dog is getting enough carbohydrates in his diet, his body will not have to use proteins to get its required amount of glucose, therefore, saving these precious proteins to be used to for other jobs that they are required to do. So PetHomeStay recommends a healthy balance of carbohydrates for your furry little friend.
Vitamins
Vitamins are not considered to be building blocks, and they are not necessarily required for the production of energy. However, they are important in your dog's health in a number of ways described below.
1. Dogs need vitamin A for healthy skin and coat. Skin conditions and poor coats have been associated with lack of vitamin A and/or vitamin B.
2. Vitamin B is responsible for a healthy immune system.
3. Studies have concluded that vitamin C prevents dogs from getting hip dysplasia.
4. Dogs need vitamin D for healthy teeth and bones. Deficiency in this vitamin produces weak teeth and brittle bones.
5. Vitamin E is an excellent source of antioxidants. Deficiency in vitamin E can lead to heart problems and several types of cancers.
6. Vitamin K is used for blood clotting.
Minerals
Unlike other nutrients, minerals are used by the body in a more comprehensive way.  Below are examples of some of the ways minerals benefit your dog:
1. Minerals such as calcium and phosphorous are required for strong bones and cartilage.
2. Minerals are needed for the nervous system to function properly.
3. They help promote muscle metabolism.
4. They are used in the production of hormones.
5. Minerals transport oxygen in the blood.
It is important to know that too much or too little of a certain mineral can affect the functions of other minerals in your dog's body. In addition, there are also cases where the action of one mineral depends upon the action of another mineral.  For example, the minerals iron and copper work hand-in-hand to produce hemoglobin. Iron is necessary to produce hemoglobin in red blood cells while copper is equally important for hemoglobin formation. One will not be able to function properly without the help of the other.

All this information may seem a little overwhelming, however through a balanced diet, your dog will generally receive most the nutrients it needs. If you are ever unsure though, see your local vet to get some advice.

Do you guys know any foods that are just chock-full of nutrients? Share your tips with us here at PetHomeStay. We’d love to hear from you!