Jack Russell Terrier feeding
A dog is by nature a predator, a carnivorous creature.
The ancient ancestors of dogs ate killed animals, meat being their main diet. If we observe wolves, the closest relatives of our pets, while hunting, we will see a curious fact. When hunting an elk or a roe, wolves, first of all, eat the peritoneum and leave the meat for later. Inside the peritoneum, in the stomach and intestines, there are not fully digested remains of grass and grains. From this mixture, wolves get a large set of vital substances: first of all, proteins, carbohydrates, fiber.
Of course, in the process of evolution and domestication, dogs have learned to eat any food with their master. But the needs of the dog's body are still the same.
Your Jack needs protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, mineral supplements, and of course plenty of freshwaters.
Remember the ancient truth, "You are what you eat"?
This applies in full measure to your pet. The better his nutrition, the better shape he is in.
Every single element in Jack's diet has a role to play, and the lack of "excess of any element" can lead to an imbalance in his body. Your Jack does not need a variety of foods like a human. He cannot enjoy food because of its taste, since a dog's taste senses are much weaker than a human's. Give your Jack something to eat. He will smell the treat first, and based on his sense of smell, he will accept it or not. In other words, the dog determines whether the food is good or not by its smell. If he likes the smell, then the food is good.
So what to feed your Jack, you ask? There is so much controversy about the advantages and disadvantages of both natural products and prepared foods. We will not give recommendations, on what kind of feeding to give preference. We'll talk about the different options. And you choose for yourself, depending on your capabilities and preferences of your Jack.
Keep in mind that dogs have different nutritional needs at different times of life. The composition and amount of food vary during a dog's growth period, during pregnancy, lactation, and in old age. A special menu needs to be chosen for a sick dog.
Let's look at the basic elements of Jack's diet.
A dog's body consists of 60% water. It is known that a dog can survive for several weeks without food and a maximum of three days without water. If a dog loses as little as 10% water to its weight, it will lead to imminent death. At the same time, a dog can lose a much larger amount of water without pain from the lack of food. Thus, water is a major component of a dog's diet. Jack is a high-energy dog and easily loses fluid while hunting, playing, active exercise, especially in hot weather. Therefore, it is important to always make sure Jack has access to freshwater. When you take your dog in the car for a long time or take a long walk in an area without a body of water, take water with you.
Protein is the basis for building the bones, muscles, nerves, and other tissues of the dog's body. The main sources of protein are meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. An adequate amount of protein food is especially important during puppy growth, pregnancy and lactation, Also an increased amount of protein should be in the diet of energetic and mobile dogs, which includes Jackie, as a diet with insufficient energy value can lead to burning and depletion of the dog's body's proteins.
Carbohydrates are the most important source of energy for the dog's body. Carbohydrates should make up at least 50% of Jack's diet. The main source of carbohydrates in plants. These are cereals: rice, wheat, buckwheat, corn, soybeans, and beans.
Fiber, otherwise known as dietary fiber, must be present in the dog's diet. Fiber can be called the "sanitary of the digestive tract". It regulates the entire digestive system of the body, especially the peristalsis of the intestines. On the other hand, an overabundance of fiber in the diet can cause gastrointestinal upset. Sources of fiber are many vegetables, fruits, and herbs. However, onions, garlic, and turnips should be avoided.
Fats are a concentrated source of energy for your dog. However, foods high in fat can lead a dog to obesity. This does not apply to young Jacks, as they are very energetic, mobile dogs, and the presence of fats in their diet is necessary. However, at an older age, the amount of fat in the diet should be limited. Among other things, fats are important for coat and skin health. Fats can be of animal or plant origin.
Minerals are the basic building blocks of a dog's body: skeleton, teeth. They maintain the proper functions of the nervous system, cardiovascular system, electrolyte balance, metabolic processes.
They are divided into two groups:
- Calcium and phosphorus are necessary for the building of the skeleton. The deficiency of these elements leads to diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
- Potassium, sodium is responsible for electrolyte balance in the body. Potassium deficiency leads to heart and kidney failure. In addition, there may be developmental delays and delays in the formation of the visual system.
- Sodium is also responsible for the water balance of the body's cells. Excess sodium in the body can lead to hypertension and renal failure in the dog.
- Magnesium is involved in building the skeleton, nervous system, and excitable tissues in the dog's body. Its deficiency causes muscle weakness and sometimes seizures.
- Iron is the basic element for the formation of red blood cells and is responsible for cellular respiration and the transport of oxygen by the blood. Iron deficiency is associated with anemia, weakness, and fatigue in the dog.
- Zinc is responsible for the condition of hair and skin, the functioning of enzyme systems, and protein synthesis. Its deficiency leads to stunting, anorexia, infertility, damage to the integrity of the skin.
- Copper is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, the pigment of the coat and skin, for the formation of bone tissue. Copper deficiency may lead to bone disease and anemia.
- Selenium combines with vitamin E to protect cells from damage.
- Iodine is involved in the synthesis of endocrine hormones.
Sources of all these minerals can be both foods (meat, fish, bone meal, sea salt, yeast) and chemical compounds such as zinc salts, manganese salts, phosphates, etc.
As we know from our own, human experience, vitamins are essential to everybody. The absence or deficiency of any vitamin can lead to serious illness. All vitamins are found in food or are produced by specialized companies in the form of pills that are added to the dog's basic diet. There are 12 vitamins (A, D, E, K, B1, B2, B6, B12, B4, nicotinic acid, etc.) that are essential for the body of the dog. These vitamins, along with minerals, are responsible for vision, growth, metabolism, the integrity of the skin, the proper functioning of various systems of the body. For example, B vitamins help convert food into energy. Deficiency of vitamin A can lead to muscle tissue abnormalities; vitamin A, to eye problems, including dryness, corneal ulceration, conjunctival inflammation, to problems with wound healing; and vitamin D, to rickets.
However, an overabundance of vitamins is also dangerous to Jack's health. Hypovitaminosis is very common due to the increased fashion of "feeding your dog lots of vitamins." Some owners add a variety of vitamins to their pet's diet year-round. But the consequences of hypervitaminosis are very serious, sometimes even irreparable. For example, an excess of vitamin B1 leads to tremors of the limbs, vitamins A and D in large quantities become toxic and cause anorexia, polyuria, hyperphosphatemia.
Of course, it is necessary to give vitamins to your Jack, but only in courses, depending on the period of his life, time of year, etc. For example, during molting - to speed it up, during pregnancy, during lactation, an aging Jack, etc.
In any case, do not prescribe vitamins yourself to your pet, consult your veterinarian!