Dog Nutrition: Nutritional Requirements for Dogs

Dogs enjoy the same food humans do; however, they should not have the same diet. So, what nutrients does your dog need to remain healthy? Find below a listing of dog nutrition principles.

Nutritional Requirements for Dogs

Dog Food Nutrition

Fat
Your dog needs fats to have a well-rounded diet. The fat allows your dog’s coat to be healthy in addition to ensuring the nose, paw pads and skin is healthy. Fats also provide your dog with energy. Your dog should not be given an unlimited amount of fatty foods, though. Only nine to fifteen percent of your dog’s diet should consist of fat. It is extremely easy for your dog to get too much fat if fed too many treats or table scraps.

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are not as good for energy supply as fats and proteins and dogs should not receive as many carbs as you would think. There is no minimum amount required for dogs; however, dogs who are pregnant or lactating should be given more carbs than others.

Water
Water is absolutely essential for your dog’s nutrition. Water accounts for approximately 70 percent of your dog’s body weight. Food helps to provide some of the water requirement; however, your dog should have water available to it at all times.

Protein
Protein is an essential nutrient for a dog’s nutrition plan. Proteins provide the basic building blocks for your dog’s cells, organs, tissues, enzymes and so much more. These are essential for growth, maintenance of the body, reproduction and repair of the body. Proteins can be acquired by your dog via chicken, turkey, beef and/ or eggs.

Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are also involved in your dog’s nutritional requirements. Vitamins serve as catalysts for reactions within the body. If the dog does not obtain these vitamins, normal metabolic functions are not possible. A vitamin supplement; however, is not necessary unless the veterinarian requests it. The vitamins should be acquired via the food your dog is consuming. Excess vitamins can also be very dangerous so extreme care should be taken when introducing a vitamin. Minerals must also be included in the diet and are essential for bones and teeth as well as for normal metabolic reactions.

Dog nutrition can be difficult to understand and it may be difficult to determine a diet particular to your pet. If you are uncertain what your pet’s diet should consist of in order to remain healthy, you should contact a dog nutrition professional for advice on proper dog nutrition for your pet in order for him to live a long and healthy life.

If you would like to learn more about dog food nutrition visit our Nutrition section for more tips on dog food!

Amber Johnson, Animal Behaviorist

Miss Amber Johnson has many years of experience with pets and is a licensed cat and dog nutrition and behavior specialist. She currently collaborates with PetPremium where she counsels clients in pet behavior and nutrition. The statements made in this article are the personal opinions of Miss Amber Johnson and based on independent experiences and could be different from the opinions of PetPremium Pet health Insurance or any other pet health insurance provider.

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