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When it comes to nutritional needs of dogs; all of the food that our pets take in are the ones we choose to give them - and most often than not; these are primarily dog food.  So it pays to ask ourselves "What is it, exactly, that we are feeding them?"

Many dog foods contain the following on their labels: "complete and balanced."  To be able to use this statement; each package must contain a certain balance of essential proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins, based on AAFCO-prescribed standards.  Following are brief descriptions of each, and how they help to maintain your dog's health:

Proteins

Mainly obtained from meat and most meat-based products, protein is essential for growth and cell regeneration and repair; and for Goldens, are necessary in the maintenance of their beautiful coat or fur.  In general, adult dogs require at least 18-25 percent of protein in their diet.

Carbohydrates

This is usually derived from fiber-based products, and help in maintaining the intestinal health of your pet.  Some carbohydrates can even be a good source of energy for your pet.  Examples of these are wheat, barley, corn, and oats.

Fats

Fats provide your pet with a concentrated source of energy; and are also essential for some vitamins (A, E, D and K) to be absorbed.  They help in protecting the internal organs and are vital in cellular production.  Fats generally account for abou10-15 % of an adult dog's diet.  Anything in excess, such as calories from table scraps and treats) may lead to weight problems and obesity.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals usually cannot be synthesized by a dog's body; so the primary source of these is the synthesized versions obtainable in commercially available quality dog foods. It helps in the normal functioning of their bodies and also helps maintain their bones and teeth.

Water

Like humans, majority of a dog's body composition - about 70%, in fact - is composed of water.  Dehydration is thus a very real danger if you do not provide him plenty of readily available drinking water on a daily basis.  

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