English Bulldog - Nutritional Building Blocks (Part I)Nutrition is a constantly ongoing process that starts at conception (with the mother dog’s diet) and ends only with death. Everything that is consumed becomes part of the dog’s daily nutrition, whether it’s good for her or not. In other words, anything your English Bulldog eats and digests (including snails, worms, or the kids’ peanut butter sandwich) can give her some kind of nutrition. However, what the Bulldog eats, the food’s actual digestibility, and how the dog’s body uses that food can all affect the actual nutrition gained by eating.
Although your English Bulldog can eat many things, including a lot of materials that may not be good for her, there are some substances she must eat regularly to keep her healthy. These can be a part of the commercial dog food you feed her, part of a homemade diet, or in the supplements added to her food.

Protein

Proteins are a varied group of biological compounds that affect many different functions in your English Bulldog’s body, including the immune system, cell structure, and growth. As omnivores (dogs eat meat as well as some plant materials), dogs can digest protein from several sources. The most common are meats, grains, dairy products, and legumes. Recommendations vary as to how much of the dog’s diet should be protein, but in general, most nutritionists agree that a diet that contains between 20 and 40 percent quality protein is good for a dog.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, like proteins, have many functions in the dog’s body, including serving as structural components of cells. However, the most important function is as an energy source. Carbohydrates can be obtained from many sources, including tubers (such as potatoes and sweet potatoes), plants (such as greens like broccoli and collard greens), and cereals. However, dogs do not have the necessary digestive enzymes to adequately digest all cereal grains. Therefore, the better sources of carbohydrates are tubers and noncitrus fruits, such as apples and bananas. Most experts recommend that a dog’s diet contain from 20 to 40% carbohydrates of the right kind.

Fat

Fats have many uses in the body. They are the most important way the body stores energy. Fats also make up some of the structural elements of cells and are vital to the absorption of several vitamins. Certain fats are also beneficial in keeping the skin and coat healthy. Fats in dog foods are found primarily in meat and dairy products. Recommended levels are from 10 to 20%.

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