The Nutritional and Dietary Requirements of Domestic Animals

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The nutritional and dietary requirements of domestic animals.

Domestic animals are usually fully dependent on humans for the food they consume, and therefore owners must carefully consider the nutritional needs of each animal they care for. This report will list the seven main nutrients required in animal nutrition, discuss how nutrition is related to the animal’s feeder type, and will outline some factors that will require a change in diet. All animals require varying amounts of the principal nutrients listed below: 1.Protein: essential for functions such as cell wall synthesis, tissue growth and repair, regulating metabolism, energy provision, and for use as biological enzymes (Tortora et al, 2007, p46). 2.Carbohydrates: include sugars, glycogen, starches and cellulose. They function mainly as a source of energy which is required for generating ATP to be used in metabolic reactions throughout the body. 3.Fats: vital in small amounts. “They provide fatty acids which are vital for the brain” and for energy (Watson, 2010, p56) and act as a carrier for fat-soluble vitamins. 4.Fibre: important for most species. Carnivores require only a small amount to aid food digestion; however it makes up the majority of an herbivore diet. 5.All animals require certain vitamins; organic compounds which support body regulation. For example, vitamin A aids growth, foetal development and vision (among other regulatory processes). 6.Macro-minerals (such as calcium and sodium) and micro-minerals (such as iron and iodine): both are crucial in animal nutrition and have various functions. E.g. calcium is needed for bone growth and muscle health, and iron is an essential component of haemoglobin in red blood cells, of which sufficient amounts are needed to prevent anaemia. 7.The most essential of all nutrients is water. Without water an animal would not survive one day, and therefore owners must daily provide fresh clean water for all animals. (Golonka, 2007)

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