The Best Diet for Canine Degenerative Myelopathy is regarded as one of the most important considerations when it comes to battling against this disease. A great diet may be one of the factors that can determine whether or not your dog will be able to put the disease’s progression to a torpid state.
A lot of dog owners fail to realize that when something is wrong with your dog’s health, it may not be just because you failed to provide him/her with the proper treatment; it can also be because of your failure to provide your dog with optimum food for optimum nutrition.
When diseases starts to happen, or when you find your dog less attentive or less energetic, retrace your steps back to your dog’s diet and find out if your dog has been eating properly and if you have been providing your dog with foods that can truly give them the nourishment they need.
Though nutrition is one of the key factors that can work against DM, there is very little attention given to it since most focus on the treatments itself not knowing that what their dog is eating may be the reason why the treatments are not succeeding or why all other precautionary or corrective treatments are nugatory.
When it comes to nutrition, there are two factors to be considered, the diet itself and also the dietary supplementation. Studies have noted that dietary supplementation has a mild effect in slowing down the progression of Degenerative Myelopathy; diet however, has shown a powerful influence against chronic degenerative diseases and dietary regulation may play a significant role in the development of such diseases.
With dogs that are built for work and labor, adequate nutrition must be provided daily, a lot of kennel clubs and licensed breeders especially for German Shepherds advise that feeding pups with what their parents were accustomed to feeding is so important. Many puppies have sensitive digestive systems and might have a hard time digesting foods which its system is not familiar with. What you feed your dog must be based on this as well as its nutritional requirements and the health issues that the breed is genetically predisposed with.
The further any animal’s diet departs from its evolutionary diet, the more health problems that animal is likely to develop, that being said, a full-grown, average-sized dog’s diet must contain all the following nutrients in the right balance:
- Proteins, essentially from animal sources
- Digestible fibers
- Vitamin C
- Essential fatty acids, particularly Omega-3
- Complex carbohydrates in low quantities
- Essential minerals in trace amounts
- Home Prepared Dog Food
In preparing dog food at home, it is best to keep in mind that homemade dog food is always better since you will have the option to look for and include the best ingredients to make the meal. The more natural the ingredients are, the better it is for your dog and the more food sources you utilize each time, the more your dog will be able to have varying nutrients. It is very important to maintain the right proportions of these nutrients in your dog’s diet. Depending on the breed of your dog, Vitamins and proteins should make up the bulk of what they eat.
Fat should not constitute of more than 8% of your dog’s daily diet and carbohydrates should be given very sparingly, not more than 2% each day. Dog owners should also keep in mind that not only is the proportion very important; you will also have to consider the fact that the food sources of such nutrition also needs to be considered. Meat is primarily the main source of protein but depending on what meat you feed your dog, it may contain higher or lower amounts of fat and or amino acids. Lean meat cuts should be used if possible since meat should not be the main source of fat. Safe and healthy fat sources for your dog may include coconut and sunflower oil, both of which are easily digestible with sunflower oil being an excellent unsaturated fatty acid source.
The omega-3 fatty acid is also another important element in your dog’s diet; you can easily provide this fatty acid on your dog’s meal by adding poultry meats or egg yolks. You can add in whole grain flour as well as high fiber vegetables, however, adding in too much is not advisable. Large dog breeds are highly prone to bloating and all the insoluble vegetable fiber and starch in grains would just worsen the situation for your beloved canine companion. You may however, add potatoes and carrots to your dog’s diet in small quantities as this will give them just the right quantities of carbs and vitamins.
Dogs need a lot of Vitamin C especially large breeds like the German Shepherd. Vitamin C can effectively lessen the risk for joint problems and will also allow your dog to have a shiny coat. Coupled with the right amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, this will help keep your dog’s coat shiny and luxuriant.
Most reputed dog food brands offer a near perfect nutritional combination, ideal for different breeds, and you can opt for one of them once your dog has reached adulthood. The fat requirements of many dogs are slightly more than a pup and the primary nutrients of an adult shepherd would primarily include proteins, fibers and fat in that order. Refrain yourself from giving your dog food or treats with sugar, refined carbohydrates or preservatives in it as eating these things is detrimental to the dermal health of dogs. The effects can be seen when your dog has a tangled, dull coat and with excessive shedding.
Giving your dog a well-balanced diet is very important; you can’t give your dog too much protein since it can alter your dog’s behavior, it can either make your dog restless or over excitable. An unbalanced diet can lead to health problems, such as flaky skin or your dog’s coat becoming ‘mangy’ so if you see your dog especially your German shepherd, continuously scratching or biting itself this could be a symptom of poor dietary control, mineral or vitamin deficiency, and you may need veterinary assistance.
Feed your dogs twice a day and make sure to do it at regular scheduled times. Don’t feed late at night and make sure your dog has plenty of exercise. Always wait at least 30 minutes for your dog to settle down before feeding. If you feed your dog as soon as you get back home, he will still be in an excitable state and will no doubt ‘rush his food’ and your dog may end up with possible stomach problems, flatulence and other digestive problems.
For more info on the best Degenerative Myelopathy diet and nutrition download our FREE EBOOK:
Doggie Parents Guide to Degenerative Myelopathy