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Why Nutrition Is Important for Healthy Skin and Coat
Why Nutrition Is Important for Healthy Skin and Coat

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Why Nutrition Is Important for Healthy Skin and Coat

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Nutrients such as protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals are important players in the skin and coat health of dogs. To understand the role of these nutrients, it is necessary to start by understanding skin and hair.
 

The purpose of skin and hair is to block things from leaving (such as water or heat) or entering (such as viruses and bacteria) the body.
 

The hair coat is composed almost entirely of protein. If the animal's diet doesn't contain adequate protein quantity and quality, hair may fall out, or become dry, weak and brittle.
 

Skin is made up of squamous cells, flat cells tightly packed together. These cells have tough membranes that are composed of proteins and fats. Without proper amounts of these nutrients, cell membranes weaken, allowing water to escape and bacteria and viruses to enter more easily.

 

 

Essential Amino Acids and Fatty Acids for Dogs

Proteins are found in both animal-based and plant-based ingredients. Animal-based proteins contain all the essential amino acids dogs need, whereas plant-based proteins may contain only some essential amino acids. Animal-based proteins help dogs achieve optimal health.
 

Fats can also be found in both animal-based and plant-based ingredients. They are incorporated into skin cells as fatty acids. There are two essential fatty acids for skin and coat health. Linoleic acid maintains skin and coat condition in dogs. Without enough linoleic acid dogs may experience dull, dry coat, hair loss, greasy skin and increased susceptibility to skin inflammation.
 

Both of these essential fatty acids are omega-6 fatty acids and are found in animal tissues like chicken fat. Linoleic acid is also found in some vegetable oils, such as corn and soybean oils.
 

Most commercial dog diets contain more than adequate amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. Because these fatty acids can be converted to compounds that increase susceptibility to skin inflammation, it is important to balance the amount of omega-6 fatty acids in the diet with omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce susceptibility to inflammation.
 

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oils from fish and some plants (canola and flax).
 

IAMS research has found that combining fat sources in the diet at a ratio of 5-10 omega-6 fatty acids to 1 omega-3 fatty acid results in excellent skin and coat health.

 

 

Vitamins and Minerals That Dogs Need

Vitamins and minerals are essential for the development of healthy skin and hair coat. The best way to provide these nutrients is through a complete and balanced diet containing appropriate amounts of essential vitamins and minerals rather than through supplements.

 

Vitamin or Mineral Importance to Skin and Coat Health
Vitamin A Necessary for growth and repair of skin
Vitamin E Protects skin cells from oxidant damage
Biotin Aids in the utilization of protein
Riboflavin (B2) Necessary for fat and protein metabolism
Zinc Necessary for fat and protein metabolism
Copper Involved in tissue pigment and protein synthesis

 


Changes in Coat Condition

Diet is often believed to be a factor when changes in skin and coat condition are noticed. The most common causes of these changes, however, are season and life stage.
 

As cold weather approaches, most dogs grow a thick coat to help keep heat in and cold air out. As the weather begins to warm up, they shed the thick, heavy coat.
 

Most puppies are born with soft fuzzy hair, but as they age, a coarser coat grows. Pregnant or lactating dogs also may experience a change in coat condition or hair loss. And, as with humans, the hair on dogs may thin out and become coarser and white as they reach their senior years.

  • 3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​
    3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​
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    3 reasons why animal-based protein might be better for your dog​

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    A balanced diet with high-quality protein is essential for your dog's optimal wellness.
     

    Author: Dr. Saza Curaming
     

    Dogs are semi-carnivores. They can be nourished by protein from animal sources, plant sources or a combination of both. Although dogs are often fed a plant-based diet, they are not herbivores. 
     

    The difference between animal-based protein and plant-based protein sources is that animal-based ones incorporate chicken, lamb, fish meal, and beef while plant-based protein sources include corn-gluten and soybean meal. 
     

    Similar to their carnivorous ancestors–wolves, coyotes, foxes, and jackals, the body structure of dogs is optimized for eating meat which is relatively easier for them to digest than a plant-based diet. 
     

    Even though dogs are semi-carnivores, it is important to not leave out animal-based proteins from their diet. Feeding our dogs meat-based products are closely related to their natural ancestral diet. There are three main reasons animal-based proteins are better suited for our furry friends than plant-based proteins.
     

    Not all proteins are created equal 

    Including protein in your pet dog’s diet serves several functions. For one, a high-quality protein food for dogs can provide amino acids. Amino acids play a key part in building hair, skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Protein plays a key role in hormone and enzyme production.
     

    Amino acids are building blocks and are considered critical to our furry best friend. Different studies have shown that out of the 20 amino acids, 10 of these are called non-essential and can be made by your dog when they need it.

     

    Protein is crucial throughout a dog’s lifetime

    A dog’s need for amino acids will also change depending on age and condition. As dogs age, their body composition and muscle-specific proteins decline and for that reason, giving them protein in their meal helps them maintain a healthy body throughout the years.
     

    That said, it goes without saying that puppies require sufficient protein for growth. According to a study, a puppy's diet should consist of at least 22% protein. For an adult dog, 18% of protein should be incorporated into their everyday meal. 

     

    Protein a day, keeps doctors away

    Animal protein sources contain an average of 35% higher protein concentration. It contains higher doses of calcium, phosphorus, omega 6, methionine, cystine, and taurine. 
     

    While protein can be derived from plants, the canine digestive system typically has an easier time utilizing animal-sourced protein. Our dog's gastrointestinal tract is not designed to digest large amounts of plant-based products.
     

    To deliver a healthy balance of amino acids to support your dog's health and vitality, IAMS created a recipe that uses chicken as their number one ingredient and aids in maintaining healthy digestion, immune system, skin and coat, and even provides dental care support that is developed with veterinarians. 
     

    Ready to achieve your dog’s optimal health with an animal-based protein food? For more information about IAMS Dog, visit https://iams.asia/my/. IAMS Dog is available at all leading supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide.