Food is a highly significant factor in your older dog’s health. The broadest food classifications are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The three classifications help us in assessing the major components of a food. Foods are generally considered to be of the category that predominates in their composition. But this does not mean that a carbohydrate such as wheat contains no protein because it does. Or that a protein such as liver contains no carbohydrates because it certainly does. Similar to people, pets need a proper ratio of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in their diet in order to maintain proper health.
Proteins are vital to the growth and development of all body tissues. Protein helps in the formation of hormones; it regulates the acid-alkaline and water balances; and it helps the body to form enzymes and antibodies. Protein also aids in the formation of milk during lactation, and in the process of blood clotting.
Protein can be used as an energy source when fats and carbohydrates are insufficient in the diet.
Fats (lipids) are the most concentrated energy source in the diet. When oxidized, fats yield more than twice the calories of proteins or carbohydrates. Fats act as carriers for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
By helping vitamin D to be absorbed, fats make calcium more available to body tissues. Fats also aid in the conversion of carotene to vitamin A. Fats insulate major organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys, and help to maintain body heat.
Carbohydrates are the major source of energy for all bodily functions. They are a splendid source of quick energy. They assist in the digestion of other foods, and they are essential in regulating protein and fat metabolism. Carbohydrates are considered the fuel in which the fat burns.
Carbohydrates consist of sugars, starches, and cellulose. Simple sugars, as in honey and fruits, are easily digested.