Knowing the types of nutrients your dogs need can help you determine what a healthy and balanced diet looks like. Out of all of the vitamins that your dogs need, vitamin A is a crucial one, as it plays an essential role in maintaining proper metabolism, skin and coat conditions, growth, and visual acuity. 2,272 IU of vitamin A has been recommended for every pound of dry food consumed. Anything more than that can have a toxic effect. While you can find vitamin A in many brands of kibbles and wet dog food, you can also supplement vitamin A intake with these 3 types of foods.
Liver for Concentrated Amounts of Vitamin A
If you're looking to hit your dogs with a large dose of vitamin A at a time, then you'll want to incorporate some type of liver into their diet. Organ meat has been found to be particularly nutritious, and liver contains a wealth of different essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. On top of being a concentrated source for vitamin A, you'll also find large quantities of vitamin B and iron as well. In short, by just including liver in your dog's diet, their diet will improve, as liver can aid in digestion, prevent anemia and mental fatigue, regulate body temperature and muscle activity, and strengthen your dogs' immune systems.
To take advantage of the numerous health benefits that liver can offer, incorporate it into your dogs' diets at least once a week, or up to 5% of your dogs' total diets. As liver contains concentrated amounts of essential vitamins and minerals, you don't want to overdo it.
Sweet Potatoes as a Delicious Treat
Treat your dogs to sweet potatoes, and you'll also be making sure that they receive all of the vitamin A that they need in their diet. Sweet potatoes contain large quantities of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in your dogs' bodies after consumption. They're also a great treat, as they are low in fat and easy on the digestive system since they are rich in dietary fibers.
To retain as much nutrition as possible from the sweet potatoes, steam or boil them before giving them to your dogs. This cooking method will soften up the potatoes while still retaining their original flavor and sweetness. If you're looking to introduce this type of treat into your dogs' diets, make sure you start slow by giving them only a teaspoon or a tablespoon at first. This is because a sudden increase in dietary fibers can actually cause gastrointestinal issues.
Chicken Eggs with a Twist
Much like for human beings, eggs are a wonderful source of nutrients for dogs as well. They contain an abundance of nutrients like vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and fatty acids. In fact, some would claim that eggs contain all of the essential building blocks of life, or amino acids, that are needed. You can feed your dogs the same eggs that you buy at a grocery store. Look for eggs that come from free-range, grass-fed hens. They tend to be the healthiest.
When serving up eggs, the best way to do it is to feed it to your dogs raw. Cooked eggs lose a lot of their nutrients, so avoid sizzling the eggs on a pan.
If you don't have any of the above foods available, you can even consider purchasing vitamin A supplements at a nearby pet store. These supplements come in the form of chewable tablets that can be easily inserted into treats, hidden within kibble, or fed as dog treats themselves. For more information, contact a veterinarian who specializes in pet nutrition.