Nutrients Your Dog Needs for a Healthy Diet

Spread the love

Nutrients Your Dog Needs

Nutrients Your Dog Needs are essential for their optimal health and vitality. These include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Each nutrient plays a specific role in supporting your dog’s growth, energy, immune function, and overall wellness. Providing a balanced and nutritious diet is key to meeting their dietary requirements.


Have you ever wondered what goes into your furry friend’s diet and why it’s so important? Well, you’re in the right place! You see, just like us, our pets need the right nutrients to keep their bodies healthy, energetic, and growing. But where do these nutrients come from? You guessed it – food!

Now, you might be wondering, “Can’t my pet just eat any old food?” Well, not exactly. Commercial pet foods are formulated with specific standards in mind to make sure your pet is getting all the nutrients they need. However, if your pet has any special needs or illnesses, it’s always best to check with your vet before making any changes to their diet.

So, are you ready to learn more about the six essential classes of nutrients that are crucial for your pet’s health and well-being? Let’s dive in!


Water is the most important thing for our pets to stay healthy. It makes up most of their body, about 60-70%. If they don’t drink enough water, they can get sick and even die. That’s why it’s important to always have clean water for them to drink. If a pet doesn’t drink enough water, it can get sick and even die if they lose too much of it. So make sure they always have fresh water to drink!


Proteins are like Lego blocks for our bodies! They help build cells, tissues, organs, enzymes, and hormones and protect us with antibodies. They are important for growth, keeping us strong, having babies, and fixing things when they break.

We can get proteins from many different foods like chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, fish, and eggs. These are called animal-based proteins and they have all the blocks we need.

We can also find proteins in plants like veggies, cereal, and soy. But these are not complete, so we need to eat different types of plants to get all the blocks we need

Amino acids:

 Amino acids help build proteins. There are two kinds of amino acids: essential and non-essential. Essential amino acids can’t be made by the animal’s body, so they need to be part of the food they eat. Some examples of essential amino acids are arginine, methionine, and histidine. Non-essential amino acids can be made by the animal’s body, so they don’t have to be in the food.

Every day dogs need amino acids in their diet to continually maintain their body. Active dogs and pregnant dogs will require more to keep up with their needs.

The Essential Amino Acids For Dogs Are:

  • Arginine
  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine



Fats give your pet a lot of energy, more than protein or carbohydrates. They help build your pet’s cells and make hormones. Fats help your pet use vitamins that dissolve in fat. Fats also protect your pet’s organs and keep them warm. Some fats are really important for your pet, but they can’t make them on their own. So, we need to give them these important fats in their food. A deficiency of essential fatty acids may result in reduced growth or increased skin problems. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid for dogs.

Healing inflammation is significantly influenced by the essential role played by omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in your body. Inflammation can happen in different parts of the body, like your skin, joints, intestines, and even your kidneys. By having more omega-3 fatty acids and less omega-6, the body will feel better and stay healthy. The optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids for dogs is between 5 and 10 to 1.

Please note: It is impossible to accurately determine the fatty acid ratio of a diet if the owner prepares home-cooked foods. If a dog is to benefit from the effects of these fatty acid ratios, it must be fed a fixed-formula food that guarantees these ratios.


Carbohydrates give energy to our body’s tissues, keep our intestines healthy, and help us have babies. Although there is no specific minimum requirement for carbohydrates, a minimum amount of glucose is necessary to provide energy to vital organs, such as the brain.

Certain types of carbohydrates known as fibers can alter the composition of bacteria in the small intestine, which can aid in managing chronic diarrhea.

For dogs to derive the maximum benefits from fiber, the chosen fiber source should be moderately fermentable. Fiber sources with low ferment ability, such as cellulose, can lead to inadequate development and reduced surface area of the intestinal mucosa.

Highly fermentable fibers can produce gasses and by-products that can lead to flatulence and excess mucus. Fibers in food can be good for a dog’s gut, but some fibers are better than others. A type of fiber called “moderately fermentable fibers” is the best choice. This includes beet pulp, which is often used in dog food. Other examples are brans from corn, rice, wheat, and wheat middling. But, high-fiber foods are not good for dogs with a lot of energy needs, like young and growing dogs.

The primary source of carbohydrates for dogs is typically derived from plant-based ingredients. Some common sources of carbohydrates for dogs include:

  1. Whole grains: Such as brown rice, oats, barley, and quinoa.
  2. Vegetables: Including sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, and pumpkin.
  3. Legumes: Such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans.
  4. Fruits: Including apples, blueberries, and bananas.

Some commercial dog foods may also contain carbohydrate sources like corn, wheat, or soy.

It’s important to note that dogs have a limited ability to digest carbohydrates compared to humans. While carbohydrates can provide energy, it’s essential to ensure a balanced diet that meets a dog’s specific nutritional needs, which may vary depending on factors like age, breed, and overall health. Consulting with a veterinarian can help determine the appropriate carbohydrate sources for a dog’s diet.


Vitamins are catalysts for enzyme reactions. Tiny amounts of vitamins are essential to dogs for normal metabolic functioning. The majority of vitamins cannot be naturally produced in the body, making them essential nutrients that must be obtained through the diet.

 If you are providing your pet with a complete and balanced diet, there is typically no need to administer a vitamin supplement unless a veterinarian has diagnosed a specific deficiency in certain vitamins.

Due to the practice of over-supplementation, hypervitaminosis—poisoning due to excess vitamins—is more common these days than hypovitaminosis or vitamin deficiency! Bone and joint pain, brittle bones, and dry skin may be caused by an excessive intake of vitamin A. Very dense bones, soft tissue calcification, and joint calcification may occur as a result of excessive consumption of vitamin D.

Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning that the dog’s body needs them in small proportions. Tiny amounts of vitamins are essential to dogs for normal metabolic functioning. The essential vitamins include;

  1. Vitamin A – Can be obtained from liver, fish oil, eggs, and dairy products.
  2. Vitamin D – Can be obtained from sunlight exposure or through supplements.
  3. Vitamin E – Can be obtained from vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds.
  4. Vitamin K – Can be obtained from leafy green vegetables, liver, and fish.
  5. Vitamin C – Can be obtained from fruits like oranges, strawberries, and kiwi (note: dogs can produce their vitamin C, so dietary sources are not as crucial).
  6. Thiamine (Vitamin B1) – Can be obtained from whole grains, lean meats, and legumes.
  7. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) – Can be obtained from organ meats, dairy products, and leafy green vegetables.
  8. Niacin (Vitamin B3) – Can be obtained from meats, fish, and whole grains.
  9. Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) – Can be obtained from meats, fish, whole grains, and vegetables.
  10. Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) – Can be obtained from meats, fish, whole grains, and vegetables.
  11. Biotin (Vitamin B7) – Can be obtained from the liver, egg yolks, and nuts.
  12. Folic acid (Vitamin B9) – Can be obtained from leafy green vegetables, liver, and legumes.
  13. Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) – Can be obtained from animal-based products such as meats, fish, and dairy.


Minerals are special substances that your pet needs in their diet. They don’t give your pet energy, but they help keep bones strong, balance fluids in their body, and play a role in many important processes. Your pet can’t make these minerals themselves, so they need to get them from their food.

Twelve minerals in the table are known to be essential nutrients for dogs.

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Chloride
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Iodine
  • Selenium


In conclusion, understanding the nutritional needs of dogs is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Providing a balanced diet with the necessary nutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, is essential. Whether feeding homemade dog food or using commercial options, it’s important to ensure that the diet meets their specific nutritional requirements. Consulting a veterinarian, utilizing a nutrition calculator, and considering dog nutrition supplements when necessary can all contribute to maintaining a healthy and nourished canine companion. Remember, a healthy dog diet is a key factor in their long-term happiness and vitality.


Q: What nutrients do dogs need?

A: Dogs require a balanced diet that includes protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water to meet their nutritional needs.

Q: What nutrition does a dog need daily?

A: A dog’s daily nutrition should consist of a balanced diet that includes high-quality protein, appropriate carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and access to fresh water.

Q: What nutrients do dogs need in homemade dog food?

A: Homemade dog food should include essential nutrients such as protein sources, grains or vegetables for carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and appropriate supplementation.

Q: What are the 7 nutrients most animals need?

A: The seven essential nutrients that most animals, including dogs, require are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water.

Q: How to make sure my dog is getting enough nutrients?

A: Ensure your dog’s nutritional needs are met by providing a balanced and complete diet, consulting with a veterinarian, and monitoring their weight, coat condition, and overall health.

Q: What are the recommended dog nutritional requirements percentages?

A: Dog nutritional requirements vary, but a general guideline is a diet consisting of approximately 18-25% protein, 30-70% carbohydrates, and 10-15% fats, along with appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Q: Is there a homemade dog food nutrition calculator?

A: Yes, there are online tools and calculators available that can help you determine the nutritional composition of homemade dog food recipes based on the ingredients used.

Q: How can I create a healthy dog diet at home?

A: A healthy homemade dog diet should include high-quality protein sources, balanced carbohydrates, healthy fats, and appropriate amounts of vitamins, minerals, and fiber to meet their nutritional needs.

Q: Are dog nutrition supplements necessary?

A: Dog nutrition supplements may be recommended in certain situations or for specific health concerns, but they should be used under the guidance of a veterinarian to ensure their appropriateness and effectiveness.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: